The Media Digitization and Preservation Initiative: A Case Study

Devan Donaldson


Digital curation involves maintaining, preserving and adding value to digital research data throughout its lifecycle. Mass digitization is the conversion of analog materials into digital materials on an industrial scale. This presentation reports on findings ofa qualitative case study analysis of Indiana University Bloomington’s multi-million-dollar Media Digitization and Preservation Initiative (MDPI). It employs the Digital Curation Centre (DCC) Curation Lifecycle Model as a lens for examining the scope and effectiveness of the MDPI’s digital curation efforts. Of the mass digitization projects that currently exist worldwide, we selected the MDPI for our case study because heretofore research has focused primarily on the mass digitization of textual resources (e.g., books). In contrast, the MDPI aims to digitize and make accessible a wide variety of time-based, audiovisual media. The main research question this study addresses is: How do the actions of the MDPI compare to the actions specified in the DCC Curation Lifecycle Model? Findings underscore the success of the MDPI in performing digital cu ration by illustrating how it implements each of the model’s components. Implications for application of the DCC Curation Lifecycle Model in understanding digital curation for mass digitization projects are discussed as well as directions for future research.


Dr. Devan Ray Donaldson is an Assistant Professor of Information Science in the Department of Information and Library Science (ILS) in the School of Informatics and Computing (SoIC) at Indiana University, Bloomington, where he directs a specialization in digital curation. Donaldson is also Affiliated Faculty with the Data to Insight Center (D2I) at Indiana University. He is an internationally known digital curation researcher. His research interests include digital repositories, data sharing practices, mass digitization, preservation management, preservation metadata, trust, and security. His research has been funded by the University of Michigan, Indiana University, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the United States Department of Energy.

He holds a Ph.D. in Information from the University of Michigan, a M.S. in Library Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a B.A. in History from the College of William and Mary in Virginia. In 2005, he studied abroad at Oxford University, Hertford College.

He has been a Bill and Melinda Gates Millennium Scholar (2002-2015), a Horace H. Rackham Merit Fellow (2008-2015), an Edward Alexander Bouchet Graduate Honor Society Member since 2012, and a Research Data Alliance (RDA) US Data Share Fellow (2015-2016).