ARST 556H (3) Digital Diplomatics and Digital Records Forensics

Offered on an irregular basis


MLIS students: Completion of the MLIS Core courses and LIBR 516, plus permission of the instructor

MAS and Dual students: Completion of the “Term 1” MAS Core courses

GOAL: The goal of this course is to present the underpinnings of the emerging discipline of digital records forensics, which integrates digital diplomatics with digital forensics in order to apply digital records forensics concepts and methods to the management of digital records throughout their life-cycle.


Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Identify digital records in various types of information systems and applications
  • Relate the characteristics, behavior and functions of different types of digital records to their use and management
  • Use diplomatics knowledge in the digital environment to complement digital forensics in both a retrospective way (to analyze what exists) and a prospective way (to establish what should exist)
  • Develop a range of solutions to the issues associated with maintaining the authenticity of digital records throughout their use, management and preservation; and
  • Identify the legal issues associated with digital records in various types of information systems, applications and media, and assess their admissibility as evidence.


  • Characteristics, components, elements and attributes of digital records, documents, and data
  • Types of digital records (static and interactive) and their behavior
  • Functions of digital records (traditional, instructive, enabling)
  • Digital records status of transmission, workflows and relationships
  • Records, documents, and data trustworthiness in the digital environment (reliability, accuracy, authenticity, authentication)
  • Terminology, best practices, standards, and tools;
  • Legal concepts relevant to digital evidence (e.g., admissibility, authentication, best evidence, chain of custody, expert testimony, search and seizure, etc.)


  • Assessing the record status of digital entities: diplomatic analysis
  • Addressing issues related to e-discovery and digital records forensics
  • Identifying requisites for records systems
  • Reviewing legal developments (e.g., statutes and case law).
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