fellowship update: tool time

One of my goals for the fellowship is to increase overall familiarity and understanding of practical application for various tools useful to digital archives. I try to set aside time each week for testing and learning. Some of the testing I’ve done relates to my work with the Digital Sustainability Lab. Below are a few tools I’ve worked with recently and some others on my “up next” list.

image of gardening tools from 1920s magazine ad

Digital archives toolkits aren’t all that different from gardening toolkits. Gathering, planting and weeding, watering, harvesting… (image: flickr user biodiversity heritage library)

Recently Explored and Tested:

Archivematica (1.4) – Archivematica changed a bit since I last used it in 2013! I’ve been learning more about the storage service options and trying out the new arrangement feature.

ePADD  Email archiving, processing and access from Stanford Libraries. Once we’ve had a chance to work with ePADD more, I’m sure I’ll do some posts here and on Engineering Future of the Past. This tool has me dreaming about a future where all digital archives appraisal and processing incorporates natural language processing and data visualization.

wget (with WARC) – Configuring this tool nearly defeated me. But I got it working on a Mac and have successfully crawled a website with WARC file output! This tool was part of a series of tests for the DS Lab, so I’ll definitely post a more detailed account soon.

TableauThis visualization software is something my fellow Fellow, Christine, and I are working with for our joint project. Once we’re done, I’ll probably share about our project and the work Christine did to get our data visualizin’ with Tableau.

Webrecorder – web archiving for all! I talked about web recorder last month in this post.

Up next:

BitCurator – MIT Libraries is a member of the BitCurator consortium and I’ve used BitCurator a bit in the past. I think it’s high time I increase my familiarity with what’s included in BitCurator and how it might fit into different processing situations.

Lunchbox from NPR – This isn’t a tool that’s really specific to digital archives workflows, but the Waterbug tool could be really useful for prepping images for sharing on social media.

Open Refine – messy data is something that is likely here to stay and I want to know more about how to clean up data efficiently.

MDQC and BWF MetaEdit – AV Preserve tools for checking and adding metadata.

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