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Efficient appraisal and processing of disk images of legacy digital storage media at the Canadian Centre for Architecture


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The Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) is an international research institution based in Montreal that produces exhibitions, publications and a range of activities driven by a curiosity about how architecture shapes – and might reshape – contemporary life. As a collecting institution interested in contemporary architecture, the CCA also preserves, manages and provides access to architectural archives, including those in digital formats. This paper describes the development of the Disk Image Processor, a set of Python scripts and corresponding graphical user interface developed at the CCA for processing disk images of legacy digital storage media in the CCA collection, such as 3.5- and 5.25-in floppy disks, Zip disks, optical media and hard drives. By streamlining the processes of appraisal, characterisation, file export and submission information packaging, the CCA has been able to scale its digital archiving activities to match its research programmes and acquisitions.
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Keywords: Python; digital forensics; digital preservation; disk images; floppy disks; scripting

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2018

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