SAA: We’re All Digital Archivists: Forensic Techniques in Everyday Practice

At the recent Society of American Archivists annual conference, I was fortunate enough to present as part of a panel discussing the application of digital forensics in an archival setting. I touched on the work I’ve been doing with the D-Recs committee and on developing the forensics workflows that I’ve discussed previously. My co-presenters, Cal Lee, Don Mennerich, and Christie Peterson, discussed different aspects related to digital forensics in archives, from learning forensics techniques to an overview of current research in the field. I highly recommend checking out the audio for the session, which is available on our shared drive.

The Signal Interview
As a result of my presentation, I was asked to do an interview with Trevor Owens for The Signal, the Library of Congress blog on digital preservation. The interview went live last week and touches on some points I made during my presentation as well as current and future D-Team projects. I hope you enjoy it!

Jason Scott @ the Web Archiving Roundtable – #SAA2014

JS_1After seeing lots of interesting interactions on Twitter with @textfiles, otherwise known as Jason Scott, I was super excited to hear him present at the Web Archiving Roundtable. According to his Twitter profile, Jason is: “the proprietor of http://TEXTFILES.COM , historian, filmmaker, archivist, famous cat maintenance staff. He works on/for/over the Internet Archive.”  Continue reading

FTK Demo Day

This past Wednesday, we gathered all the archivists who do processing into the D-Lab and wowed them with a demo of the Forensic ToolKit (FTK) software.

I started with an overview of our processes for separating removable digital media from collections:

Then I gave an overview of the proposed workflow for working with that media: Continue reading

Assistant Digital Archivist job posting featured on OCLC blog

Jackie Dooley (past SAA president and part of the OCLC Research team) has posted a series of articles reviewing recent digital archivist job postings on the OCLC Research blog, hangingtogether.com. Of the nineteen job postings listed in a recent two week period, she calls out our posting as one she especially likes: it avoids some of the vagueness that has been prevalent in digital archivist postings over the last few years, and the job responsibilities are appropriate for the level of the position. She continues writing about the job listings in another post, discussing the responsibilities presented in the job descriptions. In her final post she discusses the skill set required for digital archivists. Both posts include blurbs from our listing. It’s nice to see our job description highlighted in such a way – it shows we’re on the right track as far as shaping D-Team openings, and we’re also effectively communicating that to the audience of job seekers.

RAC Assistant Digital Archivist Job Posting

MetaArchive and Distributed Digital Preservation

About a year ago, I started reviewing ways to secure our digital assets against potential catastrophic losses due to disaster (natural or otherwise), technical error, hardware failure, and system attacks. I wanted a solution that offered geographically-dispersed server space to minimize the risk of loss due to disaster, regular fixity checks to help uncover any potential hardware issues on those servers, and administration differentiation between those servers and our own systems to help alleviate technical error and system attack issues.

After a review of Distributed Digital Preservation Services (as of Spring, 2013), we selected MetaArchive. MetaArchive is a digital preservation network created and hosted by memory organizations like libraries and archives. It uses LOCKSS software, which was developed by Stanford University and is used by about 12 different preservation networks worldwide. In a LOCKSS based system, materials are ingested and stored on servers hosted by network members in disparate geographical locations. The fixity of the materials is checked at regular intervals. This system helps prevents data loss occurring during natural disasters or other emergencies, or due to malicious or negligent factors. No one administrator has access to all copies of the data or can tamper without detection. A step-by-step review of how it works can be found here. Current MetaArchive membership institutions span 13 states and 4 countries. These members include many universities, the Library of Congress, and a few smaller libraries. Continue reading

NYART event: Preserving and Archiving Electronically Generated Materials

Last week I spoke at the NYART event, Preserving and Archiving Electronically Generated Materials, which was sponsored by the Leon Levy Foundation. My slides are attached below. Slides from other presenters will be made available on the event website, and you can find the event schedule here. Continue reading

iPres 2013

10th International Conference on Preservation of Digital Objects 

I was fortunate to attend this conference a few weeks ago, and want to share the interesting things I learned. This was definitely an interesting experience! For starters, it was the first conference I’ve attended that was focused solely on the topic of digital preservation. It also was much more research-focused than many conferences I normally attend, which I found really refreshing. Another notable fact was the type of attendees – there was a mix of technologists and information specialists, but it did seem like many attendees represented large national libraries. While some archivists were present, I felt a lot of presentations approached preservation topics from a library, rather than archival, perspective. For example, in certain web archiving presentations, it seemed the focus was on preserving and presenting the information on a web page, rather than preserving the information in context and as evidence.

Some highlights from the presentations:

Continue reading