January 21, 2022

New Report: “Preserving.exe: Toward a National Strategy for Software Preservation”

From a Blog Post/Summary by Trevor Owens (via The Signal/LC):

On May 20-21 2013, NDIIPP hosted “Preserving.exe: Toward a National Strategy for Preserving software,” a summit focused on meeting the challenge of collecting and preserving software. The event brought together software creators, representatives from source code repositories, curators and archivists working on collecting and preserving software and scholars studying software and source code as cultural, historical and scientific artifacts.

This report is intended to highlight the issues and concerns raised at the summit and identify key next steps for ensuring long-term access to software. To best represent the distinct perspectives involved in the summit this report is not an aggregate overview. Instead, the report includes three perspective pieces; a curatorial perspective, a perspective from a humanities scholar and the perspective of two scientists working to ensure access to scientific source code.

  • Henry Lowood, Curator for History of Science & Technology Collections at Stanford University Libraries, describes three lures of software preservation in exploring issues around description, metadata creation, access and delivery mechanisms for software collections.
  • Matthew Kirschenbaum, Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of Maryland and Associate Director of the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities, articulates the value of the record of software to a range of constituencies and offers a call to action to develop a national software registry modeled on the national film registry.
  • Alice Allen, primary editor of the Astrophysics Source Code Library and Peter Teuben, University of Maryland Astronomy Department, offer a commentary on how the summit has helped them think in a longer time frame about the value of astrophysics source codes.

Direct to Full Text Report (42 pages; PDF)

See Also: Conference Program and Eight Presentations

Hat Tip: @CNI

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.