News and Events

Celebrating Dr. Michael Kurtz’s Accomplishments at the DCIC Center


The DCIC staff (past, present… and future) were very honored to celebrate Dr. Michael J. Kurtz for his leadership and (too) many (to count) contributions at the University of Maryland, most recently as the Associate Director of the Digital Curation Innovation Center (DCIC) in the College of Information Studies.

Celebrating with DCIC members (past, current, and future) on May 9, 2018:

  • Standing (left to right): Myeong Lee, Sohan Shah, Bill Underwood, Greg Jansen, Richard Marciano, Ken Heger, Will Thomas, Mary Kendig, Katrina Fenelon, Noah Dibert
  • Sitting (left to right): Cherie Loustaunau, Michael Kurtz

We are very grateful for all of Michael’s contributions, creativity, and boundless energy, and look forward to continued engagements beyond his tenure at the iSchool. Feel free to catch up with Michael over the summer at the Society of American Archives (SAA2018) Annual Conference:

Michael not only taught at the University of Maryland’s College of Information Studies, for the last 18 years, but also became a full-time faculty member in 2011, and cofounded the DCIC Center in 2015 where he was the Associate Director until now. See:

Michael has been a tireless advocate and benefactor to the iSchool. He set up a 2012 bequest of $500,000 to establish the Michael J. Kurtz Professorship in Archives and Digital Curation, and in 2015 provided a second $500,000 bequest to create an endowment fund to support the DCIC Center’s efforts.

“In my life and career, the combination of education and archives has been very powerful, and my goal to is help expose students to the tools and technologies they are going to need for contemporary careers in archives.”


Michael is also co-founder of the Computational Archival Science (CAS) initiative in the DCIC (with colleagues from Kings College London, Georgia Tech, University of British Columbia, and the Texas Advanced Computing Center).  See: CAS Portal:

He has led DCIC Student Project efforts on the Legacy of Slavery project, in partnership with the Maryland State Archives, and the International Research Portal Project, with records related to looted Nazi-Era art. See:

Prior to this he worked at the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) for 37 years as a professional archivist, manager, and senior executive, including leading the National Declassification Center to streamline efforts to make billions of pages of government records public. His leadership was recognized by “Federal Computer Week” in 2005 with one of its prestigious Fed 100 Awards.

Michael received his doctoral degree in European History from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. He has published extensively in the fields of American history and archival management. His broad and eclectic scholarly work, among others, include:

  • “Museums, Archives, and Universities – Structuring Future Connections with Big Data” (co-author), in Big Data in the Arts and Humanities: Theory and Practice (June 2018)
  • “Archival Records and Training in the Age of Big Data” (co-author), in Re-Envisioning the MLS: Perspectives on the Future of Library and Information Science Education (May, 2018). See:
  • “Archival Management and Administration,” in Encyclopedia of Library and Information Sciences (Third Edition, 2010);
  • Managing Archival and Manuscript Repositories (2004);
  • America and the Return of Nazi Contraband: The Recovery of Europe’s Cultural Treasures (2006, Paperback edition 2009).

DCIC at UMD Social Justice Day


Google Document for Discussion / Viewing

Mapping Inequality Website:


News Articles about Mapping Inequality

(1) The New York Times:

Lines like these, drawn in cities across the country to separate “hazardous” and “declining” from “desirable” and “best,” codified patterns of racial segregation and disparities in access to credit. Now economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, analyzing data from recently digitized copies of those maps, show that the consequences lasted for decades. As recently as 2010, they [researchers] find, differences in the level of racial segregation, homeownership rates, home values and credit scores were still apparent where these boundaries were drawn.

“Did the creation of these maps actually influence the development of urban neighborhoods over the course of the 20th century to now?” said Bhash Mazumder, one of the Fed researchers, along with Daniel Aaronson and Daniel Hartley. “That was our primary question.”

(2) National Geographic:

“These residential decisions had decades-long consequences,” Connolly adds. “So much of the wealth inequality that exists in America is driven by inequality in real estate market and the ability to generate equity and pass it down from one generation to the next.”

(3) Washington Post:

Nearly 70 percent of formerly redlined communities in Baltimore remain predominantly minority, as well as lower income. Even neighborhoods in western Baltimore that had been rated as “desirable” subsequently became populated with minority, low-income residents as middle-class whites fled to the suburbs, researchers said.


SAA ERS Blog on DCIC – Partnerships in Advancing Digital Archival Education

The blog of the Electronic Records Section] of the Society of American Archivists was founded to foster communication and collaboration within the ERS and across the wider archival community. The DCIC is honored to have a blog published on the work we are doing in advancing Digital Archival Education at the University of Maryland.

To read our blog, please see:

Meeting with Executives from the Baltimore City Mayor’s Office at the University of Maryland (Feb 15, 2018)

The DCIC on February 15 hosted a team from the Baltimore City Mayor’s
office to demonstrate DCIC work, capabilities, and the empowerment of
students to innovate for social good. The visitors found good ideas from the
DCIC demonstrations that could be leveraged into a small implementation
project during this debut year for the Baltimore City IT/Tech Master Plan.

iSchool Symposium at the University of Maryland (May 1, 2018)

The iSchool Symposium will be held Tuesday, May 1, at the Stamp Student Union, Grand Ballroom. Due to our rapidly growing student body, this event combines two separate events that we’ve traditionally held – the PhD Research Day and the iSchool Experiential Expo. This combined event will feature poster presentations, Ted Talks, Panel Discussions and Debates from across our programs, including InfoSci. The iSchool will invite industry experts and UMD staff and faculty to attend the symposium and interact with students.

Data Challenge 2018 at the University of Maryland (Feb 24 – March 3, 2018)

Data Challenge (co-sponsored by the DCIC) is a week-long data focused event where students will apply their creativity and analytical prowess to solve an information problem. The theme for the challenge is ‘Information Innovation for Social Good’. Participants will get to choose from a variety of datasets provided by sponsoring companies and leverage their skills towards creating innovative solutions that drive social good. Participants will receive guidance from mentors in shaping their ideas along with the opportunity to attend Tech-Talks from eminent speakers and industry experts. This event is intended to empower UMD students through the development of analytical skills whilst solving socially relevant real world challenges.

200 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students from the University participated in Data Challenge. The DCIC provided 2 datasets for students to work on. Richard Marciano and Greg Jansen attended the event and mentored several teams through the Challenge week, which resulted in quality projects being presented by teams at the Challenge Finale.


UMD iSchool Students and Faculty Present at the International Digital Curation Conference (Barcelona, Feb. 20, 2018)

Richard Marciano presented a talk at the 13th International Digital Curation Conference (IDCC18), Feb. 20, Barcelona, Spain. “Building Open-Source Digital Curation Services and Respositories at Scale”, Richard Marciano, Greg Jansen, Will Thomas, Sohan Shah, and Michael Kurtz. See:

Topics covered included:

  1. Development of Distributed Scalable NoSQL Catalogs and Repositories (DRAS-TIC)
  2. Development of Cloud-Based Digital Curation Services (Brown Dog)
  3. Creation of a Testbed of Justice, Human Rights, and Cultural Heritage Collections (CI-BER)
  4. Development of a New Trans-Disciplinary Field: Computational Archival Science (CAS)
  5. Integration of Digital Curation Education & Research at the Digital Curation Innovation Center (DCIC)


Symposium on Computational Archival Science at Kyushu University, Japan (Jan. 12-16, 2018)

          Computational                    Archival [Records Management]                Science

Richard Marciano (UMD iSchool) and Maria Esteva (UMD iSchool Affiliate Professor and Data Archivist at the Texas Advanced Computing Center), were invited to visit Kyushu University (January 12-16, 2018) and conducted several seminars with faculty of the Department of Library Science.

Emi Ishita and Yoichi Tomiura

Special thanks to our amazing hosts at Kyushu University: Yoichi Tomiura (Deputy Director General of University Libraries and Professor in Department of Library Science, Department of Informatics, and Research and Education Center of Mathematics and Data Science), and Emi Ishita (Associate Professor Dept. of Library Science)

Talks included:

  1. Articulating Computational Archival Science (CAS): Background, Current State, and Professional and Educational Implications” (Marciano, Esteva)
  2. The Scope of Computational Archival Science (CAS): Methods, Resources and Interdisciplinary Approaches” (Marciano, Esteva)
  3. World War II Japanese-American Internment Camp Project” (Marciano)
  4. Anatomy of Big Archives Visualization” (Esteva).


Harvard Library Computational Archival Science Unconference 2017 (Cambridge, Dec. 14, 2017)

The Harvard Library hosted an amazing day-long CAS unconference!  See:

The goal was to connect scholars researching and developing computational methods for archives with archivists and librarians using computational methods to curate and manage collections, explore collaborations, and provide an open forum where a broad community of interest might engage with these ideas.

Topics included:

  • Lightning round talks from IEEE Computational Archival Science workshop participants
  • Breakout discussion groups:
    • Natural language processing
    • Computational curation of cultural heritage archives
    • Computational finding aids
    • Blockchain
  • Discussion of resources needed in order to further develop CAS

Thank you to the amazing organizers and hosts (left to right): Jane Kelly (Historical & Special Collections Assistant for the Harvard Law Library), Jessica Farrell (Curator of Digital Collections for the Harvard Law Library), and Ceilyn Boyd (Research Data Program Manager for the Harvard Library).


The Morning Session included talks on:

  • Generating astrophysics-specific language using recurrent neural networks to assess linguistic complexity between subdomains and using computer vision to identify sketches and graphs in archival astronomical observations
  • Harvard Library’s Colonial North America Project
  • Visualization in the Harvard FAS (Faculty of Arts & Sciences)
  • Collaborative Needs Activity with Harvard Library’s Special Collections and Archives Council (SPARC)

The Afternoon Session included an Introduction to CAS by Richard Marciano (U. Maryland iSchool), Lightening Talks from many of the CAS#2 Workshop participants, and Breakout discussions:

Speaker: William Underwood (U. Maryland iSchool)

Speaker: Chris Prom (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Speaker: Tod Goodall (UT of Austin)

Speaker: Tim Hutchinson (University of Saskatchewan Library, Canada)

Jason Baron (Of Counsel, Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP)

Speaker: Greg Jansen (U. Maryland iSchool)

Speaker: Ji-Ping Lin (Academia Sinica, Taiwan)

Speaker: Victoria Lemieux (University of British Columbia)

Speaker: Tyler Smith (Adventium Labs)

Speaker: Shiyun Chen (University of Maryland iSchool MLIS student)

CAS Workshop #2 (Boston, Dec. 13, 2017)

The 2nd Computational Archival Science (CAS) workshop was held at IEEE Big Data 2017 in Boston on Dec. 13.

Richard Marciano (UMD), Vicki Lemieux (UBC), and Mark Hedges (King’s College London)


See: for a list of computational methods and archival concepts associated with each of the presentations.

The workshop featured:

  • 14 presentations from France, Netherlands, UK, Canada, US, Taiwan
  • 2 demos from GE and US
  • 25 UMD iSchool students on talks/papers and panels on new CAS curricula development!

Moderator: Michael Kurtz

Students: LEFT TO RIGHT — Jennifer Proctor, Claire McDonald , Will Thomas discussed educational takeaways, and methods for incorporating CAS into the Master’s of Library and Information Science (MLIS) in order to better address the needs of today’s MLIS graduates looking to employ both ‘traditional’ archival principles in conjunction with computational methods.

They represented the seven graduate students at the U. Maryland iSchool who participated in the fall 2017 seminar exploring the eight case studies proposed in the 2017 Foundational Paper: “Archival records and training in the Age of Big Data”, Marciano, Lemieux, Hedges, Esteva, Underwood, Kurtz, Conrad, LINK, to be published in May 2018 in “Advances in Librarianship – Re-Envisioning the MLIS: Perspectives on the Future of Library and Information Science Education”, Editors: Lindsay C. Sarin, Johnna Percell, Paul T. Jaeger, & John Carlo Bertot.

Other UMD iSchool-related faculty / student talks included:

#3: Computational Curation of a Digitized Record Series of WWII Japanese-American Internment 
[William Underwood, Richard Marciano, Sandra Laib, Carl Apgar, Luis Beteta, Waleed Falak, Marisa Gilman, Riss Hardcastle, Keona Holden, Yun Huang, David Baasch, Brittni Ballard, Tricia Glaser, Adam Gray, Leigh Plummer, Zeynep Diker, Mayanka Jha, Aakanksha Singh, and Namrata Walanj — University of Maryland, USA]

Slides — Paper

  • Computational Methods: NLP, NER, GIS, Graph database,
    linked data
  • Archival Concepts: Digital curation, automated metadata extraction

#8: Heuristics for Assessing Computational Archival Science (CAS) Research: The Case of the Human Face of Big Data Project 
[Myeong Lee, Yuheng Zhang, Shiyun Chen, Edel Spencer, Jhon Dela Cruz, Hyeonggi Hong, and Richard Marciano — University of Maryland, USA]

Slides — Paper

  • Computational Methods: Heuristics for CAS research,
  • Archival Concepts: Iterative design, value-sensitive design

#14: A Typology of Blockchain Recordkeeping Solutions and Some Reflections on their Implications for the Future of Archival Preservation 
[Victoria Lemieux — University of British Columbia, CAN]

Slides — Paper

  • Computational Methods: Blockchain, computational validation, distributed ledger, computational trust
  • Archival Concepts: Recordkeeping, digital preservation,
    archival trust

Greg Jansen, University of Maryland, USA

DRAS-TIC for Linked Data and Memento
greg_jansen Greg showcased the next phase of DRAS-TIC software development and scalability testing. Digital Repository At Scale — That Invites Computation (DRAS-TIC) Funded through the NSF Brown Dog project (see: The next phase of DRAS-TIC development was funded by a two-year grant from the IMLS as the “DRAS-TIC Fedora” project. This will see our horizontal scaling NoSQL digital repository grow to support the Linked Data Platform and Memento APIs for versioned linked data. We aim to meet these stringent LDP requirements and continue to support distributed compute on the Cassandra back-end.