Integrating Tools into our Process and Workflows

In the last blog post, I described the process and data flow for digital archives using the PAIMAS and OAIS roles, responsibilities, and a few of the functions.  Since that diagram, I have received feedback from MIT colleagues and have over-laid onto it two important considerations.  First, how the storage spaces for metadata and digital objects fit into the process, and second where some of the software tools we are considering will fit into the processes.

Proposed workflow showing human, tool, and storage interactions.

Proposed workflow showing human, tool, and storage interactions.

The software tools that are called out in the diagram are:

  • ArchivesSpace MIT Libraries is a Charter Member of ArchivesSpace, the successor archives management tool for institutions using Archvists’ Toolkit.
  • Archivematica  MIT Libraries is evaluating and assessing how this digital preservation system can be used within the Institute Archives and Special Collections for physical control and performing preservation functions and activities.  [note: Archivematica is not a storage repository.]
  • BitCurator Project  We are looking at the on-going research and beta products from the BitCurator Project using open source forensic tools to create a curator-friendly GUI interface for examining forensic disk images in order to triage incoming digital archival material.
  • AtoM  Access to Memory tool, created by Artefactual, is a display and dissemination package for digital content and its description that links with digital files processed through Archivematica.

The most obvious take-away from the compilation diagram is that the tools will be used in multiple parts of the workflow and this will often be done in an iterative process. We will be assessing the human/tool work chain over the next few months as experiments within MIT Libraries’ newly established Digital Sustainability Lab.  The lab is a collaboration between the Curation and Preservation Services unit, led by Nancy Y. McGovern and the Institute Archives and Special Collections unit, led by Tom Rosko.

Stay tuned!

About Kari R. Smith

Kari is Digital Archivist at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Libraries. She is also a senior instructor and project manager of the Digital Preservation Management Workshops series.
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