THE BRITISH LIBRARY

Digital scholarship blog

17 June 2014

Open Source Digital Forensics Adapted for Archival and Memory Institutions

 
 
BitCurator Version 0.9.12 is available
 
Not far to Version 1.0 !
 
 

There have been "dramatic changes in the status of digital forensics within LAMs (Libraries, Archives and Museums) in just a few years". This is a conclusion of a wide ranging white paper released by the BitCurator Project: From Bitstreams to Heritage: Putting Digital Forensics into Practice in Collecting Institutions

The BitCurator project is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and is jointly led by the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (SILS) and the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH). Cal Lee (SILS) is Principal Investigator and Matthew Kirschenbaum (MITH) is Co-Principal Investigator.

It has been running since 2011 and is aimed at assessing and incorporating techniques and tools designed for digital forensics into the workflows of archival and collection institutions.

BitCurator is built on a number of free and open source forensic tools including bulkextractor and fiwalk, and makes extensive use of DFXML (Digital Forensics XML). Features include pre-imaging data triage, forensic disk imaging, filesystem analysis and reporting, identification of private and individually identifying information, and the export of technical and other metadata.
The overall design is modular which means that tools can be replaced gracefully.

The British Library has been at the forefront of the adoption of digital forensics for curatorial purposes, and has been participating in the BitCurator project through membership of the Professional Experts Panel (PEP) since 2011.

The white paper goes on to state: "Many institutions now acknowledge that procedures and practices for curation of born-digital materials should involve forensic tools and methods. There is growing recognition, for example, of the value of creating forensic disk images". 

Much of the credit for this recognition goes to the BitCurator team who have been strongly advocating the use of digital forensics to collecting institutions while at the same time disseminating tools and practices. The BitCurator website and wiki - richly populated with tutorials and guidelines (including screencasts) - have been advanced by Amanda Visconti while Porter Olsen has been leading community engagement at institutions throughout the USA. 

Porter is currently visiting the UK to give talks and hands on demonstrations at several institutions including the British Library under the auspices of Digital Scholarship. 



The development and consolidation of the software has been led technically by Kam Woods while Alexandra Chassanoff has been addressing metadata requirements and aspects of the workflow. BitCurator is now in version 0.9.12 and is close to becoming the full version 1.0. 

The software has been tested and explored at the British Library (in part to provide feedback) and is incorporated in the ongoing draft workflow for handling personal digital archives at the British Library. 




Bitcurator pep


Three highlights of the recent Professional Experts Panel meeting at the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities, 30-31 May 2014: 



(1) There was an excellent talk by Matthew Kirschenbaum on the labels of floppy disks in the John Updike archive during which he discussed the scholarly interest of the writings and amendments on the exterior of floppy disks. 



(2) There was also a very interesting presentation by Jürgen Enge of the University of Applied Science and Art in Germany (Zentrum für Information, Medien und Technologie, Hochschule für angewandte Wissenschaft und Kunst) discussing some digital curation work with the German Literature Archive at Marbach, Germany (Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach) concerning digital acquisition, interpretation and access to floppy disks. A related paper can be found in a nestor publication: Beitrage des Workshops "Digitale Lanzeitarchivierung" auf der Informatik 2013



(3) The third highlight was a presentation by Courtney Mumma of Artefactual Systems, the group that is behind Archivematica which is also an open source and free software package aimed at digital preservation and the archival profession. Courtney was a member of the Digital Records Forensics project at the University of British Columbia and visited the eMSS Lab, the Digital Preservation Team and the Sound Archive technical team at the British Library some months ago.


Archivematica has adopted the microservices strategy for a fully integrated system and is collaborating with BitCurator having already incorporated digital forensic tools. The approach is very promising and reminds me of scientific workflow systems which not only outline the workflow but execute it step by step.


The PEP meeting concluded with a discussion led by Cal Lee about emerging plans for a BitCurator Consortium. Watch this Space!


Useful background papers are:



Adapting existing technologies for digitally archiving personal lives: digital forensics, ancestral computing, and evolutionary perspectives and tools from the iPRES 2008 Conference at the British Library

Digital forensics and born-digital content in cultural heritage collections from the Council on Library and Information Resources



Digital forensics and preservation, a technology watch paper from the Digital Preservation Coalition



Of special interest for its emphasis on disk images and Digital Forensics XML (DFXML) is the paper: 



Extending digital repository architectures to support disk image preservation and access from  the Joint Conference on Digital Libraries



Another influential paper focusses on authenticity and provenance of evidence in the context of digital records:



Digital record forensics: a new science and academic program for forensic readiness in the Journal of Digital Forensics, Security and Law

For a brief history of digital forensics and an outline of the interests that overlap with collecting institutions:

Shared perspectives, common challenges: a history of digital forensics & ancestral computing for digital heritage, a paper published by UNESCO Memory of the World Conference at Vancouver

Jeremy Leighton John @emsscurator

There have been "dramatic changes in the status of digital forensics within LAMs (Libraries, Archives and Museums) in just a few years". This is a conclusion of a wide ranging white paper released by the BitCurator Project: From Bitstreams to Heritage: Putting Digital Forensics into Practice in Collecting Institutions

The BitCurator project is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and is jointly led by the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (SILS) and the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH).

It has been running since 2011 and is aimed at assessing and incorporating techniques and tools designed for digital forensics into the workflows of archival and collection institutions.

BitCurator is built on a number of free and open source forensic tools including bulkextractor and fiwalk, and makes extensive use of DFXML (Digital Forensics XML). Features include pre-imaging data triage, forensic disk imaging, filesystem analysis and reporting, identification of private and individually identifying information, and the export of technical and other metadata. 

The overall design is modular which means that tools can be replaced gracefully.

The British Library has been at the forefront of the adoption of digital forensics for curatorial purposes, and has been participating in the BitCurator project through membership of the Professional Experts Panel (PEP) since 2011.

The white paper goes onto to state: "Many institutions now acknowledge that procedures and practices for curation of born-digital materials should involve forensic tools and methods. There is growing recognition, for example, of the value of creating forensic disk images".

Much of the credit for this recognition goes to the BitCurator team who have been strongly advocating the use of digital forensics to collecting institutions while at the same time disseminating tools and practices. The BitCurator website and wiki - richly populated with tutorials and guidelines (including webinars) - have been advanced by Amanda Visconti while Porter Olsen has been leading community engagement at institutions throughout the USA.

Porter Olsen is currently visiting the UK to give talks and hands on demonstrations at several institutions including the British Library under the auspices of Digital Scholarship.

The development and consolidation of the software has been led technically by Kam Woods while Alexandra Chassanoff has been addressing metadata requirements and aspects of the workflow. BitCurator is now in version 0.9.12 and is close to becoming the full version 1.0

The software has been tested and explored at the British Library (in part to provide feedback) and is incorporated in the draft workflow for handling personal digital archives at the British Library.

Bitcurator pep


Three highlights of the recent Professional Experts Panel meeting at the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities, 30-31 May 2014:

(1) There was an excellent talk by Matthew Kirschenbaum on the labels of floppy disks in the John Updike archive during which he discussed the scholarly interest of the writings and amendments on the exterior of floppy disks.

(2) There was also a very interesting presentation by Jürgen Enge of the University of Applied Science and Art in Germany (Zentrum für Information, Medien und Technologie, Hochschule für angewandte Wissenschaft und Kunst) discussing some digital curation work with the German Literature Archive at Marbach, Germany (Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach) concerning digital acquisition, interpretation and access to floppy disks. A related paper can be found in a nestor publication: Beitrage des Workshops "Digitale Lanzeitarchivierung" auf der Informatik 2013

(3) The third highlight was a presentation by Courtney Mumma of Artefactual Systems, the group that is behind Archivematica which is also an open source and free software package aimed at digital preservation and the archival profession. Courtney was a member of the Digital Records Forensics project at the University of British Columbia and visited the eMSS Lab and the Digital Preservation Team at the British Library some months ago.

Archivematica has adopted the microservices strategy for a fully integrated system and is collaborating with BitCurator having already incorporated digital forensic tools. The approach is very promising and reminds me of scientific workflow systems which not only outline the workflow but execute it step by step.

The PEP meeting concluded with a discussion about emerging plans for a BitCurator Consortium. Watch this Space!

Useful background papers are:

Digital forensics and born-digital content in cultural heritage collections from the Council on Library and Information Resources

Digital forensics and preservation, a technology watch paper from the Digital Preservation Coalition

Of special interest for its emphasis on disk images and Digital Forensics XML (DFXML) is the paper:

Extending digital repository architectures to support disk image preservation and access from  the Joint Conference on Digital Libraries

Another influential paper focusses on authenticity and provenance of evidence in the context of digital records:

Digital record forensics: a new science and academic program for forensic readiness in the Journal of Digital Forensics, Security and Law

- See more at: file:///Users/digitalcuration/Desktop/post.html#sthash.sF3rhyx6.dpuf

There have been "dramatic changes in the status of digital forensics within LAMs (Libraries, Archives and Museums) in just a few years". This is a conclusion of a wide ranging white paper released by the BitCurator Project: From Bitstreams to Heritage: Putting Digital Forensics into Practice in Collecting Institutions

The BitCurator project is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and is jointly led by the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (SILS) and the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH).

It has been running since 2011 and is aimed at assessing and incorporating techniques and tools designed for digital forensics into the workflows of archival and collection institutions.

BitCurator is built on a number of free and open source forensic tools including bulkextractor and fiwalk, and makes extensive use of DFXML (Digital Forensics XML). Features include pre-imaging data triage, forensic disk imaging, filesystem analysis and reporting, identification of private and individually identifying information, and the export of technical and other metadata. 

The overall design is modular which means that tools can be replaced gracefully.

The British Library has been at the forefront of the adoption of digital forensics for curatorial purposes, and has been participating in the BitCurator project through membership of the Professional Experts Panel (PEP) since 2011.

The white paper goes onto to state: "Many institutions now acknowledge that procedures and practices for curation of born-digital materials should involve forensic tools and methods. There is growing recognition, for example, of the value of creating forensic disk images".

Much of the credit for this recognition goes to the BitCurator team who have been strongly advocating the use of digital forensics to collecting institutions while at the same time disseminating tools and practices. The BitCurator website and wiki - richly populated with tutorials and guidelines (including webinars) - have been advanced by Amanda Visconti while Porter Olsen has been leading community engagement at institutions throughout the USA.

Porter Olsen is currently visiting the UK to give talks and hands on demonstrations at several institutions including the British Library under the auspices of Digital Scholarship.

The development and consolidation of the software has been led technically by Kam Woods while Alexandra Chassanoff has been addressing metadata requirements and aspects of the workflow. BitCurator is now in version 0.9.12 and is close to becoming the full version 1.0

The software has been tested and explored at the British Library (in part to provide feedback) and is incorporated in the draft workflow for handling personal digital archives at the British Library.

Bitcurator pep


Three highlights of the recent Professional Experts Panel meeting at the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities, 30-31 May 2014:

(1) There was an excellent talk by Matthew Kirschenbaum on the labels of floppy disks in the John Updike archive during which he discussed the scholarly interest of the writings and amendments on the exterior of floppy disks.

(2) There was also a very interesting presentation by Jürgen Enge of the University of Applied Science and Art in Germany (Zentrum für Information, Medien und Technologie, Hochschule für angewandte Wissenschaft und Kunst) discussing some digital curation work with the German Literature Archive at Marbach, Germany (Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach) concerning digital acquisition, interpretation and access to floppy disks. A related paper can be found in a nestor publication: Beitrage des Workshops "Digitale Lanzeitarchivierung" auf der Informatik 2013

(3) The third highlight was a presentation by Courtney Mumma of Artefactual Systems, the group that is behind Archivematica which is also an open source and free software package aimed at digital preservation and the archival profession. Courtney was a member of the Digital Records Forensics project at the University of British Columbia and visited the eMSS Lab and the Digital Preservation Team at the British Library some months ago.

Archivematica has adopted the microservices strategy for a fully integrated system and is collaborating with BitCurator having already incorporated digital forensic tools. The approach is very promising and reminds me of scientific workflow systems which not only outline the workflow but execute it step by step.

The PEP meeting concluded with a discussion about emerging plans for a BitCurator Consortium. Watch this Space!

Useful background papers are:

Digital forensics and born-digital content in cultural heritage collections from the Council on Library and Information Resources

Digital forensics and preservation, a technology watch paper from the Digital Preservation Coalition

Of special interest for its emphasis on disk images and Digital Forensics XML (DFXML) is the paper:

Extending digital repository architectures to support disk image preservation and access from  the Joint Conference on Digital Libraries

Another influential paper focusses on authenticity and provenance of evidence in the context of digital records:

Digital record forensics: a new science and academic program for forensic readiness in the Journal of Digital Forensics, Security and Law

- See more at: file:///Users/digitalcuration/Desktop/post.html#sthash.sF3rhyx6.dpuf

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