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Category: software

SEO Evaluation of an Archival Website: Looking at UMBC’s Digital Collections

Flickr Commons: Do-it-yourself-womanEach week brings announcements of archives launching new websites. Today both my email and Twitter told me about  University of Maryland, Baltimore County’s new Digital Collections site. Who can resist peeking at new materials available online?

I have spent much of the past year learning the details of Search Engine Optimization. Usually shortened to SEO, this simply refers to the use of techniques which improve the traffic sent to a website via organic search. Want your webpage to show up at the top of the list for a specific search in Google? You want to work on your SEO. ... 

A History of Our Own, Representing Communities and Identities on the Web (SAA09: Session 202)

LOC Flickr Commons: Sylvia Sweets Tea RoomAndrew Flinn, University College London (UCL), was the second speaker during SAA09’s Session 202 with his presentation ‘A History of Our Own, Representing Communities and Identities on the Web’. Flinn began with the idea that archives are “a place for creating and re-working memory”. While independent community archives are constituted around many purposes, Flinn’s main interest is in communities focused on absences and mis-representation of a group or event in history. Communities in which there is a cultural, politcal, or artistic activism. Some of these communities may be considered ‘movements’. ... 

Archivists and New Technology: When Do The Records Matter?

Navigating the rapidly changing landscape of new technology is a major challenge for archivists. As quickly as new technologies come to market, people adopt them and use them to generate records. Businesses, non-profits and academic institutions constantly strive to find ways to be more efficient and to cut their budgets. New technology often offers the promise of cost reductions. In this age of constantly evolving software and technological innovation, how do archivists know when a new technology is important or established enough to take note of? When do the records generated by the latest and greatest technology matter enough to save? ... 

SAA2009: Building, Managing and Participating in Online Communities

SAA 2009: Sustainable Archives AUSTIN 09It is official – the panel I proposed for SAA 2009 (aka, Sustainable Archives: AUSTIN 2009) was accepted!

Title: Building, Managing and Participating in Online Communities: Avoiding Culture Shock Online

Abstract: As more archival materials move online, archivists must become adept at participating in and managing online communities. This session will discuss real world experiences of this involvement, including putting images into the Flickr Commons and links to archival materials in Wikipedia, as well as guidelines on cultural norms within online communities. We will also discuss choosing between building new communities from scratch vs joining a broader, existing community (such as the Flickr Commons). ... 

Susa 2.0: Max Evans’ Finding Aid Prototype

Susa Young GatesAs part of his portion of our SAA 2008 panel in San Francisco, Max Evans demonstrated his prototype for a new way to view an EAD finding aid. You can download his presentation from the SAA’s site: Finding Aids for the 21st Century: The Next Evolution.

Max’s prototype of Susa 2.0 is now online! He asked that I make sure you know it works best (showing all the intended mouse over text for links) with Internet Explorer version 6.0. The prototype presents the finding aid of the Susa Young Gates Papers from the Utah State Historical Society. His design tackles the major issues that plague large finding aids normally displayed in traditional single page layouts. Anyone who has looked at a large finding aid online has had the experience of being scrolled down somewhere in the middle and realizing they have no idea what they are looking at. What folder is this item in? What box is this folder in? Am I reading through a list of letters from 1950 or are these the ones from 1970? ... 

NEH Digital Humanities Startup Grant News: Visualizing Archival Collections

archivesz ng

As of August 22nd, 2008 it was official. There is even a blog post over on the NEH Office of Digital Humanities updates page to prove it. The University of Maryland was granted a Level I NEH Digital Humanities Startup Grant to fund work on the ‘Visualizing Archival Collections’ project. The official one liner is that the project will support “The development of visualization tools for assessing information contained in electronic archival finding aids created with Encoded Archival Description (EAD)”. Why did I wait so long to announce this on the blog? I wanted to have something fun to announce at the end of my SAA presentation out in San Francisco! ... 

SAA2008: Preservation and Experimentation with Analog/Digital Hybrid Literary Collections (Session 203)

floppy disks

The official title of Session 203 was Getting Our Hands Dirty (and Liking It): Case Studies in Archiving Digital Manuscripts. The session chair, Catherine Stollar Peters from the New York State Archives and Records Administration, opened the session with a high level discussion of the “Theoretical Foundations of Archiving Digital Manuscripts”. The focus of this panel was preserving hybrid collections of born digital and paper based literary records. The goal was to review new ways to apply archival techniques to digital records. The presenters were all archivists without IT backgrounds who are building on others work … and experimenting. She also mentioned that this also impacts researchers, historians, and journalists.For each of the presenters, I have listed below the top challenges and recommendations. If you attended the sessions, you can skip forward to my thoughts...