In March of this year, dh+lib Review highlighted “Archiving DH Part 1: The Problem” and “Archiving DH Part 2: The Problem in Detail,” published by the University of Virginia’s Scholars’ Lab on their blog. They have just published “Archiving DH Part 3: The Long View,” written by Brandon Butler, Amanda Visconti, and Ammon Shepherd.
The blog series addresses the importance of preserving digital humanities projects, which is complicated by the changing nature of technology and security, along with added concerns of human labor costs. In Part 3, the authors discuss what “digital end-life” options might look like and encourage us to “begin with the end in mind” as a necessary way to think about any and all DH projects. This includes considering both known and hidden costs of creating and sustaining projects, creating and publishing public data policies, creating contingency plans for ownership, and finally, documenting everything from expectations to actions. Ultimately, DH projects often suffer from lack of sunsetting plans, and this series points to examples that DH practitioners can point when the consult or collaborate on digital projects, especially at their early stages.