The Forensic Curator: Digital Forensics as a Solution to Addressing the Curatorial Challenges Posed by Personal Digital Archives
AbstractThe growth of computing technology during the previous three decades has resulted in a large amount of content being created in digital form. As their creators retire or pass away, an increasing number of personal data collections, in the form of digital media and complete computer systems, are being offered to the academic institutional archive. For the digital curator or archivist, the handling and processing of such digital material represents a considerable challenge, requiring development of new processes and procedures. This paper outlines how digital forensic methods, developed by the law enforcement and legal community, may be applied by academic digital archives. It goes on to describe the strategic and practical decisions that should be made to introduce forensic methods within an existing curatorial infrastructure and how different techniques, such as forensic hashing, timeline analysis and data carving, may be used to collect information of a greater breadth and scope than may be gathered through manual activities.
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