Born-Digital Archives and Digital Forensics – Where are We Now?

Born-Digital Archives and Digital Forensics – Where are We Now?
15 March 2019, 10.00am - 4.30pm
Room 246, Second Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

Digital archivists need digital humanities researchers and sub­ject experts to use born-digital collections. Nothing is more im­por­tant.

 M. Kirschenbaum 2013

Born-digital is beginning to shape research and teaching in the humanities.  Lib­ra­ries, archives, in­sti­tutions and projects are col­lec­ting born-digital records at different scales, providing the basis for historical research as well as in all hu­manities discipines. Yet, the documentary, evidential and forensic di­mension of personal born-digital col­lec­tions, insti­tu­tio­nal and private born-digital re­po­si­to­ries, web- and social media ar­chives still remains to be fully understood and em­bra­ced by humanities research. At the same time, digital record au­then­ti­city, preservation and manipulation detection became issues of the political, public and historical digital record. Digital forensics is play­ing an in­crea­sing­ly crucial role in archival science and historical research, not only as a me­tho­do­logical approach and toolset for preservation, but also as a way of thinking about the evidencial value of the digital historical record and the impact of archival processing and curatorial strategies.

This workshop brings together lib­ra­ri­ans, ar­chi­vists, born-digital experts and humanities researchers to discuss born-di­gi­tal challenges, evaluate pro­ce­du­res and methods that ensure secure, re­gu­la­tion-compliant processing, pre­ser­vation, curation and appraisal of au­then­tic re­cords, and iden­tify op­por­tu­ni­ties for cross-sector collaboration on born-digital. The workshop discussion will feature exemplary case discussions to address key issues such as pre­ser­va­tion and curation challenges, the relevance of se­cu­ring au­then­ti­city, forensic in-depth ana­ly­sis and mu­tability of born-digital ar­chi­ves and reflect on which pro­ces­sing, curation and pre­ser­va­tion practice, which sustainable preservation and me­ta­da­ta formats best serve humanities re­search interests.

The whole-day work­shop offers an opportunity for archivists, digital pre­ser­va­tion pro­fes­sio­nals and humanities researchers to exchange practical know­led­ge and me­thods, based on case studies and research per­spec­ti­ves on applications of digital fo­ren­sics involving born-digital historical records. Archivists and researchers sha­re and discuss ex­perience, practical as well as conceptual chal­len­ges and methodological per­spec­tives in the format of brief case pre­sen­ta­tions and group dis­cus­sion. These ad­dres­s the core issue of how archival pro­ces­sing, cu­ra­tion work­flows and choice of preservation formats can ensure trust in the authenticity, com­ple­teness, sus­tain­ability, fixety and citability of born-digital records and their di­gital context / ecosystem. In the workshop‘s current re­search section, standards and methods of critical appraisal of born-digital records will be discussed.

Confirmed speakers are, in alphabetical order: Mark Bell, Jenny Bunn, Fiona Courage, Patricia Falcao, Rachel Foss, Lise Jaillant, Elizabeth Lomas, Helen McCarthy, Rachel McGregor, Kallum McKean, Jenny Mitcham, Gabor Palko, Thorsten Ries, Kees Teszelszky, Jane Winters. We are thrilled to bring together this wonderful group of scholars, archivists and professionals.

Organisers: | Thorsten Ries, James Baker, Jane Winters


Intended audience: Archivists, librarians, humanities and digital hu­ma­ni­ties re­sear­chers.
Program: A detailed program will be made available in due time. Please check this website again.
Registration: Registration for the event is free of charge.


Kremena Velinova
020 7664 4884