This episode reviews existing software collections and the users of those collections. In order to better capture current efforts in collecting software, Research & Facilitation Lead, Anne-Marie Trepanier, provides different collection profiles and the set of features that characterize each of them. Through round-table discussion, guests explore how collection development policies and strategies for existing collections impact community goals of sharing and reuse.

Watch Webinar:
Time & Date:

May 2 // 8am PST – 10am CST – 4pm BST/CET


   + Tim Walsh (Canadian Centre for Architecture)

   + Paula Jabloner (Computer History Museum)

   + Patricia Falcao (Tate)

Lead Facilitator:
Discussion Questions:

   + How did you get your hands on the material? Map out your acquisition process and your relationships with donors, loaners, sellers and manufacturers.

   + Why are you collecting software and what are you collecting? Pinpoint your collection’s distinctive features and its (potential) users.

   + What does collecting software entails? Describe what types of physical and digital components are found in your software collection.

   + Are all software collecting entities ensuring preservation? Define and compare procedures and standards in collecting and preserving software.

Supplementary Resources:

Websites & Blogs 

   + Depocas, A., Ippolito, J., & Jones, C. (2003) Permanence Through Change: The Variable Media Approach. Retrieved from

   + DOCAM project,

   + Dover, C. How the Guggenheim and NYU Are Conserving Computer-Based Art Part 1

 + Fondation Daniel Langlois pour l’art, la science et la technologie. (2009) Subtitled Public: Documentary Collection. Retrieved from

   + Kossow, A. (2012). Bit by Bit: Software Collecting. CHM Blog. Retrieved from

   + Matters in Media Art. (2015). Retrieved from

 Articles, Reports & Presentations

   + Au Yeung, T., Carpendale, S., & Greenberg, S. (2008) Preservation of Art in the Digital Realm. The Proceedings of iPRES2008: The Fifth International Conference on Digital Preservation. London: British Library.

   + Ball, A. (2013). Preserving Computer-Aided Design (CAD). DPC Technology Watch Report 13-02. Retrieved from

   + Bearman, D. (1987). Collecting Software: A New Challenge for Archives & Museums. Archives and Museum Informatics. (Archival Informatics Technical Report [August 1985].1987;1, no.2) Retrieved from

   + Colon-Marrero, E. (2017). Image This! A Voyage Through Software Preservation [PDF]. Retrieved from

   + DiCosmo & Zacchiroli (2017). Software Heritage: Why and How to Preserve Software Source Code. iPRES 2017: 14th International Conference on Digital Preservation, Sep 2017, Kyoto, Japan.

   + Engel, D. & Wharton G. Reading between the lines: Source code documentation as a conservation strategy for software-based art

   + Fuller, M. (2002a). Behind the blip: Software as culture. Nettime mailing list, 7. Retrieved from

   + Lowood, H. (2016). It is What it is, Not What it Was, Refractory: A Journal of Entertainment Media, 27. Retrieved from

   + National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program, Preserving.exe: Toward a National Strategy for Software Preservation (2013) Retrieved from

   + Rechert, K., Falcao, P. and Ensom, T. Introduction to an emulation-based preservation strategy for software-based artworks:

   + SPN Metadata Standards and Policies Working Group. (2017) SPN Metadata Standards Survey: Initial Results, Analysis and Next Steps. Retrieved from