The Fall Board and Annual Meetings of Digital Scriptorium took place on 6-7 September 2018 at the University of California, Riverside.
Hosted by DS Board member Cherry Williams, UCR Director of Distinctive Collections, the meetings comprised two full days of work for the Board members, who had just finished their first three-year term. All Board members were in attendance except for Consuelo Dutschke, Executive Director Emeritus, who as of the September meeting stepped down from the Board to serve on the Advisory Council. The Board accepted the nomination of David Faulds of UC Berkeley to fill her position and formally thanked her in absentia for her contributions to DS over many years. Many, many thanks to Consuelo for her inspiration to others and for her continued dedication to DS. This transition provided an opportunity for the Board to consider at this meeting what they had accomplished in the last three years and what work should be the focus of the next three years.
In her Executive Director’s Report, Debra Cashion reviewed that for the last three years the Board focused mostly on the organizational infrastructure, including governance and finances. Cashion pointed out that because DS largely functioned through the work of dedicated volunteers supported by their institutions, a problem still to be managed was the need for an operational budget. The Board agreed that this was necessary and decided that at least for now, with all membership fees applied to UC Berkeley for technical and administrative hosting, operational funds will need to depend on donations. These have now been facilitated through a new DS Paypal account through which online donations can be made at the Finances page of the DS website. The DS Board would like to encourage even small donations to help us continue to grow the organization.
For the next three years the work of the Board will turn to the technical future of the DS digital union catalog. Although the Board has considered various options, they decided to extend their February Board meeting into a two-day meeting for the Board, the Advisory Council, and invited experts with experience in digital manuscript projects. The agenda will include presentations and open discussions about what a complete rebuild of the DS database could look like using new technologies and applications in digital information. The DS 2.0 planning meeting will be co-hosted by the Beinecke Library and held at Yale University on 25-26 February 2019.
The Board meeting was followed the next day by the Annual Meeting, at which the Board was officially voted in to serve for three more years and David Faulds was elected to fill the vacant postion on the Board. In attendance were also members of the Advisory Council, Lisa Fagin Davis, Executive Director of the Medieval Academy of America, and William Stoneman, Curator of Early Books and Manuscripts at the Houghton Library of Harvard University. An important topic at the Annual Meeting was attracting new membership to the DS consortium. Related to this were the results of a end-user survey, launched from the DS website, reported on by Janine Pollock, Vice President and Deputy Director. In response to this issue, it was decided that the 2019 Fall meetings should be held in a location where DS membership is lacking but where potential members could be invited. It has since been determined that the 2019 Fall meetings will be held at the Newberry Library in Chicago on 26-27 September 2019.