April 27, 2020
BitCurator Consortium is Fusing Technical Concerns with Broader Field of Born-Digital ArchivingBy Jess Farrell, Hannah Ballard, and Katherine Skinner
The BitCurator Consortium initially formed in 2014 around an Open Source Software environment that supports the acquisition and initial curation of born-digital collections in libraries, archives, and museums. It has grown into a burgeoning community of practice that fuses these technical concerns with the broader field of born-digital archiving and the institutional and workflow needs of its members. This community is completing its Validation Lifecycle Stage and is poised to enter Acceleration during 2020.
If you’re curious to learn more about Educopia’s work with community organizations, see our 2019 Annual Report for additional case studies from the Software Preservation Network, MetaArchive Cooperative, and Library Publishing Coalition.
The administrative, governance, and engagement scaffolding that BCC has built over the last few years is already providing a strong foundation through which to meet the increasing born-digital archiving needs of collecting institutions. That became apparent in 2019, as the BCC experienced initial membership increases and the active spawning of new working groups and committees.
The 2019 BitCurator Users Forum, for instance, was the highest-attended annual meeting ever, and over a third of its attendees were non-members who were attracted to the work of the BCC. One session, in particular, was highly praised for allowing attendees to ask anonymous questions, both basic and advanced, and to hear not from a panel, but from the whole auditorium with crowdsourced answers and advice.
To handle the growth and change that both BCC and the broader digital curation field are experiencing, the BCC’s leadership is actively “skilling up” and building its capacity for planning and actualizing the community’s work. In preparation for the BCC’s forthcoming Acceleration work, Educopia is providing the community with advanced training in how to plan and manage the BCC’s budget and operating reserves, how to evaluate the success of committees and research projects, and how to calibrate a widening vision that encompasses not just the technical, but also the human and workflow components of born-digital archiving.
To learn more about Educopia’s approach to growing and sustaining collaborative communities, see Community Cultivation—A Field Guide for a wealth of activities, tools, and hard-won lessons for community organizer and leaders.