Tuesday, September 6, 2016

This One Time, At ArchivematiCamp...

While it's been a bit over a week since the inaugural ArchivematiCamp (or, as my colleagues Max and Dallas prefer, "Archivematica Camp") was held here in Ann Arbor, we're still basking in the afterglow... 36 campers and 5 counselors braved the rain and mosquitoes to gather at the University of Michigan's School of Information for two and a half days of discussions on microservices, metadata, and the mechanics of our favorite digital preservation system.  The camp's full agenda will give you some idea of the variety of topics covered in the 'Curator' and 'Technologist' streams—or maybe you were following on Twitter:

While I would be hard-pressed to summarize all the events and discussions, I did want to talk a little bit about Dallas and Max's demonstration of the new Appraisal Tab functionality we've developed as part of our grant project (and which is slated for release in version 1.6 of Archivematica).  In the Q and A period following the demo, counsellors Ben Fino-Radin and Kari Smith helped kickstart a conversation about how the functionality in the Appraisal Tab could be complemented and supplemented by additional external tools/platforms.

As one example, Ben noted that his work with audiovisual materials requires advanced technical metadata extraction and codec characterization that has not always been available in Archivematica.  (As I understand from my notes, the MediaTrace report produced through a collaboration between MoMA and MediaArea is now available in Archivematica.)

Kari brought up the possibility of integrating an email processing tool like ePADD into a workflow that also involves Archivematica.  Given the unique functionality (and awesome interface) of this platform, it doesn't really make sense to replicate it in Archivematica or to cram another full-featured external tool into the Appraisal Tab.

Instead, as we discussed in our previous post on the Archivematica Users' Group meeting at SAA, we should look at ways of establishing/facilitating 'handshakes' between platforms so that the data and any associated metadata (especially preservation or technical) can be passed along and incorporated into the Archivematica METS or maybe even acted upon by Archivematica.  For instance, if you ran bulk_extractor on a disk image in the BitCurator environment, it would be nice to reuse those scanner reports in Archivematica instead of having to run them again.

We're really excited that other members of the archives and digital preservation communities are thinking about how the work we've done with the Appraisal Tab can be adapted or extended to satisfy local needs and workflows! In the same spirit, Kari also asked if DIPs could be produced and likewise tied back to ArchivesSpace (yes, by extending the code!) and Ben (was this Fino-Radin or Goldman?  I'm leaning towards the latter...) asked about the possibility of creating ArchivesSpace event records based upon actions in Archivematica (totally feasible--just need some coding!).

We're hoping to blog a bit more about camp in some upcoming posts, so I'll wrap things up here by noting that my only regret from camp was the absence of the long-promised 'goodbye song':

Thank heavens the Internet can fix anything!

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