Announcement: BitCurator Access!

Press Release (pdf)
Release date:
October 21, 2014
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Grant Supports Improving Access to Born-Digital Collections for Collecting Institutions

CHAPEL HILL – The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Information and Library Science (SILS) has received a grant for $750,000 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for a project that focuses on simplifying and improving access to the contents of disk images in born-digital collections for use by libraries, archives, and museums (LAMs).

The BitCurator Access project will develop open-source software that supports the provision of access to disk images through three exploratory approaches: (1) building tools to support web-based services, (2) enabling the export of file systems and associated metadata, (3) and the use of emulation environments. Also closely associated with these access goals is redaction. BitCurator Access will develop tools to redact files, file system metadata, and targeted bitstreams within disks or directories.

BitCurator Access builds on previous work of the BitCurator project, a three year, collaborative effort between SILS and the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) at the University of Maryland. The project developed, packaged, and documented open source digital forensics tools to allow LAMS to advance many core digital curation goals, including: creation of authentic copies of data on disks; reflection of the original order of materials; establishment of more trustworthy chains of custody; discovery and exposure of associated contextual information; and identification of sensitive information that should be filtered, redacted or masked in appropriate ways.

“Many LAMs within the US and internationally are using these tools and methods to generate disk images, extract metadata to support ongoing preservation tasks, and store the resulting data in dedicated servers or shared network spaces,” said Dr. Christopher (Cal) Lee, principal investigator of the BitCurator Access project. “However, there is currently very limited support for provision of access to the contents of the disk images or associated metadata.”

Kam Woods, Research Scientist at SILS, will be the Co-Principle Investigator and Technical Lead for the BitCurator Access project. Sunitha Misra, a recent graduate of SILS’ MSIS program, will serve as software developer. Alexandra Chassanoff, a SILS doctoral candidate, will serve as the Project Manager. An advisory group of external partners with significant relevant experience will provide guidance and expertise.

For more information about the project, please visit the main BitCurator web site at: and follow @bitcurator on Twitter.

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!