"Encountering Emulation for Software Preservation in Libraries, Archives, and Museums", presented by Amelia Acker

Bio: Amelia Acker is an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin in the School of Information, where she leads the Critical dada Studies Lab. Her research on data archives and preservation has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the Institute for Museum and Library Services. Acker's current research focuses on cultures of mobile computing, emerging digital preservation models, data literacy, data durability, and metadata standards for exchange between private and public archives. Previously, Acker worked as a librarian, an archivist, and a mobile app developer. 

Abstract: In this talk I will present findings from following three teams of information professionals as they implemented emulation strategies in their day-to-day work at the technology lab. I will discuss different emulation practices for software preservation, research access, and exhibition undertaken by different teams in providing to access to software and software-dependent collections. By examining particular versions of access from different information institutions, these findings call into question software emulation as a single, static preservation strategy for cultural heritage institutions. Results suggest that these preservationists have developed different emulation practices for particular kinds of encounters in supporting different types of use and users. I will conclude the talk by discussing how these findings have significance for information institutions developing software emulation capacities to provide access, and share some comments for researchers studying the "invisible work" of software preservation and maintenance.


Noon to 2 p.m. Oct. 30, 2020