The UCSD Library’s Research Data Curation program has been working with UCSD researchers for over half a decade to curate and preserve the research data produced by our campus. Our large and quickly-growing collection of research data contains long-tail research data file formats as well as software created or used to generate scientific findings. As software environments morph over time, it becomes necessary to capture the original computing environment which produced the data. Therefore, emulation becomes an essential tool in not only accessing data generated in certain environments but also reproducing scientific results years after the original studies have been completed. Approaching software preservation and emulation as a collective action problem provides USCD with the opportunity to learn from other organizations that are grappling with these same issues, and can help us identify how we can ensure that the data we’re curating is accessible and reproducible in the future.