About the Curator’s Workbench

The Curator’s Workbench is a new collection preparation and work flow tool for digital materials, developed in the summer of 2010 at UNC-Chapel Hill.

The Workbench helps archivists manage files before they are stored in an institutional repository or dark archive. As the files are selected, arranged, and described, a METS file is generated by the software that documents these processes. In addition, checksums and UUIDs are generated for each object and MODS descriptive metadata elements can be mapped to individual objects and folders.

The Curator’s Workbench is designed to facilitate the staging of large batches of objects with custom supplied metadata. The Workbench’s crosswalk tool is the key to mapping user-supplied metadata fields to MODS elements. It allows you to define how each MODS record is created, which elements are used and where they come from in the source metadata. This information is stored in the underlying METS manifest, and when a project is ready for submission, an export function translates the internal METS into an XML-viewable submission package ready for ingest.

This page is meant to serve as a central source for information about the Workbench. More documentation will become available as the tool develops.

Background: The Curator’s Workbench software was created for the Carolina Digital Repository, an initiative of the University Libraries of UNC Chapel Hill. The workbench continues to be developed to support the work flow needs of UNC Libraries. However the software is available for community experimentation and use. The software has a modular design and may be extended for use outside of the UNC environment.

Software license: Apache 2


  • Visit the Carolina Digital Repository website.
  • Our GitHub Wiki is host to  information on the Workbench’s software architecture and other technical content.
  • Watch a screencast of the Workbench in action.
  • Download the Workbench from our Software Download page.
  • View a Prezi Presentation for some background about the Curator’s Workbench.
  • See our Curator’s Workbench Poster, prepared for the 2010 International Digital Curation Conference.
  • Note: The user manual PDF has been incorporated into the workbench help system.

We’ll be updating this page as more documentation becomes available, so check back soon!

For more information contact:

Gregory  N. Jansen
Lead Developer, Curator’s Workbench
Library Systems
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Erin O’Meara
Electronic Records Archivist
University Archives and Records Management
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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