Intro to Digital Preservation Tools and the Command Line Interface

Free Virtual Workshop

Instructor: Brendan Coates

May 4, 2022


Applications closed

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).

Introduction to Digital Preservation for Moving Image and Sound

Free Virtual Workshop

Instructor: Lauren Sorenson

Applications Closed

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.

This half-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. Participants will come away with a greater knowledge of 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.

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).

Sustainable Web Archiving at Scale

Free Virtual Workshop

June 7, 2022: Introduction

June 14, 2022: Archive-it Demo

June 21, 2022: Conifer/Webrecorder Demo

All sessions run from 5:30-7:30 PM EST 

Instructors: Amye McCarther, Sumitra Duncan

Applications Closed

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.