January 25, 2011
Last Friday I was part of a panel at the Pioneer (public) Library System meeting. The purpose was to get the libraries interested/excited about providing digital content to their patrons.
Blanche Warner of the Naples Public Library told about a community funded project that digitized a local person’s love letters, sent home during the Civil War. The project was outsourced. The search capability is good and the letters are a lot of fun to read. She also showed a clip of the local news doing a piece on the collection, great PR.
I talked about the things I wrote about in my last blog entry.
April Younglove and Debbie Emerson of the Rochester Regional Library Council (RRLC) talked about the FLAG Heritage project of putting local images on CONTENTdm. FLAG is in the process of merging with a similar New York State project, New York Heritage. They explained how the libraries could get involved and how much support they are able to give. (A lot)
It seemed like quite a few librarians were interested in pursuing some of these options. I hope they are able to follow through.
December 9, 2009
I thought the presentation using the mind map last Friday went rather well. It made it easy for me to keep track of where I was going, and also let the audience know. I just opened each node as I talked about it, then closed it again, so the map didn’t become confusing. I think I preferred it over PowerPoint, because I have a tendency to forget which slide is coming up next with PowerPoint, and with MM I always knew where I was and where I was headed.
It was a very informal presentation, and I didn’t get any feedback on using the MM, only the presentation. I’m hoping it worked for my fellow archivists as well as it worked for me.
Of course there always has to be a problem. When I hooked up to their projector the fonts on my screen went tiny. On the MM I just zoomed in and it was find. When I got to demonstrating EAD with Notetab, however, I couldn’t find any zoom function. I could barely read it on my laptop screen, let alone the projection. I could have probably reset the screen resolution, but didn’t think of it at the time. It really doesn’t help much when you get the solution while driving home.
November 17, 2009
I have been using mind mapping for organizing my work flow in the archives. I recently agreed to do an informal presentation for RRLC’s College Archivists Roundtable so I decided to try it out as a presentation tool, rather than Powerpoint.
You can download free software for mind mapping at freemind.sourceforge.net if you want to try it out.
The presentation is on EAD so I begin with a center circle with EAD then add nodes for Who, Why, What, How and Resources.
I attach nodes to each of these, e.g. How has nodes for EAD Cookbook and Archivist’s Toolkit.
Each of them have nodes, e.g. EAD Cookbook has three; Download, starting a finding aid, troubleshooting.
Then each of those has nodes. It ends up looking like an illustration of evolution.
A couple of advantages are
- You don’t have to have all the branches open at once. You click on a node to expand it to the next level. This keeps it from being visually intimidating when you start out.
- You can add links to external webpages or programs and documents on your computer to each node.
The presentation is on Dec 4th. I’ll report back to you.
April 30, 2009
I learned a few months ago that Alumni House is scanning all of the yearbooks. I only found out when they needed to borrow one they were missing. Now Jared, Hobart Alumni Dir, is getting us together to see how we can support each other in these scanning projects. How great is that?
Also, last week Sara and I went to a OCLC/RRLC workshop on CONTENTdm. I think the meeting this morning will give us a opportunity to suggest the group lobby for buying CONTENTdm because Alumni House, Communications and the Library can all use it. We’ll see what happens.
February 11, 2009
Every since we had the Archives evaluated with an RRLC grant, I’ve become obsessed with the books in our special collections. I allow myself a little time each day to go mining for another possibly valuable book.
Since I started here in 2003 all my time has been spend figuring out the archives. I never had the time to look at the books. Now I’m having such fun!
Are any of you responsible for special collection in addition to the archives?
November 12, 2008
We were part of the RRLC Conservation/Preservation Project and last week we had a visit from John F. Dean, former director of the Department of Preservation at Cornell. He spent about four hours with me, asking and answering questions, looking at the collections and environment and making suggestions. He was so helpful, I felt like I got a great class in archives in a few hours.
That was Thursday and he had a report to us on Monday! He praised the colleges’ support of the archives, the enthusiasm of our student workers, and the value of some of our rare books. He also had recommendations we will be able to use to convince the administration of our need for equipment to log the temperature and relative humidity, a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner, and water alarms.
We also need to shelve the rare books by size and he gave suggestions. He got me interested in learning more about rare book librarianship, so I’ve started scoping out resources.
I’m also rethinking the amount of time and materials we are putting into some collections that have been sitting here forever. More thoughts on that soon.
May 10, 2007
After just getting all charged up on AT yesterday, I went to an RRLC workshop today on Environmental Concerns & the Care of Graphic Materials. So I’m all charged up about that. Now I’m taking two weeks vacation, but the first thing I do when I get back is go to a workshop on Scrapbook preservation. I get excited about all these things, it makes setting priorities difficulty. At least I’m never bored.
The workshop today was done by Michele Hamill and Tatyana Petukhove, both of Cornell. Michele covered photographic materials, Tatyana artistic works on paper. I have absolutely no art background so I picked up a lot from Tatyana, but a lot went over my head. She did leave me feeling like I wish I were younger, I would love to get a degree in paper conservation.
Michele’s presentation was right on point for me. I had been to other such workshops, but it was when I was just starting. Now that I’m more grounded in what I am doing, I feel I added a great deal to my knowledge.
Here are the tidbits I noted, so I won’t forget while I’m on vacation:
- Our stereographs are spread out throughout the photo collection. I think we should bring them together as a collection, so they can be housed in the correct size plastic slides and acid free container.
- We should think about digitizing our slides, when we finish the photo collection, because the equipment for viewing them is disappearing.
- Photo paper we buy for printing our digitized images should always be the same brand as the printer.
- Sara and I should work together on a proposal for creating an environmentally controlled space to house both the archives and the fine art collection.
- We should buy those cool little lighted magnifiers for looking at artifacts, and a couple of those little spatulas for turning pages.
- Determine what we need to buy for proper housing of both the art collection and oversized archives items.
- A bigger paper cutter to handle to big tagboard sheets we use for phase box making.
- Keep pushing for more shelf space.
Stray thoughts: A good student worker job for next year would be to replace the labels on the document boxes. Some are falling off, others have been scratched out and corrected with pencil as we went along. I’m thinking it might be a good idea to put numbers on the boxes with a sharpie, to facilitate reshelving (in the right place.)
That’s it for a couple of weeks, I’m off birdwatching!