BitCurator Workshops

In the 2013-2014 academic year I served as the community lead on the BitCurator project. During that time I conducted workshops at libraries, museums and archives across the United States. These workshops were hosted by a range of institutions, including large research universities such as Harvard, Princeton, and the University of Illinois; smaller, regional institutions such as Northern Arizona University and University of Texas, San Antonio; and national collecting institutions such as the Smithsonian, the British Library, and the Swedish National Library.

Though I no longer work full-time on the BitCurator project, I continue to be involved, speaking at the most recent BitCurator Users Forum and serving as a member of the BitCurator executive council. I also continue to conduct BitCurator and digital forensics workshops for institutions and conferences. The workshops are either one or two days and are designed around hands-on practical experience using the digital forensics tools in the BitCurator Environment to capture disk images, analyze their content, and report on the findings.

More specifically, this workshop serves as an introduction to the basics of digital forensics and its significance in the preservation of born-digital and hybrid collections. The workshop centers on the suite of open source digital forensics tools included in the BitCurator Environment and their application to digital preservation. Participants learn the fundamental properties of digital media–including floppy disks, hard disks, USB jump drives, and CD-ROMs–and how data can be safely captured from them and preserved in a long-term preservation format. Using the tools in the BitCurator Environment, participants learn to create forensics disk images (bit-for-bit copies of the original media saved as a single file), scan a disk image for personally identifiable information, generate a digital forensics XML (DFXML) document that contains metadata about each individual file on a disk, generate a series of human and machine readable reports through the BitCurator reporting tool, and more. Participants gain important insights into components of our digital heritage that are stored on legacy and contemporary media and also how to begin integrating BitCurator into their digital preservation workflows.

If you would be interested to learn more about the content of these workshops or are interested in hosting a workshop at your institution or conference, please contact me at pwolsen at gmail dot com.