Curating Potentially Sensitive Information in Digital Collections

Christopher (Cal) Lee, Kam Woods, Simson Garfinkel | BitCuratorEdu Project


In this lesson, students learn why and how to identify personally identifiable information (PII) and other sensitive information within digital collections, as well as methods for redacting the information. The unit includes two hands-on exercises: 1) identifying potentially sensitive information within a disk image and 2) redacting information that meets specified criteria within a PDF file.

The learning module is available for free download at the Google Drive link below.

Learning object type

Lesson plan/materials

Learning objectives

Upon completion of this module, students should be able to:

  • Convey several different rights to control information
  • Identify various types of personally identifying information and other potentially sensitive information
  • Express major challenges and strategies for locating PII and other potentially sensitive information
  • Generate reports of potentially sensitive information using Bulk Extractor
  • Redact designated patterns in a PDF file using the BitCurator PDF Redaction Tool

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About this resource

This resource was released by the BitCuratorEdu project and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Most resources from the BitCuratorEdu project are intentionally left with basic formatting and without project branding. We encourage educators, practitioners, and students to adapt these materials as much as needed and share them widely.

The BitCuratorEdu project was an effort (2018-2022) funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to study and advance the adoption of digital forensics tools and methods in libraries and archives through professional education efforts. This project was a partnership between Educopia Institute and the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, along with the Council of State Archivists (CoSA) and several Masters-level programs in library and information science.

Google Drive Folder
Cite this resource:
Christopher (Cal) Lee, Kam Woods, Simson Garfinkel. (May 4, 2022). Curating Potentially Sensitive Information in Digital Collections. BitCuratorEdu Project.