A new digital preservation tool, called CINCH (Capture, INgest, and CHecksum) and funded through an IMLS Sparks! Ignition grant, is now available for use by institutions throughout North Carolina. The tool was created to help address the digital preservation needs of small and mid-sized institutions throughout North Carolina.
An institution could use the tool in a variety of ways – consider a solo university archivist or preservation librarian, responsible for gathering the history of their institution. The archivist/librarian can use CINCH to download and “clean” (check for viruses, automatically create metadata, etc.) all sorts of files — such as newsletters, meeting minutes, budgets, and images — on institutional websites. CINCH performs preservation-friendly tasks and creates an audit trail to begin tracking files’ authenticity.
Basically, without having to depend on expensive infrastructure not readily available at smaller institutions, one of the most challenging technical aspects of digital preservation is achieved — a preservation-ready acquisition, or “ingest,” package. After the files are output by CINCH, an institution’s files are ready for deposit into its repository, for placement on its networked storage system, or for review by curators.
A free version is available for use by any North Carolina institution. Institutions outside of North Carolina may test the tool using the hosted version; a downloadable, open-source version is available for local installation.
CINCH is hosted through a partnership with NC LIVE and the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, and is administered by Government and Heritage Library staff. CINCH 2.0 is already under development.