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TAATU 2022

2 Aug 2022 8:00 AM | Anonymous member

Olivia White is a Digital Preservation Archivist at Simcoe County Archives. Olivia completed her Master of Information and Master of Museum Studies at the University of Toronto. She is passionate about ensuring the stories within archival records can be preserved and shared far into the future.

The 15th annual Archives and Technology Unconference (TAATU) occurred via Zoom on June 14, co-chaired by Allie Querengesser and Andréa Tarnawsky. The event encourages anyone interested in IT and digital culture to contribute, as there is no minimum IT experience required. This was my second time attending the Unconference as a new professional, and I appreciated the breadth of resources shared during the conversations.

With about 45 people in attendance, the session began with an icebreaker on Slido, which asked “What are you looking forward to the most about this year’s ACA Conference?” The most common replies related to connecting with others, particularly in person, and learning and listening to the discussions.  

Figure 1: Screenshot of Icebreaker #1 on Slido, depicting a word cloud with participants’ responses

A second icebreaker on Slido occurred later in the event, asking participants “Which tech skill or knowledge would you most like to have or improve on?” Coding in scripting languages, such as Python, was the most selected answer. 


Figure 2: Screenshot of Icebreaker #2, depicting a ranking of participants' responses 

Lightning Talks

There were 9 five-minute lightning talks on a variety of topics.

Peter Van Garderen:
“Yes, #web3 stinks but hear me out…”

Peter began by acknowledging the known concerns about Web3, particularly regarding the volatility of cryptocurrency and the common criticisms of NFTs. Peter discussed the potential of applying the functionalities of Web3 towards alternative uses. For example, Peter stated that the concept of registering unique documents to create NFTs could be used for representing assets such as land records.

Kelsey Poloney:
AtoM Import Tool for Formatting Bulk Descriptions at Simon Fraser University Archives

Kelsey discussed the app they created that enables users to convert legacy CSV files into the Access to Memory (AtoM) template for ingest. Kelsey also provided links to additional apps they created: an
image scanning resolution calculator, and an extent calculator using measurements of box sizes used at SFU.

John Richan and Sarah Lake: Bitcurator at Concordia University Archives and Special Collections

John outlined the process of establishing an internship to introduce and explore the application of the
Bitcurator software at Concordia University Archives to improve upon workflow gaps. Sarah detailed their experience using digital preservation tools, designing workflows, and creating documentation while participating in the internship. 

Rebecca Dickson:
“What’s up with COPPUL’s WestVault?”

Rebecca talked about the Council of Prairie and Pacific University Libraries’ WestVault, which is a “distributed digital preservation storage service that uses the LOCKSS platform” (Slide 3). Rebecca also discussed infrastructural challenges, and the current activities of the Preservation Infrastructure Working Group.

Paul Hebbard and Andréa Tarnawsky: Crossing Fonds: Pollinating Access and Interpretation research project

Paul and Andrea outlined the project’s goal to design a “replicable, open-source digital archive ecosystem that allows generous interaction, study, and exhibition” (“Project Goals,” Hebbart and Tarnawsky’s slides). Paul and Andrea also highlighted
Wikidata and IIIF, and provided spreadsheets containing a growing list of open-source tools and platforms.

Elizabeth-Anne Johnson: DANNNG (Digital Archival traNsfer, iNgest, and packagiNg Group)’s resources

Elizabeth-Anne presented on the history of DANNNG and its resources, such as their Disk Imaging Decision Factors document, and Digital Archives Technical Glossary. Elizabeth-Anne also discussed DANNNG’s forthcoming Tool guide for those with all levels of experience performing digital forensics.

Kelly Stewart: Industrializing Digital Preservation: Artefactual introduces Enduro

Kelly introduced Enduro as a tool designed by Artefactual “to aid automation of Archivematica and surrounding workflows” (Artefactual Labs). Enduro performs metadata verification, monitors the ingest project, logs AIP storage, and other automated functions (Enduroproject).

Corinne Rogers:Using Diplomatics for… Machine Learning? Applying AI to Archival Problems

Corinne presented upon the InterPARES Trust AI research project aimed to “generate new knowledge on the uses of [Artificial Intelligence]” (“About the Research”). Corinne discussed how diplomatics and deep learning are being applied to digitized notarial parchments from the Middle Ages in Milan to generate a list of the surviving documents of Milanese notaries from the 12th and 13th centuries.

Anna Dysert and Kelli Babcock: Updates from the AtoM Foundation

Anna provided an
AtoM Foundation update, detailing the sustainability of AtoM and community involvement as its overarching goals. Kelli provided an update for AtoM 3 by outlining the activities of the AtoM Foundation Roadmap Committee and the proposed design principles of AtoM 3, such as using archival terminology and its suitability for Linked Open Usable Data (LOUD).

Group Brainstorming Sessions

Email appraisal

Several tools and resources were provided by participants in the discussion surrounding email appraisal, including:  

Finally, the complexities surrounding archiving MS Team messages was discussed, as they are stored in a strange location in Online Outlook. It was proposed that the decisions made in MS Teams would likely be documented elsewhere, and thus their preservation may be rendered redundant.

Conciliation of Record and Data Lifecycles

The difficulties of coping with different lifecycles for records was discussed, as well as the need for digital preservation management to begin early in the records management lifecycle.
The Relational DataBase Archiving Interest Group Mailing List was presented as a potential resource.

In conclusion, the Unconference provided an excellent virtual collaboration space to share ideas and keep updated about current activities and research projects related to IT and digital culture.

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