Archive for May, 2009

SOA 2009 Spring Conference

Yesterday, I attended and co-presented at the SOA 2009 Conference in Colombus, OH. The conference theme was Archival Access and Accessibility: Tradition & Technology. The day started with two concurrent sessions, I attended the Ohio Newspaper Digitization Project presentation –just learned that the digitization process is being done by iArchives. This project is part of the National Digital Newspaper Program and the digital content will be included in the Chronicling America database.

For the Welcome & Plenary, we listened to Jill Hurst-Wahl -also known as the author of the Digitization 101 blog. The title of her presentation was “What We Are Learning From Google & Flickr About Digitization and Partnership.” Regarding the Google digitization project, she talked about issues like: Access vs Preservation or Quantity vs Quality. When viewing a page in Google Book, the quality of the image may not be the best one, but the page will most likely include links to sites where users can buy an original copy of the book or request it from a library –if available. Perhaps a good example of “easy and quick access.” She also talked about Flickr as an example of a site that “allows people to participate and help” describe images. The Flickr Commons project might be the best example for this.

Bottom line: we must focus on users, which also implies:

  • help them find what they’re looking for
  • be where they are
  • increase items’ visibility –should I say findability?

Last but not least, in the afternoon, I was part of panel “Bringing Local
Archival Collections into the Digital Age: Using CONTENTdm to organize, describe, and provide access to archival collections.” Jenny Presnell and I talked about the Miami Stories Oral History Project -including the recent additions of transcripts (example); and the Miami Digital Archive.

BTW: …after testing some online free file conversion, here are the links to my slides:

That’s it for now!

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Early planning: Freedom Summer Digital Collection

In January 2009, Jacky Johnson -Western College Archivist- and I submitted a grant proposal to the Ohio Humanities Council (OHC) to digitize the Freedom Summer collection currently housed at the Western Memorial Archives.  The primary materials include journals, diaries and letters written by the college students and civil rights participants in the training in Oxford, Ohio.

Currently, users who want to access the collection must visit the Western Memorial Archives and browse the collection manually.  However, in April we received the award letter :) and the work is already in progress.  By the end of September 2009, we plan to launch the Freedom Summer Digital Collection (FSDC).

In the last two weeks, I’ve spent some hours working on the project planning and workflow. Obviously, I’ve been consulting with colleagues, testing file settings, and contacting students who will help us scan documents and convert videos.

The FSDC will provide users to:

a)  search –either at the collection or page level
b)  browse by topic, name, or place
c)  print transcript of manuscripts or video interviews

The digitization project aims to create a dynamic and friendly website for students and researchers as well as help preserve the originals.

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