Sunday, August 23, 2009

Library of Congress BagIt video

I saw this informative and fun video while I was at the Library of Congress's National Digital Information Infrastructure Preservation Program grant partners meeting in June, and I've been waiting for it to appear on YouTube. The Library of Congress actually put this video online about a month ago, but I was so focused on work and on getting to Austin that I didn't notice that it had been added to the Library of Congress's YouTube channel.

BagIt is an open-source application developed by the Library of Congress, Stanford University, and the California Digital Library, and it facilitates transfer of digital materials from creators' systems to those of archives and libraries. BagIt enables users to place materials slated for transfer into a "bag" and then automatically generates digital packing lists and authenticity checks (i.e., checksums). When the bag, which can be transferred on portable media or over a computer network, reaches its destination, the recipient verifies that all of the files in the bag are present and that none of the files have been changed.

I haven't yet had the chance to play around with the BagIt software, which is available on SourceForge, but I know several other people who have, and they're all pretty impressed by it. Electronic records archivists and digital librarians need tools such as BagIt, and the Library of Congress and its partners deserve kudos for making BagIt freely available.

NB: be sure to ponder the "inscrutable digital voodoo." Heh.

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