Summer 2017 Course Project with New York Times

[Updated 4/28/2017: Unfortunately, this summer course was canceled due to low-enrollment. I will look to resume it in a future semester.]

My summer 2017 course LIS 665 Projects in Digital Archives will be collaborating with the New York Times to do a photography digitization and curation project.

The photographer the project will focus on George Tames, photojournalist for the New York Times between 1945-1985. He has been referred to as the “Photographer of Presidents,” and you can find some of his images in Google Image Search. The content that will be focused in on is the Richard Nixon Whitehouse, which will include digitization of original camera negatives, as well as film prints among other types of media. Deliverables will include digitized masters as well as a online exhibition of the photography.

The course is held May 22 through June 28, 5:30-9:20pm. Note that the course will only run if there are 5 students, and we only have 1 registered so far, so please register as soon as possible if you are interested in working on this project this summer.

You can find past course syllabi on my website.

Thank you to alum Jennifer Parrucci–Senior Taxonomist at the Times–for helping make possible this exciting digital archives project.

Photograph by George Tames, 1974

Projects in Spring 2017 Archives Courses

I would like to share the upcoming course projects in my classes that I will be teaching this Spring:

LIS 665-01 Projects in Digital Archives
The course project will focus on creating an online exhibition around an oral history project called “Civil Rights in Brooklyn Oral History Collection,” in collaboration with the Brooklyn Public Library Special Collections. This project will involve reformatting of compact audiocassette and making available an exhibition online for BPL. The finding aid for the collection is available on BPL’s website.

LIS 625-02 – Management of Archives and Special Collections
This course project will involve paper processing of archives of Pratt Institute School of Information, that are housed in the basement of the Pratt Manhattan Center and will soon need to be relocated with the basement and ground-floor renovations of PMC that are to begin this summer. Records document school activity from the 1960s through 2000s. Student will assemble an exhibition on the 6th floor of records based on their research and records uncovered. Course project involves appraisal, arrangement, description, and enhancing a DACS/EAD-compliant finding aid: Pratt SI records on AtoM.

LIS 635-01 – Archives Appraisal, Acquisition and Use
This course will focus on students creating a work of original research in the field of archival studies. Students will evaluate a tristate area archive with respect to how its mission and collection policy is expressed in its collections as well as the usability of the collection. Data collection will include: analysis of textual materials (mission statement, collection policy, finding aids, and other online materials), site visit and use of a collection, and questionnaire or interview of one or more archivists.

Photo via the Brooklyn Public Library Civil Rights Collection – retrieved from Brownstoner.

Archiving Email Newsletters, or getting your Newsletters out of Constant Contact

pride_run_emailIn 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.

Continue reading “Archiving Email Newsletters, or getting your Newsletters out of Constant Contact”

Fall 2015 Courses

women_aids_actup_collectionThe 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:

LIS 625 Management of Archives and Special Collections
LIS 665 Projects in Digital Archives
Lis 668 Projects in Moving Image and Sound Archives

Summer School!

Oregon TrailHello there.  So this summer I will be teaching Projects in Digital Archives for a fifth year in a row.  This semester, we will be working with a selection of personal materials from Ms. Liza Loop.  Ms. Loop is looking to create the History of Computing in Learning and Education (HCLE) Virtual Museum, and has worked her career in Silicon Valley’s computing industry with an interest in uses of computing for education and learning.

The collection that we will be working with is both born-digital and analog: 5.25 floppy disk, 3.5 floppy disks, Hi8 video and Betamax video (which is the bulk).  Our goal is re-animate these materials using methods relevant to a modern archival environment (e.g., digitizing analog material, imaging obsolete media, making it intelligible/runnable, etc.), and providing value to the HCLE initiative.

Although we will not be working with the Oregon Trail (screenshot above), it is one of the more well known and often remembered educational games.    I also remember playing a lot of Number Munchers…. and Carmen Sandiego (all on the Apple IIe, which may mean that I am really old or that my school was slow to adopt new technology, or both).

You can also download the course syllabus (PDF).

Upcoming classes @ Pratt SILS with hands-on archival projects

AIDS-at-30-ACT-UP-silence_equals_deathHello there. I just wanted to send out some information on upcoming classes at Pratt SILS that have hands-on archival projects, and what those projects are:

Summer 2015 – LIS 665 Projects in Digital Archives
The project this semester will be focusing on born-digital archives and endangered electronic media, which include records that originate on obsolete media, software and operating systems. The class will be working on materials from the History of Computing in Learning and Education in Silicon Valley, which looks to preserve and interpret documents, artifacts and stories relating to the history of computing in learning and education (e.g., educational games, early computing applications in schools, etc.).

Fall 2015 – LIS 668 Projects in Moving Image & Sound Archives
The project this semester will be transforming an analog collection of audiovisual materials into a digital archive. The class will be working on collection accumulated by the Lesbian Herstory Archives about ActUp. ActUp was an activist organization started in New York meant to draw attention to and seek greater research and development into treatments for HIV/AIDS. Most meetings were run from the nearby LGBT Center on 13th St., and ActUp is widely credited for changing the course of the global AIDS crisis.

Fall 2015 – LIS 665 Projects in Digital Archives
The project this semester will be working on preserving and making available oral histories from the Archives of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College, CUNY. The oral histories document the Puerto Rican diaspora in New York, and how Puerto Ricans became a powerful group within New York City through labor unions, political activity, and social agencies. The oral histories also document the decline of Puerto Ricans in New York, as they choose to move to more affordable, sunnier locations, like Central Florida.

Fall 2015 – LIS 625 Management of Archives and Special Collections (with Prof. Cucchiara)
In this class, the hands-on component will involve working with the Greenwood Cemetery archives in Brooklyn. Greenwood is moving more from being an active cemetery to a cultural heritage site. For more information on this class project, please contact Prof. Cucchiara – acucchia@pratt.edu.

Fall 2015 – LIS 625 Management of Archives and Special Collections (with Prof. Cocciolo)
In this class, the hands-on component of this class will be working on the 125 years of archival records related to Pratt SILS, which is celebrating its 125 anniversary this year. The SILS records document the school going back to 1890, and include an extensive array of student records from its earliest days. As SILS is the oldest LIS school in North America, the records illustrate the emergence, growth, and changes within the field of library and information science, and document SILS’s contribution to the LIS workforce and growth of libraries globally.

Challenges to Born-Digital Institutional Archiving: The Case of a New York Art Museum

jazI have written a new article that highlights the challenges to born-digital institutional archiving, using a New York art museum as a case.  It is appearing soon in Records Management Journal, but you can download a preprint here.

ABSTRACT

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to highlight the challenges to born-digital institutional archiving, using a New York Archive Museum (NYAM) as a case.

Design/methodology/approach – The digital record keeping practices at NYAM were studied using three data sources: a) focus groups with staff, totaling 81 individuals, or approximately one-third of all staff, b) analysis of network file storage, and c) analysis of digital records in archival storage, or specifically removable media in acid-free archive boxes.

Findings – This case study indicates that the greatest challenges to born-digital institutional archiving are not necessarily technological but rather social and cultural.  Or rather, the challenge is getting individuals to transfer material to a digital archive so that it can undergo the technological transformations needed to ensure its long-term availability.  However, transfer is impeded by a variety of factors which can be addressed through education, infrastructure development and proactive appraisal for permanent retention.

Practical implications – This paper highlights the challenges to born-digital institutional archiving, yet notes that these challenges can be overcome by following a multi-pronged approach.

Original value – This paper outlines the challenges to born-digital institutional archiving, which is not often discussed in the literature outside of the context of higher education.

Fall 2014 Teaching

collab-buildingsHello World. This semester I am teaching three classes: 2 sections of Projects in Digital Archives, and Projects in Moving Image and Sound Archiving.

For the Wednesday section of Projects in Digital Archives, the class will be working with my colleagues Susan Malbin and Christine McEvilly from the American Jewish Historical Society to incorporate new material into their portal, Jews in America. We will also be working on arranging, describing, and digitizing materials from an architectural photographer that were donated to the Institute.

For my Thursday section of Projects in Digital Archives, we are continuing on a collaboration with Pedro Juan Hernandez of the Archvies of Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños (CENTRO) at Hunter College / CUNY, to enhance a digitized audio archive.

And lastly, in Projects in Moving Image and Sound Archiving, the class will continue a partnership with the Lesbian Herstory Archvies by continuing to digitize the video collection for the Daughters of Bilitis Oral History Project. I would venture to say that this website has become the largest digitized audio archive related to lesbians and lesbian communities.

Feel free to download my syllabi:
Project in Digital Archives Syllabus: Section 1, Section 2
Projects in Moving Image and Sound Archives Syllabus