BitCurator 1.0 Release!

The BitCurator team is pleased to announce the 1.0 release of the BitCurator environment, now available for download on our release portal or by following the direct links below:

The BitCurator 1.0.0 Virtual Machine – 2.6GB
The BitCurator 1.0.0 Installation ISO – 2.3GB

BitCurator 1.0 is the culmination of three years of work by our team to provide professionals working in collecting institutions with an integrated environment of open source digital forensics tools geared towards their specific needs. The BitCurator team has approached this challenge by developing new software to assist with born-digital media processing, and by curating a collection of mature, reliable third-party software projects and libraries into a single, well documented system.

As with previous releases, 1.0 is distributed as a VirtualBox virtual machine disk image and as a bootable (“Live”) ISO image. The BitCurator virtual machine can be run on any 64-bit operating system capable of running VirtualBox, including Windows 7, Windows 8, Mac OS X 10.7+, and most modern Linux distributions. If you would prefer to create your own virtual machine, the BitCurator ISO image can be used as an installation source. The BitCurator ISO may also be used to install BitCurator on a dedicated host.

BitCurator is unique among the digital forensics oriented Linux distributions available today, not only because of the focus on the needs of libraries, archives, and museums, but because of the care that has been taken to ensure the functionality, relevance, and completeness of each tool within the environment. Updated information on these tools can always be found in the Tools in the BitCurator Environment section of the BitCurator Environment wiki.

Of particular note: the 1.0 release introduces an improved version of the BitCurator Disk Image Access tool, a GUI interface allowing you to browse the contents (both regular and deleted/unallocated files) of raw and forensically packaged disk images. The updated tool includes stability and performance enhancements when working with FAT, NTFS, and HFS+ volumes, including better handling of multi-volume disk images and real-time feedback on file export actions.

Our Quickstart guide to help you get started working with the environment can be found on the wiki, in the Documentation folder on the BitCurator environment desktop, or by following this direct link. As with previous releases, the BitCurator environment is built using a customized version of Ubuntu 14.04 (64-bit). For best performance, we recommend a host machine with an Intel Core i5 (or equivalent) and at least 8GB of RAM.

Many of you have been following our progress on the user forum for a couple of years now. In just the past 12 months, we have had 30 official releases, introduced three new GUI-based tools, and conducted dozens of training workshops both in the US and internationally. We’re committed to ensuring the ongoing development of BitCurator to meet the needs of the community. To this end, we’ve created the BitCurator Consortium (BCC), an independent, community-led membership association that will serve as the administrative, development, and community support center for the BitCurator environment.

Details on how to join can be found on our BitCurator Consortium Membership page. Institutional membership costs are modest; membership confers voting rights, prioritizes enhancement requests, and offers discounts to future BCC events. Charter memberships are available through December 2014, and general membership enrollment is open.

BitCurator Consortium Launches!

The Educopia Institute is pleased to announce the launch of the BitCurator Consortium (BCC), a new independent, community-led membership association to support the curation of born-digital materials by libraries, archives, and museums. Members of the BitCurator user community have founded BCC to enhance, promote, and explore this growing area of professional activity.

“Managing born-digital acquisitions is becoming a top concern in research libraries, archives, and museums worldwide,” shares co-founder Dr. Christopher (Cal) Lee. “The BCC now provides a crucial hub where curators can learn from each other, share challenges and successes, and together define and advance technical and administrative workflows for born-digital content.” Co-founder Dr. Matthew Kirschenbaum adds: “Tools without actively invested communities wither on the vine, become dead bits. The BCC is not just an extension of BitCurator, in a very real sense it will now become BitCurator.”

Institutions responsible for the curation of born-digital materials are invited to become members of the BCC. New members will join an active, growing community of practice and gain entry into an international conversation around this emerging set of practices.

Other member benefits include:
• Voting rights
• Eligibility to serve on the BCC Executive Council and Committees
• Professional development and training opportunities
• Subscription to a dedicated BCC member mailing list
• Special registration rates for BCC events

The BCC operates as an affiliated community of the Educopia Institute, a non-profit organization that advances cultural, scientific, and scholarly institutions by catalyzing networks and collaborative communities to facilitate collective impact.

Learn more about BCC and its growing network of libraries, archives, and museums here!
Read/download the official press release here!