37 Slices
Medium 9781442276147

More Than Merely Transcription

Collections; Juilee Decker Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

More Than Merely TranscriptionAn Analysis of Metatasks and Twitter ChatChristine RosenfeldPh.D. candidate in Cultural Studies at George Mason University, crosenfe@gmu.eduAbstract This article seeks to understand the practices that digital volunteers of the Smithsonian’s Transcription Center (TC) engage in aside from transcribing. A thematic analysis of the Twitter feed @TranscribeSI demonstrates that volunteers are doing much more than just transcribing; they are additionally engaging in critical archival practices regarding reflexivity and filling in gaps in the historical record. Museums that hope to foster deep engagement among volunteers and to create a sustained community of virtual museumgoers may wish to model their digital initiatives on those of the TC. Doing so will ensure that museums move beyond mere data extraction toward building complex relationships with audiences through online initiatives. As a result of Web 2.0 technologies, museums in the 21st century are undergoing a transformation in the way that they produce and disseminate knowledge. Mancini and Carreras (2010) write that “new [museum] users do not only consume, they also want to be involved and to model their environment, creating social and cultural values for themselves and rejecting hierarchical structures” (60), which requires museums to decide whether to integrate user-generated knowledge into their archive, mission, structure, and workflow. For the purposes of this article, Web 2.0 refers to “the practice of getting users to add value to a website by having them build its content, thus accelerating the cycle of media production so that sites become dynamic, constantly updated sources of new material” (Gehl 2014, 47). Web 2.0 has exerted pressure on museums of the 21st century to switch from being institutions of memory to dynamic social spaces (Kelly 2010; Mancini and Carreras 2010). The Smithsonian Institution (SI) is beginning to embody the dynamic social space that characterizes contemporary museums (Kalfatovic et al. 2008). This movement is demonstrated by the Transcription Center (TC), an online digital space where volunteers transcribe and review other volunteers’ transcriptions of historical materials.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781538104118

Introduction to Metadataedited by Murtha Baca

Decker, Juilee; Collections Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Introduction to Metadata

Edited by Murtha Baca. 3rd edition. Los Angeles: Getty Publications, 2016. 96 pages. ISBN: 978-1-60606-479-5. Read online for free: http://www.getty.edu/publications/intrometadata/

Reviewed by Jessica Williams, Associate Collection Information Manager, Digital Department, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10028; jessica.williams@metmuseum.org

Introduction to Metadata provides an overview of metadata and examines the methods, tools, and standards for presenting digital resources on the web. The guide focuses on the function of metadata in expanding access and use of digital collections in museums, libraries, and archives. The third edition has been updated to explore the changes in metadata standards and technologies in the information field, and includes an expanded glossary of terms. The guide is available as an online resource with updates posted on the project repository site GitHub.

In the initial chapter “Setting the Stage,” Anne Gilliland provides an overview of metadata for museums, libraries, and archives. Gilliland explains the types of metadata standards, including structure, value, content, and format/technical exchange, and the purpose of standards to maintain the quality, consistency, and interoperability of metadata. She examines the types and functions of metadata, including administrative, descriptive, preservation, technical, and use. She also focuses on the role of metadata in improving access, maintaining context, and expanding use of digital resources.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781442277229

Possessing an “Inner History”: Curators, Donors, and Affective Stewardship

Collections; Juilee Decker Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Amy Hildreth Chen

Special Collections Instruction Librarian, University of Iowa Libraries, Amy-Chen@uiowa.edu

Abstract Acquisition histories reveal how relationships between repository curators and collection donors shape an institution’s holdings as well as the direction of future scholarship. However, researchers often overlook the significance of acquisition histories, as cultural heritage organizations do not make this information readily available, for accession information either is considered private or is not presumed to be valuable. Therefore, tracing acquisition histories requires analyzing evidence across critical, artistic, and institutional records to see how curators recruit donors and then support the processing and promotion of their collections. The case study of curator Kevin Young and Lucille Clifton at Emory University’s Stuart A. Rose Manuscripts, Archives, and Rare Book Library provides an example of the merit of acquisition histories. While Clifton had no previous institutional connection to Emory, she chose Rose Library because she knew Young personally and trusted him, as both belonged to the same community of African American poets. I argue that Young advocated for Clifton’s papers out of respect for her legacy, which included her mentorship of his early career. This “inner history” between writer and curator, mentor and protégé, demonstrates the value of affective stewardship, or when a curator’s emotional connection to a writer generates a level of collection advocacy surpassing standard promotional practices.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781442276147

The Creation and Evolution of the Transcription Center, Smithsonian Institution’s Digital Volunteer Platform

Collections; Juilee Decker Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

The Creation and Evolution of the Transcription Center, Smithsonian Institution’s Digital Volunteer PlatformAndrew GuntherLead Application Developer, Enterprise Digital Asset Network, Office of the Chief Information Officer, Smithsonian Institution, gunthera@si.eduMichael SchallSenior Consultant, Quotient, Inc.Contractor for the Office of the Chief Information Officer, Smithsonian Institution, mschall@quotient-inc.comChing-hsien WangBranch Manager, Library and Archives Systems Support Branch, Office of the Chief Information Officer, Smithsonian Institution, Transcription Center Project Manager, WangCH@si.edu
Abstract
This article discusses the technical design considerations in creating and evolving a digital volunteer platform for transcribing historic documents and collection records. We outline the thought process of our technical team in attempting to architect and build a system that could achieve a mission of collecting knowledge to promote discovery as well as a platform that was extensible, versatile, able to be integrated, and adaptable to future needs. A unique and unexpected aspect of our project is that the digital volunteers not only contributed data but also shaped (and continue to shape) the technical product, user interface, and user experience.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781442276147

Establishing Workflows and Opening Access to Data within Natural History Collections

Collections; Juilee Decker Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Establishing Workflows and Opening Access to Data within Natural History CollectionsSylvia OrliIT Manager, Department of Botany, National Museum of Natural History, orlis@si.eduJessica BirdData Manager, Department of Entomology, National Museum of Natural History, birdj@si.eduAbstract The Smithsonian Transcription Center (TC) is a transcription platform for a wide variety of collection items for the Smithsonian museums and units. The National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) collection items present a unique challenge for the TC, as the labels on these items contain a variety of information, requiring a complex transcription template. In addition, the transcribed collection data must be imported back to the NMNH database (EMu Museum Management System) with prescribed formatting. The Departments of Botany and Entomology at NMNH have worked with the TC through these challenges to create a workflow that addresses these issues while providing high-quality data at a rapid rate. Suggestions for further improvement are examined as well.

See All Chapters

See All Slices