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Achim Osswald

Achim Osswald

Achim is professor for “Application of IT in LIS” at Cologne University of Applied Sciences, Germany; since 1994 he has been actively involved in educational programs and research related to digital curation and preservation in Germany and Europe. Together with Stefan Strathmann he is nestor-coordinator of digital preservation activities in the HE sector in Germany and coeditor of the “nestor Handbuch”, the basic publication in the field of digital preservation in German language.

Achim Osswald has a MA in History (University of Freiburg) and Information Science (University of Konstanz) followed by a PhD in Information Science (University of Konstanz).

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Skills for the Future: educational opportunities for digital curation professionals 

Several cultural heritage institutions all around the world have set up special services, trainings, courses or programs focusing on curation of digital material. Digital curation is a multifaceted task with a great variety of responsibilities, preconditions and objectives. For the first time in this field the DigCurV project offers a framework to locate competences and skills related to vocational education and training regarding digital curation processes. Referring to this framework should be a good starting point for differentiated educational activities focusing on special target groups, their educational background, the objectives of the digital curation process, and the material which has to be curated. Based on this, additional frameworks comprising these educational activities can be set up – still referring to the DigCurV framework partially or in total. This will offer the opportunity to compare educational activities regarding content and the results achieved.

Beside these efforts regarding content and concepts of digital curation education there is another ongoing challenge: getting people involved and making them eager to curate (their) digital material properly. The curation job is hardly glamorous or much admired. For the most part it is a service-oriented back office activity demanding functionality and perfection. For a long time, specialists will be needed – and will need qualified training – to meet these requirements. Increasing awareness of the need for digital curation by professionals and the public offers opportunities to get digital curation professionals and their skills involved even in everyone’s working environment.

Keywords: component; education; training; vocational; personal archiving

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