Anyone who has ever taken one of my classes knows that I like Omeka. It is very easy to use, and has many nice features. However, one limitation is that it can be difficult to do rapid data entry on many items. For example, if you use the Dropbox plugin to bring in several hundred pictures, and you want to quickly add metadata for them, or if some of the metadata fields are exactly the same (like author of photographer), there is no way (at least that I am aware of) to easily add this data. Thus, I created what I call the quick metadata entry form, which allows you to update Title, Description, Date, Creator, and Rights fields, and allows you to make all values in a collection the same for a given field. Unfortunately, it was not developed as an Omeka plugin.
In this blog post, I am going to offer a way to extract large batches of email newsletters from Constant Contact for the purposes of creating email archives, resulting in each message as a PDF.
First, some background. I have recently finished an email archiving project for the History & Archives of Front Runners New York. The club used to snail-mail newsletters since the early 1980s, but transitioned to email newsletters around 2004, and has been using Constant Contact since 2007 for its newsletter software. They had managed to retain all the messages in Constant Contact, however, not all the embedded images.
Constant Contact does not have an easy way to export sent messages in bulk. Thus, I created a script that leverages the Constant Contact API to export messages and the related metadata. It creates a PDF, first including a full-length image of the email message, followed by a JSON export of the message metadata, and complete with text-version of the email message (if available). This allows for the look of the message to be retained, but also text-searchable.
The Fall semester is just right around the corner and I thought I would share my upcoming course projects. This semester’s LIS 668 Projects in Moving Image and Sound Archives we will be working on digitizing, curating, and making available a collection of video and sound recordings around the topic of Women, AIDS, and ActUP, in collaboration with the Lesbian Herstory Archives. In LIS 665 Projects in Digital Archives, we will continue an oral history digitization and curation project with the Archives of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College, CUNY, around the topic of the Puerto Rican diaspora. And lastly in LIS 625 Management of Archives and Special Collections, we will work on an archives processing and exhibition around the history of Pratt SILS, which is celebrating its 125th Anniversary this year. Feel free to download the syllabi: