CHAPEL HILL – The BitCurator project today announced the release of BitCurator 1.0, a free and open-source digital forensics software environment for libraries, archives, and museums (LAMs) to acquire and process born-digital materials. The BitCurator environment can be installed as a Linux environment; run as a virtual machine on top of other operating systems (Windows, Mac, Unix/Linux); or run as individual software tools, packages, support scripts and documentation. The software release is the culmination of a three-year (2011-2014), collaborative effort between the School of Information and Library Science (SILS) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) at the University of Maryland. The project was made possible through two phases of funds from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
“This is an exciting milestone,” says Christopher (Cal) Lee, principal investigator for the BitCurator project and associate professor at SILS. “Although there are already numerous collecting institutions across the globe that are using the BitCurator environment, release of version 1.0 is a further sign of the software’s maturity.”
Matthew Kirschenbaum, co-principle investigator for the project and associate director at MITH, concurs. "There is now widespread recognition that digital forensics methods and tools have a significant role in the cultural heritage sector. With the release of BitCurator 1.0, collecting professionals now have convenient access to a range of open source digital forensics tools to assist in the processing of born-digital and hybrid collections."
Among its many functionalities, the BitCurator environment allows individuals to create forensic disk images, perform data triage tasks, analyze and report on file systems, identify personal and sensitive information (such as social security numbers or credit card information), and enables the capture and export of technical metadata.
With the completion of the BitCurator project, support for the BitCurator environment and associated user community is shifting to the BitCurator Consortium (BCC)
an independent, community-led membership association that will serve as the host and center of administrative, user and community support for the software.
More information about the project is available at bitcurator.net. All of the BitCurator software, documentation and instructional materials can be freely downloaded from wiki.bitcurator.net. Interested individuals can join the BitCurator users list and follow @bitcurator on Twitter.