Data Refuge

from Multimedia Library Collection:
Web Resources

Data Refuge. Homepage.

Data Refuge (website).

Data Refuge launched November 2016 in Philadelphia to draw attention to how climate denial endangers federal environmental data. With the help of thousands of civic partners and volunteers, the project has rapidly spread to over fifty cities and towns across the country. Now, Data Refuge is building a storybank to document how data lives in the world—and how it connects people, places, and non-human species.

In 2016 and 2017, thousands of volunteers took part in over fifty Data Rescue events hosted by libraries and other civic organizations across the country. These efforts by scientists and archivists attracted the attention of major media outlets and generated open government and open data watchdogging initiatives vital to the health of democracy. Across sectors–from universities to government to journalists to public advocates—volunteer participants recognized the wicked problem that the long-term preservation of public data poses. Archivists teach that data, like records, exist in a life cycle from creation to access through to preservation or destruction. In other words, data must be cultivated to be useful. Like any living organism today, data reside in a complex ecosystem shaped by human and nonhuman forces. Creating and maintaining robust public data requires ongoing collaboration and conversations. By telling the stories of government data, we protect these public assets from neglect, dilution, or deletion—whether intentional or inadvertent. (Text from Data Refuge)

Data Refuge is dedicated to data preservation, and has hosts almost 400 datasets, mostly from the United States of America. It offers a toolkit which includes both storytelling and data rescue tools, as well as updates through Remediations, its blog. It is currently building a data storybank and awards ten microgrants of $2000 each for data stories which will be showcased in 2019.