How BitCurator is Helping to Save a Decade of Lost Photographs

Jessica Deibert | BitCurator Consortium

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.

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Cite this resource:
Jessica Deibert. (October 24, 2019). How BitCurator is Helping to Save a Decade of Lost Photographs. BitCurator Consortium.