Thursday, October 24

8:30am EDT

Registration and Breakfast
Thursday October 24, 2019 8:30am - 9:00am EDT
Sterling Memorial Library Lecture Hall

9:00am EDT

Welcome and Opening Remarks
Thursday October 24, 2019 9:00am - 9:15am EDT
Sterling Memorial Library Lecture Hall

9:15am EDT

Workshop: Building a Community of Digital Curation Educators
This workshop will be a series of facilitated participatory discussions and activities that will identify answers and then develop community goals that address 3 questions:

  • What are the key current problem areas for the field of digital curation? The facilitator will bring some to discuss and we can add to the list together.
  • What are the top challenges to addressing these problem areas?
  • What are some specific ways that the digital curation community could address these challenges together?

The workshop will begin with a discussion of “who is an educator?” We’ll then discuss 3 problem areas (scaling up institutional capacity, research & development needs, and resources/collective advocacy) and participants will have the opportunity to suggest additional areas of focus.

Next, we will break out into groups that dig into each problem area and come up with deliverables that various types of educators could develop to address the challenges that we face when trying to fix the systemic problems in our field. See the full breakout activity here.

The data produced from this workshop will be used to inform both the BitCurator Consortium’s future work and focus and the BitCuratorEdu project’s 2021 deliverables. 


Alex Chassanoff

Assistant Professor, NCCU
archives, digital preservation, cybernetics
avatar for Jess Farrell

Jess Farrell

Community Facilitator, Educopia Institute
Jess Farrell is a Community Facilitator for Educopia Institute, where she coordinates the Software Preservation Network and the BitCurator Consortium and is co-PI for the BitCuratorEdu project. Her roles in past positions include project manager, digital curator, corporate archivist, processing archivist, and digitization assistant. Jess received her MLIS from the University of South Carolina in 2011. She ma... Read More →

Thursday October 24, 2019 9:15am - 10:45am EDT
Sterling Memorial Library Lecture Hall

9:15am EDT

Workshop: Introduction to Digital Forensics
The first day of the BitCurator Users Forum will feature an introduction to digital forensics workshop aimed at practitioners who are just getting started working with digital forensics tools and methods. This workshop will include an overview of digital forensics concepts, and will mostly focus on hands-on exercises and activities.

Dianne Dietrich, Cornell University
Marty Gengenbach, Gates Archive

Amy Berish, Rockefeller Archive Center

avatar for Amy Berish

Amy Berish

Archivist, Rockefeller Archive Center

Marty Gengenbach

Gates Archive

Dianne Dietrich

Cornell University

Thursday October 24, 2019 9:15am - 2:30pm EDT
Bass Library Room L01

9:15am EDT

Workshop: Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Machine Learning for Digital Curation
This workshop will be an interactive session about use of open-source natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML) tools to process and provide access to born-digital materials. It will focus on applying topic modeling and named entity recognition to characterize and explore contents of removable storage media (e.g. floppy disks, optical media) – functionality developed through the BitCurator Access and BitCurator NLP projects.  We will also explore open-source software (OSS) tools and methods for libraries, archives and museums (LAMs) to identify email in born-digital collections, review email sources for sensitive or restricted materials, and perform appraisal and triage tasks to identify and annotate records - specifically on products of the Review, Appraisal and Triage of Mail (RATOM) project’s use of machine learning to separate records from non-records, along with natural language processing methods to identify entities of interest within those records. In addition to gaining hands-on experience using the tools, participants will also learn about the rationale for their development, how they relate to other available software, and how NLP and ML can fit into larger digital curation workflows. We will conclude with a brief discussion of implications for participants in their own institutions.


Sangeeta Desai

Systems Integration Librarian, State Archives of North Carolina
avatar for Kam Woods

Kam Woods

Research Scientist, University of North Carolina
Research Scientist @ UNC SILS. RATOM Technical Lead. @kamwoods. he/him/his
avatar for Cal Lee

Cal Lee

Professor, University of North Carolina
Christopher (Cal) Lee is Professor at the School of Information and Library Science at UNC, Chapel Hill. He teaches courses and workshops in archives and records management. He is a Fellow of SAA, and he serves as editor of American Archivist.

Thursday October 24, 2019 9:15am - 2:30pm EDT
Arts Library Classroom, Room 119

10:45am EDT

Thursday October 24, 2019 10:45am - 11:00am EDT
All Locations

11:00am EDT

Workshop Advocating for Appraisal
Although appraisal is a well established archival concept, the appraisal of born-digital collections is often a daunting task. The sheer scale and heterogeneity of born-digital files presents a unique challenge for an archivist approaching the task of appraisal. Although natural language processing and machine learning are touted as a solution - these require a level of resources and expertise that is often not available to the under-resourced archive. Even the question of when to appraise is complicated by digital materials on legacy media, since they must be accessioned before the files on the media can be viewed. There are also costs for not appraising born-digital materials - including the monetary and environmental cost of storage space. Without appraisal we also risk losing material due to an inability to responsibly steward digital files at scale.  

Appraisal of born-digital records comes with its own set of challenging questions: is it done pre- or post-accession? Is there enough staff time and funding? How does a repository choose the right set of tools? This interactive session will address the issues surrounding appraisal of born digital records by first presenting the challenges that are unique to born-digital collections. Participants will then brainstorm advocacy strategies through three different work environment scenarios.


Jessica Quagliaroli

NULL, Yale University

Alice Prael

Digital Archivist for Yale Special Collections, Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Thursday October 24, 2019 11:00am - 12:00pm EDT
Sterling Memorial Library Lecture Hall

12:00pm EDT

Return to Sterling Memorial Library Lecture Hall for box lunch and drinks!

Thursday October 24, 2019 12:00pm - 1:00pm EDT
Sterling Memorial Library Lecture Hall

1:00pm EDT

Workshop: Enacting Environmentally Sustainable Digital Preservation
The cultural heritage community has engaged with environmental sustainability in many areas, but is only beginning to explore the sustainability concerns of digital preservation activities. Building off of a recent American Archivist article (“Toward Environmentally Sustainable Digital Preservation”: https://doi.org/10.17723/0360-9081-82.1.165 or http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:40741399), in which the authors argue that truly sustainable practice will come only from critical examination of the underlying motivations and assumptions of current digital preservation practices, the workshop facilitators will introduce the sustainability framework proposed by the authors and then break into small, participant-driven groups for attendees to evaluate their organization’s digital preservation policies and practices. 

After the introduction, participants will split into discussion groups, each of which will focus on one of the three major areas from the article: appraisal, permanence, or availability. Using the paradigm shift framework presented in the article, participants will explore options for creating environmentally sustainable digital preservation while continuing to meet our organizational missions. Following the discussion, participants will identify areas in which they can implement environmental sustainability principles at their organizations (including how to integrate these principles into policies and procedures), identify areas for further research, and work together to create action plans and strategies for continued advocacy.

avatar for Tim Walsh

Tim Walsh

Digital Preservation Librarian, Concordia University Library
Tim Walsh is a digital preservationist and software developer based in Montreal. He works as the Digital Preservation Librarian at Concordia University Library. Prior to joining Concordia, Tim established a digital archives and digital preservation program at the Canadian Centre for... Read More →
avatar for Laura Alagna

Laura Alagna

Digital Preservation Librarian, Northwestern University
Laura Alagna is the digital preservation librarian at Northwestern University Libraries, where she develops and implements policies and workflows for preserving born-digital and digitized content. Her research interests include repository interoperability, sustainability in digital... Read More →
avatar for Keith Pendergrass

Keith Pendergrass

Digital Archivist, Harvard Business School
Keith Pendergrass is the digital archivist for Baker Library Special Collections at Harvard Business School, where he develops and oversees born-digital content workflows. He is also the Library's representative on the HBS Green Team, a School-wide staff group coordinating grassroots... Read More →

Thursday October 24, 2019 1:00pm - 2:30pm EDT
Sterling Memorial Library Lecture Hall

2:30pm EDT

Coffee Break
Energize with some coffee or tea in prep for the afternoon Lightning Talks!

Thursday October 24, 2019 2:30pm - 3:00pm EDT
Sterling Memorial Library Lecture Hall

3:00pm EDT

Lightning Talks
Bringing BC Tools and Strategies to Windows
Indiana University started using the BitCurator Environment in 2015 and by 2017 staff had deployed two dedicated workstations in our Born Digital Preservation Lab. The benefits of this approach are no doubt obvious to members of the BitCurator community: in addition to a pre-installed suite of digital forensics and data analysis tools, the Linux-based operating system allowed staff to recognize and extract content from multiple file systems. At the same time, our local desktop support services were limited to Windows and so digital preservation staff were responsible for addressing hardware and software issues. As a result, when the workstations were scheduled for replacement in 2018, we elected to replace them with Windows machines and implement many of the tools found in the BitCurator Environment. In this presentation, I would like to share our approach to implementing a BitCurator-like environment on Windows and how we were able to adapt resources--in particular, Tim Walsh’s Brunnhilde and Disk Image Processor--to automate significant portions of our content migration and analysis workflows (and at the same time capture associated preservation metadata). While more work is needed to refine our procedures, our progress thus far highlights the value of a shared community of practice in the advancement of local digital preservation goals.
Mike Shallcross, Indiana University Libraries 

A Pinch of Salt: Creating Customized BitCurator builds
Have you ever wanted to customize the BitCurator environment? Thanks to decisions made by the BitCurator developers, modifications can be made quickly and easily using the open source configuration management software Salt. The talk will give an overview of how to make modifications to the BitCurator environment to create repeatable customized installations. Two case studies will be explored: the first, adding a customized configuration file to modify the labels used by the Guymager software. The second, a work-in-progress project to create automated builds of the desktop environment in widely available cloud computing platforms.
David Cirella, Yale University

Understanding performance of digital forensics tools with NMon
One of the challenges of working with digital forensics tools, especially at the command line, is understanding how they are performing. Typically lacking user friendly status indicators and clear error messages, we often find ourselves wondering if these tools are working optimally or at all. Reporting on the work of Stanford Born Digital Forensic’s Lab Assistant, Sandy Ortiz, we will discuss how to gain insight into the performance of digital forensics tools including Bulk Extractor and Brunnhilde using NMon, a computer performance monitoring system for Linux. Using NMon, Sandy has discovered some useful strategies for interpreting the performance of these command line tools, providing the basis for testing the configurations of these tools in order to improve their performance and shorten processing times.
Sally DeBauche, Stanford University Libraries

How BitCurator is Helping to Save a Decade of Lost Photographs
In 2016, the Goddard Archives became custodians of approximately 7,000 optical disks that span a decade of Goddard Space Flight Center history, with more than one third of these CDs containing proprietary format image files. These proprietary CDs cover nine years and are high-risk, as the original photographic materials they were born from, including the negatives and original prints, were lost in a flood. The creating office transferred this material to us with very little metadata and no documentation on the contents or creation of the optical disks. With no background in digital forensics and no budget, the Goddard Archives relied on open resources from the community and technical support from the Goddard Library’s digital team. After starting a pilot project in fall 2018, we were able to recover 30% of the high-risk CDs and begin the project that will recover the remaining 6,000+. For this project, the Archives created image copies of each CD using Guymager and ran reports to determine content and duplicate sectors. From this data, we created visualizations to synthesize our findings and refine our workflow. In this talk, I’ll walk through our project workflow, findings, and lessons learned. This documentation will be used to inform and create best practices and policy within our program. I’ll also highlight key decision points and how the visualizations aided us in making these decisions. Finally, I will give an update on our current standing within the final project.
Jessica Deibert, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Archives

Review, Appraisal and Triage of Mail (RATOM)
Review, Appraisal and Triage of Mail (RATOM), funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is a joint project of the School of Information and Library Science (SILS) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the State Archives of North Carolina. RATOM is extending the email processing capabilities currently present in the TOMES software and BitCurator environment, developing additional modules for these tools along with select standalone software to support more advanced workflows. These will include identifying and reporting on entities present within emails and email attachments; identifying materials requiring redaction or review due to the presence of potentially sensitive information; and developing software modules to assist with preparation of materials for release or public access. The project will rely on existing (mature) software libraries to provide core support for identifying and extracting the contents of email-containing formats, NLP tasks, and machine learning approaches.
Cal Lee, University of North Carolina
Sangeeta Desai, State Archives of North Carolina

Adding “Why” Questions to the BitCurator QuickStart Guide to Build a Comprehensive Graduate Archival Teaching/Learning Module
The BitCurator QuickStart Guide (https://github.com/BitCurator/bitcurator-distro/wiki/Releases#quickstart-guide), designed as a software installation and application manual, provides step-by-step instructions for practitioners to download and run the software tools. As part of the BitCuratorEDU research project, students from the Catholic University’s Library and Information Science Program used the QuickStart Guide to install BitCurator and run several forensic tools in spring 2019. In guiding her students to complete the work and class panel discussion, the instructor came to realize that there are many “why” questions remaining unanswered even though students have successfully installed and run the tools. The proposed lightning talk will discuss some of those “why” questions that can be used in association with the Guide to support graduate-level teaching/learning for archival students.
Jane Zhang, Catholic University


Sangeeta Desai

Systems Integration Librarian, State Archives of North Carolina
avatar for Cal Lee

Cal Lee

Professor, University of North Carolina
Christopher (Cal) Lee is Professor at the School of Information and Library Science at UNC, Chapel Hill. He teaches courses and workshops in archives and records management. He is a Fellow of SAA, and he serves as editor of American Archivist.

Jane Zhang

Assistant Professor, Catholic University of America
Jane Zhang is an assistant professor at the Department of Library and Information Science, the Catholic University of America. She holds a PhD in Library and Information Studies with archival concentration from Simmons College, Boston, and a joint Master of Archival Studies and Library... Read More →

Sally DeBauche

Digital Archivist, Stanford University
avatar for Mike Shallcross

Mike Shallcross

Digital Preservation Librarian, Indiana University Libraries

David Cirella

Digital Preservation Librarian, Yale University Library

Jessica Deibert

Archivist, NASA

Thursday October 24, 2019 3:00pm - 4:00pm EDT
Sterling Memorial Library Lecture Hall

4:00pm EDT

Join us for some delicious pizza and drinks at BAR (yes that is the name of the spot!)!

Thursday October 24, 2019 4:00pm - 6:00pm EDT
BAR New Haven 254 Crown St, New Haven, CT 06511
Friday, October 25

10:00am EDT

Registration and Breakfast
Friday October 25, 2019 10:00am - 10:30am EDT
Yale Center for British Art 1080 Chapel St, New Haven, CT 06510

10:30am EDT

Panel: Access
Levels and Practices of Born-Digital Access: Reports from the DLF Born-Digital Access Group
Providing access to born-digital archival content presents a number of practical challenges, ranging from institution-specific workflows, to access and use policies, to a lack of clarity around researchers’ needs and desires. Compounding these challenges is a lack of community best practices or recommendations, all of which leads to a fractured landscape with respect to born-digital access in special collections libraries. Growing out of in- and semi-formal discussions of practitioners, the DLF Born-Digital Access Group has convened since late 2017 to develop two projects. The first project, which took inspiration from NDSA's Levels of Digital Preservation, is the creation of a set of tiered guidelines that provide benchmarks for levels of access to born-digital material. The second project is the design of a survey for users of born-digital archives to determine what works for them, what does not, and what an ideal access environment might look like. During this presentation, team members from the Levels of Access project will discuss the product of their work, share a one-page summary, and share a report detailing actions that organizations can take. Team members involved in the creation of the access practices survey will present on their work to gather information from users of born-digital archives, including instrument design, methodology and preliminary findings from the survey. Both groups will discuss planned future activities, including public release strategies for the products and feedback and sustainability mechanisms. The presentation will conclude with a discussion with the audience about their institutions' born-digital access practices.
Brian Dietz, NCSU Libraries
Kelly Bolding, Princeton University Library
Shira Peltzman, UCLA Library
Alison Clemens, Yale University
Matthew Farrell, Duke University

Implementing Accessibility for Born-Digital Archival Materials
In 2019, UCLA Library Special Collections embarked on a graduate student-led project to improve our access strategy for born-digital collections with a particular focus on increasing the likelihood that people with disabilities will be able to use this material for research. This presentation will share the results of our efforts to provide more inclusive access to our collections.
Cheryl Cordingley, UCLA
Shira Peltzman, UCLA Library

Establishing a Virtual Reading Room Service: Collaboration, Challenges, and Possibilities
Virtual Reading Rooms (VRRs) hold a promise to provide remote yet mediated access to born-digital and digitized collections, making collections more accessible to researchers who lack funding for long research trips, and reducing the environmental impact of air travel. However, this promise is constrained by practical and philosophical challenges. How to provide access to born-digital collections that may be large in scale, or in diverse formats? What about collections with copyright or privacy issues? How can you manage expectations, and keep technical, policy, and ethical considerations in mind, while still providing access to born-digital and digitized materials?
Heather Smedberg, UC San Diego
Tori Maches, UC San Diego

avatar for Alison Clemens

Alison Clemens

Assistant Head of Arrangement and Description, Manuscripts & Archives, Yale University
Alison Clemens is Assistant Head of Arrangement and Description at Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University, where she oversees arrangement and description of archival material; teaches instruction sessions on accessing and interpreting collection material; and provides patron support.She... Read More →
avatar for Shira Peltzman

Shira Peltzman

Digital Archivist, UCLA Library
Shira is the Digital Archivist for UCLA Library Special Collections where she leads the development of a preservation program for born-digital archival material.
avatar for Brian Dietz

Brian Dietz

NC State University
avatar for Kelly Bolding

Kelly Bolding

Project Archivist, Princeton University Library
Kelly Bolding is the Project Archivist for Americana Manuscript Collections at Princeton University Library, where she works with 18th and 19th century American history collections, as well as on developing workflows for processing born-digital and audiovisual materials. She is a... Read More →
avatar for Matthew Farrell

Matthew Farrell

Duke University

Heather Smedberg

Reference & Instruction Coordinator, Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego Library
Heather Smedberg is the Reference & Instruction Coordinator, Special Collections & Archives at the UC San Diego Library. She holds a BS in history and secondary education from Butler University and an MLS from Indiana University. Her current interests include primary source pedagogy... Read More →
avatar for Cheryl Cordingley

Cheryl Cordingley

Digital Archivist, Core Management Co.

Tori Maches

Digital Archivist, UC San Diego

Friday October 25, 2019 10:30am - 11:30am EDT
Yale Center for British Art 1080 Chapel St, New Haven, CT 06510

11:30am EDT

Panel: Workflows and Collaboration
Gaining control of our legacy media backlog: appraisal of previously unmanaged born-digital material
In this talk I will provide a case study of a project undertaken at Seton Hall University to address the backlog of legacy media containing the working and office files of the Archives & Special Collections department. The primary goal of the project was to identify and preserve information about accessions and processing of the university’s archival collections, and to dispose of information with no enduring value securely and with confidence that no important information was being lost. This process involved systematic disk imaging, appraisal, preservation, and in some cases documented destruction of born-digital material. As a result, we gained better control of our digital materials, identified content for long-term preservation, removed unnecessary material, and created procedures which can be applied to the records of other University departments and collections moving forward.
Brianna LoSardo, Seton Hall University

How Much is Enough? Determining Levels of Digital Forensics
For the past decade or so, cultural heritage institutions have increasingly adopted digital forensics practices into their workflows. Various publications, case studies, and reports have corroborated the place and value of digital forensics in the archival field as it supports the validation and preservation of born-digital files as authentic artifacts. Simultaneously, a growing trend in favor of MPLP processing techniques promotes processing collection material as efficiently as possible to promote access to materials. Yet with seemingly endless digital forensics programs and practices to choose from, the application of various digital forensics processes can slow down processing. Once an institution has committed itself to the adoption of digital forensics in their workflows, how much digital forensics is enough and how much is too much? This presentation will propose a tiered framework for determining which digital forensics applications to apply in different scenarios, helping to categorize and document when it is appropriate to conduct minimal digital forensics versus more thorough examinations. Drawing on trial and error testing, it will include examples of how too little and too much digital forensics impacts different scenarios. Arguing that standardizing digital forensics analyses across all collections slows down processing efforts, this presentation hopes to spark a conversation with digital forensics practitioners about best practices of using digital forensics programs in our workflows. Ultimately, the presenter seeks to begin answering the question: how do we ensure the integrity of our digital objects using digital forensics while simultaneously meeting the demands of the MPLP philosophy?
Kelsey O'Connell, Northwestern University 

How to Frost a Cake: Sweetening the Task of Digital Preservation through Layers of Collaboration
A program of digital preservation must be both a wide and deep-reaching service that enables collaboration between layers of stakeholders, each with domain-specific knowledge and areas of specialization. While the primary issues addressed by digital preservation, suggest purely technical solutions, cross-departmental and intra-institutional collaboration between stakeholders is a first class requirement. Towards these ends, the Digital Preservation Unit provides user support and management of our digital preservation system, working in direct collaboration with, and often, as a layer between our various users and partners from across the University. Stakeholders in the system include those responsible for collections, including Archivists, Librarians, and Curators from the institution’s Libraries, Museums, and Galleries, and those who provide support including our primary systems administrators and developers in Library IT, infrastructure engineers in Central IT, and the vendors of our preservation system software and other services including cloud storage and communications infrastructure. Providing a robust, effective, and widely used digital preservation system requires support for all stakeholders in a manner that abstracts the overall complexity and lowers barriers to fulfilling each repository’s use cases. The session will explore the Yale Digital Preservation service through the experiences of users from the Libraries, Museums, and systems administrators, while exploring the practices and tools used to support each area’s needs. The purpose of this panel is to illuminate and discuss the implementation of collaborative practices that promote Yale repositories’ shared goal of preserving culturally significant digital collections.
David Cirella, Cate Peebles, Alice Prael, Bob Rice, Kevin Glick, Yale University Libraries

avatar for Kevin Glick

Kevin Glick

Head of Digitization and Digital Preservation, Yale University Library-Manuscripts & Archives
avatar for Cate Peebles

Cate Peebles

Museum Archivist, Yale University
Cate Peebles is a museum archivist at the Yale Center for British Art. She is a member of Yale University Library's Reparative Archival Description Task Force.

Bob Rice

Technical Lead - Library IT DevOps and Infrastructure, Yale University

Brianna Losardo

Seton Hall University

David Cirella

Digital Preservation Librarian, Yale University Library

Kelsey O'Connell

Digital Archivist, Northwestern University
Kelsey O'Connell is the Digital Archivist at Northwestern University where she leads the appraisal, accessioning, processing, and access of born-digital archival collections for the McCormick Library of Special Collections and University Archives.

Alice Prael

Digital Archivist for Yale Special Collections, Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Friday October 25, 2019 11:30am - 12:30pm EDT
Yale Center for British Art 1080 Chapel St, New Haven, CT 06510

12:30pm EDT

Lunch on your own
Friday October 25, 2019 12:30pm - 1:30pm EDT
Yale Center for British Art 1080 Chapel St, New Haven, CT 06510

1:30pm EDT

There Are No Dumb Questions
Open session where people can ask questions to the entire audience. Anything goes! These could be questions related to workflows, policies, things you are struggling with, something you'd like some advice or guidance about. 

Friday October 25, 2019 1:30pm - 2:30pm EDT
Yale Center for British Art 1080 Chapel St, New Haven, CT 06510

2:30pm EDT

Coffee Break
Friday October 25, 2019 2:30pm - 3:00pm EDT
Yale Center for British Art 1080 Chapel St, New Haven, CT 06510

3:00pm EDT

Panel: Media
The Emperor's New Grooves: Recognizing Multisession CD-ROM tracks not captured in disk images
This talk will focus on two related optical media format types that cropped up in the mid-1990s through the 2000s: Enhanced Music and MultiSession CDs. The Enhanced Music CD format (or CD-Extra, or CD-Plus) was found in multimedia releases of popular music albums and other multimedia content, while MultiSession CDs can be commonly found when sorting through personal collections, as so many of us once backed up our files on optical media. (Full disclosure: the authors admit that they have done this, too.) Each format poses challenges during the imaging and analysis process. Following a technical overview of both formats, we will discuss how to identify this type of material, including the types of results that are typically found when such discs are imaged using techniques designed for data CD-ROMs. This talk builds on work on Blue Book CDs reported by the OpenPreservation Foundation in 2017 on modifying existing image files to allow for navigation of the file system, and we aim to offer further analysis on strategies that allow resulting disk images to more fully integrate within automated processing workflows. We'll go over tools suitable for imaging and analysis for when the original source media is still available, and techniques for post-imaging analysis when the source media is no longer available.
Dianne Dietrich, Cornell University
Alex Nelson, NIST

Disk Imaging and Digital Forensics in  Media Art Conservation
Over the past several years, the prevalence of computer and software-based art in contemporary museum collections has prompted serious discussion and research, through various forums, symposia, and peer networks, to address the unique challenges in caring for these types of artworks. Within this context, media conservators have sought tools and techniques to deal with the urgent need to backup data from aging computers, hard drives, floppy disks, and optical discs in museum collections. One practice that is emerging amongst conservators, drawing from digital forensics and widely adopted by libraries and archives, is disk imaging. This panel will share the findings of a year-long cross-institutional collaborative examination of disk imaging between the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The Museum of Modern Art and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. The panelists will address key issues including: 1. The development of practices and guidelines for condition-checking, quality control, and troubleshooting of disk images after their creation, and; 2. the difficulties of using a disk image to run a software-based artwork independent of the original hardware while ensuring a faithful representation of its core work-defining properties. Recognizing that the creation of a disk image is just one step at the beginning of an artwork’s preservation life-cycle, the panelists will engage in a frank and open discussion about their successes and failures with creating and managing disk images. This panel hopes to generate a dialogue which will continue to develop as conservators adopt and experiment with these methods.
Jonathan Farbowitz, Guggenheim Museum
Eddy Colloton, Hirshhorn
Flaminia Fortunato, Museum of Modern Art
Caroline Gil, Museum of Modern Art



Dianne Dietrich

Cornell University

Alex Nelson

Computer Scientist, National Institute of Standards and Technology
avatar for Jonathan Farbowitz

Jonathan Farbowitz

Fellow in the Conservation of Computer-based Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Jonathan Farbowitz, Fellow in the Conservation of Computer-based Art, assists the Guggenheim’s Conservation department in addressing the preservation needs of computer-based works in the Guggenheim’s collection. He also supports the development of best practices for collecting... Read More →
avatar for Flaminia Fortunato

Flaminia Fortunato

Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in Media Conservation, Museum of Modern Art in New York
Flaminia Fortunato is currently a Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in Media Conservation at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. As part of the Media Conservation team at the museum she is involved in day to day acquisition, documentation, installation and conservation of the media collection... Read More →
avatar for Eddy Colloton

Eddy Colloton

Project Conservator of Time Based Media, Hirshhorn
Eddy Colloton is currently a Time Based Media Preservation Specialist for the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, where he works closely with the conservation department on the museum’s diverse array of media artworks. In May of 2016, he received his MA degree from the Moving... Read More →
avatar for Caroline Gil

Caroline Gil

Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in Media Conservation, Museum of Modern Art
Caroline Gil is a Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in Media Conservation at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. At MoMA, she collaboratively works with the media conservation team in the acquisition, exhibition, preventive conservation, and research of the collection’s audio, film, video... Read More →

Friday October 25, 2019 3:00pm - 4:00pm EDT
Yale Center for British Art 1080 Chapel St, New Haven, CT 06510
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