Generously supported by the Institute for Library and Museum Services [IMLS grant RE-95-17-0058-17], the cohort will spend 2018-2019 on their projects and then disseminate the knowledge and experience gained through the projects during 2019-2020. Along the way, the FCoP project will enable the cohort to experiment and test emulation software, confront specific issues such as legal, metadata, technical preservation, and access challenges specific to their projects, and ideally bring software preservation and access into the mainstream of digital preservation practice. Documentation will be key to this last goal, and plans are underway to compile and publish project reports, community guidance, and comprehensive analysis of the cohort’s overall experience.


November 2017 to January 2018:
Call for project applications

March 2018:
Selected projects notified

Summer 2018:
FCoP In-Person Kick-off Meeting

August 2018:
Projects launch after finalizing 6-month detailed project plans | Cohort members log in to their FCoP emulation sandboxes

September 2018:
Bi-monthly Project Check-ins begin | FCoP presents at iPRES 2018

October 2018:
FCoP Cohort members complete Software & Collections Inventory | Call for FCoP Research Travel Award applications

November 2018:
FCoP Cohort members document Scenarios for Use & Access

December 2018:
FCoP Cohort members begin planning 2019 outreach activities

January 2019 to May 2020:
FCoP Research Travel Awardee announced | FCoPCohort members begin publishing and presenting publicly on their individual projects



The FCoP cohort consists of 6 Software Preservation and Emulation Project Teams.

Each Project Team includes a Project Lead that serves as the point of contact for FCoP Project Staff and fellow FCoP Cohort members. The Project Lead is expected to participate in all FCoP project activities such as the in-person kickoff meeting, monthly project calls, and public presentations. In addition to the Project Lead, each Project Team includes at least two additional staff that share responsibility for existing born-digital content, digital curation infrastructure, access tools and systems, workflows and/or organizational policies. Read below to learn more about each FCoP Project Team including roles represented, project goals and outcomes.

From left to right: Judd Ruggill (Associate Professor, Head of Public/Applied Humanities), Monique Lassere (Project Lead, Digital Preservation Librarian), Ken McAllister (Professor, Associate Dean for Research and Program Innovation) & Fernando Rios (Research Data Management Specialist)

University of Arizona​

Through Use and Emulation: Increasing Institutional Knowledge of Software Preservation with Computer Game Archiving​

The goals of Through Use and Emulation: Increasing Institutional Knowledge of Software Preservation with Computer Game Archiving are two-fold: (1) to bring together relevant and interested stakeholders at the University of Arizona to illuminate challenges around software preservation activities related to the LGIRA, and (2) to foster discussion that results in translating the LGIRA’s approach of “preservation through use” into digital workflows involving emulation. These workflows, along with lessons learned, will then be shared with the FCoP cohort and the broader software preservation community in furtherance of the Software Preservation Network’s vision of “Preserving software through community engagement, infrastructure support, and knowledge generation.

From left to right: Dorian Bowen (Media Archivist), Stephen Jones (Engineer), Cynde Moya (Project Lead, Collections Manager) & Josh Dersch (Senior Vintage Software Engineer)

Living Computers: Museum + Labs​

Emulation in the Middle Ages: Mainframes and Minicomputers​

LCM+L’s project will expand the software preservation discussion into the Middle Ages of computing. One of our institutional goals is preserving and sharing our digital heritage. This project is a pilot, and will be expanded to other emulations of vintage operating systems and software. In order support emulation in the Middle Ages of Computing, LCM+L will expand current metadata workflows to include best practices for automated EaaS functionality, and test compatability of EaaS with internally-produced emulators: ContrAlto Alto emulator, DPS-8/M MULTICS emulator, simlac Imlac PDS-1 emulator, and the upcoming Xerox Star emulator. The LCM+L project team will produce web pages, quick start guides, and other documentation to help users explore emulations of these operating systems and related software. This project will contribute to the FCoP cohort and the software preservation community at-large through careful documentation of challenges, findings, outcomes, and recommendations.

From left to right: Seth Robbins (Repository Manager), Tracy Popp (Project Lead, Digital Preservation Coordinator), Kyle Rimkus (Preservation Librarian) & Karl Germeck (Visiting Assistant Professor)

University of Illinois​

Preserving Musical Notation and Composition Software

Our interest in the Fostering a Community of Practice: Software Preservation in Libraries and Archives (FCoP) project is to improve access to contents recovered from born-digital media. Specifically, we are interested in preserving, improving discovery of and providing access to files created by contemporary music composers. These collections are stewarded by the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music. The focus of this project is preserving and accessing born-digital files of three contemporary composers collections acquired by the Sousa archives (Michael Manion, Peter Michalove, and Scott Wyatt). The creation dates within the collections span from 1992 – 2012, representing a significant expanse of time in terms of technological development and software versions. These software titles are often proprietary and may have limited backward compatibility functionality. We are particularly interested in further investigation and development of an emulated/virtual environments where these titles can run in as close to a native environment as possible. We are also interested in scaling this environment to meet the needs of future collections of composers’ born-digital content.

From left to right: Wendy Hagenmaier (Project Lead, Digital Collections Archivist), Amanda Pellerin (Access Archivist), Bing Wang (on laptop, Assistant Dean), Jody Thompson (Head of Archives and Special Collections) & Susan Wells Parham (Research Services Librarian)

Georgia Tech​

Expanding Access Through Emulation: retroTECH Online​

In support of Georgia Tech’s dedication to innovation in entrepreneurship, learning, research, and improving the human condition, and of the Library’s commitment to catalyzing discovery, the mission of retroTECH is to engage the campus community in creating the future by exploring and preserving our technological pasts. As part of its efforts to reimagine the 21st- century research library, the Georgia Tech Library seeks to provide an online presence that is as innovative as its physical spaces. The overarching goal of this project would be to create a proof-of-concept for retroTECH’s contribution to the Library’s online presence — retroTECH Online — an online emulation environment through which authenticated Georgia Tech users (as well as possibly researchers and visitors who create accounts) can utilize emulated software from retroTECH’s collections for teaching and learning, explore the stories surrounding that software, and foster a virtual retroTECH community.

From left to right: Jonathan Farbowitz (Fellow in the Conservation of Computer-Based Art) & Joanna Phillips (Project Lead, Senior Conservator of Time-Based Media)

Guggenheim Museum

Developing Metadata for Software-based Art (DMSA)

In “Developing Metadata for Software-based Art” the project team plans to explore several questions related to metadata and description of software-based artworks, including: What information about an artwork must be collected to support its future exhibition? When, how, and in what form should this information be collected? And what specific role will this information play in future access, whether through emulation/virtualization or alternative strategies? Unlike typical archival objects, access to software-based artworks typically occurs through gallery presentation of the artwork or—in the case of the museum’s three web artworks—online. Because of their status as artworks, software-based pieces are not only expected to reproduce a functional experience, but also an aesthetic experience true to the artist’s original intent (maintaining properties deemed significant such as duration, colors, screen resolution, and speed of movement). Conservation staff must also ensure that they are capturing the information resources necessary to understand these specifications in future and ideally reproduce the work to these specifications. In order to limit a potentially massive scope, the team will select representative artworks to investigate.

From left to right: Mike Durbin (Manager of Digital Content Management & Dissemination), Lauren Work (Project Lead, Digital Preservation Librarian) & Jeremy Bartczak (Metadata Librarian)

University of Virginia

Emulation in the Archives

The ​Emulation in the Archives ​project will document and openly share reproducible technical and administrative workflows that result from the processing, preservation, emulation and access to software and digital materials in the Peter Sheeran papers. Though final documentation will focus on successful, adaptable workflows, the project team will also thoroughly publicly document the parallel failures, roadblocks, and resourcing realities that will serve to inform successful approaches within the preservation community at large in the future. The project will also build on, test, and document the application of developing software preservation standards, such as metadata crosswalks and legal frameworks, and function as an empirical example for software preservation needs in cultural heritage communities.


In-Person Kickoff Exercises

FCoP Project Leads assembled at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA in August 2018. The 2-day In-Person Kick-Off Meeting was an opportunity for cohort members to examine their software preservation projects through the lens of metadata, existing digital curation …Continue In-Person Kickoff Exercises

Six Month Software Curation Plan

The purpose of this session is to develop a clearer sense of the project-specific and cohort goals over the next six months.

Scenarios for Use & Access

The purpose of the Scenarios for Use and Access exercise is to articulate potential software (re)use and access scenarios, and to inform/verify your assumptions regarding (re)use and access scenarios by observing an end user.