Have you ever wondered what will happen to all the data you will create over your lifetime?

Consider your email, social media data, websites, photos, videos, documents, and all the other files and traces you create and interact with on an ongoing basis. Do you know how you'll preserve the data, understand it, and use it in the future?

Join friends and fellow coders to create innovative solutions to the ongoing challenges facing individuals (including digital humanists and cultural heritage researchers) in the digital age, including how we can best analyze, visualize, and use the immense variety of personal data that we’re all creating.

This hackathon is being held in conjunction with the Personal Digital Archiving (PDA) 2017 conference, which will be held from March 29-31 at Lathrop Library, Stanford University.

Eat our food! Win our prizes! Keep the present safe for the future!


March 31, 2017

     4:00pm - 5:00pm: Check-In; Form Teams 

     5:00pm - 5:30pm: Hackathon Kickoff + Explanation of Task and Requirements

     7:00pm: Dinner 

 April 1, 2017

     7:00am Breakfast

     12:00pm Lunch

     3:00pm: Final Project Submissions

     3:00pm - 4:45pm: Presentations to Judges

     4:45pm - 5:00pm: Award Ceremony 



Stanford University Libraries connects people with information by providing diverse resources and services to the academic community. The Libraries' Center for Interdisciplinary Digital Research (CIDR) enables digital research and teaching to encourage and inspire innovative scholarship throughout the University, and their Department of Special Collections and University Archives acquires, preserves, and provides access to primary source materials of all kinds for research and teaching.

ePADD is free and open-source software developed by Stanford University Libraries that supports archival processes around the appraisal, ingest, processing, discovery, and delivery of email archives.


  • Participants: Individuals (over 18 years in age); Individuals or teams of up to 4 individuals. 
  • This is an in-person hackathon. You are required to attend in person to participate.


Submission deadline to DevPost is 3:00pm on April 1, 2017

Please submit any and all presentation materials that judges will find useful in assessing your project via DevPost. This includes slides, website links, video demos, etc. 

Your goal during the hackathon is not to create a full-fledged product - instead, focus on validating your solution, and proving that it is a worthwhile idea to pursue. When presenting to judges there isn't one, foolproof method. There are a number of ways to present your idea! Focus on bringing out the business and technical feasibility of your solution. Creativity in presentation is very much welcomed.

- Slidedeck

- Software Prototype: Include a live or videotaped demo in your presentation

- Wireframe/Mockup: Use a wireframing tool to create your app workflow, free of code

- A combination of the above 

We require that all submissions should be for the benefit of the larger community, and thus should be submitted to GitHub under an MIT License, such that anyone could use part of or the whole project freely afterwards.

Required Presentations to Judges will take place from 3:00pm - 4:45pm on April 1, 2017

A ~5 minute pitch (slidedeck, demo, etc. included) to a group of judges, with optional Q+A after at the discretion of the judges.

Also see Judging Criteria, below.

Hackathon Sponsors


$1,000 in prizes

Most innovative project overall relating to personal digital archiving

$400 in gift cards

Most innovative project relating to email management or archiving

$300 in gift cards

Most innovative project relating to digital humanities

$300 in gift cards

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:

How to enter

All attendees must pre-register via Eventbrite and DevPost to enter. This is an in-person hackathon, and you are required to attend in person to participate. Up to 50 attendees will be allowed.

Update - Mar. 23, 2017

We already have 50 attendees. You can join want the waiting list at the Eventbrite site. Thank for your interest.


Jeff Ubois

Jeff Ubois
Program Officer, MacArthur Foundation

Jasmine Mulliken

Jasmine Mulliken
Digital Projects, Stanford University Press

Camille Villa

Camille Villa
Software Engineer / Digital Humanist

Judging Criteria

  • Criteria
    Teams of 1-4 members will compete for the following prizes: Most innovative project overall relating to personal digital archiving; Most innovative project relating to email management or archiving; Most innovative project relating to digital humanities.
    Did your team successfully execute your project concept? Is it usable? Does it work? Is it well designed? Is the user experience smooth?
    Does your project utilize a wide range of tools and technologies? Were there real technical challenges you had to overcome?
    Is the project new and something that hasn't been attempted before? How does this approach a unique solution to a problem? Source: Hack Potsdam
    You'll have 5 minutes for a demo where you tell us all about your project, followed by an optional Q/A. We recommend a quick powerpoint. We're interested in how you solved problems as well as the technologies & tools you used.

Questions? Email the hackathon manager

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Hackathon sponsors

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