FCoP: Software Preservation in Libraries and Archives

Title: Fostering a Community of Practice: Software Preservation in Libraries and Archives (FCoP)
Funder: Institute for Museum and Library Services #RE-95-17-0058-17
Duration: June 2017 – May 2020
Awardee: CalPoly University
Project Staff: Zach Vowell (Primary Investigator, Cal Poly State University), Jessica Meyerson (Project Manager, Educopia Institute)


The Fostering a Community of Practice: Software Preservation and Emulation Experts in Libraries and Archives (FCoP) [IMLS grant RE-95-17-0058-17] project aims to broaden participation in software preservation and to empower librarians, archivists, and curators to address the key challenges to providing long-term access to software-dependent cultural heritage. Through an open call for software preservation project proposals, FCoP staff will select 6 projects to form a software preservation cohort. Projects undertaken by cohort members will advance digital preservation practice and inform field-wide understanding. The activities and documentation produced by cohort members will also serve in parallel efforts to bring software preservation and access into mainstream digital preservation practice (addressing specific legal, metadata and technical preservation and access challenges).

Project proposals should be initiated by cultural heritage organizations in the United States that are currently working to preserve and provide access to digital content. The FCoP Project Team is particularly interested in project proposals from Historically Black Colleges & Universities Library Alliance (HBCU) and Association for Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) member organizations. However project proposals from all other cultural heritage institutions are welcome.



Applicants should complete the FCoP Project Application and submit the completed application to jessica[at]educopia[dot]org no later than January 26, 2018 by Close of Business (Pacific Standard Time). Detailed instructions are included in the application materials.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this call for proposals, eligibility and/or application instructions, please contact the FCoP Project Manager, Jessica Meyerson, at jessica[at]educopia[dot]org



  • Project applications will be accepted from November 28, 2017 to January 26th, 2018
  • Selected projects will be notified by March 12, 2018
  • Project cohort members attend in-person kick-off meeting Summer 2018
  • Projects launch August 2018
  • Projects wrap up by November 2019
  • Project cohort members present/share their experiences and results June 2019 – May 2020


Participation in the FCoP cohort includes:

  • $5,000 financial award to be used for travel and registration costs for conferences and workshops where cohort members will present, facilitate discussion and actively solicit interest from fellow librarians, archivists, and museum conservators and curators
  • Community fellowship, sharing and information exchange with members of the FCoP cohort
  • Access to and technical support for a web-based emulation sandbox which requires no local installation
  • Formal support for problem-based learning and research on the challenges to implementing software preservation and emulation in their local organization
  • Access to and support for communication tools for the duration of the project in order to encourage the cohort to  communicate with one another outside of structured or facilitated interaction
  • Support from a caring and deeply invested FCoP Project Staff that want to ensure that these projects are meaningful for participating individuals and organizations
  • Crucial contribution to broader national and international software preservation efforts and access strategies, including the Software Preservation Network.


2 Letters of Commitment
  • No longer than one typed page using 12pt font and 1 inch margins
  • Should be printed on organizational letterhead, signed and scanned
  • Written by an upper-level manager stating their support for the project
  • Address the project’s role in the broader mission and strategic direction of the organization
Statement of Interest
  • No longer than one typed page using 12pt font and 1 inch margins
  • Describe the nature and size of the organization and any archival practices, initiatives, or staff currently in place
  • Discuss the organization’s commitment to preserving its content, and identify how the environment will be conducive to project success
Identification of Project Team
  • No longer than two typed pages using 12pt font and 1 inch margins
  • Applicant Project Lead to serve as point of contact for FCoP Project Staff and fellow cohort members. The Applicant Project Lead will also be expected to participate in FCoP project activities such as the in-person kickoff meeting, monthly project calls and public presentations.
  • Minimum of 2 additional Applicant Project Team Members that can speak to either existing born-digital content, digital curation infrastructure, access tools and systems, workflows, or organizational policies
  • Describe what each member will contribute to the project and how they are qualified
Project Summary
  • No longer than 3 typed pages using 12pt font and 1 inch margins
  • Must include the following sections:
    • Specific goals and objectives of the project
    • Timeline for completion
    • Deliverables
    • Metrics of success and impact
    • How does the project speak to the broader FCoP goals of advancing digital stewardship practice
Resumes/CV from the Applicant Project Team



A broad range of proposals is being sought. Projects must focus on creative ways to incorporate software preservation and access activities into their current digital curation and access workflows. Projects will be expected to provide documentation of challenges, findings, outcomes and recommendations.  Preference will be given to projects that will further understanding of the challenges and opportunities afforded by introducing software preservation and emulation activities into existing programs. The Program welcomes projects that include (but are not limited to) workflow development, outreach and training initiatives, and software preservation and emulation metadata activities. 



The current grant will not support proposals for internships or residencies.



Proposals will be evaluated by an Oversight Panel of individuals with expertise in digital curation and community building.  Successful proposals will demonstrate how the project speaks to the broader goals of the project including: advancing field-wide understanding of the challenges and possibilities facing libraries, archives and museums interested in participating in software preservation and access activities.    

Apply now! Deadline to submit applications to jessica[at]educopia[dot]org is January 26, 2018.



  • (Recorded Dec. 12, 2017) FCoP Software Preservation Open Forum
    • Brief Overview of the FCoP Project
    •  Presentations
      • Klaus Reichert (University of Frieburg, OpenSLX): Emulation-as-a-Service
      • Tim Walsh (Canadian Centre for Architecture): Software Preservation Workflows
      • Brandon Butler (University of Virginia Libraries): Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Software Preservation
    • Open question and answer session for attendees