Saa11: Round table Discussions

Wednesday Round Table Discussions

Metadata and Digital Object Round table
During this session, the four presenters shared experiences creating metadata for digital objects during the course of specific projects.

The first presenter, Peter Chen “Using Forensic Evidence to Assign Metadata to Born Digital Archives” addressed his use of Quick View Plus and Access Data FTK software to output XML files that then allow the user and repository to access and preserve numerous file formats. These software options solve the key challenges of search capability within files. As the number of files given to a repository increase, having a viable software solution available to enable the user to find your materials, and to enable you- the archivist- to maintain intellectual control over the digital objects is crucial.

The second presenter, Jody DeRidder from the University of Alabama “Just Enough Light to See: Minimal Metadata for Access” emulated the archival theory of More Product, Less Process, as her team through an NHPRC grant funded project created the software Aucem. Acumen automates the file naming process of digital objects, attaches minimal MODS metadata to the record, generates digital derivatives and allows the archivist to batch upload digital files. This software enabled the repository staff to reduce the cost of the digital metadata efforts to roughly .80 cents per page.

Janel Ferrell introduced the topic of LOD- LAM or Linked Open Data- Libraries, Archives & Museums. Her goal, and the goal of those practitioners focused on this idea seeks to reduce the silos of archival web content and enable both archivists and outside researchers the ability to search across multiple repositories and find information. This type of federated searching can be accomplished through the use of URIs, RDF and SKOS (simple knowledge operational systems).

Sharing a similar topic, with different results Erik Moore at the University of Minnesota and Dan Santamaria from the Seeley Mudd Library at Princeton discussed making digital surrogates of certain records in their holdings. Moore’s project focused on university records- mainly course bulletins and other print materials. Once scanned and uploaded to the university’s institutional repository, Moore and his staff decided to recycle the original documents. These record groups are now only available on-line, in the same way that a 2011 course bulletin will be.

Santamaria had a less uplifting tale, in that his project faced several road blocks and he claimed little was ultimately digitized and made available on-line.

Both projects render digital content as PDFs representing information at the folder and not item level of arrangement.

Women’s Collections Round Table

Much of this session was spent discussing the successful collaboration over the past 5 years between staff at the Women and Leadership archive at Loyola University and staff at the Chicago Area Women’s History Council. This collaboration sought to re-define the notion of “What do I get out of this effort?” And change the conversation to how can all parties: archivists, donors, community members, teachers and students benefit from seeking out and preserving Chicago area women’s history. Those involved stressed the idea of openness rather than competitiveness to add collections to their repositories.

Security Round Table

During this session I posed the “million dollar” question to the group, hoping for a definitive answer:

How do we effectively protect our collections, while providing wide-spread access to our materials?

I’m now charged with drafting a session proposal for next year’s meeting with this underlying theme in mind, focused on reading room procedures and security policies.

There was a discussion of emulating the Security standard adopted by the ALA Rare Books and Manuscripts group.

We have a new website to look forward to full of great resources with which to consider our own security policies. The site is based off of a workshop series run this past year in New York State “To Preserve and Protect: Security Solutions for New York’s Historical Records.”

All in all a full and very informative day!!! More from Saa11 tomorrow!

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