Curation Matters: The First Digital Curation Institute Conference
Toronto: June 16th – 17th 2010
The key objectives of this meeting are to promote the research in this area, to refine the DCI model and to take the first steps toward defining its research agenda.
Topics include: modeling for digital curation; Plato digital preservation planning software; integrated knowledge facilitation, architectural design, and infrastructure management in digital curation; and digital curation activities in the Asia, Australia, New Zealand and the United States.
The key objectives of this meeting are to promote the research in this area, to refine the DCI model and to take the first steps toward defining its research agenda.
The speakers and their topics are listed below.
University of Toronto
Topic: The Impact of Digital Imaging on the Curation of Photographs.
Abstract: This presentation examines the effects of digital imaging on the circulation and presentation of photo-based art through the analysis of issues emerging from curating in the context of the CONTACT Photography Festival.
Bio: Matthew Brower is a lecturer in Museum Studies in the Faculty of Information and the Curator of the University of Toronto Art Centre. As curator of UTAC, he has curated shows on Canadian painting, the Malcove Collection of historical art, and the work of conceptual furniture maker Gord Peteran. He co-curated The Brothel Without Walls, an anchor exhibit for CONTACT 2010: Pervasive Influence. Drawing on Marshall McLuhan’s insights, the exhibition brings together nine Canadian and international artists whose work explores how photography informs and transforms human behavior. He is also co-curating an exhibition on the articulation of a feminist aesthetics of beauty in the photo-based work of Suzy Lake for CONTACT 2011.
His research explores the production and circulation of images in North American culture focusing on the question of how images function. He is particularly interested in images that occupy the intersections of art, science, and technology and has largely pursued these interests through the representation of nature and the figure of the animal. He has published articles on 20th century Canadian art and visual culture and 19th and 20th century American visual culture. He is on the editorial board of Antennae: the Journal of Nature in Visual Culture. His book Developing Animals: Wildlife and Early American Photography is forthcoming from the University of Minnesota Press. Developing Animals examines the emergence of animal photography in late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth century American visual culture.
iSchool, University of Toronto
Keynote speech: The poetics and politics of digital curation.
Email Dr. Dallas for a copy of this paper.
Bio: Dr. Costis Dallas is an associate professor of the Faculty of Information, University of Toronto, where he currently serves as interim director of the Museum Studies Master’s programme. He is also assistant professor in the Department of Communication, Media and Culture, Panteion University, and research fellow of the Digital Curation Unit-IMIS, Athena Research Centre, in Athens, Greece. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree in archaeology from the University of Oxford, and has worked for more than twenty years in the museum, cultural heritage and technology field, including head of documentation and IT of the Benaki Museum, as general director of the Foundation of the Hellenic World, and as special secretary for libraries and archives of the Greek Ministry of Education. He has been involved in several European Union coordination actions and networks of excellence in the field of digital heritage and semantic technologies, such as CALIMERA, NEPOMUK and Digicult Forum, and participated in the development of the CIDOC CRM (Conceptual Reference Model). His current research interests include socio-cultural approaches to digital curation, epistemic practices in archaeology, material culture research and museum work, and requirements and specifications for digital infrastructures in the arts and humanities.
University of Toronto
Topic: Doing Digital Curation(ish): The View from the Ground Up.
Bio: Rea Devakos coordinates scholarly communication for the University of Toronto Libraries. Her portfolio includes repository, journal and conference hosting service management and development. In addition, she leads the Ontario region of the Synergies project which aims to build a decentralized national infrastructure for Canadian social sciences and humanities digital scholarly communication.
Rea has held a variety of public service and management positions in university, community college, public and special libraries. She is currently on sabbatical researching student leaders in open access publishing.
iSchool, University of Toronto
Topic: Prevention or Cure? Structuring the Pre-Ingest Life of the Records
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Abstract: Digital curation strategies and models tend to focus on conceptual and practical mechanisms to maintain and exploit the content, context, and structure of bodies of digital objects that are ready to be ingested into a digital repository. The actions occurring before that moment, that is, how those materials are made, selectively captured, and used in the course of the practical activities of their creators, do not seem to matter to their future survival. This contribution argues that the idea of ‘curating’ objects implies an a posteriori intervention that denies some of the conclusions that the archival community has achieved after decades of experience with managing electronic records and reflecting over records ‘continuum’ concepts. One of these conclusions is that there will be no records to take care of, if measures to ‘prevent’ the loss of meaning and value are not established up front, from the moment of a records system is conceived.
This paper focuses on organizational records as a sub-set of the multi-disciplinary digital information world that is at the centre of the digital curation discourse. However, the approach to structuring the negotiation phase taking place during the active life of a record that is here suggested may as well be applied to other contexts and objects. In fact, under criticism is not only the curation model but also the classic, engineering-like representation of the chain of activities that records undergo in traditional recordkeeping environment. Today’s organizational contexts call for more dynamic and ‘human-factor-aware’ methodologies. This contribution aims to provide an alternative modelling approach that may be employed in different records creation situations, not just bureaucratic ones.
Bio: Fiorella Foscarini is an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Information since January 2010. Previously, she held the position of Senior Archivist at the European Central Bank in Frankfurt am Main for a decade. In 2009, she obtained her PhD in Library, Archival and Information Studies from the University of British Columbia with a dissertation on functional analysis and records classification systems. She is particularly interested in investigating the relationships between organizational cultures and recordkeeping practices, and between technology and organizational transformation. Other research interests she is pursuing include diplomatics of contemporary records, genre theory, and digital preservation. Since 2004, she has been conducting research for the InterPARES Project, to which she has especially contributed in the areas of archival policy and legislation. In 2007, she participated in the review of the MoReq Specification.
Topic: Caring and Sharing: Collaboration in Digital Curation outside North America
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Abstract: Collaboration is firmly embedded in digital curation practice. Partnerships have been important in digital curation from its inception. Collaboration ensures the best use of resources through sharing expertise and experience, and through developing and building technical resources and solutions that can be shared.
This presentation is in three parts. First, it provides an overview of the current state of digital curation activities in Australia and New Zealand (which despite their small populations have high profiles in the global digital curation scene), examines some of the most significant activities in these countries, and draws some conclusions about collaboration. Second, it describes the key European digital curation research projects, noting in particular their collaborative nature and their outputs. Finally, it conjectures about the reasons for the strength of digital curation initiatives in these countries compared with North America.
Bio: Ross Harvey is Visiting Professor in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Simmons College, Boston, a position he has held since 2008. Before joining Simmons he was the inaugural Professor of Library and Information Studies at Charles Sturt University, Australia, from 1999 to 2008, and he has held positions at other universities in Australia, Singapore, and New Zealand. Visiting Professorships at the University of British Columbia, 2008 and the University of Glasgow, 2007-2008 allowed him to observe at first hand current digital preservation and digital curation practice and research. Harvey’s research and teaching interests focus on the stewardship of digital materials in libraries and archives, particularly on its preservation, and on the history of the book. He has extensive experience in research projects in Australia and the U.K., most recently with the Humanities Advanced Technology and Information Institute at the University of Glasgow and the Digital Curation Centre. His publications are in the fields of bibliographic organization, library education, the preservation of library and archival material, and newspaper history.
Topic: And Now For Something Completely Different: The Virtual Museum of Canada.
Abstract: This presentation examines the situation of Canada’s museums, large and small, in regard to the challenges they face in the new digital world. It then describes the Virtual Museum of Canada (VMC), which the Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN) has created to help CHIN’s 1,300 member institutions contribute online exhibits and images of artefacts that engage Canadian and international audiences.
Bio: David Hendricks works with the Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN), in the Department of Canadian Heritage. A national centre of excellence, CHIN works in partnership with more than 1,300 heritage institutions across Canada to enable Canada’s museums to engage audiences through the use of innovative technologies.
As an Audience and Programs Analyst, David has responsibility for conducting research into trends in cultural digital content presentation, use and retrieval. He also performs research and studies on audience behaviour and needs, applying computer human interaction theories and practices to improve the usability of CHIN’s Web products.
David holds degrees in Classical Studies and Archaeology from the University of Guelph and the University of Ottawa, and studied Roman History at Cambridge University.
University of Calgary
Topic: Libraries, Museums and Archives: Curation for the Converged Collection of the 21st Century.
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Abstract: In this century, libraries, archives, museums and scholarly communication are increasingly digital. While the content of libraries, archives and particularly museums will remain in significant part artifactual, most new information is created and recorded as digital media, and the chief means of discovering and using these sources in creating new knowledge is digital. Digital media is the underlying ubiquity of our time. In the networked world, many users draw little distinction between the various document forms, and those forms are viewed as mutable. In this environment, traditional curatorial models are largely ignored. Regardless of the organizational structures and professional profiles through which we fulfill our roles, convergence is a critical prism through which to view our responsibilities. Is digital curation a theoretical concept and methodological approach sufficiently robust and varied to address the challenges of the collection of the 21st century?
Bio: Tom Hickerson is Vice Provost for Libraries and Cultural Resources and University Librarian at the University of Calgary. Libraries and Cultural Resources combines the university libraries, the university art museum, university archives and special collections, and the University of Calgary Press. Hickerson is presently exercising principal responsibility for the programmatic design of the Taylor Family Digital Library and the High Density Library, a $205.5 million capital project. The Taylor Family Digital Library, opening in 2011, is being designed as a unique convergence, incorporating a 21st century learning environment for exploring and creating knowledge; a museum housing and exhibiting a rich panoply of cultural and visual arts; historical archives preserving the record of scientific and artistic achievement and documenting the nature of the human experience; and a publishing program devoted to disseminating high-quality academic and general literature via traditional and electronic means. Hickerson came to the University of Calgary after a distinguished career as an archivist, technology innovator, and library administrator at Cornell University, most recently serving as Associate University Librarian for Information Technologies and Special Collections. His information technologies role included direction of the Division of Digital Library and Information Technologies, with general responsibility for digital library development, library systems, and the Center for Innovative Publishing. His special collections responsibilities included oversight for the Library’s primary rare book and archival programs.
He is a Fellow and former President of the Society of American Archivists and has also served as a member of the Executive Committee of the International Council on Archives. He presently serves as Vice President/President-Elect of the Canadian Association of Research Libraries and is a member of the Steering Committee of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) and the Transforming Research Libraries Steering Committee and the Transforming Special Collections in the Digital Age Working Group of the Association of Research Libraries. He was named a 2001 Computerworld Honors Program Laureate in recognition of his contributions to the “use of information technologies for the benefit of society.”
iSchool, University of Toronto
Topic: Digital Documents Formats Standards and Standardization: Curation as a Constructive Social Process.
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Bio: Stephen Hockema is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Information and the Knowledge Media Design Institute at the University of Toronto. He earned a BS and MS in Computer and Electrical Engineering from Purdue University, and holds a joint Ph.D. in Computer and Cognitive Science from Indiana University. He also has over ten years experience working as a software engineer. His current research focusses on social media and digitally-mediated communities, and how design- and interface-related aspects of technology are related to issues of authority (including epistemic, cognitive, institutional and political authority), credibility and participation. More generally, he is concerned with the inclusive design of social and “information” interactions, material-digital interfaces and mediation, with a broad interest in how technology can be used to help bridge cultural and linguistic differences, while respecting and valuing diversity.
Nationaal Archief Netherlands
Topic: Developing and using models for digital curation: exploring some issues.
Abstract: Models are developed and used for different purposes. In general they may help for example in achieving a common understanding, in explaining interrelationships between things, in supporting communication and discussion, in showing how things can or will or even should be. They are also used in the field of digital curation. The most well-known model is the Open Archival Information System model (OAIS) which has been adopted as an international standard. It is a high level standard which tries to bring together the activities needed to ensure the maintenance of digital objects over time in a systematic and structured way.
The last decade, however, more models have been developed either within the framework of digital preservation or in related domains such as records and archives management. Examples are a metadata model for recordkeeping (Monash/ISO) as well as the PREMIS preservation metadata model, the InterPares preservation function model, the Planets preservation planning model. Almost every project or initiative in the field of digital preservation offers new models.
Questions that may arise are for instance, to what extent do these models help advance the digital curation agenda, do they help implementing digital curation properly, do they help understanding the issues better or to identify gaps or flaws in thinking and/or practice, or do they help to show the complexity and intricacies of digital curation?
This presentation will explore some of the issues of modeling as well as the potential role of models in relation to digital curation by discussing some of the existing models.
Bio: Hans Hofman is senior advisor on digital longevity at the Nationaal Archief of the Netherlands. He is involved in several programmes in the area of e-government with respect to recordkeeping, metadata, digital preservation and open standards. He represents the Nationaal Archief in PLANETS research project (2006-2010, www.planets-project.eu) and since 2000 has represented the Netherlands in ISO TC46/SC11 on Records Management, in which committee he is chairing the Working Group on RM metadata. He has acted as co-director of ERPANET (2001-2004) and was co-investigator in InterPares project (1999-2006), and coordinated the participation in the Digital Preservation Europe coordination action (2006-2009), in which project he was responsible for the development of DRAMBORA. He has given numerous presentations and written many articles on topics like digital preservation, recordkeeping metadata and electronic records management.
Information Management Consulting and Education
Topic: Checking out the scene: positioning digital curation in the information management landscape.
Abstract: It has been a long standing assumption that the infrastructure required to support digital curation is not an entity that stands on its own. It must be seen as an integral part of the broader infrastructure supporting the business of any given organization. But what does that broader infrastructure look like, especially given the rapid evolution (some say transformation) taking place in the way modern organizations conduct their business. From the people dimension of the infrastructure, for instance, how have information management functions such as records management, data management, library services, web content management, etc. been defined and positioned and how are they evolving in terms of their potential roles in facilitating the integration of digital curation concepts and practices? This presentation will attempt to shed some light on this complex landscape, explain why the understanding of this landscape is so critical if digital curation initiatives are to succeed, and offer a few suggestions on how digital curation could be positioned such that the goal of integration can be achieved effectively.
Bio: John McDonald is an independent consultant specializing in records and information management. During a career of over 25 years (1975-2000) with the National Archives of Canada he held a number of positions from data archivist with the Machine Readable Archives Division (through the 1970’s) to Director responsible for facilitating the management of records (with an emphasis on electronic records) across the Government.
In his consulting career he has developed strategic and operational plans for enhancing the management of information and records in public sector organizations and designed and delivered numerous workshops and course programs in universities, community colleges, and government training centers. He has also authored or contributed to government-wide guides and standards on the management of government information and published numerous articles in leading archives and records management journals.
He is a Past Chair of the Committee on Electronic Records of the International Council on Archives, and founder and Past Chair of the Canadian Federal Government’s Information Management Forum.
Vienna University of Technology
Topic: Trustworthy Preservation Planning with PLATO.
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Abstract: The rapid technological changes in today’s information landscape have considerably turned the preservation of digital information into a pressing challenge. Without appropriate measures, digital objects will be unaccessible in a very short time.
A lot of different strategies, i.e. preservation actions, have been proposed to tackle this challenge. However, which strategy to choose, and subsequently which tools to select to implement it, poses significant challenges. The creation of a concrete plan for preserving an institution’s collection of digital objects requires the evaluation of possible preservation solutions against clearly defined and measurable criteria. Preservation planning aids in this decision making process to find the best preservation strategy considering the institution’s requirements, the planning context and possible actions applicable to the objects contained in the repository. Performed manually, even evaluating a rather small number of possible solutions against requirements takes a good deal of time. Plato, a web based, interactive software tool, supports and partly automates this process. The talk will focus specifically on the aspect of creating a sound preservation plan by following a well-defined workflow incorporating documented requirements specification and empirical evaluation of tools. This will result in a preservation plan for a specific set/collection of digital objects optimized specifically for the needs of an institution and its dedicated community.
Further details on Plato are available at http://www.ifs.tuwien.ac.at/dp/plato
Bio: Andreas Rauber is an Associate Professor at the Department of Software Technology and Interactive Systems (ifs) at the Vienna University of Technology (TU-Wien). He furthermore is president of AARIT, the Austrian Association for Research in IT and a Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Humanities Advanced Technology and Information Institute (HATII), University of Glasgow. He received his MSc and PhD in Computer Science from the Vienna University of Technology in 1997 and 2000, respectively. In 2001 he joined the National Research Council of Italy (CNR) in Pisa as an ERCIM Research Fellow, followed by an ERCIM Research position at the French National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control (INRIA), at Rocquencourt, France, in 2002. From 2004-2008 he was also head of the iSpaces research group at the eCommerce Competence Center (ec3). His research interests cover the broad scope of digital libraries and information spaces, including specifically information retrieval and organization and digital preservation.
iSchool, University of Toronto
Topic: Emerging Approaches to Digital Preservation: Automation, Experimentation, and Testbeds.
Bio: Seamus Ross is Dean and Professor, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto. Formerly, he was Professor of Humanities Informatics and Digital Curation and Founding Director of HATII (Humanities Advanced Technology and Information Institute) (1997-2009) at the University of Glasgow. He served as Associate Director of the Digital Curation Centre (2004-9) in the UK, and was Principal Director of ERPANET and DigitalPreservationEurope (DPE) and a co-principal investigator such projects as the DELOS Digital Libraries Network of Excellence and Planets.
For introductions to some digital preservation issues please see the following animations: Digital Preservation and Nuclear Disaster, Team Digital Preservation and the Aeroplane Disaster, and Team Digital Preservation and the Deadly Cryptic Conundrum. He also recommends “Digital Archaeology” [PDF] (1999).
Estonia Business Archives
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Bio: Ravio Ruusalepp is the Head of Consultancy at the EBAC. He has worked with digital archives for the last 15 years, as an archivist in a data archive, as a consultant helping to design digital archives, and as a researcher studying digital preservation issues. In recent years his work has focused on digital repository assessment and audit methods, trust in digital repositories, infrastructures for sharing research data and cultural heritage materials, and the design of intelligent, preservation-aware objects. He has published several overviews of the state of the art in digital preservation research, and has contributed to the Digital Preservation Research Roadmap developed by the DigitalPreservationEurope (DPE) project. He was a task leader in the DPE project that developed the Digital Repository Assessment Method based on Risk Assessment (DRAMBORA) and is the Technical Coordinator of the Protage project. He has developed an extensive portfolio of training courses and is teaching a graduate course on digital archiving and preservation at Tallinn University.
Brian Cantwell Smith
iSchool, University of Toronto
Topic: The Elusive Document: Reference and Identity in a Digital Environment.
Bio: Brian Cantwell Smith is a Professor in the Faculty of Information Studies at the University of Toronto. Dr. Smith, who recently served as the Dean of the Faculty; holds a Canada Research Chair in the Foundations of Information; and is cross-appointed as Professor in the departments of Philosophy and Computer Science and in the Program in Communication, Culture and Technology at University of Toronto at Mississauga. He is also a senior fellow at Massey College, a fellow of University College, and a member of the Trinity College Senior Common Room.
Dr. Smith received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence. After receiving his doctorate, he held senior research and administrative positions at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Centre (PARC) in California, and was an adjunct associate professor in the Philosophy and Computer Science departments at Stanford University. He was a founder and principal investigator of the Stanford-based Centre for the Study of Language and Information (CSLI), and was a founder and first President of Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR). In 1996 he moved to the Indiana University at Bloomington, where he was professor of cognitive science, computer science, philosophy, and informatics, and a fellow of the Center for Social Informatics in the School of Library and Information Sciences. From 2001 to 2003 he held the Kimberly J. Jenkins University Professorship of Philosophy and New Technologies at Duke University, where he was also professor of Philosophy and Computer Science.
Dr Smith’s research focuses on the conceptual foundations of computation and information, and on new forms of metaphysics, ontology, and epistemology. He is the author of On the Origin of Objects (MIT, 1996) and two volumes of papers forthcoming from Harvard University Press. In addition, a 7-volume series entitled “The Age of Significance: An Essay on the Origins of Computation and Intentionality” is being published simultaneously on paper by the MIT Press and online at http://www.ageofsignificance.org. Starting April 1, 2010, it is being released at the rate of one chapter per month, in a process expected to continue for six or seven years.
Library and Archives Canada
Topic: Digital Recordkeeping in the Government of Canada.
Bio: Johanna Smith works at Library and Archives Canada as the Acting Director of the Aboriginal and Infrastructure Division – one of four government archives portfolio divisions within the Government Records Branch, which also includes the government records Digital Office and LAC’s Internal Information Management Section. She came to LAC as the archivist for Statistics Canada in 2006, and prior to that was, in reverse order, an archivist at the International Monetary Fund, a consultant on a judicial records project in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the Archives Advisor for Nova Scotia. Johanna is a graduate of U of T’s Masters of Information Studies programme.
Helen R. Tibbo
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – School of Information and Library Science
Topic: Educating the Curator.
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Bio: Helen R. Tibbo, SAA Fellow and Alumni Distinguished Professor at the School of Information and Library Science (SILS) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH), teaches in the areas of archives and records management, digital curation, electronic retrieval, and reference. She has served on SAA committees and boards for over 20 years and was the co-founder of the SAA Research Forum. She is currently the PI for the IMLS-funded DigCCurr I that is developing an International Digital Curation Curriculum for master’s level students (2006-2009). In April of 2007 the DigCurr Conference attracted close to 300 participants with 100 speakers from 10 countries. DigCCurr2009 will be held April 1-3, 2009 in Chapel Hill, NC. She is also the PI for DigCCurr II (2008-2012)that extends the Digital Curation Curriculum to the doctoral level and will provide week-long summer workshops for digital curation practitioners. Dr. Tibbo is a co-PI with collaborators from the University of Michigan and the University of Toronto for a Mellon Foundation-funded project to develop standardized metrics for assessing use and user services for primary sources. She is also a co-PI with Drs. Gary Marchionini and Christopher Lee on the NSF-funded Preserving Video Objects and Context: A Demonstration Project and its continuation funded by NDIIPP of the Library of Congress. Dr. Tibbo earned her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland College Park in Library and Information Services and has Master’s degrees in Library and Information Science and American Studies.
Archimuse – Archives and Museum Informatics
Topic: My name is ______ and I am a Curator.
Slideshow presentation available online here.
Bio: Jennifer Trant is a Partner in Archives & Museum Informatics and consults on digital cultural strategy and collaboration.
She is co-chair of Museums and the Web and was co-chair of ICHIM – the International Cultural Heritage Informatics Meetings , Principal Investigator of the steve.museum research project, and has served on the program committees of the Joint Digital Libraries (JDL) and the Digital Libraries (DL) conferences, the Culture Program Committee of the International World Wide Web Conference, and the Board of the Media and Technology Committee of the American Association of Museums.
A specialist in arts information management, Trant has worked with automated documentation systems in major Canadian museums, including the National Gallery of Canada and the Canadian Centre for Architecture, where she developed and implemented common cataloguing standards for the Prints and Drawings, Photographs, and Archives Collections. She has been actively involved in the definition of museum data standards, participating in numerous committees and regularly publishing articles and presenting papers about issues of access and intellectual integration. Her current interests center around the use information technology and communications networks to improve access to cultural heritage information, and to integrate the culture fully into digital libraries for research, learning and enjoyment.
In addition to her consulting practice, Trant is a PhD Candidate in the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto, where she is researching the role of folksonomy in museums.
Anne Van Camp
Director, Insitution Archives
Topic: Sustainable Economics for a Digital Planet: Ensuring Long-Term Access to Digital Information
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Bio: Anne Van Camp was appointed the Director of the Smithsonian Institution Archives in March 2007. She has held a number of important positions within the archival profession including serving as manager of the Research Libraries Group (RLG) Member Programs from 1996-2007, where she was responsible for planning, designing and implementing collaborative projects and programs to enhance access to and preservation of research resources of the RLG member institutions across the United States and around the world. Before joining RLG, Van Camp was the Director of the Archives of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University for eight years. She is active in archival professional activities both nationally and internationally, and has been involved in numerous projects developing standards and best practices for archives, special collections and other cultural heritage institutions. Van Camp has also served on a number of advisory boards including the U.S. Department of State Historical Advisory Board. Van Camp earned her bachelor’s (1973) and master’s degrees (1977) from the University of Cincinnati.