CurateGear 2016 & the BitCurator User Forum

Hi everyone! A few weeks ago I traveled to Chapel Hill to attend CurateGear 2016 hosted by the University of North Carolina, School of Library Information Science and the BitCurator User Forum. This post chronicles my observations. I enjoyed having the time to listen and take in information about the projects that were being embarked on. I was excited to attend both events because I wanted to gain additional insight into the methods, projects, and tools that are being utilized and worked on. While the technical aspects were sometimes difficult to grasp, the general ideas were impactful and provided me with topics for future research.

CurateGear 2016 was a one day event packed with presentations describing ongoing projects and technology centered on digital curation methods, projects and tools.

The following presentations connected in some way to my project — using digital preservation standards and evolving practice to identify and evaluate possible options for improving preservation storage at MIT Libraries:

A few of presentations that interested me, but are not in my purview at the moment:

I decided to attend the BitCurator User Forum because I wanted to gain valuable insight into digital forensic tools and their application. The event was sponsored by the BitCurator Consortium and hosted by School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Through my experience at the forum, I have started to acquire some comprehension of the best/good practices behind digital forensics, how the BitCurator environment is used, what people are looking for in future developments of the software, and what tools are currently being developed and how they will be applied. The event enjoyed a friendly atmosphere, enthusiastic participation and passionate attendees.

During the panel, Beyond Disk Imaging, Bertram Lyon from AV Preserve introduced a great new application called Exactly.The tool securely transfers any born-digital material from a sender to a recipient over a LAN, using DropBox, or via FTP with the benefit of establishing provenance and fixity at the beginning of the acquisition process. I find it exciting because I used to work in oral history, and this tool was first designed for the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History at the University of Kentucky Libraries. I can see how this tool would be incredibly useful for not just oral history programs, but also for use by cultural repository institutions. Kari Smith, Digital Archivist in the Institute Archives and Special Collections at MIT Libraries, is planning on running a study on secure digital data transfer options including an experiment using the Exactly tool in the Digital Sustainability Lab.

If you would like to check out the presentation slides from both events, they are online on the BitCurator User Forum and CurateGear 2016 websites.

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