POWRR Institutes


Thanks to a generous grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Digital POWRR team will put on five intensive institutes in 2017-2019, enabling librarians and archivists from small and mid-sized institutions to build skills for curating and preserving digital collections. Utilizing an application process, 30 individuals will be selected to attend each POWRR Institute, resulting in a total of 150 individuals between the five events. Institutes will be offered free of charge, with financial assistance available to participants with need, and will incorporate hands-on technical training, engagement with institutional case studies, and one-on-one consultation with expert practitioners drawn from the digital preservation field. Institutes will utilize a modified cohort model to encourage attendees to form communities of practice that will continue after the conclusion of the Institutes. Attendees will also depart the Institutes with a personalized and actionable preservation plan that will enable them to take action upon returning to their institutions.

Should I apply?

An ideal candidate for a POWRR Institute fits some or all of the descriptions below:

  • Someone who works in a “boots on the ground” role (this could be any range of positions in the cultural heritage sector, but the idea is that your primary role is not one as an administrator)
  • Someone who has been exposed to basic digital preservation concepts, but who has struggled with moving from theory to practice
  • Someone who represents or serves historically underrepresented populations
  • Someone who is comfortable with basic technology, (navigating a basic computing environment) but who would benefit from instruction on more intermediate concepts
  • Someone employed by an institution unable to provide professional development funding adequate to attend other digital preservation training opportunities
  • Someone who works directly with digital materials, and who can work with POWRR instructors to start to create a rudimentary assessment document on digital preservation readiness at your own institution
  • Someone who would benefit from being a part of a small cohort of professionals like themselves, and who will put forth effort into sustaining these professional connections after the end of the Institute

I Attended a POWRR Workshop, Can I Still Apply?

Yes! While the Institute may cover some similar ground as the original POWRR workshop, the mix of outside speakers and activities means that this event is substantively different. The application has a space for you to indicate your previous attendance.

Statement of Inclusivity

The Digital POWRR Project is committed to creating and supporting inclusive, diverse, and equitable communities of practice. We aim to be a welcoming organization that is anti-oppression, recognizes intersectionalities, and works compassionately across difference.

We recognize that a majority of digital preservation research and work has traditionally occurred among more heavily resourced organizations, effectively making the less-resourced feel as if the participation bar is simply too high to clear. The POWRR philosophy emphasizes a “big tent” approach, whereby people from different backgrounds can learn from one another in a judgment-free zone. As such, we especially welcome applicants from small organizations of all stripes, including tribal libraries/archives, public libraries, historical societies, museums, and those who work as solo practitioners or “lone arrangers.”

We know that the best problem-solving and critical thinking happens when people with a wide array of experiences and perspectives come together to work in comfort and safety as peers. We therefore expect participants in the POWRR Institutes to help create thoughtful and respectful environments where that interaction can take place.

(Adapted from the DLF’s Code of Conduct, licensed under a CC-BY-NC 4.0 license)

Calendar of Institutes

Institute Location Application Goes Live Application Deadline Institute Dates
Institute One Naperville, IL – NIU Naperville Conference Center (map) August 28, 2017 September 15, 2017 November 30-December 1, 2017
Institute Two Warm Springs, OR (Sponsored by the Sustainable Heritage Network – in conjunction with Northwest Archivists 2018 Annual Meeting) November 30, 2017 February 2, 2018 April 28-29, 2018
Institute Three Tempe, AZ (Arizona State University Library) March 5, 2018 March 23, 2018 June 14-15, 2018
Institute Four Washington, D.C. (George Washington University campus) October 15, 2018 November 15, 2018  March 12-13, 2019
Institute Five Naperville, IL – NIU Naperville Conference Center (Rescheduled from January) September 5, 2018 October 5, 2018 April 18-19, 2019

Note: The content of each institute will be substantially the same. Case studies and guest lectures will vary by location.

Application Instructions

Thanks to support in the grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, limited funding is available to offset the cost of attending the Institutes, and will be based on need. Please indicate your need for financial assistance on the application form. Although multiple people from a single institution may apply, we may not be able to accommodate all applicants. Each institute will be limited to 30 participants.

The final Institute funded by the grant will be held in April 2019 at the NIU Conference Center in Naperville, Illinois. This event was originally scheduled to take place on January 31-February 1st, but was cancelled due to extreme weather events in the Chicago area.


Contact us (powrr [at] niu.edu), or @DigitalPOWRR on Twitter.

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