Mobile Technology, Oral History and the 9/11 Memorial

July 3rd, 2014

911 MemorialI have published a new paper in Preservation, Digital Technology & Culture titled “Mobile Technology, Oral History and the 9/11 Memorial: A Study of Digitally Augmented Remembrance.” Below is the abstract and the article can be downloaded from the publisher site. I also have made a pre-print available here.

I would like to thank the Pratt Institute Faculty Development Fund for funding this project. I would like to thank former graduate assistant Rafael Baylor for help planning and implementing the focus groups.

ABSTRACT
The National September 11 Memorial is notable in that it has designed a mobile application in unification with its physical space in Lower Manhattan. Despite the potential of such an arrangement, no research has been conducted that demonstrates the efficacy of mobile technology in augmenting the memory and remembrance functions of the built environment. Using the memorial as a site of inquiry, this project will address the following research questions: How are remembrance and memory impacted by use of mobile technology at a site of memorialization? And, what factors mediate engagement with mobile technology for the purposes of remembrance? Nineteen diverse New York City area residents visited the memorial while using the app, and then participated in a mixed-method study (in-depth focus group and survey). The results reveal that participants—if they experienced no significant technical troubles—found the app as significantly enhancing the memory and remembrance functions of the memorial. For developers of mobile technology for cultural heritage contexts, the use of curated oral histories available on a mobile phone is highly effective.

Summer teaching

June 3rd, 2014

I’m into my second week of teaching projects in digital archives. The big class-wide project this semester is enhancing the Dance Dialogues website, which includes audio interviews with dancers by dance journalist Barbara Newman.

Download Syllabi

International Internet Preservation Consortium

May 19th, 2014

eifelI’m in Paris for the IIPC 2014 General Assembly.  I am presenting on 3 web archiving projects that I have been working on: one solo and two with my colleague Debbie Rabina.  Below is the solo project:

Youth Deleted: Saving Young People’s Histories after Social Media Collapse

After twenty years of loosing personal digital files, I wonder if today’s youth’s digital shoeboxes of memories will be even thinner than my own.  To test this notion, the following research question is posed: When social media collapse, are youth disproportionately at risk of loosing their digital contributions? To study this, the age demographics of failing or failed social media will be analyzed.  The list of failed or failing social media is provided by the Archive Team’s “deathwatch,” which is a group of “rogue archivists” who save web content in danger of disappearing.  Results confirm that when social media collapse, youth are disproportionately at risk of loosing their digital contributions because young people disproportionately use the sites that fail.  Personal digital archiving outreach efforts need to continue working to educate young people about the risks of loosing digital content and how to avoid such loss.

Download PDF

Update May 29, 2014: The slides from my second presentation, as well as everyone else’s presentation, is available on IIPC’s website.

Unix Commands and Batch Processing for the Reluctant Librarian or Archivist

January 19th, 2014

logoCheck-out my new article in Code4Lib Journal: Unix Commands and Batch Processing for the Reluctant Librarian or Archivist.

ABSTRACT

The Unix environment offers librarians and archivists high-quality tools for quickly transforming born-digital and digitized assets, such as resizing videos, creating access copies of digitized photos, and making fair-use reproductions of audio recordings. These tools, such as ffmpeg, lame, sox, and ImageMagick, can apply one or more manipulations to digital assets without the need to manually process individual items, which can be error prone, time consuming, and tedious. This article will provide information on getting started in using the Unix environment to take advantage of these tools for batch processing.

Read Article @ Code4Lib Journal

Update May 5, 2014: I am also teaching a workshop on this same topic at Metro NY Library Council – feel free to take it.

Spring 2014 Courses

January 15th, 2014

centroThis semester, I will be teaching Projects in Digital Archives (LIS 665) with a new project partner: Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños (or the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College / CUNY). In the class, we will be working to assemble a digital archive of oral histories from their collection. I am excited to be branching out into new areas, and hope the students will enjoy the collaboration as well.

I will also be teaching Projects in Moving Image and Sound Archiving (LIS 668), where the class will continue work on a video oral history project started last semester in collaboration with the Lesbian Herstory Archives.

You can download the syllabi below:
LIS 665-02 Projects in Digital Archives

LIS 668-01 Projects in Moving Image and Sound Archiving

Fall 2013 Courses

August 16th, 2013

The LadderI am excited that a new semester is right around the corner. This semester, my classes will be working on projects with the Digital Public Library of America, the American Jewish Historical Society, and the Lesbian Herstory Archives.

One project we we will be working on is creating a digital archive of oral history video recordings of members of the Daughters of Bilitis (DOB), which was the first lesbian civil and political rights organization in the United States (founded in 1955 in San Francisco, and ending in 1970). DOB published the serial “The Ladder” (cover shown to the right), which was the first nationally distributed lesbian publication. The stories contained within the oral histories touch on issues of 1950s social oppression, feminism and women’s sexuality, and provide a timely contrast with recent legal and cultural developments related to LGBT populations, such as the overturning of the Defense of Marriage Act and California Proposition 8 by the U.S. Supreme Court.

For information on the other projects, check-out the course syllabi:

LIS 665-01 Projects in Digital Archives
LIS 665-02 Projects in Digital Archives
LIS 697-03 Projects in Moving Image and Sound Archiving

What Archivists Can Learn from Cosmology

June 18th, 2013

I just presented a paper at AERI 2013 (Archival Education and Research Institute). You can download the paper here.

What Archivists Can Learn from Cosmology: The Enduring Paradigm in Einstein’s Universe

ABSTRACT

Archivists and archival educators have become increasingly interested in expanded conceptions of archives. This movement is best captured by the Pluralizing the Archival Curriculum Group, which asks “How do we move from an archival universe dominated by one cultural paradigm to an archival multiverse[?]” (p. 73). Although there is a growing interest in incorporating multiple perspectives into archives thinking, rarely do concepts from the physical sciences get incorporated into these discussions. This paper will explore concepts from cosmology that have extensive bearing on how archives are conceptualized. Further, it will explore how these concepts are incorporated into the archives discourse, and conclude with suggesting a way that archivists of the future may incorporate this thinking into their descriptive practices.

Poster for NY Archives Conference 2013

June 1st, 2013

Checkout my poster for the NY Archives Conference 2013:

New Developments in Archives Curriculum: The Case of the Archives Concentration at Pratt Institute

NYAC_poster

Seeking New Yorkers

May 9th, 2013

flyer

If interested in participating, please vist 911study.org.

Civic Engagement, Indy Docs and Public Libraries

February 14th, 2013

POVI admit that I am a heavy watcher of PBS programs (my DVR is full of NOVA, Frontline, and Bill Moyers). I was happy to have an opportunity to work with the PBS program POV on some of their digital initiatives last year, and get insight into some of the work they do. POV airs independent documentaries during the summer months on most PBS stations. They also have a significant community engagement initiative where they loan their programs on DVD to public libraries, among other groups (museums, community centers, etc.), and they hold structured screenings of the film.

I have authored a paper that looks at the civic engagement impact these structured events have on attendees, specifically within the context of Public Libraries. A pre-print of the article is available here, and the published version is available at Public Library Quarterly’s website. The paper abstract is below:

ABSTRACT
This project asks the question, Can libraries act as places for promoting civic engagement through the use of socially and culturally significant documentaries? In this initiative, documentaries are screened at public libraries throughout the United States and are followed by post-screening discussions. Coordinating librarians and audience attendees are surveyed to uncover the outcomes of each event’s civic-engagement. Results indicate that the screening of socially and cultural significant documentaries at public libraries, combined with post-screening discussions, can positively impact library patrons’ interest in becoming more civically engaged and foster a greater understanding of the issues raised by the films.



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