Session 2: Iteration and Scalability

October 12, 2021

10:30am – 11:30am Pacific / 1:30pm – 2:30pm Eastern

To Disk Image, Or Not to Disk Image?: Identifying Potential Factors for Disk Imaging in Digital Archival Workflows

Elise Tanner, UA Little Rock Center for Arkansas History and Culture; Dianne Dietrich, Cornell University Library; Lara Friedman-Shedlov, University of Minnesota; Alex Nelson, US National Institute of Standards and Technology

Disk imaging was positioned as a best practice for born-digital materials contained on storage devices since the advent of digital archives programs in the 2000s/2010s. Recently, however, the practice of disk imaging as a default archival processing action has been called into question amidst practitioners’ concerns that include its appropriateness for specific storage media, ethical issues, and environmental sustainability concerns, among others. But there has been little formal guidance on when–and when not–to create disk images.

This 60-minute session will introduce recent work undertaken by an ad hoc inter-institutional group of practitioners that formed in 2019 to assess the many factors archivists must consider when deciding whether and how to implement disk imaging in their workflows. This group, known as DANNNG (the Digital Archival traNsfer or iNgest or packagiNg Group;, created a community-driven resource, to be published in 2021, that explores the role of capturing content from source media in digital archives workflows. Designed to help practitioners determine an appropriate course of action for materials they steward, this resource details the range of factors and considerations for creating and maintaining disk images, and also includes a technical glossary designed to demystify related technical concepts and establish a shared understanding of terms. DANNNG members will spend 30 minutes explaining how we envision practitioners using it in a practical context followed by 30 minutes for Q&A. In addition to taking attendee questions, the Q&A will include interactive live polling to facilitate a two-way dialogue.

You Do What With What?: Leveraging Available Resources to Build a Good-Enough Digital Infrastructure

Sheridan Sayles, Seton Hall University; Satya Miller, University of Ottawa; Brad San Martin, Apollo Theater

If anything can be said about the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s that it exacerbated trends that were already present. Previously underfunded institutions found their budgets slashed, had employees furloughed or laid off, and yet in spite of these odds still had the same mandate to preserve historic media. And even on these shoestring budgets, institutions have made substantial progress in digital curation, often by striving to maintain “good enough” practices and finding creative solutions to social and technological problems. In this panel, representatives from a variety of institutions will discuss their digital infrastructure, specifically: what systems they use, how it was built, what the main workflows are like, and how they are able to communicate the use and value of these systems to administration. From this discussion, attendees will learn how other institutions leverage time and personnel to manage digital assets, how to communicate needs, and the successes and challenges within these constraints.

BitCurator Users Forum. October 12-14, 2021. Virtual Conference. bitly/BUF2021. #BUF21. Image of USB cord