About the Forum

The BitCurator Forum brings together representatives of all levels of experience from libraries, archives, museums, and related professions engaged in (or considering) digital archives work.

The Forum will balance discussion of theory and practice of digital forensics, curation, and related digital analysis workflows. There will also be hands-on activities with the BitCurator environment, and other useful tools.

You do not need to be a BitCurator Consortium member or BitCurator user to submit a proposal and/or attend the event.

#BitCuratorForum #HybridExperiment


Latest News

Mark off March 28-30 for the 2023 BitCurator Forum! This year will feature virtual panels, workshops, lightning talks, “Great Questions!,” Birds of a Feather sessions, and sponsor office hours.  We will also be experimenting with regional hybrid programming.

The Call for Proposals is open now!

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Call for Proposals: 2023 BitCurator Forum – Deadline Extended

The BitCurator Consortium (BCC) invites proposals for the 2023 BitCurator Forum to be held virtually March 28-30, 2023. See more information on the Call for Proposals page. Submission Deadline: October 22, 2022

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Save the Date: 2023 BitCurator Forum

Mark off March 28-30, 2023 for the 2023 BitCurator Forum! This year will feature virtual panels, workshops, lightning talks, “Great Questions!,” Birds of a Feather sessions, and sponsor office hours.  We will also be experimenting with regional hybrid programming. Expect to see the Call For … Read more →


Code of Conduct

The BCC is committed to fostering an open, inclusive, and safe environment.

View BCC Code of Conduct


Forum Committee

  • Lourdes Johnson, University of Miami, Leadership Team
  • Katherine Martinez, The New School, Leadership Team
  • Alice Prael, Yale University Libraries, Leadership Team
  • Emily Sommers, University of Toronto Libraries, Leadership Team
  • Elvia Arroyo-Ramirez, University of California Irvine Libraries
  • David Cirella, Yale University Libraries
  • Brian Dietz, NC State University Libraries
  • Elizabeth Dunham, Arizona State University
  • Jessica Farrell, Educopia Institute
  • Lara Friedman-Shedlov, University of Minnesota Libraries
  • Caitlin Perry, Educopia Institute
  • Kelly Phillips, Northern Arizona University
  • Lori Podolsky, McGill University
  • Kari Smith, Global Archivist LLC

Get in Touch

If you have questions or feedback about the BitCurator Forum, please contact Jess Farrell.


Call for Proposals

Please note that the 2023 Forum will be virtual. We encourage in-person satellite events to be organized in conjunction with the virtual forum, see below for more information. We will be adding information to the Event page as it becomes available. We hope to see you there!

The BitCurator Consortium (BCC) invites proposals for the 2023 BitCurator Forum to be held virtually March 28-30, 2023. An international, community-led organization with 36 member institutions, the BCC promotes and supports the application of digital archives tools and practices in libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural heritage organizations.

In previous years, the BitCurator Forum has focused on sharing strategies, approaches, and best practices for using digital archives tools and methods within processing workflows in archives, libraries, and museums. While we still encourage proposals in these topic areas, we also invite community members to explore themes that focus on areas such as starting from scratch, iteration and scalability, sustainability, implementing “good enough” practices, issues pertaining to access and discovery, and hearing from intersecting perspectives and new voices.

The Forum Committee welcomes participation from organizations and individuals working outside of academic and special collections libraries, members from BIPOC communities, students, and new professionals.

The BitCurator Forum is open to all. You do not need to be a BCC member or BitCurator user to submit a proposal and/or attend the event.


Submission Information

Deadlines

  • Submission Deadline: October 22 October 15
  • Acceptance Notification: Week of November 14
  • Speaker confirmation/changes: November 21
  • Program Posted: November 28

Session Types

Workshops and participant-focused session formats

Sessions facilitated by individuals or groups are welcome. 60 minutes – 2 hours
Please submit a 250-word (maximum) abstract describing the session format and topic(s), as well as learning objectives if applicable.

The Forum Committee particularly encourages participant-focused session formats that incorporate interactivity. This can include any type of non-traditional session format, such as peer-to-peer learning sessions, collaborative working sessions, roundtables, goal-oriented hack-a-thons, etc. These workshops (approximately 2-3) will take place after the sessions at the end of each day of the BitCurator Forum.

Panels & Presentations

Individual or group submissions are welcome. 30 – 60 minutes
Please submit a 250-word (maximum) abstract. If submitting as a solo speaker, individual panelists may be matched by the BCC Program Committee based on the complementarity of subjects or overarching themes.

We encourage presentations to move beyond the case study (see Lightning Talks for this format) and address pressing issues, best practices, opportunities for collaboration, visions, and expanded uses for digital archives in libraries, archives, museums, and beyond. The Program Committee strongly encourages proposals from underrepresented groups, and/or those that feature the perspectives of a variety of roles — including students — organizations, or fields. For group presentations, we strongly discourage proposals from all white male presenters. We particularly welcome alternative panel formats that will facilitate engagement, including group discussions.

Lightning Talks

1 presenter, 5-12 minutes
Please submit an abstract of no more than 250 words.

Lightning talks are a great format for case studies, digital archives “success stories” or “tales of woe,” research updates, and short demos or how-tos.

Other Formats

Other types of formats can be proposed, and we welcome experimental formats that incorporate in-person elements. For more information on in-person events, please see the Bitcurator Satellites section.


Final time length of sessions may be adjusted in the final program. The Forum Committee will communicate any changes about this with speakers as early as possible.


Themes & Values

The BCC Forum Committee recognizes that the field of digital archives is broad and diverse, and accepts proposals that focus on any related topic from any areas of interest. We particularly encourage proposals to consider:

Iteration and scalability 

  • How are you building capacity for acceptance of constant change and uncertainty? What does successful education and cross-training around this subject look like?
  • How are you working to review, iterate, and improve policies and workflows? What types of policies and workflows are you reevaluating? What changes are you implementing and what is informing your decisions?
  • How do you advocate for reevaluation of work that is considered “done”?
  • How has incremental development helped you scale solutions and approaches to digital archival work at your organization?

Sustainability

  • How are recent discussions around the environmental impacts of our technological infrastructure shaping acquisition and appraisal decisions?
  • How do we advocate for more sustainable practices in our work?
  • How do we sustain ongoing development of open source tools and the communities that maintain them?
  • How do we sustain ourselves and our communities

Getting Going with “Good Enough” Practices

  • How are you determining the resources and capacity available for digital archiving at your organization and setting priorities based on the available resources?  How are you using that assessment to advocate for additional resources?
  • How are you developing a digital archiving program from scratch?  How are you determining the immediate and long-term needs of your organization and setting priorities?
  • How have you adapted “best practices” to match the needs and available resources at your institution? What are some examples of best practices or standards that you have chosen not to follow, and why? What obstacles did you encounter?
  • How did you determine baseline standards for your organization? What decision-making processes have you implemented that allow for “good enough” practice while also allowing for further enhancement and growth?
  • How are you working to set realistic expectations — internally and/or externally — about the longevity of our infrastructure, the viability of our practices at scale, and the impermanence/obsolescence inherent to technology? What constitutes acceptable loss?

Access and discovery

  • How are you balancing the goal of efficient aggregate description with the reality of item-level metadata generated during processing?
  • How are your access methods addressing accessibility guidelines and accommodating researchers with disabilities?
  • How do privacy and security, donor relations, institutional risk tolerance, and other ethical issues affect your work with digital archives?

Intersections and new voices

  • How are you incorporating aspects of social justice into your digital archives program and/or workflows?
  • What strides can digital archives practitioners make toward dismantling white supremacy?
  • What role do (or can) students play in processing born-digital materials? Are there certain aspects of this work that may not be appropriate for them to undertake?  How can managers make the student’s role in processing born-digital materials an educational opportunity?
  • How do practitioners make the labor involved in accessioning, processing, and describing born-digital visible to the selectors of the material being processed? Are there examples of collaborations between digital archives practitioners and curators that seek to bridge the divide?
  • How can we improve or modify the BitCurator Consortium to hear from new voices — including students — rethink and expand our practices, and make our work more visible while preserving the intimacy that our small community has cultivated?

How to Submit

Submit proposals using the online form.


How Proposals Will Be Evaluated

The BCC Forum Committee will review all 2023 BitCurator Forum proposals. Criteria used to evaluate proposals includes:

  • Is the proposal relevant to the conference themes or goals?
  • Would a broad audience benefit from this presentation or panel?
  • How original is this proposal?
  • Does this session encourage engagement, interactivity, or unique approaches to virtual presentation formats?
  • Does this proposal address or center BIPOC, student, new professional perspectives and experiences and/or perspectives beyond academic institutions?

The Forum Committee strongly encourages proposals including a diversity of views, including members of BIPOC communities, students, new professionals, and first-time attendees. We welcome proposals from archivists, librarians, digital archives software and systems providers (vendors), scholars, and other individuals working with digital archives or forensics on a regular basis. We particularly welcome submissions from individuals working outside of the United States and/or outside of academic and special collections libraries.


Eligibility & Requirements

Presenters must register for and attend the conference. (Note: we offer a $0 registration rate for presenters.) Presenters must also designate their permission in the submission form related to livestreaming their presentation during the event, making a recording of their presentation available online, and posting their presentation slides online.


BitCurator Consortium

The BitCurator Consortium (BCC) is an independent, community-led membership association that supports born-digital archives in libraries, archives, and museums in order to help ensure the longevity and reliability of the cultural, scientific, and historical record. We strive to address the needs of the BCC community through training, collaboration, research, software development, documentation, integration, and scripts, while also advocating for the expansion of born-digital archives practice worldwide.

For more information on how to get involved, visit the Get Involved page.


Introducing BitCurator Satellites!

This year we encourage community members to host BitCurator Satellites, local in-person events held in conjunction with the online BitCurator Forum. This is an experimental hybrid conference model, intended to complement the online BitCurator Forum by supporting partners and friends so they can host sessions, workshops and talks for a local audience.

BitCurator Satellite events may include:

  • Watch party during BitCurator Forum with local discussions
  • Tour of local collections or processing spaces
  • On-site demonstration of workflows and documentation
  • Workshops, lightning talks, presentations

BitCurator Satellites will be self-organized by the local hosts. The BCC will not provide financial support for Satellites this year. The BCC will support Satellite hosts by providing:

  • Online program schedule with recommended times for in-person events for each North American time zone
  • Template promotional material for Satellite hosts
  • Promote BitCurator Satellites with an online map of all in-person BitCurator Satellites
  • Two support calls, inviting BitCurator Satellite hosts to join the BitCurator Satellite Organizing Team for a Zoom call to answer questions and share ideas

Satellite Hosts will agree to:

  • Abide by the BCC Code of Conduct and include an event monitor
  • Communicate available accessibility accommodations
  • Provide point of contact for how accommodations can be requested
  • Clearly communicate covid-19 guidelines and must be in accordance with local regulations
  • Stay up to date with BCC communications about the BitCurator Forum

We’re excited to host a great online conference and support the community to develop and host local events. Who knows where this conference model could go in the future!


Expressions of Interest

Interested in hosting a satellite event? Fill out this online form.


Sponsorship

Sponsorship of the BitCurator Forum (BCF) offers a valuable opportunity to demonstrate your commitment to a community of digital practitioners within libraries, archives, museums, and beyond, including their many affiliates and partners. Your sponsorship will help to sustain the community that maintains the BitCurator Environment and the many free and open resources and opportunities that the BCC creates and makes available to all. The BCC will use sponsorship funds directly to offset the costs of the 2023 BitCurator Users Forum virtual meeting and future BCC meetups and events. Recent past sponsors have included Data Curation Experts, Myriad, the Northeast Data Conservation Center, and Small Data Industries, for whose support we are grateful.

Your sponsorship at any level will:

  • Subsidize the cost of registration for BCF attendees who do not have institutional professional development funding and can register to attend Forum events free of charge
  • Subsidize the operating expenses associated with hosting and promoting a virtual conference
  • Contribute toward the cost of making the conference more accessible
  • Contribute to the sustainability of the BCC and our community of learners and practitioners

The BCC will acknowledge your support through:

  • Distributing a sponsor-produced digital “swag bag” (promotional flyers, white papers, posters — whatever you’d like to include to all conference attendees)
  • Acknowledging your support by displaying your logo on the BCC and conference websites
  • Publicly recognizing you on the BCC Listserv and “shout-outs” via the BCC Twitter account before and during the Forum
  • Publicly recognizing you at the event during the program introductions
  • Additionally, for the 2023 Forum we will be gauging interest in a panel discussion with sponsor staff around how best to create and maintain relationships between service providers and community members.

This year, we are pleased to offer 5 levels at which you can support the Forum and BCC:

  • Petabyte Level ($2500)
  • Terabyte Level ($1000)
  • Gigabyte Level ($500)
  • Megabyte Level ($250)
  • Kilobyte Level ($100)

Why Sponsor Us?

BCC members are the experts who administrators turn to when they are selecting products or vendors, or when they are embarking on new strategic activities related to born-digital archiving. By becoming a sponsor, your organization will reach a highly influential, international audience of potential new partners and clients.

The eighth annual BitCurator Forum, to be held in March 2023, will bring together archivists, librarians, museum curators, and other information professionals to explore major questions and challenges related to digital archival practice and the development and adoption of open source tools. We expect to host over 350 attendees at next year’s Forum on March 28-20, 2023, virtually and in select in-person locations across the US and Canada.

  • The BCC, host of the BitCurator Forum, has over 30 member organizations representing 47 institutions and over 350 practitioners across the US and Canada.
  • The BCC maintains the BitCurator Environment and the 400-plus member BitCurator Users Google Group, both of which are free and open and stand as a service to the digital archives community.
  • The community is open and committed to making digital archiving skills available to anyone who wishes to come and learn. We emphasize inclusion and our Code of Conduct guides all of our spaces including the Forum.

The last two years, a virtual format led to record registration and attendance rates. In each year, we registered over four times the usual number of Forum registrants, and on each day of the meeting, we had twice the number of usual attendees. We anticipate similar numbers this year. We learned a lot about planning a virtual meeting at this scale when we did it for the first time in 2020: how effective it is at reaching a wider audience, how it is possible to have an engaging fully virtual conference, and how much more labor it takes to put on a virtual event than an in-person one.

To become a sponsor please contact Jess Farrell (jess.farrell@educopia.org). The Forum Committee is cognizant of the impact the pandemic has on institutional or organizational budgets. For anyone interested in becoming a sponsor who cannot commit to any of the sponsorship levels listed, we will be happy to discuss other funding options.

We look forward to working with you this year.


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