SPN Wide Initiatives
Learn about current SPN-wide efforts – activities that crosscut working groups and affiliated projects.
Two-Year Seed Funded Launch
An Update from SPN’s Community Coordinator
Following the formal launch of SPN and our three all-hands orientation-and-planning meetings in January and early February, the SPN community and staff have been hard at work forming the structures that will allow SPN to grow and thrive during this two-year seed funded period.
Since our last issue, we have recruited new working group members to all working groups and elected new leaders to coordinate many of them. Our inaugural Steering Committee met for the first time and are already working on a roadmap and strategic goals review. The Advisory Committee came together for their first meeting to discuss how SPN can build an inclusive organization. We also formed a Policies & Procedures Committee to document and formalize how SPN will at operate at every level. Suffice it to say, the seed-funded period is off to a strong start thanks to the incredible work of our members!
As we continue to make progress toward the goals outlined in the Prospectus, we look forward to sharing updates in future newsletters. In the meantime, if you’re interested in joining us, we are accepting new members and sponsors throughout the two-year seed funded period. If you have any questions, please contact Jessica Farrell (jess[dot]farrell[at]educopia[dot]com).
An integral part of the seed-funded launch was our ability to formalize as a staff and bring together a team of dedicated professionals representing a variety of backgrounds and areas of expertise. To mark this moment, we recently released a series of staff profiles on Twitter. If you missed the series on social media, you can meet our staff and learn more about how we are “saving software together” on the SPN staff page.
Quarterly Community Forum
On March 12, we were delighted to once again host the Quarterly Software Preservation Community Forum. The Forums are free, online, and open to everyone. We invite our colleagues across professional and disciplinary communities to participate in discussion on topics related to software curation, preservation, and reuse. The Spring 2019 Forum included reports by practitioners engaged in complementary software curation and preservation initiatives including:
- Dr. Sandra Gesing (Notre Dame) and Natalie Myers (Notre Dame) – Preservation Quality Tool (PresQT)
- Dr. Amelia Acker (University of Texas at Austin) – update on her research related to the impact of mobile computing technologies on long-term cultural memory, and her study of software preservation contexts as Project Researcher for FCoP.
- Ethan Gates (Yale University) – EaaSI
- Jessica Meyerson (Educopia Institute) on behalf of Lauren Work (University of Virginia) – Fostering Communities of Practice (FCoP)
- Brandon Butler (University of Virginia) – Code of Best Practices for Fair Use in Software Preservation
Review the Spring 2019 Community Forum Meeting Notes.
The next Quarterly Software Curation and Preservation Community Forum is scheduled for June 11 at 8 am PT/10 am CT/11 am ET/3 pm GMT. Are you interested in discussing a specific topic during future Community Forums? If so, submit your topics and questions via Google form.
Conferences and Events
UNESCO Paris Call: Software Source Code as Heritage for Sustainable Development
Kendra Albert and Euan Cochrane represented Software Preservation Network in Paris, France on November 6 & 7, 2019 to articulate the importance of software as cultural heritage and identify major areas of work.
One of the most exciting aspects of the last few months has been the recruitment of new members to each of the five working groups. We look forward to sharing more thorough working group report-outs, including updated working group action plans, in future issues. In the meantime, we have included a list of the working groups complete with new members and (for many of the working groups) new coordinators.
We want to thank our previous working group coordinators for their leadership and commitment to advancing the work in these areas: Steve Marks (Technological Infrastructure), Wendy Hagenmaier (Research-in-Practice), Nicole Contaxis (Training & Education), and Elizabeth Russey Roke (Metadata).
Law & Policy
Members: Yuanxiao Xu (University of Michigan), Brandon Butler (SPN Law & Policy Advisor, University of Virginia),
Coordinator: Paula Jabloner (Computer History Museum)
Members: Matthew McEniry (Texas Tech University), Cynde Moya (Living Computers: Museum + Labs)
Coordinator: Elena Colon-Marrero (Computer History Museum)
Members: Lauren Work (University of Virginia), Monique Lassere (University of Arizona), Jessica Benner (Carnegie Mellon University), Christa Williford (Council for Library and Information Resources), Wendy Hagenmaier (Georgia Tech)
Coordinator: Seth Erickson (Penn State University)
Training & Education
Members: Katherine Boss (New York University), Neil Chue Hong (Software Sustainability Institute), Sherry Lake (University of Virginia), Michael Olson (Stanford University), Elizabeth Parke (University of Toronto)
Coordinator: Devon Olson (University of North Dakota)
Members: Ashley Blewer (Artefactual Systems), Vicky Steeves (New York University), Nick Krabbenhoeft (New York Public Library), Andrew Berger (Computer History Museum)
Coordinator: Eric Kaltman (Carnegie Mellon University)
ARL Code of Best Practices for Fair Use in Software Preservation
Timeline: January 2017 – June 2020
Funder(s): Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
Awardee: Association of Research Libraries
The Code of Best Practices Team has been busy in February and March, working with SPN and the Association of Research Libraries to bring you a webinar series exploring the Code and other legal tools for software preservation. We’ve been joined by an all-star cast of guests from the worlds of software preservation and law. Each week, researchers share background legal information, and our guests give real-life examples of how fair use, the Code, and the law affect their practice.
Registrations for the series filled up almost as soon as it was announced, but every episode is being recorded, transcribed, and will be shared for free online along with links to related resources.
- EPISODE 1: The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Software Preservation: Why and How
- Guest speakers: Patricia Aufderheide (American University), Peter Jaszi (American University), Krista Cox (Association of Research Libraries), and Brandon Butler (University of Virginia, Software Preservation Network)
- EPISODE 2: Beginning the Preservation Workflow
- Guest speakers: Leslie Johnston (National Archives and Records Administration) and Henry Lowood (Stanford University)
- EPISODE 3: Making Software Available Within Institutions and Networks
- Guest speakers: Jonathan Farbowitz (Guggenheim Museum) and Euan Cochrane (Yale University Libraries)
- EPISODE 4: Working with Source Code and Software Licenses
- Guest speakers: Daina Bouquin (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) and Lauren Work (University of Virginia)
- EPISODE 5: Understanding the Anti-circumvention Rules and the Preservation Exemptions
- Guest speakers: Lyndsey Moulds (Rhizome), Kendra Albert (Cyberlaw Clinic at Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society), Jonathan Band (Library Copyright Alliance)
- EPISODE 6: Making the Code Part of Software Preservation Culture
- Guest speakers: Lindsey Weeramuni (MIT OpenCourseware) and Gordon Quinn (Kartemquin Films)
- EPISODE 7: International Implications
- Guest speakers: Ariel Katz (University of Toronto)
Timeline: January 2018 – June 2020
Funder(s): Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
Awardee: Yale University
Across the board, the EaaSI program of work has steadily ramped up external documentation and communications including conference presentations, calls for community feedback, publication of the EaaSI User Manual and other technical documentation, a software-of-the-week campaign on Twitter, and a four-week series that focuses on key aspects of the EaaSI Beta Release including Development, Documentation, Deployment and Testing!
Screenshot of SmartSim 1.4.1 (digital logic circuit design & simulation package that takes “SSP” and “SSC” files) running on Raspberry_Pi Desktop 2.5 (Debian 9 “Stretch”) using the Emulation-as-a-Service software. Photo credit: Ethan Gates, EaaSI Software Preservation Analyst.
Timeline: June 2017 – May 2020
Funder(s): Institute for Museum and Library Services #RE-95-17-0058-17
Awardee: CalPoly State University
The FCoP Cohort is in full swing! In the last two months, cohort participants compiled external resources that have informed their work, and are submitting proposals to begin presenting and sharing their findings from individual projects with the broader community. Individual cohort members are also creating opportunities to engage with internal stakeholders on the relevance of software curation and preservation including local interest groups and workshops. Dr. Amelia Acker, FCoP Project Researcher is currently planning her cohort site visits – we look forward to her first Field Report, which we’ll share in the next Stacktrace.
Screenshot of Cakewalk (recording and music composition software) running in Windows 98 (operating system software) using the Emulation-as-a-Service software. Photo credit: Tracy Popp, Illinois FCoP Project Lead.
Learn about changes and improvements to functional aspects of the Network including updates on governance, funding, engagement strategies and other activities that comprise backbone support for working groups, committees, affiliated projects, and strategic partnerships
WEBSITE UPDATE: Since launching our new website earlier this year, we continue to work to improve its usability and accessibility. If you identify an error or would like to provide feedback, please use our contact form to let us know.
JOIN SPN: Do you appreciate the work that SPN has been doing over the last several years to broaden participation and ensure lawful preservation, sharing, and resource of software? Would you like to SPN to continue its work of coordination, research, advocacy, and capacity building? Do you have ideas or a vision for the future of software preservation that you would like to see realized through the SPN community?
If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, then consider supporting our work through membership or sponsorship. Download, complete and submit your SPN Participation Agreement to <email@example.com>.
Find Out More
he Software Preservation Network (SPN) facilitates and supports software preservation efforts. SPN preserves software through community engagement, infrastructure support and knowledge generation in five core activity areas including Legal & Policy Advocacy, Metadata & Standards Development, Training & Education, Research-in-Practice and Technological Infrastructure.