In 2019, The National Archives published its first three-year digital capacity building strategy, Plugged In, Powered Up (PIPU), for the archive sector. Informed by a survey of over 300 archive professionals that confirmed digital preservation is a major issue facing the archive profession today, PIPU’s programme of activities sought to meet the challenge that digital archive work presented. Organised around three main areas: engagement, access and preservation, PIPU delivered some significant improvements in digital archiving across the sector. However, there is still more to be done.
We are 15 years from the 100th anniversary of the building of Colossus, the world’s first electronic computer. This propelled us into the digital age with rapid advancements throughout the twentieth and into the twenty first century. From the first business software being run by J Lyons and Co. in 1951 to Raspberry Pi being launched in 2012, digital has advanced enormously within a relatively short timeframe. It is within this context that digital archive professionals are grappling with more complex requirements of preserving and enabling access to digital records and systems. We are stronger as a community when we share and pool expertise, when we learn from each other and when we problem solve together. This is Our Digital Century to not only meet the challenge but to acquire the skills and know-how to be confident in doing so.