Stepping Stones: Project Research

Statewide & Regional Stepping Stones to the National Digital Platform

Project Links

To Learn More Contact
Matt Schultz
Principal Investigator
Grand Valley State University Libraries

With Grand Valley State University (GVSU) Libraries as the lead institution, along with participation from the Library of Michigan; the Digital Public Library of America Service Hub at the University of Michigan; the Council of Library Directors (COLD); the Mid Michigan Digital Practitioners (MMDP); each of the major state associations for the professions of libraries (Michigan Academic Library Association), archives (Michigan Archival Association), and museums (Michigan Museums Association); and the regional Midwest Collaborative for Library Services (MCLS), the Statewide & Regional Stepping Stones to the National Digital Platform Project will carry out the following research activities:

  • Gather and analyze statewide data on digital preservation readiness and organizational needs (completed - see below);
  • Host a project symposium to discuss findings and plan for project deliverables (completed - see below);
  • Engage expert consultants from leading national distributed digital preservation networks;
  • Conduct national-level field research on successful state/regional networks; and
  • Carry out workshop intensives to develop the final project deliverables

Research Progress and Outputs-to-Date

The project's Statewide Survey Data and preliminary Analysis Report are now freely available and will continue to be consulted throughout the project to refine our research objectives and project deliverables. The original Survey Questions are also being made available as a supporting resource and can be used/adapted by other state/regional initiatives to carry out similar investigations. Please feel free to contact the Principal Investigator, Matt Schultz ( if you have any questions.

The Project Symposium scheduled for March 4th & 5th at Grand Valley State University spotlighted the results of the first statewide survey on digital preservation, updated attendees on the ongoing field research into other successful state/regional networks at the national level, and provided an opportunity to hear from other experts in distributed digital preservation. A Symposium White Paper has been produced summarizing the conversations and recommendations for launching a new statewide/regional digital preservation network and community of practice for Michigan.

In conjunction with the 2019 Michigan Archival Association Meeting, the Stepping Stones Project held a half-day workshop geared towards exploring viable governance models for the newly proposed Michigan Digital Preservation Network. Several institutions from each of our cultural heritage sectors met. discussed, and documented options. these are summarized in our draft Community Governance White Paper. Following on from the meeting, the Stepping Stones Project has launched a Community Governance Survey to gather further feedback from institutions who were unable to attend the workshop. This survey is available through September 30th.