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.

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