Six organizations are embarking on software preservation and emulation projects to establish a community of practice in software preservation and emulation within libraries, archives and museums.

Led by Educopia and Cal Poly State University, and generously supported by the Institute for Library and Museum Services, Fostering a Community of Practice (FCoP) brought together a cohort of six institutions to work on software preservation and emulation projects and share knowledge and experience. Throughout 2019 and 2020, the cohort experimented and tested emulation software, confronted issues related to intellectual property, metadata, technical preservation, and access.

Through presentations, workshops, reports, and copious documentation, the cohort worked to build community wisdom and bring software preservation and access issues further into the mainstream of digital preservation practice. FCoP also aimed to investigate and draw attention to the institutional practices and embedded preservation methodologies devised by information workers. Preserving and emulating software is a multifaceted effort that can involve everyone administrators too computer scientists, with workflows that begin before acquisition and span into the future.

The FCoP project site offers documentation and insights from the cohort preservation projects, research insights taken from project site visits, teaching modules for educators, and an action agenda designed to spur future conversation and work in the software preservation and emulation space.