Module 9: Digital Sustainability and Preservation

Module 9 is an introduction to issues related to digital sustainability and preservation. As there is a significant amount of reading in this module, you are not expected to do any technical activities (but optional technical activities are listed in case you’re really excited about this subject).


1. read Trevor Owens, The Theory and Craft of Digital Preservation (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2018)

2. read James Smithies, et al, “Managing 100 Digital Humanities Projects: Digital Scholarship & Archiving in King’s Digital Lab,” Digital Humanities Quarterly 13, no. 1 (2019),

3. check out this Twitter thread on link rot (16 posts on May 21st and a 17th post on June 30 links to an Atlantic article, Jonathan Zittrain, “The Internet is Rotting” which is optional)

4. read Kaitlyn Tiffany, “Yahoo, the Destroyer: How the historic company became known as a bumbling villain of internet culture,” The Atlantic, April 25, 2021.

5. look at Alison Langmead, et al, “The Socio-Technical Sustainability Roadmap

6. look at the Digital Library Federation/National Digital Stewardship Alliance’s “Levels of Digital Preservation

7. participate in the Slack discussion

Technical Activities (Optional)

1. explore wget which I use at RRCHNM to archive our past project websites. You can get a thorough grounding in using wget from the Programming Historian tutorials “Automated Downloading with Wget” and “Applied Archival Downloading with Wget.” You can also read a very brief (but specific to website archiving) post by Peter Keen: “Archiving Websites with Wget.”

NOTE: for anyone who hasn’t used the command line before (especially if your computer is running a Windows OS) you should check out the “Introduction to the Bash Command Line” tutorial before trying to do anything with wget.

2. if anyone is especially interested in preservation and their group is not planning to continue developing their project after the semester ends, ping me about setting a time after the end of the semester/early spring 2022 to “flatten” your project using wget, to make it Endings compliant (for as long as your group wants to keep it online)