Maintaining a Kick A** Tech Team and Organization

Below is a talk that Bonnie, Patrick and Hillel gave at the 2017 Code4Lib Conference in Los Angeles. Our slides are available online.


Hello! I’m Hillel Arnold, and with me are Bonnie Gordon, and Patrick Galligan. We’re the Digital Programs team from the Rockefeller Archive Center, an independent archive and research center located in Sleepy Hollow, NY (yes, it’s a real place). Our team’s role is to provide technical leadership and expertise to our organization across all function areas. That’s a link there to the text of this talk, which also includes links to a number of other things we’ll talk about that you can follow if you want. Continue reading

Introducing Project Electron: infrastructure for digital records

Today we’re announcing a major project to build sustainable, user-centered and standards-compliant infrastructure to support the ongoing acquisition, management and preservation of digital records so we can make them available in the broadest and most equitable way possible. Because a snappy title makes everything better, we’ve codenamed this effort Project Electron, and we even have a cool mascot (Captain Electron, discovered by our internet expert Patrick Galligan): Continue reading

A healthy relationship with technology

In our mission statement, the D-Team talks about “providing technical leadership and expertise,” which is accurate but not really the most conversational way of talking about what it is that we do. Lately I’ve been saying the D-Team’s role here at the RAC is “helping our staff and researchers have a healthy relationship with technology.” I thought it was time to dig into what that means a little. In thinking about this, I’ve realized this conceptualization of our work is has been strongly informed by some recent reading as well as conversations I’ve had with colleagues. Continue reading

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!

D-Team Introduction

Bonnie Gordon

Bonnie Gordon joined the RAC’s D-Team this month and will primarily be working with born digital materials and digital preservation workflows. This includes creating disk images, viewing and interpreting them using the Forensic Toolkit, and assisting in creating description and access to digital archival materials.


This past May she graduated with a Master’s in Archives and Public History, with a concentration in Archives, from New York University. While in the program, she worked at the Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives in the NYU Library. There, she split her time between processing and reference. Additionally, she worked with NYU’s Digital Archivist on disk imaging and digital forensics for Tamiment’s born digital collections. She is interested in digital preservation, personal digital archiving, and access to archives.


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, 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

D-Team Introduction

Patrick Galligan Intro Photo

Patrick Galligan joined the RAC’s D-Team a little over a month ago, and is working on various projects related to the digitization of all medium types at the RAC, including metadata capture, quality control, and optimizing workflows. Patrick is standardizing the way the RAC performs its digitization projects, so that future projects will be quicker and easier. In the future, he will work on capturing websites with the Internet Archive’s tool, Archive-It. He will also be assisting with the RAC’s transition from ATReference to ArchivesSpace.