What is

The Sustainable Heritage Network (SHN) is an answer to the pressing need for comprehensive workshops, online tutorials and web resources dedicated to the lifecycle of digital preservation. The SHN is a collaborative space that compliments the work of indigenous peoples globally to preserve cultural heritage and knowledge.

Leveraging existing networks from our partners at the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries and Museums (ATALM), the SHN provides a space to communicate and learn about digital stewardship and preservation. The Sustainable Heritage Network is a gathering place that makes information and resources accessible for anyone who wants to preserve their heritage.

Central to the work of the SHN is facilitating the sharing of both knowledge and resources. Within the network, institutions and communities work together to provide each other with digital tools and preservation assistance. We call this: Collaborative Stewardship.

How do I use the portal?

You can use the portal to find all sorts of tools and information including How To’s and DIY tutorials, workbench locations, and helpful tips for preserving your cultural materials.

The portal is also a space to share and experience the various ways in which many communities are approaching the challenge of preserving their heritage and memories.

To get the most out of your portal experience you should register as a user. Read more about the types of registration here.

What is a workbench?

Many institutions including Tribal Archives Libraries and Museums (TALMs) register to share equipment, workspaces, institutional and archival resources, training and more!

These locations are known as workbenches. Find a Workbench near you!

If you would like to become a workbench register as an organization, follow these instructions.

Types of Registration

Register as a User

Registered users can browse, view and search public content on the SHN. Some content linked to specific communities may have access parameters associated with it and therefore if you wish to access that content you must contact the groups administrator (information located on the groups page) Learn more about communities of the SHN.

Register a Community

A community is an institution or organic group of people who have a common desire to share and control access to their digital heritage within the group. All content produced and attributed to the group will be shown on the community page. Communities also share a common cultural protocol.

We require the sharing status of a community to be "community only" so that no one outside your community can edit your digital heritage. However, you may choose to create a "public" face to your community where you can share non-sensitive items with registered users and/or the general public.

Register a Workbench

To provide a physical or digital location where community members can access equipment or training and guidance.


Register for the SHN

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Sustainable Heritage Workshops

Get Involved at Preservation Fairs and SHN at ATALM Conferences

Sustainable Heritage Workshops

Sustainable Heritage Workshops are collaborative events set up by organizations or people in their local communities. The first workshop was at the 2014 ATALM conference. The SHN will also hold regional workshops from 2014-2016, as well as post-conference workshops at the 2015 and 2016 ATALM conferences. Over time we hope more local workbenches and communities will host their events and share the lessons learned and outcomes on the SHN.

For more information about the workshop, go here.

The goals of these workshops are to promote collaborative stewardship, share knowledge, encourage curiosity, and provide tutorials on all aspects of digital preservation. These gatherings pool the resources of communities and preservation experts and provide hands-on skills. Workshops could cover anything from how to digitize a photograph to recording a story or song to best practices of digitization and preservation.

Workshop Schedule

Do you have an old photograph or letter you would like to preserve? Are you interested in digitizing a traditional craft or process? Maybe you are just interested in seeing what other people in your community or communities nearby are doing to preserve their history and heritage.

Upcoming Workshops:
ATALM Post-Conference Workshop, September 13-15, 2015 in Washington, DC

University of Oregon, Eugene OR, 2016

Alaska Native Language Archive, Fairbanks, AK, 2016

ATALM Post-Conference Workshop, 2016

Check in to our Sustainable Heritage Workshops by looking at a full listing here.The best way to get a full access listing of all workshops is to sign up for the Sustainable Heritage Network online is to register as a user.

Do it yourself Workshop instructions & assistance

Would you like to host or request a Sustainable Heritage Workshop in your area? Do you have a preservation tip or technique to offer? Sign up as part of a local community in the Sustainable Heritage Network and contact your community organizers to officially register the event. See our user registration form here

FAQ and Tutorials

Enter the SHN

What are you interested in?

Photos and Images

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Film and Video

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Audio Recordings

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Artifacts and 3D Objects


Text Documents

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General Processing and Digitization

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Language Documentation

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GIS, CMS, and Databases

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Using the SHN

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All Workbenches

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All Workshops

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Browse All

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