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RMA Digital Preservation Lab


The RMA Digital Preservation Lab is a dedicated workspace equipped to tackle challenging digital archiving projects. Lab resources include hardware and software that support:

  • extraction and processing of at-risk data
  • capture of select media
  • digitization of analogue material  
  • processing authentic and trustworthy information

As part of the Digital Preservation Program and one of several successful outcomes of the Digital Preservation Strategy (2018), the aim of the Lab is to commit to the use of open source tools and applications when possible and ensure RMA continues its preservation commitment outlined in the Policy on Records Management and Archives (SG-10).

The RMA Digital Preservation Lab opened in Fall, 2020 on the SGW campus in the basement of the Faubourg Building (FB) and is connected to a Digital Preservation Conference Room, the RMA Processing Room, Reading Room, and Vault. 

Student projects

  • Fall 2022 and 2023 McGill University School of Information Studies INFS 633: Digital Media, course-based project: Migration of audio files from optical media
  • Summer 2022 Université de Montréal École de bibliothéconomie et des sciences de l'information Internship: Processing digital archives within Pnina Gagnon fonds.
  • Winter 2024 McGill University School of Information Studies Practicum project: Concordia Stingers Video Preservation Project.

RMA is grateful to donors who have generously provided equipment for the Digital Preservation Lab. If you have legacy hardware to donate, please contact us at

The following six workstations comprise the Digital Preservation Lab base / default setup. The equipment and configuration of each can be adapted to respond to specific digital archiving projects and needs. 

The AV Capture workstation is dedicated to in-house capture of legacy AV material. Currently this workstation functions to capture video from Mini-DV tapes and VHS cassettes to respond to ongoing departmental projects.


Mac mini (M1, 2020)

Sony HD Videocassette Recorder (HVR-M25U)

Panasonic 4 Head VCR


MacOS Monterey

Final Cut Pro

Elgato Video Capture

Sublime Text

The Digitization workstation is dedicated to long-term departmental scanning projects and ongoing research requests.


Dell Precision – T1700

Epson Expression 10000XL scanner


Windows 10

Epson Scan

The Optical Imaging workstation is dedicated to disk imaging of optical media at-scale using the Nimbie CD Autoloader.


Dell Precision – T1700

Nimbie USB Plus Disc Autoloader (NB21-BR)


Windows 10

FTK Imager (

QQBoxx Pro 3

ImgBurn (

Teracopy (3.26)

Handbreak (1.5.1)

The Linux-based Bitcurator workstation is dedicated to disk imaging, analysis, processing and packaging of archival data. Currently the workstation is used to carve files and metadata from 3.5” floppy diskettes.

More about BitCurator 

Read: Bridging Pre-SIP Processing Gaps with BitCurator 2019 Young Canada Works Internship


HP Probook

VTS USB Floppy Drive (3.5”) (FDUSB)


BitCurator dedicated install (Ubuntu) / Windows 10 (dual-boot)

BitCurator tool set

The Flex Workspace is available to RMA staff and visitors for specific projects and can be deployed as an additional Digital Processing workstation as-needed. 

The Digital Processing workstation is dedicated to processing digital archives in preparation for storage in Archivematica, the University's online digital preservation system. 


Dell Precision – T1700


Windows 10 

Quick View Plus 

Duplicate Cleaner Pro (4.1.2)

VLC media player

Handbreak (1.5.1) 

TeraCopy (3.26)

DROID (6.5.2)

LibreOffice (6.4)

Digital Archivist’s Resource Tool (DART) (2.0.18)

MediaInfo (22.03)

Bagger (2.8.1)

Sublime Text 

Two 5.25 inch floppy disk readers

3.25 inch floppy disk reader

FC5025 USB 5.25 inch floppy controller

Tableau Forensic USB 3.0 Bridge (write blocker)

Tableau Forensic FireWire Bridge (write blocker)

Tableau Forensic SATA/IDE Bridge (write blocker)

Iomega ZIP250 drive

Iomega ZIP100 drive


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