Beth S.’s Story

photo of Beth S in an archive“When I think about objects from my lifetime being in museums, besides feeling old, I think about the first generation iPod on display at the London Science Museum or pieces of steel from the World Trade Center at museums and memorials around the country. What I didn’t think about, however, were the mp3 music files on that iPod or the voicemails saved on cell phones from that fateful day, but these are objects as well – and objects with their own preservation challenges. My colleagues and I have started grappling with these challenges in collecting digital assets for our museum. We know that the technical manuals, blueprints, and personal letters that play important roles in undersea history and in our collection are no longer always physical items and that our collection needs to grow in terabytes of storage, not just rows of compact storage.

Through the four courses as part of the Digital Curation Certificate program, I was able to assess the conceptual and practical sides of digital preservation and curation. From thinking about file types and data capture to increased opportunities for object sharing, the program held me captivated and pushed my thoughts on our collection. I was able to tie each course back to my job responsibilities, utilizing our collection for each final project, but each course also pushed forward my thinking on ongoing work projects. The conversations I had with my classmates over Slack were thorough and thought-provoking, and I appreciated the varied backgrounds we each brought to the course. At the end of this program, I feel far more prepared to tackle digital acquisitions at our institution!”

– Beth Sanders
Collection Manager
U.S. Naval Undersea Museum, Keyport, WA