SCAPE Project Training Event on Identification and Characterisation

On 6-7 December 2012, the first SCAPE training event was held in the beautiful city of Guimaraes, Portugal. The event was supported by the European Capital of Culture 2012, who kindly provided the venue, the Archaeological Museum of the Martins Sarmento Society.

The focus of the training event was identification and characterisation. The event began with an introduction to file formats, and some of the resources and tools that are used for identification such PRONOM, and FILE, FIDO, and TIKA, and how they are applied in different scenarios. This was followed by a session on wrapping tools using FITS and a group discussion on the advantages and disadvantages of wrapping tools. The second day began with an introduction to content profiling and planning and looked at the c3po tool. There was then a demonstration of the matchbox tool which is used to identify duplicate images in digital collections. The afternoon focussed on using tools as part of a workflow with Taverna and Hadoop.

The event was very hands-on; the trainers provided virtual machines and sample data so the attendees could run a number of identification and characterisation experiments using the command line. The practitioners and developers worked in pairs to complete the exercises, which were followedby group discussions.

Twenty-one participants from across Portugal, and Norway, Germany and the UK attended the event. There was a fairly equal balance of digital preservation practitioners and developers who came from archives, universities, vendors, government, public sector organisations, business and industry.

The participants were asked to complete an event evaluation survey. Nineteen of the 21 participants completed the survey, and the response to the event was very positive. 

  • Eighty-nine per cent of participants agreed or strongly agreed that the event had met their expectations
  • All organisational aspects of the event were rated as very good or excellent by over 84 per cent of the participants
  • Eighty-nine per cent of participants agreed or strongly agreed that they would attend another similar event

When asked what they thought were the strong points of the training event, attendees commented:

  • “The content of the sessions and the practical exercises”
  • “The knowledgeable and passionate speakers and trainers”

The resources, presentations and training materials have been uploaded to the SCAPE wiki pages here:

The next SCAPE training event will take place on 16-17 September at The British Library, London. Further details will be announced on the SCAPE website.



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