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Celebrating the 20th conference

How can it be 20 years already! How do you think we should celebrate? 

Published onFeb 05, 2024
Celebrating the 20th conference

First, some background… The earliest conference in our series was convened in Beijing in 2004. The opening session featured the UNESCO Charter on the Preservation of Digital Heritage.  The official name, the International Conference on the Preservation of Digital Objects, was in use by 2005. The conference has been convened each year since with the online community event “We Miss iPRES” filling the COVID gap year in 2020.

Does 2004 mark when we started preserving digital content? No, depending on the domain and the location, preserving digital content began in the 1960s as soon as some national archives, data archives, and other repositories started programs to preserve digital content in their collecting scope. 

Does 2004 mark the start of the digital preservation community? No, that seminal moment came in 1996 with the release of the Preserving Digital information report. We get to celebrate 30 years since then in 2026! 

We know that the Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) celebrated their 20th year in 2022. DPC was initially a UK-based group and increasingly became an international organization that provides digital preservation, digital archives, and other services and resources for a growing portion of the digital preservation community. DPC has provided invaluable support for the conference series over the past 20 years. We could celebrate their important role any year! 

How might we celebrate our conference before, during, and after iPRES 2024? 

These are some suggestions for the conference:

  • Submit a panel to focus on the past, present, and future of digital preservation (deadline March 17th);

  • Urge a colleague or friend to submit a paper (together) on some aspect of marking our 20th year (deadline March 17th);

  • Include our 20th anniversary as a topic in your own submissions for lightning talks, posters, workshops, tutorials, games, and other.

Or beyond the conference:

  • Convene a community discussion with one or more topics; 

  • Extend the celebration into the World Digital Preservation Day this year;

  • Co-create an Anniversary t-shirt and other collectibles, possibly for sale as a fundraiser…

What celebration ideas do you have? 

Together, let's unlock the past, present and future of digital preservation!

Still looking for topics?

  • Dive into the proceedings in the Phaidra repository ( to identify a significant topic for you: an advance in practice, an innovation, an iPRES milestone or accomplishment to focus on; or to identify topics or issues that have not been covered;

  • Delve into an aspect of the history or the future of digital preservation with possible or suggested next steps for that trend, challenge, or issue;

  • Consider what recent conference programs (e.g. Glasgow or Illinois) tell us about the current state of digital preservation;

  • Suggest opportunities to address digital preservation community needs. 

Looking forward to celebrating with you online and in-person! 


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