NIST National Software Reference Laboratory (NSRL) Efforts in Preserving Software in the Stanford University Libraries (SUL) Cabrinety Collection
September 11, 2013
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About the Lecture:
The NSRL is a software collection at NIST used primarily by law enforcement organizations. The NSRL produces short data profiles called “hashes,” digital fingerprints that uniquely identify a file on a computer as an unaltered copy of a specific program or other piece of software in the library’s index. These hashes help determine which files are important as evidence on computers that have been seized as part of criminal investigations. The NSRL aims to make itself useful to a far broader swath of researchers by expanding its holdings and measuring aspects of them in new ways.
A major new infusion of software is from the Stephen M. Cabrinety Collection in the History of Microcomputing at Stanford University, one of the world’s largest pristine software collections. Stanford acquired the collection in 1998 as part of its larger effort to preserve digital materials for research purposes. NIST renders the materials into “images,” a word that encompasses both pictures of the original physical packaging and bit-for-bit copies of the original software code. NIST will return the originals to SUL but will retain the images in the NSRL, which plans to make the software’s hashes available. Stanford will make their entire code available once they address the intellectual property issues involving these commercial products. Researchers will then be able to explore the collection.
About the Speaker:
Douglas White leads the National Software Reference Library project for the National Institute of Standards and Technology. He has 25 years of experience with distributed systems, distributed databases and telecommunication protocols, real time biomonitoring, real time video processing, system administration and network monitoring. He holds both a B.A and M.S. in computer science from Hood College. He is a member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, the Association of Computing Machinery and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.