Engaging communities to foster internships for preservation and digital curation

The University of Michigan School of Information and several partners engaged in a three-year project to support course development facilitating the translation of learning between “real world practice” and the classroom, a series of digital curation/preservation administration internships, and a Digital Curation/Preservation Educators’ conference.

Start date: 9/1/2008
End date: 8/31/2012

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Within the library and archival communities, there are few educational opportunities for digital curators and preservation administrators to dialog across the analog-digital boundary. Internship opportunities in digital curation for master’s-level students are scarce. As a result, there is only limited dialog and cohesion among the diverse educators in this area.

In order to improve these issues, this project designed and implemented five summer internships in digital curation/preservation administration, a Practical Engagement Workshop course, and a Digital Curation /Preservation Educators’ conference to discuss pedagogy, internships, and the facilities required to teach these subjects.

The motivating factor behind this project was to increase the number of digital curation specialists and preservation administrators, and make open courseware available to any graduate LIS or I-School program seeking to develop courses or internships in this area.

The Preservation / Digital Curation Educators’ conference brought together diverse individuals in this area to begin a dialog among members of this diverse community. This project also developed a model for innovative ways of integrating the internship and classroom experiences and learning so that there is not only increased learning on the part of students, but also on the part of teachers who will incorporate information from the internships into the classroom.

Partner institutions on this project were the Center for Research Libraries, the Florida Center for Library Automation, the LOCKSS program at Stanford University, the Northeast Document Conservation Center, and the University of Michigan Libraries.


Laura Bush 21st Century Librarians Program, Institute of Museum and Library Sciences: $631,816


The Institute of Museum and Library Sciences' Laura Bush 21st Century Librarians Program supports efforts to recruit and educate the next generation of librarians and the faculty who will prepare them for careers in library science. It supports grants for library education research and library staffing needs, curriculum development, and continuing education and training.