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Digital Preservation

The Library of Congress > Digital Preservation > Meetings & Events > Preserving.exe: Toward a National Strategy for Preserving Software

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Meeting Date, Location

May 20–21, 2013
Library of Congress, James Madison Building
Montpelier Room, 6th Floor
101 Independence Ave. SE
Washington, DC 20540


Meeting Goals

The event brought together software creators and representatives from source code repositories with curators and archivists working on collecting and preserving software and scholars currently studying software and source code as cultural, historical and scientific artifacts. The workshop focused on discussions of tractable approaches to the preservation of software and its history, with discussions of substantive, ongoing efforts to preserve and make available historical software applications. Some of those questions addressed included:

  • What is the use and value of old code and software?
  • When should organizations focus on preserving/collecting executable content? When should they focus on original source code? In what cases should they focus on tertiary content, e.g., bug tracking systems and internal development mailing lists?

Desired Outcomes

  • Articulate the problems and opportunities of software preservation.
  • Propose new partnerships and collaborations that will support organization's roles and responsibilities related to software preservation.
  • Advise the Library of Congress on next steps, including different methods and approaches that will develop criteria for assessing long-term value; and what new organizational models will best support the stewardship of software content.