TEACH – Open Source Personal Digital Archiving

If you intend to come to this session and want to do this work on your own laptop, please make sure you do the following in advance of coming to Sussex (it may be possible during but the files are a bit big!):

The paper archive has been replaced by physical data storage – a new format that requires historians, archivists, and humanists to think and act afresh. In just 35 years most people – in Britain and worldwide – have come to create text and data in a fundamentally new way. The first step towards working with these personal digital archives if to preserve them. You can’t just turn on an old computer and start browsing: the act of booting it up adds new data to the archive with fresh data stamps, thus compromising its authenticity. Thankfully open source digital forensic tools aimed at archivists and scholars have made huge strides in recent years thanks largely to the efforts of the BitCurator project led by University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.


In this session, we’ll work together to capture some dummy media (bring your own if you want to work with the real thing!) and explore that media using BitCurator: a suite of open source digital forensics and data analysis tools design to help collecting institutions process born-digital materials.

Categories: Archives, Data Mining, Research Methods, Session Proposals, Session: Teach | Tags: , , , , |

About James Baker

James Baker is a Lecturer in Digital History and Archives at the University of Sussex (and the awesome Sussex Humanities Lab). He is a historian of long eighteenth century Britain and of contemporary archiving. He is a Software Sustainability Institute Fellow and holds degrees from the University of Southampton and latterly the University of Kent, where in 2010 he completed his doctoral research on the late-Georgian satirical artist-engraver Isaac Cruikshank. As an eighteenth centuryist, his research interests include satirical art, the making and selling of printed objects, urban protest, and corpus analysis. His near contemporary historical interests include the curation of personal digital archives, the critical examination of forensic software and captures, the use of born-digital archives in historical research, and scribing and archiving in the age of the hard disk. Prior to joining Sussex, James has held positions of Digital Curator at the British Library and Postdoctoral Fellow with the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies of British Art. He is a member of the Arts and Humanities Research Council Peer Review College, a convenor of the Institute of Historical Research Digital History seminar and a member of the History Lab Plus Advisory Board.