SFU Movelt

SFU MoveIt is a small Python-based desktop utility for packaging digital records for transfer to the Archives. The application was developed by Alex Garnett, SFU Research Data Management & Systems Librarian. The latest version (2.0.6) was released in December 2020.


SFU MoveIt follows the BagIt File Packaging Format to create transfer packages on a user's local machine as standard BagIt containers ("Bags"). The app provides an interface for users to enter transfer metadata (contact information, records description) which is written to the Bag. The transfer is then ready for upload to a designated deposit folder on SFU Vault, the university's file-sharing and storage service.

Using SFU MoveIt offers four main advantages over basic upload / copying of unpackaged files.

(1) Based on standards. SFU MoveIt creates standardized transfer packages that implement the BagIt specification, ensuring that transfers are consistent and predictable in structure, regardless of content.

(2) Generates checksums. SFU MoveIt creates a checksum for each file packaged. A checksum is an alpha-numeric value calculated by an algorithm applied to the file's underlying bitstream (the string of 0s and 1s). It functions as a kind of "digital fingerprint": any change to the bitstream will generate a completely different checksum when the same algorithm is applied. This enables the Archives to validate transfers by comparing the files' pre- and post-transfer checksums. In this way we can identify any files that suffered corruption or data loss during transmission and request users to re-send them.

(3) Preserves timestamps. SFU MoveIt preserves the original timestamps (date created and date modified) of the files included in the packages. This is useful metadata that would be lost if you simply copy / upload files to the deposit folder on SFU Vault.

(4) Incorporates user-supplied metadata. The information provided by users about the transfer is important contextual information, valuable for the long-term management of the materials and for their future understandability and use. SFU MoveIt retains the metadata within the transfer package itself so that it is carried forward with the records through their subsequent life in the digital preservation system.

SFU MoveIt is an open-source tool and may be freely adapted. For download (app or source code), visit the app's release page on GitHub. The latest version (2.0.6) was released in December 2020 and is available for both Windows and Mac OS.

  • The Windows version requires Windows 10.
  • The Mac version was designed and mainly tested in Mac 10.16; it requires minimum 10.14, though some users have reported difficulities using it with that operating system.