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The BitCurator Environment is a suite of open source digital forensics and data analysis tools to help collecting institutions (libraries, archives, and museums) process born-digital materials. BitCurator supports positive digital preservation outcomes using software (see our Software page) and practices adopted from the digital forensics community.

  • Create forensic disk images: Disk images packaged with metadata about devices, file systems, and the creation process.
  • Analyze files and file systems: View details on file system contents from a wide variety of file systems.
  • Extract file system metadata: File system metadata is a critical link in the chain of custody and in records of provenance.
  • Identify and redact sensitive information: Locate private and sensitive information on digital media and prepare materials for public access.
  • Identify and remove duplicate files: Know what files to keep and what can be discarded.

BitCurator is managed by the BitCurator Consortium, overseen by the Educopia Institute. Interested in supporting BitCurator? Find out more about becoming a BitCurator Consortium Member.

Get BitCurator

BitCurator Virtual Machine (v1.3.7)

[Download Mirror] [MD5 checksum]

BitCurator Installation ISO (v1.3.7)

[Download Mirror] [MD5 checksum]

Quickstart Guide Walk through installation and BitCurator use.
The BitCurator Community Get support and speak with members of the team.

Virtual Machine Login

BitCurator ships with a default user. We suggest you change the password when working in production environments!

username: bcadmin

password: bcadmin


Software in our Github repository is GNU GPLv3 licensed. This wiki, documentation, and other materials generated by the BitCurator team are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0). All other software included in the BitCurator environment is distributed in accordance with original licenses.


BitCurator is hosted at the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (SILS). Original support for the BitCurator project was provided by grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Ongoing support for BitCurator is provided by the BitCurator Consortium in association with the Educopia Institute. Current funding for the BitCurator Access project is provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.




Visit here to see more information on current and former BitCurator team members and contributors.

Research, development, and project management was conducted in partnership with the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) between September 2010 and September 2014.



  1. Add BitCurator to Your Archival Workflow
  2. Install BitCurator
  3. Prepare Your Media
  4. Data Triage
  5. Using Digital Forensics Tools

The following descriptions include text-and-screenshot tutorials. You can also visit our video gallery to watch related screencasts.

  1. Add BitCurator to Your Archival Workflow
  2. Install BitCurator. You can use BitCurator as a virtual machine (VM), or install it as an operating system.
  3. Prepare Your Media. Connect the media you wish to explore—external hard drives, floppy disk drives, USB flash media, and others—safely to the machine running BitCurator, analyze the file system(s).
  4. Data Triage. Clean, organize, and explore your data.
  5. Using Digital Forensics Tools. Generate detailed forensic reports to help you understand your files and prepare them for public access.
  6. Or, explore using these features on their own:

    1. Understanding types of information you might wish to scan for
    1. Descriptions and examples of Digital Forensics XML tags

Additional Useful Information

  1. Internationalization / Language Support
  2. Using regular expressions in forensics tools including bulk_extractor
  1. Working with materials in a range of languages
  2. Using regular expressions. Many forensics tools include support for search using regular expressions, a powerful mechanism that can help you match a range of patters with a single search string.

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