I recently had the opportunity to visit with staff of the University of Maryland, College Park’s Digital Collections digitization program along with a group of my colleagues from the World Bank. This is a report on that site visit. It is my hope that these details can help others planning digitization projects – much as it is informing our own internal planning.
Date of Visit: October 13, 2011
Destination: University of Maryland, Digital Collections
Summary: This visit was two hours in length and consisted of a one hour presentation and Q&A session with Jennie Levine Knies, Manager of Digital Collections followed by a one hour tour and Q&A session with Alexandra Carter, Digital Imaging Librarian.
To be honest, today was a half day of digital archives, due to personal plans taking me away from computers this afternoon. In light of that, my post is more accurately my ‘week of digital archives’.
The highlight of my digital archives week was the discovery of the Digital Curation Exchange. I promptly joined and began to explore their ‘space for all things ‘digital curation’ ‘. This led me to a fabulous list of resources, including a set of syllabi for courses related to digital curation. Each link brought me to an extensive reading list, some with full slide decks related to weekly in classroom presentations. My ‘to read’ list has gotten much longer – but in a good way!
On other days recently I have found myself involved in all of the following:
I have a panel up for evaluation on the SXSW Interactive Panel Picker titled Archival Records Online: Context is King. The evaluation process for SXSW panels is based on a combination of staff choice, advisory board recommendations and public votes. As you can see from the pie chart shown here (thank you SXSW website for the great graphic), 30% of the selection criteria is based on public votes. That is where you come in. Voting is open through 11:59 pm Central Daylight Time on Friday, September 2. To vote in favor of my panel, all you need to do is create a free account over on SXSW Panel Picker and then find Archival Records Online: Context is King and give it a big thumbs up.
If my panel is selected, I intend this session to give me the chance to review all of the following:
This post is a careful log of how I rescued data trapped on 5 1/4″ floppy disks, some dating back to 1984 (including those pictured here). While I have tried to make this detailed enough to help anyone who needs to try this, you will likely have more success if you are comfortable installing and configuring hardware and software.
I have some lovely news to share! In early July, I will join the Library and Archives of Development at the World Bank as an Electronic Records Archivist. This is a very exciting step for me. Since the completion of my MLS back in 2009, I have mostly focused on work related to metadata, taxonomies, search engine optimization (SEO) and web content management systems. With this new position, I will finally have the opportunity to put my focus on archival issues full time while still keeping my hands in technology and software.
I do have a request for all of you out there in the blogosphere: If you had to recommend a favorite book or journal article published in the past few years on the topic of electronic records, what would it be? Pointers to favorite reading lists are also very welcome.
I am typing on a laptop in the Samsung blogger lounge at SXSW. Given this easy opportunity to blog, I wanted to share the overarching theme for my experience so far (3 days in) to SXSW Interactive. Data. It is all about data. APIs exposing data. People visualizing data. Using data to make business and policy decisions. Graphing data to keep track of web site and application performance. Privacy of data. Crowdsourcing data. Data about social media behavior. And on and on!
It has been a common thread I have traced from session to session, conversation to conversation. I expect someone with less of a database and metadata fixation might see something else as the overall meme, but I have a purse full of cards pointing me to new data sources and a notebook full of URLs to track down later to defend my view.
Anyone out there going to be at SXSWi? I would love to find like-minded DH (digital humanities) and GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives & Museums) folks in Austin. If you can’t go, what do you wish I would attend and blog about after the fact?
No promises on thoroughness of my blogging of course. I never have mastered the ‘live blogging’ approach, but I do enjoy taking notes and if the past is any guide to the future I usually manage at least 2 really detailed posts on sessions from any one conference. The rest end up being notes to myself that I always mean to somehow go back to and post later. Maybe I need to spend a month just cleaning up and posting old session summaries (or at least those that still seem interesting and relevant!).
The Hip-Hop word count project on Kickstarter.com caught my eye because it seems to be a really interesting new model for funding a digital humanities project. You can watch the video below – but the core of the project tackles assorted metadata from 40,000 rap songs from 1979 to the present including stats about each song (word count, syllables, education level, etc), individual words, artist location and date. This information aims to become a public online almanac fueled by visualizations.
I am a backer of this project, and you can be too. As of the original writing of this post, they are currently 47% funded twenty-eight days out from their deadline. For those of you not familiar with Kickstarter, people can post creative projects and provide rewards for their funders. The funding only goes through if they reach their goal within the time limit – otherwise nothing happens, a model they call ‘all-or-nothing funding’.
In case you haven’t seen this request via other channels, please consider supporting the research effort described below into how different organizations encode finding aids using EAD. As someone who has dug into the gory details of eleven institutions’ finding aids to extract data for my ArchivesZ project, I am here to tell you that this work is VERY important. With better standards in place we will have a better foundation upon which to create interesting new tools and services to support archivists and researchers.
Is part of your job is to encode finding aids in EAD? Then please ask if you can send a dozen of them to the researchers on this project!
Seeking EAD records from repositories that have implemented EAD