Cabrinety-NIST Project

Project summary

The Cabrinety-NIST Project is a collaborative large-scale digital preservation effort between SUL and NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) to create forensic disk images and high-resolution photographic scans of materials in the software series of the Stephen M. Cabrinety Collection in the History of Microcomputing, ca. 1975-1995. The software series exceeds 700 linear feet, includes more than 18,000 unique software packages, and contains dozens of media formats (such as floppy disks, computer cassettes, and game cartridges.) A sizeable amount is still in its original packaging. However, keeping the packages sealed creates the risk of massive data loss once the assorted media formats become obsolete or reach the ends of their shelf lives. A digital preservation solution was needed to prevent the intellectual content of the Cabrinety collection from disappearing.

NIST creates all the forensic disk images and checksums (unique digital signatures) for every piece of media in each Cabrinety software package, handles the technological hurdles associated with extracting data from obsolete media formats, and provides network tools as needed. SUL handles re-processing of the Cabrinety collection, creates item-level registration and metadata records for each software package, captures high-resolution photographic scans of all physical materials, and handles tracking and logistical details as collection boxes are shipped cross-country between SUL and NIST. Once the Cabrinety-NIST Project is complete all the photographic scans, forensic disk images, and checksums will be ingested into the Stanford Digital Repository for long-term preservation.