Mobile Technology, Oral History and the 9/11 Memorial

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.

Unix Commands and Batch Processing for the Reluctant Librarian or Archivist

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.

Presenting at ALISE

I am presenting a poster at ALISE 2013 for a research project I have proposed. The poster and abstract are below:

ALISE_2013_s

ABSTRACT

In the last several years, cultural heritage institutions (museums, libraries, and archives) have begun to make use of mobile technology to reach new members and investigate the potential of mobile technology to add value to their educational offerings. However, little research has been completed that rigorously and comprehensively demonstrates how this technology can be used to advance the major goals of cultural heritage institutions, such as enhancing patron knowledge construction, historical understanding, engagement and inspiring lifelong learning. This research project will produce a set of best practices for how these goals can be promoted using mobile computing. These best practices will be derived from analyzing the response from focus groups to their use of mobile technology at the sites of five major New York City cultural institutions, including:

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Fall 2012 Courses

I am teaching a new course this semester called Projects in Moving Image and Sound Archiving.  We will first cover the issues around the transition from film to digital, starting with a screening of Side by Side at the Quad Cinema.  We will then swing into issues related to converting video and sound, since we will be working on creating two archives that make use of this medium.  We’ll also cover issues like metadata, file formats, digital rights, film preservation, and cases of digitization.

I will also be teaching two sections of Projects in Digital Archives, where will be working again with the Lesbian Herstory Archives and the Archives of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.

Download the Course Syllabi:
LIS 697-12 Projects in Moving Image and Sound Archiving
LIS 665-01 Projects in Digital Archives
LIS 665-02 Projects in Digital Archives

NDSA Innovation Award

I am very pleased to be the recipient of the National Digital Stewardship Innovation Award 2012.  I would like to thank all my students who have participated in these digital preservation projects.  I would also like to thank all the organizations and individuals that have opened their doors to me and my classes, including:

The Dalton School
The Lesbian Herstory Archives
Archives of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
Archives of the American Field Service and AFS Intercultural Programs
Barbara Newman

Thank you again.

A Digital Dark Age for Independent Documentaries?

All independent documentary fans interested in the long-term availability of the medium should be concerned by a recent report from the Science and Technology Council of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The report—called the Digital Dilemma 2 (DD2)—extensively investigates the preservation practices of independent filmmakers and documentarians. The results indicate that many films—both born-digital works and those produced on analog formats such as film—face a series of challenges that may diminish their future accessibility. This blog post will highlight some of these challenges, and offer some thoughts on how the field can move forward.

Continue reading “A Digital Dark Age for Independent Documentaries?”