Past Workshops

Sustainable Web Archiving at Scale: An Introduction
Sumitra Duncan and Amye McCarther
April 15-16, 2021 | 2-5pm EST
May 18-19, 2021 | 1-4pm EST
June 21-22, 2021 | 1-4pm EST

Description:

As cultural production and communication have moved online, the need for archivists to document history in real time has become increasingly clear and urgent. Yet the scale and complexity of online information and media can be daunting, even as web archiving tools and practices continue to evolve. And while large institutions are able to devote staff to keeping pace with new technologies and their attendant ethical concerns, small-to-mid sized organizations frequently rely on archivists who already handle many other responsibilities for this work. How does one design a web archiving program that meets the demands of our time with the resources at hand?

This two-day workshop is designed to provide an introduction to web archiving fundamentals and tools for archivists seeking to initiate web archiving programs within their organizations and communities that are grounded in ethical practices and scaled to their resources. Attendees will learn about current projects and advances in the field, and receive practical guidance on drafting collecting policies based on institutional mission and capacity, as well as hands-on instruction using open source tools. Participants should come away with a firm grounding in the principles and tools needed to sustainably advocate, plan for, and implement web archiving in their institutions. No previous experience in web archiving is required.

Resource list: Sustainable Web Archiving at Scale

Day 1 Slides: Sustainable Web Archiving at Scale

Day 2 Slides: Sustainable Web Archiving at Scale

Web Archiving Glossary: Sustainable Web Archiving at Scale

Web Archiving Tools Decision Chart: Sustainable Web Archiving at Scale

Worksheet: Sustainable Web Archiving at Scale

Introduction to Digital Preservation for Moving Image and Sound
Lauren Sorensen
May 27-28, 2021 | 2-5 pm EST
June 4, 2022 | 1-5 pm EST

Description:

Moving image and sound materials were challenging to steward in the analog era, and now with the turn to digital preservation, an entirely new set of challenges are presented for collection managers. While there is clear overlap between digital preservation of static material and time-based media, many unique factors are involved in the latter, including characteristics such as multiple codecs within a container, multi-track audio recordings, obscure analog video formats, handling large files, and so on. The workshop will provide an overview of factors like these, alongside exercises to assist in working with moving image and sound material in digital preservation activities.

This two-day workshop is designed to provide an introduction to digital preservation with a focus on the moving image and sound asset lifecycle. Alongside digital preservation fundamentals, attendees will learn about current advances in the field, format identification, what audiovisual materials to prioritize for transfer, readying materials for digitization, quality assurance and metadata for the purpose of digital preservation. An introduction to a selection of software tools, and some hands-on work will be incorporated. Participants will come away with practical skills and methods for crafting and implementing a digital preservation workflow for audiovisual materials in their collections, and a basic knowledge of the purpose and application of technical metadata. Time will be reserved for participants to sign up for one-on-one office hours so that individualized questions may be addressed by the instructor.

Slides: Introduction to Digital Preservation for Moving Image and Sound (PDF)
Reading List: Introduction to Digital Preservation for Moving Image and Sound (PDF)

Instructor Bio

Lauren Sorensen (she/her) works as Digital Projects & Data Manager for Stanford University Libraries and previously has held positions with organizations such as Bay Area Video Coalition, Library of Congress, Canyon Cinema, and as consultant has worked with the City of Los Angeles, Glenstone Museum, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, among others. She has previously served on the Association of Moving Image Archivists’ Board of Directors, is currently on the editorial board for The Moving Image Journal, and is a contributing author to Archival Accessioning (2021, Society of American Archivists).

Moving Image and Sound Digital Preservation Software Tools & Intro to Python for AV
Brendan Coates, Benjamin H. Turkus, and Nick Krabbenhoeft
June 24, 2021 | 12-6pm EST
June 25, 2021 | 12-5pm EST

Description:

Much of the day-to-day work in digital preservation is in the technical realm: moving files, checking for file integrity, understanding and implementing processes for ingest and so on. While some archivists can closely collaborate with computer programmers and IT departments, many institutions do not have the resources and will need to build technical skills on their own. Even when an IT department exists, not all needs of digital-based archival work can be fulfilled in a timely manner, thus having an archivist or digital archivist who can empower themselves with handy scripts and practical experience in the command line becomes essential.

This workshop is designed to be an intensive two-days of demonstrations and practical exercises, starting with the command line interface, tools demonstration, and working up to, on day two, an introduction to Python scripting.

Day one:

Instructor: Brendan Coates

Slides: Day 1

Resources: Day 1

List of commands: Day 1

Learning objectives include an introductory level of familiarity with the command line interface, where many digital preservation applications are run from. The participants will come away with an understanding of Homebrew (Mac) and Winget (Windows), how to navigate a file system using basic commands including listing files in a directory, creating a new directory, permissions issues, and where files are located. The second half of the first day will then be devoted to tool demonstrations and exercises, covering av-specific tools, such as FFmpeg and Mediainfo, as well as utilities like rsync, which allow the user to automatically copy files from one place to another, and Bagit, which is used regularly in many digital preservation repositories and environments.

Day two: 

Instructors: Benjamin H. Turkus and Nick Krabbenhoeft

Lesson website: Day 2

ffmprovisr resource: Day 2

The second day will be focused on learning what scripts can do to help facilitate the work of a digital preservation practitioner. What is a programming language and what is its utility for everyday work, and what makes Python particularly useful? The basic concepts will be covered, and then move on to utilizing some example scripts in scenarios like, generating file manifests from folders of files, generating custom technical metadata reports with MediaInfo, and transcoding videos.

Reframing Digital Preservation Through An Anti-Racist Lens
Sofia Leung and Evlia Arroyo-RamĂ­rez
January 28, 2022 | 1-4pm EST
March 31th, 2022 | 1pm-4pm EST

Description:

As digital preservation and curation practices reach operational maturity among cultural heritage institutions, discussion about anti-racism and digital preservation seems to be at its nascent stages. From the systems archivists use to capture content for long-term care, to the ways we provide access to born-digital materials, digital preservation practices when left unchecked can replicate the same harms witnessed in the physical realm. What are some practical ways archivists can apply anti-racist frameworks to digital preservation activities and approaches? 

This three-hour workshop is designed to provide an understanding of how white supremacy underpins library and archive systems and practices and offers an introduction to anti-racist frameworks as groundwork for better practices in digital preservation. Attendees will learn about current projects, related literature, and case studies in the field.

This workshop is ideal for all who acquire, maintain, or provide access to born-digital and digitized archival materials. 

Instructor Bios

Sofia Leung (she/her) is a first-generation Chinese American librarian, facilitator, and educator and the principal of Do Better, Be Better LLC. Her work attempts to center the experiences and knowledges of Black, Indigenous and People of Color. Sofia is a founding editor at up//root: a we here publication and the co-editor of Knowledge Justice: Disrupting Library and Information Studies Through Critical Race Theory (2021). You can find out more about Sofia at her website: https://www.sofiayleung.com/.

Elvia Arroyo-RamĂ­rez (she/her) is a queer Latinx daughter of immigrants working in the field of archives. She is the co-editor to an upcoming special issue on “Radical Empathy in Archival Practice” in the Journal for Critical Library and Information Science (JCLIS). Her practice and scholarship are grounded in a feminist ethic of care, and works to expose and repair archival practices rooted in systemic biases that perpetuate harm to BIPOC and other marginalized communities. 

Intro to Digital Preservation Tools and the Command Line Interface
Brendan Coates
May 4, 2022 | 12PM-5PM EST

Description:

With the ever-increasing scale and complexity of digital archival collections, archivists need to adapt their tools, workflows, and processes to match. While every institutional context is different, there are often opportunities to employ open source and command line tools to meet these challenges. Among the many benefits of utilizing the command line, the two most immediate tend to be: increased reliability of processes and more interesting work for archivists.

This 4-hour workshop will cover the basics of the command line interface (CLI) with a focus on its use in audiovisual archival workflows and digital preservation. The command line software discussed will help archivists navigate their terminals, find/ move/ rename digital objects, understand checksums and CRCs, create Bags per the BagIt specification, and introduce principles of scripting and automation for handling file data at scale.

This is an introductory course and users with no programming or command line experience are welcome; any archivist who routinely moves files, verifies metadata across systems, or works with audiovisual materials will learn techniques to improve their efficiency and gain familiarity with systems and workflows which take advantage of CLI capabilities. Users don’t need to have administrative privileges or the ability to install software on their local machines in order to participate. For users who can install software on their machines, there will be office hours prior to the workshop to go over any questions that arise as part of the setup (and instructions are provided at this link).

Instructor Bio

Brendan Coates is a gardener, musician, proud cat-parent, and member of the Los Angeles Tenants Union. He has been working to ensure the long-term stability and relevance of archival audiovisual materials since 2011, with a particular focus on oral histories, for which he’s contributed to programs at The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, The History Makers, and, currently, at the Computer History Museum. His background with historical AV also led him to the UCSB Library, where he headed the Special Research Collections digitization lab for four years, contributing to their cylinder program and The National Jukebox projects, among others. A lifelong interest in computers and aversion to boring work inspired him to start learning Bash and Python and integrating them into his professional life, and he’s just been on that path ever since. He’s a graduate of the University of Michigan’s School of Information (#HailToTheVictims), a winner of the James A. Lindner Prize for QCT-Parse, a winner of the IGF Nuovo Award with Cassie McQuater for his contribution to her web game Black Room, and an active member of The Association for Moving Image Archivists (AMIA) and the Oral History Association’s Archives Interest Group (OHAAIG).

Sustainable Web Archiving at Scale
Amye McCarther and Sumitra Duncan
June 7, 2022: Introduction
June 14, 2022: Archive-it Demo
June 21, 2022: Conifer/Webrecorder Demo
5:30-7:30 PM EST

Description:

As cultural production and communication have moved online, the need for archivists to document history in real time has become increasingly clear and urgent. Yet the scale and complexity of online information and media can be daunting, even as web archiving tools and practices continue to evolve. And while large institutions are able to devote staff to keeping pace with new technologies and their attendant ethical concerns, small-to-mid sized organizations frequently rely on archivists who already handle many other responsibilities for this work. How does one design a web archiving program that meets the demands of our time with the resources at hand?

This multi-day workshop is designed to provide an introduction to web archiving fundamentals and tools for archivists seeking to initiate web archiving programs within their organizations and communities that are grounded in ethical practices and scaled to their resources. Attendees will learn about current projects and advances in the field, and receive practical guidance on drafting collecting policies based on institutional mission and capacity. The second and third sessions will be devoted to hands-on instruction using open source tools with ample time for Q&A. Participants should come away with a firm grounding in the principles and tools needed to sustainably advocate, plan for, and implement web archiving in their institutions. No previous experience in web archiving is required.

Applicants must be able to commit to attending all 3 sessions.

Instructor Bios

Amye McCarther is an arts archivist and media conservator based in New York, where she currently serves as Archivist for the Dia Art Foundation and Past President of the Archivists Round Table of Metropolitan New York. Her experience has included directing archival programs and processing photography, film, video, and born-digital collections for museums and artist foundations, including Blank Forms, the New Museum, the Merce Cunningham Trust, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, the Judd Foundation, the Whitney Museum, the Harry Ransom Center, the Joan Mitchell Foundation’s CALL Project, and others. Her media preservation projects have received grant funding from the Society of American Archivists, the CLIR Recordings at Risk program, and the Andy Warhol Foundation. 

Sumitra Duncan is head of the web archiving program at the Frick Art Reference Library. In this role she manages the web archiving program of the New York Art Resources Consortium (NYARC), which consists of the Frick Art Reference Library and the libraries and archives of the Brooklyn Museum and the Museum of Modern Art. She co-founded and co-coordinates the Web Archiving Special Interest Group of the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA). She has previously led web archiving workshops for the Digital Preservation Outreach and Education Network (DPOE-N), the Frick’s Digital Art History Lab, the Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO), the ARLIS/NA Annual Conference, and The New School’s Parsons School of Design. She holds an MSLIS from Pratt Institute with Advanced Certificates in Archives and Museum Libraries.