BUF 2015 Wrap Up!

The First Annual BitCurator User Forum took place last Friday, January 9th at the Pleasants Family Assembly Room in Wilson Library on the campus of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. The Forum was attended by approximately forty practitioners from around the world, focused around three panel discussions. The goal of the forum was to describe best practices, discuss challenges in implementing the environment, share strategies for integrating BitCurator into institutional workflows, and to provide opportunities for collaborations on future work.

The first panel was chaired by Erika Farr, head of Digital Archives at the Manuscripts, Archives, and Rare Book Library at Emory University. She was joined by Euan Cochrane, Digital Preservation Manager at the Yale University Library and Brian Dietz, the Digital Program Librarian for Special Collections at the North Carolina State University Libraries. The session focused on options for disk image formats (particularly the Encase image format, the Advanced Forensic Format, and raw) and the criteria different institutions use to choose a format for a particular type of media. The panelists and the audience discussed the pros and cons of different formats and will begin to articulate general criteria for format selection.

Matthew Farrell, Digital Records Archivist at Duke University, chaired the next panel on workflow exchanges. He was joined by Walker Sampson, Digital Archivist at the University of Colorado Boulder, and Kari Smith, Digital Archivist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Libraries. This panel focused on the use of BitCurator tools and output in each institutions’ archival workflows. Each panelist gave a quick overview of their workflow and then addressed specifically how they integrated BitCurator into their existing preservation systems, collection management systems and descriptive workflows, and their appraisal workflows. Look for an upcoming post from Walker Sampson next week describing his approach at UC Boulder.

Christopher (Cal) Lee, the Frances Carroll McColl Term Professor in the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and the Principle Investigator of the BitCurator Access project, chaired the final panel on future work integrating BitCurator with other tools and environments. The other panelists were Kam Woods, Research Scientist at UNC SILS and co-Principle Investigator on the BitCurator Access project; Don Mennerich, Digital Archivist at New York University; Zach Vowell, Digital Archivist at Cal Poly, and Brad Westbrook, Program Manager at ArchivesSpace. Each panelist gave a brief presentation about current development activities they were working on. Following that, the panel held a larger group discussion with the forum about the biggest integration challenges and specific opportunities at their institutions.

The BitCurator User Forum provided a space for this emerging community to highlight issues and concerns, and to share strategies and best practices. We are very grateful to the Educopia Institute for hosting the forum, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for providing funding for the event.

In the coming weeks, some of our discussion panelists will be providing guest posts about their individual presentations to the forum. Stay tuned!