Information Studies


Leontien Talboom

Thesis title: Re-envisioning access for the digital preservation community: challenges, opportunities and recommendations

Ipres 2019 Leontien Talboom

Digital material is not new and has been preserved for a couple of decades now. With a growing digital preservation community, and a growing number of practitioners identifying as doing something digital, there is an understanding that this material is here to stay. More and more institutions are publishing digital strategies or creating networks focusing on digital material. However, when looking at this in practice there seems to be a disconnect between what is being stated within these networks and strategies and what is being made available to the public.
This thesis explores this disconnect by first understanding the emerging field of digital preservation practitioners and how they make sense of their work and responsibilities. This will be investigated by consulting the wide range of literature and with the help of semi-structured interviews with different groups working within the field of digital preservation, or closely linked to it such as data journalists.

This is a collaborative PhD between The National Archives and UCL and is funded by LAHP


Primary supervisor: Jenny Bunn

Secondary supervisor: Antonis Bikakis

External supervisor (The National Archives): Alec Mulinder


Data Study Group Team, Data Study Group Final Report, The National Archives UK: Discovering topics and trends in the UK Government Web Archive, Turing White Paper, 2021

Fellowships and Awards

Software Sustainability Institute Fellow 2021

Nominated for Amazing Support Staff in the UCL Student Choice Awards 2021

Awarded best presentation at OPFCON 2020

Attended iPress 2019 with a bursary from the DPC


'Improving the discoverability of zooarchaeological data using Natural Language Processing', CAA Conference Kraków, 23-27 April 2019.

'Delivering Digital Humanities', AERI, 8-12 July 2019.

'Access to born-digital material in archives', invited speaker at Catalogue Day at The National Archives, UK, 22 November 2019

'Raiders of the lost archives: archaeological material in a digital environment', invited speaker at the Digital Archaeology Group, Leiden, The Netherlands, 19 December 2019

'Making born-digital archival data accessible', Archives, Access and AI, London, UK, 15-17 January 2020.

'Accessing the intangible: the constraints faced by digital preservation practitioners when making born-digital material accessible', OPFCON, Online, 9-10 June 2020, awarded best presentation.

'Derbyshire: Making the National Archive’s Born-Digital Collection Accessible', with Ian Henderson, invited speaker at CityLIS After Hours, 7 December 2020

'Accessing the intangible', invited speaker at Unlocking Our Digital Past Workshop, 16 September 2021

'Beyond Access: Re-imagining how we make sense of archives, with Mark Bell, Jenny Bunn and Jo Pugh at Alt + Shift + Archive, 20-22 September 2021

Podcasts & Posters

'Machine Learning Club', podcast with Mark Bell, IRMS Podcast Series.

'Explainable AI: Explaining AI in the Archival Context', poster with Mark Bell, Jo Pugh & Jenny Bunn, 2020 Annual Digital Lecture, The National Archives

Blog Posts

Storrar, Tom and Leontien Talboom, Network analysis of the UK Government Web Archive, The National Archives Blog.

Talboom, Leontien and David Underdown, 'Access is What we are Preserving': But for Whom?, Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) Blog. 

Talboom, Leontien: Two blog posts on my experience at iPres 2019, this was part of the bursary that I received from DPC to attend this conference. 

Workshops and Events

Contributor, Workshop on Human-centred Explainable Artificial Intelligence, 5 June 2019, UCL, London

Contributor, Exploring data, investigating methodologies, Computational Archival Science Workshop, 20-21 June 2019, The National Archives, London

Participant, Alan Turing Data Study Group: Exploring trends and topics in the UK Government Web Archives, 9-13 December 2019, Alan Turing Institute, London

Co-organiser with Federico Nanni, Humanities & Data Science Discussion Group, runs monthly at the Alan Turing Institute

Co-organiser with Mark Bell, Machine Learning Club for Information Specialists, set of workshops for staff at TNA

Break-out room leader, AURA Workshop, 28-29 January 2021, online

Co-organiser, set of Wellbeing events at UCL in 2021 including a Zine Workshop

Programme committee, iPres 2022


Teaching Assistant, UCL, 2019-2021, INST0001: Database Systems

Teaching Assistant, UCL, 2019-2021, INST0003: Information Systems

Teaching Assistant, UCL, 2019-2022, INST0007, Web Technologies

Teaching Assistant, UCL, 2019-2021, INST0012: Database Systems Analysis and Design

Teaching Assistant, UCL, 2019-2020, INST0069: Graph Databases and Semantic Technologies

Tutor, University of Dundee, 2021-2022, RM50017: Management and Preservation of Digital Records

Contact Details

E-mail address: leontien.talboom.18[at]ucl.ac.uk

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/leontien-talboom-28b2a412b/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/makethecatwise

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7408-5471