“What We Talk About When We Talk About Emulation” is a roundtable discussion featuring Eric Kaltman (California State University Channel Islands), Tracy Popp (University of Illinois), and Fernando Rios (University of Arizona) as guest speakers. You can read more about our guest speaker below.

The roundtable is co-facilitated by Ethan Gates (Yale University, Emulation-as-a-Service-Infrastructure) and Jessica Meyerson (Educopia Institute, Emulation-as-a-Service-Infrastructure).

This roundtable is the first in a series of roundtable discussions over the next year and half (covering Phase 2 of EaaSI’s grant funding) touching on aspects of the EaaSI program’s work and in particular emphasizing “emulation in action” – the use cases or actual points and moments of interaction between researchers, practitioners, and emulation technology in digital archives.

Discussion questions include:

  • How did *you* learn about software preservation and emulation concepts and terms?
  • What has been your process for introducing or advocating for software preservation and emulation at your organization? How have/are you socializing these concepts – teaching, research, exhibits, policies, workflows? 
  • Is there a resource of suggested language to clarify the scope of emulation within the archival context vs. computer science context?
  • What types of questions are researchers, students, and faculty interested in v. questions from colleagues in collection development and digital curation?
  • What are one or two key concepts about emulation that you would like everyone to understand, regardless of the type of use case they may be interested in?
  • Following on from Dr. Acker’s research on the FCoP project – What/How do you think about the differences between serving up an emulated experience, and serving up data and existing collection materials — from the perspective of the library?
  • In the context of archival operations – how do you talk with archivists about determining when the *significant properties* of a born-digital collection will demand the overhead of emulation?
  • Is work on format migration in scope for emulation, so that historical projects/data/models/etc could be used in part of larger systems of contemporary software?


  • Ethan Gates
  • Jessica Meyerson


  • Dr. Eric Kaltman is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at California State University, Channel Islands. His research focuses on tools and methodologies for the historical analysis and exploration of software records. From 2014-2018, he managed the IMLS-funded Game Metadata and Citation Project. Before coming to Cal State, he was a CLIR Fellow for Data Curation at Carnegie Mellon University Libraries. Read more about Eric’s work
  • Tracy Popp is the Digital Preservation Coordinator at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign University Library. In support of preservation of and access to digital collections, Ms. Popp leads the Library’s born-digital collections preservation efforts. From 2018-2020 she represented the library’s involvement in the Fostering a Community of Practice: Software Preservation and Emulation cohort.  Ms. Popp holds a Master of Science and Certificate of Advanced Study in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Read more about Tracy’s work.
  • Fernando Rios is a Research Data Management Specialist in the Office of Digital Innovation and Stewardship (ODIS) at the University of Arizona. He focuses on supporting academic research in the areas of data management planning, research workflows, reproducibility, data and software curation, archiving and sharing, and open science, and is additionally responsible for managing the University of Arizona Research Data Repository (ReDATA). Read more about Fernando’s work.

Supplementary materials:

Preferred citation:

Gates, Ethan. Kaltman, Eric. Meyerson, Jessica. Popp , Tracy. Rios, Fernando. (2021, February 9). EaaSI Roundtable #1 (2021): "What We Talk About When We Talk About Emulation". Software Preservation Network.