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Digital preservation guides

Created by University of Minnesota Libraries staff while researching possible tools for processing, managing, and preserving electronic records, these guides describe the main purpose of the tool or program, where it can be found, and how to use the tool.

Introduction

Below, the guides have been organized by resource function. Some guides are listed more than once as they may be used for multiple purposes. A Quick Reference Guide that lists the tools in alphabetical order, the tools purpose, a brief description, and download link is also available.

Note: The tools or programs listed on this page are provided for information only and are not endorsed or necessarily used by the University of Minnesota Libraries.

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Bulk Processing Tools

These tools or programs are able to conduct processes in batch form - multiple files at a time - to fulfill a variety of purposes.

Clean Up Tools

Remove Empty Directories: A Windows based program that identifies and is able to delete empty directories within a chosen location. (Windows only)

File Transfer / Copy

Data Accessioner: Transfer files from one media to another and capture descriptive and technical metadata in the process. MD5 checksums are used to verify the transfer. Most useful when files are part of an accession. (Multiple operating systems)

TeraCopy (Windows V2.3 and V3.2.6  / Mac V1): A Windows based program that can copy or move files from one location to another without changing the created date or modified dates of the file. Various checksums can also be done to verify that the files are the same after copying. 

Renaming Tools

Bulk Rename Utility: A Windows based program for renaming files in bulk. File names can be appended, prepended, or changed - specific settings allow users to choose how this happens. (Windows only)

Name Changer: Program allows for bulk renaming of files by appending, prepending, or changing file names. (Mac only)

ReNamer: Program allows for bulk renaming of files by appending, prepending, or changing file names based on a set of rules. (Windows only)

Quality Control

Metadata Quality Control: Compare metadata fields to verify technical and administrative specifications of files. Tool is useful for performing quality control tasks especially on the batch level. (Multiple operating systems)

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Checksum Tools

The main purpose of these tools is to create and/or verify checksum values. Creating and validating checksums is a method used to determine if files have changed over time and are useful for documenting integrity and authenticity of digital files.

Checksum Tools

Exact File: Create and verify checksum values over time on single or multiple files. Choose from multiple checksum algorithms. (Windows only)

HashCheck: Create checksums using multiple algorithms at the same time; verify checksums with saved logs.  (Windows only)

HashMyFiles: Create checksums using multiple algorithms at the same time. Identify duplicate files. (Windows only)

Other Tools

These tools can also generate checksums; however this is not their main function.

DROID: Especially useful in better understanding the composition of a folder of files, the main purpose of DROID is to identify file formats. During the process of file format identification file metadata is captured and checksums, if desired, can also be created and used to find duplicate files. (Multiple operating systems)

Karen's Directory Printer: Document selected folder and file properties within a selected directory. Checksums can also be calculated. (Windows only)

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File Duplication Detection Tools

Identifying duplicate files when working with digital materials is an important step when processing records. You do not want to curate or preserve multiple copies of the same file within a collection (or possibly across collections).

Duplicate File Finder (Ashisoft): A program that finds and allows you to remove duplicate files in one or multiple selected areas. Free version is limited and does not delete the found files. (Windows only)

Duplicate File Finder (Auslogic): A program that finds and allows you to remove duplicate files in one or more selected areas. (Windows only)

Easy Duplicate Finder: A program that finds and allows you to remove duplicate files in one or more selected areas. Free version limits number of times of use.(Mac and Windows)(Windows only)

HashMyFiles: Create checksums using multiple algorithms at the same time. If the option is selected, identical files will be identified. (Windows only)

DROID: Especially useful in better understanding the composition of a folder of files, the main purpose of DROID is to identify file formats. During the process of file format identification file metadata is captured and checksums, if desired, can also be created and used to find duplicate files. (Multiple operating systems)

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Metadata Tools

Documenting and capturing metadata is an important aspect when working with digital records. Some of these processes are manual others can be automated. Different types of metadata are needed for different functions.

Data Accessioner: Transfer files from one media to another and capture descriptive and technical metadata in the process. MD5 checksums are used to verify the transfer. Most useful when files are part of an accession. (Multiple operating systems)

Metadata Quality Control: Compare metadata fields to verify technical and administrative specifications of files. Tool is useful for performing quality control tasks especially on the batch level. (Multiple operating systems)

NARA File Analyzer: Analyze the contents of a folder or drive and export the results as a .txt file. Among other things the program can be used to count the number of files by file type, create a directory listing, and generate checksums. (Multiple operating systems)

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Miscellaneous Tools

This section is for guides that don't easily fit into a specific category.

Disk Inventory XVisualize the contents of selected drives, learn more about the properties of selected content, and remove content if desired. (Mac OS only - See Windows Directory Statistics (WinDirStat) for a Windows program.)

ShowSize ProVisualize the contents of selected drives, learn more about the properties of selected content by viewing files and/or folders. Filter results.  Save reports.  Print directory lists. (Windows only)

TreeSize ProVisualize the contents of selected drives, learn more about the properties of selected content by viewing files and/or folders. Filter results.  Save reports.  Print directory lists. (Windows only)

Windows Directory Statistics (WinDirStat)Visualize the contents of selected drives, learn more about the properties of selected content, and remove content if desired. (Windows only - See Disk Inventory X for a Mac OS program.)

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PDFs of All Guides

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