Problems and solutions in the field of digital preservation

What keeps digital preservationists up at night? A survey conducted by Kim Schroeder, NDSA faculty advisor revealed that they worry about the data stored on floppy discs and 3/4-inch tape that they can’t retrieve. They worry about early format video tapes that are decaying more every year. They worry about how to manage the tremendous volume of born-digital data their organizations are gathering. How to address these concerns is what SLIS students in the archives and digital content management tracks will be facing upon graduation.

The SLIS Digital Media lab houses a number of workstations that offer solutions to some of the problems facing digital archivists. Schroeder provided students attending the NDSA chapter meeting with an overview of one of those tools. BitCurator ( is a software developed at University of North Carolina that gives collecting institutions a way to analyze and interact with large amounts of born-digital data. It pulls in an image of the data or drive to be preserved, redacts specified information, bulk extracts large amounts of data and employs metadata and reporting tools to asses features of interest.

To learn more about digital preservation and volunteer for projects where tools like BitCurator are being applied in the lab, contact Kim Schroeder (

Stay tuned to the NDSA student chapter website for information about our November meeting.


About Lori Eaton

Writer / Editor / Copyeditor

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