Digital Curation: A Professional Synthesis

The archiving of the digital universe...

What is digital curation?

Man: My role is digital media curation. Dilbert: Am I supposed to know what that means? Man: Ha ha! I look down you for not understanding my trendy jargon. Your ignorance is on display for all to see! Leave this meeting now! You are not worthy! Dilbert: Maybe you could just tell us what curation means. Man: Fine. Let's try that. It means um... um... Is it too late for me to overlook your ignorance and move on?

Digital curation is still a fairly recent branch of the information professions. The term was first used in 2001,1 although the actual work was being done before it was formally labeled. Being still relatively new, it has been defined in a few different ways.

"The active involvement of information professionals in the management, including the preservation, of digital data for future use."2
"The implemented set of processes that makes digital research data available overtime."3
"Curation: The range of tasks involved in managing content - including such important steps as selection, acquisition, cataloging, and transformation. It is often conjoined with the term 'digital' to mark the specific activities that are undertaken for digital objects."4



  1. Kim, Warga, & Moen, 2013, p. 67.
  2. Yakel, 2007, p. 335.
  3. Madrid, 2013, p. 149.
  4. Skinner, 2015, p. 334.
  5. Adams, 2011. Retrieved from