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Tuesday, November 19 • 3:38pm - 3:45pm
So…what’s the easiest way to process these 352 CD-ROMs?

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The Digital Archivists at the Alexander Turnbull Library support the acquisition and management of born-digital heritage collections. One of the challenges they regularly face is how to effectively process collections that contain tens – if not hundreds – of floppy disks, CD-ROMs, or USB sticks. How do you safely transfer data from all these storage media without getting RSI or losing concentration over months? How do you check to make sure nothing was lost along the way? Recently, the Library received a collection containing 352 CD-ROMs so the Digital Archivists have been researching solutions for automating the transfer of data from these optical discs. In the spirit of Trevor Owens’ reflection that “[t]he scale and inherent structures of digital information suggest working more with a shovel than with tweezers” (2018, 8), we want to know if a robot can do part of the process for us. And if a robot can, what are the implications for our work and for the collection? This lightning talk will discuss our research, from making the case for this project to the Library’s Business Innovation Group, to developing our process for testing machines and workflows for bulk processing CD-ROMs. It will touch on our findings so far and the broader implications of bulk processing on our work at the Library. Reference: Owens, Trevor. The Theory and Craft of Digital Preservation. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 2018.

avatar for Flora Feltham

Flora Feltham

Digital Archivist, NLNZ

Tuesday November 19, 2019 3:38pm - 3:45pm NZDT
Soundings Theatre Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Te Aro, Wellington 6011, New Zealand