Here’s the good news: archiving digital information makes it more accessible to current and future scholars. The bad news is that transferring data from storage devices like floppy disks, hard drives, or USB sticks risks unintended alterations to the data.
Digital archivists reduce this risk by using write-blockers that only allow them to access data in read-only mode. Write blockers are invaluable tools in preserving the authenticity, security, contextual information, and research value of digital collections.
The Bancroft Digital Collections Unit recently acquired a Tableau write blocker. This device assures that no changes are made to the data, regardless of user error or software modification. It also protects private or sensitive information like social security numbers, medical or financial information.
The Bancroft’s newest piece of equipment helps bridge the gap between preserving original unprocessed computer media and creating open digital collections that are available to all. Learn more about the write blocker on the Bancroft Library Digital Units blog.