About CAS


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What is Computational Archival Science (CAS)? An initial working definition:

An interdisciplinary field concerned with the application of computational methods and resources to large-scale records/archives processing, analysis, storage, long-term preservation, and access, with aim of improving efficiency, productivity and precision in support of appraisal, arrangement and description, preservation and access decisions, and engaging and undertaking research with archival material.

Our initial CAS operational definition is:

Contributing to the development of the theoretical foundations of a new trans-discipline of computer and archival science.

1. Contribute to the development of the theoretical foundations of a new
trans-discipline of computer and archival science

2. Design the educational foundations and delivering training in this
emerging trans-discipline to support all industries and fields

3. Develop a virtual and physical laboratory to test and apply scientific
advances in a collaborative environment

Table of Contents:

1. Six International CAS Workshops 2. CAS Presentations
3. CAS Publications 4. CAS Cyberinfrastructure

1. Six International CAS Workshops:

  • Workshop #1: Finding New Knowledge: Archival Records in the Age of Big Data, UMD — Apr. 26-28, 2016
    LINK: http://dcicblog.umd.edu/cas/dcickcl-invited-cas-symposium-apr-2016/
    • A KCL / UMD symposium to explore and define the possibilities of CAS, with 52 participants including:
      • federal representatives (White House, NSF, NEH, IMLS, NIH, NARA)
      • researchers (iSchool, CS, Journalism, Libraries, Humanities)
      • students (doctoral, master’s, and high-school)
      • cultural institutions (Smithsonian, National Gallery, US Holocaust Memorial Museum)
      • consortia
    • Objectives and Scope:
      • Address the challenges of big data for digital curation, with a focus on archival records, cultural materials, and humanities research.
      • Explore the conjunction of emerging digital methods and technologies around big data and their consequences for generating new forms of analysis and historical research engagement with archival material.
      • Identify and evaluate current trends, requirements, and potential in the field, to examine their consequences and the new questions that the field can provoke.
      • Determine possible research agendas for the evolution of the field in the coming years.
      • Establish a community of practice going forward to develop research agendas and collaborative projects.

  • Workshop #2: European Perspective on Computational Archival work, UMD — week of Sep. 27, 2016
    First Paul Wasserman Visiting Scholar, Tobias Blanke, KCL London
    LINK: https://ischool.umd.edu/news/dr-tobias-blanke-speak-use-digital-archives-discover-holocaust-stories
  • Workshop #3: IEEE Big Data 2016 “1st CAS Workshop”, Washington D.C. — Dec. 6, 2016
    Keynote talk and 10 presentations (Belgium, Germany, UK, Canada, USA), Panel, Breakout and Poster sessions. Participants from universities, government agencies, and companies.
    LINK: http://dcicblog.umd.edu/cas/ieee_big_data_2016_cas-workshop/
  • Workshop #4: European Holocaust Research Infrastructure (EHRI) Project, Brussels — Apr. 20, 2017
    Presentations on Digital Historiography and computational techniques to deal with very large quantities of archival materials.
    LINK: https://www.ehri-project.eu/digital-historiography-holocaust
  • Workshop #5: CAS Planning Meeting, UMD — May 9-10, 2017
    Planning and development meeting with participation from the iSchool, University of British Columbia, Texas Supercomputing Center, and Georgia Tech: CAS curriculum, Research, Conferences, Grants.
  • Workshop #6: IEEE Big Data 2016 “2nd CAS Workshop”, Boston — mid-Dec. 2017
    LINK: http://dcicblog.umd.edu/cas/ieee_big_data_2017_cas-workshop/

2. CAS Presentations:


  • Archiving 2016, Washington D.C.: Apr. 21, 2016
    • “Revealing Hidden Archival Patterns”, Talk & paper
  • LOC Saving the Web 2016 (Library of Congress), Washington D.C.: Jun. 16, 2016
    • “Preserving the Web in the Age of Big Data”, Invited talk
  • NAGARA 2016 (National Association of Government Archives & Records Administrators annual conf.), Lansing, MI: Jul. 15, 2016
    • “New Developments in Electronic Records”, Invited session
  • SAA 2016 (Society of American Archivists annual conference) – Top voted-in pop-up session, Atlanta, GA: Aug. 5, 2016
    • “Archival Records in the Age of Big Data”, SAA Member selected session
  • iPres 2016 (13th International Conference on Digital Preservation), Bern, SWI: Oct. 4, 2016
    • “Designing Scalable Cyberinfrastructure for Metadata Extraction in Billion-Record Archives”, Talk & paper
  • Digital Preservation 2016, Milwaukee, WI: Nov. 10, 2016
    • “Designing Scalable Cyberinfrastructure for Metadata Extraction in Billion-Object Archives”, Talk & paper
  • MARAC 2016 (Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference), Annapolis, MD: Nov. 4, 2016
    • “Practical Digital Curation Skills for Archivists in the 21st Century”, Invited talk
  • CNI Fall 2016 (Center for Networked Information), Washington, D.C.: Dec. 13, 2016
    • “DRAS-TIC Measures: Digital Repository at Scale that Invites Computation (To Improve Collections)”, Talk


  • IMLS “Always Already Computational” project, UC Santa Barbara: Mar. 2, 2017
    • A three-day workshop on using library collections as data
    • “On the Computational Turn in Libraries and Archives”, Invited talk and position paper
  • ISGC2017 (International Symposium on Grids and Clouds 2017), Academia Sinica, Tapei Taiwan: March 8, 2017
    • “The Emergence of Computational Archival Science (CAS)”, Closing keynote
  • Digital Curation and the Local Community: Collaborating for Social Good workshop, UMD: Apr. 28, 2017
  • Old Line State Summit, U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD: July 12, 2017
  • Summer 2017 Blockathon University of British Columbia: August 3, 2017
    • UBC’s “Blockathon” for Social Good Research, Vicki Lemieux. Open to local and global community members, focused on applying decentralized protocols to improve real-world research processes. See: http://blockchainubc.ca/2017/05/30/blockathon/

3. CAS Publications:

4. CAS Cyberinfrastructure:

  • Launch of the DRAS-TIC software initiative
    • DCIC/UMD negotiates re-assignment and ownership of the Alloy / Indigo industry software from Archive Analytics Solutions Ltd. (AAS) on Sep. 30, 2016 (with support from UMD Offices of IT Procurement, General Counsel, and Technology Commercialization). AAS transfers ownership to UMD (after roughly $2M in investments in Indigo).
    • DCIC launches the DRAS-TIC Open Source software initiative on Oct. 4, 2016. See: http://dcic.umd.edu/10032016-introducing-open-source-platform-dras-tic/. DRAS-TIC is digital repository software to manage content at scale.
    • CNI Video: https://vimeo.com/206243022


         Digital Repository At Scale · That Invites Computation [To Improve Collections]
         DRAS·TIC /ˈdrastik/
                likely to have a strong or far-reaching effect; radical and extreme.
                extreme, serious, radical, far-reaching, impactful, momentous, substantial.
  • DRAS-TIC Demos: technology demos to Federal and State Agencies, & International audiences
    • National Archives & Records Administration (NARA): 2016 & 2017
      • DRAS-TIC Demos:
        • IT Engineering Team: May 2016 & Apr. 19, 2017
        • Office of Innovation: Jul. 20, 2017
    • Maryland State Archives (MSA): Jun. 15, 2017
      • Joint planning on developing computational treatments for the Legacy of Slavery archives
    • Smithsonian Institute, UMD: Jun. 26, 2017
      • Joint planning on using CAS with big collections
    • DH2017 (Digital Humanities), Montreal Canada: Aug. 7, 2017
      • “Shaping Humanities Data: Use, Reuse, and Paths Toward Computationally Amenable Cultural Heritage Collections”, Invited demo: “DRAS-TIC & Reusable Computational Processing of Large-scale Digital Humanities Collections”