Software Preservation Webinar Series

Event Information

Share this event

Date and Time

Event description


The Software Preservation Webinar Series provides a survey of software preservation contexts. Each episode explores a different software preservation context by providing an overview, discussion with guest speakers (specialists in digital preservation, software studies, scholarly communication, open source software and more) and open discussion with attendees. The webinar is jointly hosted by the Digital Preservation Coalition and the Software Preservation Network.

Registration will close the Friday before each episode.

EPISODE 1: Software Preservation Overview

April 25 // 8amPST - 10am CST - 4pm BST/CET

This episode will provide an overview of software preservation including past and current programmatic and project-based efforts to address key facets of software preservation such as metadata & standards, law & policy, technological infrastructure, research and training & education. Presenters will provide additional detail about the subsequent episodes in the series, and solicit questions/topics from attendees that will inform open discussion with guests.

EPISODE 2: Software Collection Development

May 2 // 8amPST - 10am CST - 4pm BST/CET

This episode will review existing software collections and who those collections serve. In order to better capture current efforts in collecting software, we will identify different collection profiles and the set of features that characterize each of them. We will explore how collection development policies and strategies for existing collections impacts community goals of sharing and reuse.


  • Tim Walsh (Canadian Centre for Architecture)

  • Paula Jabloner (Computer History Museum)

  • Patricia Falcao (Tate)

Discussion Questions:

  1. How did you get your hands on the material? Map out your acquisition process and your relationships with donors, loaners, sellers and manufacturers.

  2. Why are you collecting software and what are you collecting? Pinpoint your collection’s distinctive features and its (potential) users.

  3. What does collecting software entails? Describe what types of physical and digital components are found in your software collection.

  4. Are all software collecting entities ensuring preservation? Define and compare procedures and standards in collecting and preserving software.

EPISODE 3: Software (Re)Use Cases

May 9 // 8amPST - 10am CST - 4pm BST/CET

The “collections as data” initiative centers user communities and use cases in discussions about collection development. This episode will highlight research use cases for software collections, and explore whether and how the “collections as data” approach is a useful response to the unique challenges of collecting, preserving and providing access to software?


  • Matthew Allen (University of Toronto)

  • Eric Kaltman (Carnegie Mellon University)

Discussion Questions:

  1. How does software factor in to your research? How do you utilize software as data/as a research object?

  2. What are the unique qualities of software as data/as a research object?

  3. How/Where do you access the software you have used in your research?

  4. Do you think that the practice of creating/writing software is a requirement for the study of software as a research object?

  5. Which "Collections as Data" tools/documentary methods (position statements, facets, personas) have the greatest impact potential for software preservation efforts?

EPISODE 4: Software in Digital/Scholarly Communications

May 16 // 8amPST - 10am CST - 4pm BST/CET

This episode will provide an overview of scholarly communication practices as they relate to software preservation and citation within contemporary scholarly research methods. Attention will be paid to evolving and changing practices in a variety of institutional settings (e.g. post-secondary institutions , GLAMs, nonprofits), and to the need for disciplinary responsiveness in publication and citation practices.


  • James Howison (University of Texas at Austin)

  • Veronica Ikeshoji-Orlati (Vanderbilt University)

  • Neil Chue Hong (Software Sustinability Institute)

Discussion Questions:

  1. Where (and when) can software preservation discussions enter into the research process? Especially in terms of disciplines such as the humanities where issues of software creation, preservation, and emulation are in the initial stages of development.

  2. What role can training take in order to facilitate scholarly communication practices within and beyond institutional boundaries? E.g. outward facing blogs as well as internal communication re. Best practices, workflows etc.

  3. What teams/groups should be involved in discussions of software in digital/scholarly communications? How can SPN or other collectives work to build strong networks?

  4. Where do you see software in digital/scholarly communications in the next 5 years? 10 years?

EPISODE 5: Scaling Software Preservation and Emulation

May 23 // 8amPST - 10am CST - 4pm BST/CET

This episode will explore current programmatic and project based initiatives to create the processes and infrastructure that will support a growing number of software (re)use cases/organizational users. Our first use case will highlight challenges and opportunities associated with scaling an institutional software preservation program. Our second use case will highlight the challenges and opportunities associated with scaling software preservation across institutions.


  • Euan Cochrane (Yale University)

  • Maureen Pennock (British Library)

Discussion Questions:

  1. Define scale in the context of your project. How is scale different from growth?

  2. Are there aspects of software preservation that are not in scope for your project or program to tackle, but are nevertheless crucial to the long-term success of your project or programmatic goals?

EPISODE 6: Legal Possibilities for Software Preservation

May 30 // 8amPST - 10am CST - 4pm BST/CET

This episode will explore the legal challenges associated with preservation, sharing and reuse of software. Guests will discuss their current advocacy work and next steps for legal strategy around software preservation.


  • Brandon Butler (University of Virginia)

  • Additional participants forthcoming

Discussion Questions:

  1. Describe the relevant legal considerations when discussing software preservation and reuse in a research context.

  2. Describe your work in this area - who you are working with and your methods for understanding the current state of the field.

  3. What can digital preservation practitioners do in order to ensure that software dependency concerns are heard and taken in to consideration by law/policy makers?

Date and Time

Save This Event

Event Saved