Case Studies

Digital forensics tools have been essential in the acquisition of important digital collections. The following is a selection of how cultural heritage organizations have processed collections of twentieth-century authors, scientists, and other creators that relied on computers for their most important works.

Hanif Kureishi

(Reprinted with permission from the British Library.)

The works of screenwriter and novelist Hanif Kureishi infamously deal with the intersecting topics of race, class, religion, and music in the UK, including chronicling the rise of radical Islam in British youth.

The British Library’s acquisition of Kureishi’s archives in 2014 marked an important opportunity to use digital forensics for appraisal and textual analysis. From fuzzy hashing and capture to metadata extraction and analysis, tools from the BitCurator environment aided the Library in its work.

Rabbit's Bits Run


(Reprinted with permission from author Matt Kirschenbaum of the BitCurator Project)

"On a drizzly Cambridge morning last May, Porter Olsen and I from the BitCurator team found ourselves in a basement room with personnel from Harvard’s Houghton Library, including digital archivist Melanie Wisner and Leslie Morris, one of the manuscripts curators. The star of the show, though, was Mr. John Updike, whose born-digital remains arrived unceremoniously in a big brown box.