It’s that time of year again! The Software Preservation Network (SPN) is looking for new members to join our working groups. Membership is open to anyone with an interest in the working group’s goals. Folks interested in joining any of these groups or helping the community out in other ways should complete the nomination form by January 22, 2021.

SPN was formed in 2016 during the Software Preservation Network Forum in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. SPN believes that software should be curated and preserved because it is both: a dependency to access existing digital data and because it has intrinsic cultural value due to its mediating role in our lives. Software is critical information infrastructure.

As the Software Preservation Network becomes an increasingly global community, we will be shifting toward more structured, asynchronous work for working groups and committees in 2021.


Workings Group typically meet once per month for one hour and members commit 2-3 hours to projects asynchronously between meetings. Learn more about how SPN working groups operate here.

Groups you can join

Community Engagement Collaborative *new!*

Are you interested in software preservation and community outreach? If so, please consider expressing interest in becoming an inaugural member of the SPN Community Engagement Collaborative. This newly-developed group will work on outreach and engagement between SPN and the broader digital and software preservation communities, ensure that activities within SPN are consistent with the group’s core mission and values, and develop orientation materials for new SPN members.

Who should join?

The CEC is looking for people who feel energized by connecting different groups and ideas, developing healthy communities, and building things. The Software Preservation Network is beginning its third year as a member-supported community, and there’s so much room to build and grow! You do not have to have any experience with software preservation to join the working group. You do not have to have a special academic degree or be employed (students and hobbyists welcome). Curiosity is enough, and helping coordinate community activities is a great way to get exposed to what’s going on in the field. Participation in or ideas for other groups SPN can connect and collaborate with (for events, communications, etc) encouraged but also not required!

Law & Policy Working Group

The Law & Policy Working Group is responsible for ensuring that SPN and the larger software preservation community is able to understand and use their broad and clear legal rights to engage in their work. We do this in two principal ways: by educating our members about their legal rights and responsibilities, and by advocating on behalf of our members in a variety of legal and political forums.  Currently the working group is working on preserving and expanding exemptions for software preservation in the ongoing  DMCA rulemaking proceedings, and new members would would have the opportunity to participate in this and other advocacy efforts this year.

Metadata Working Group

The Metadata Standards and Policies working group is responsible for developing, promoting and advocating for common metadata frameworks and related metadata standards, vocabularies, and ontologies that support software preservation and access. Currently, the working group is working on a Software Metadata Recommended Format guide for describing software and are looking for help to develop programming around the Guide or other metadata needs.

Technological Infrastructure Working Group

The Technological Infrastructure Working Group is responsible for understanding, comparing and articulating the infrastructural implications of different software preservation and access approaches. The working group is in a planning phase for future projects and new members will have the opportunity to help set the group’s agenda for 2021 and beyond.

Training & Education Working Group

The Training and Education Work Group is responsible for developing and maintaining learning resources for the Software Preservation Network.  Currently, the working group is engaged in a couple of Initiatives including reimagining the resources section of the SPN website and developing a publication process for the outputs of SPN working groups.  The working group is in a planning phase for future projects and new members will have the opportunity to help set the group’s agenda for 2021 and beyond.

Recruitment Process and Timeline

The deadline to express interest is January 22, and you will hear back from a working group coordinator by early February. You would likely attend your first working group meeting in February.

If you have any questions, please contact

  • Type: Community Event
  • Date: 01.22.21
  • Location: Everywhere in the world


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