This Spring I will be teaching two sections of Projects in Digital Archives, and one section of Digital Libraries. Here are some of what we will be doing this semester:
Projects in Digital Archives, Fridays (Download Syllabus)
In this course, we will be working with the The Archives of the American Field Service and AFS Intercultural Programs (aka AFS Archives). AFS can trace its origins to 1914 shortly after the outbreak of World War I, when young Americans living in Paris volunteered as ambulance drivers at the American Hospital of Paris. During the Second World War, AFS ambulance drivers were one of the earliest responders to the atrocities inflicted by Nazi Germany.
Projects in Digital Archives, Mondays (Download Syllabus)
In this class we will be working with dance critic Barbara Newman to create an audio archive of the interviews from her book, Striking a Balance.). This archive includes interviews from notable members of the dance community such as Peter Martins (Ballet Master in Chief, NYC Ballet) and Tanaquil LeClercq (wife of George Balanchine and NYC Ballet). In engaging with this project, we will consider the more substantive issues of how to archive dance in the digital era, a form of performance particularly prone to loss.
I am pleased to announce two new digital archives created by students in Projects in Digital Archives (LIS 665) at SILS.
The first is the JDC Oral History Archive. The JDC (or the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee) is an international Jewish relief organization. Several of the oral histories discuss the pivotal role the JDC played in providing services to individuals in the displaced person (DP) camps after the Second World War.
The second is Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold Oral History Archive. Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold by Elizabeth Lapovsky Kennedy and Madeline D. Davis, is an ethnographic study of lesbians in Buffalo, New York, from the 1930s to the 1960s. This oral history digital archive comprises many of the digitized recordings that went into creating the book.
I am presenting today with my colleague Debbie Rabina at the MobilityShifts conference at the New School. The presentation is titled “Using Mobile Technology to Promote Historical Understanding.” We were originally planning to do the presentation outdoors–using the mobile technology as our tour guide–but may have to stay at the New School because of the rain. We shall see what mother nature decides for us!
I am excited to be starting my Fall 2011 courses this week (hurricane permitting). Below are the syllabi from this semester’s courses, with some highlights:
Projects in Digital Archives – Thursdays (PDF)
In this section of Projects in Digital Archives, we will be working with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (a.k.a. the Joint) to digitize a collection of spoken word archives available on audiocassette. The Joint is a worldwide relief organization headquartered in New York. It was established in 1914 and is active in more than 70 countries. In 1944, The Joint made it possible for 81,000 Jews to emigrate out of Nazi-occupied Europe to safety. After the war, the Joint worked to transition and resettle the devastated European Jews to Israel and to countries across the globe. Today, the Joint runs humanitarian relief programs, providing food, medicine, home care, and other critical aid to the elderly and children in need.
Projects in Digital Archives – Wednesdays (PDF)
Each section of this course, we partner with an archive to transform an analog collection of materials into a digital archive. This semester, we will be continuing our partnership with the Lesbian Herstory Archives to digitize a collection of materials that went into making Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold: The History of a Lesbian Community. This is a seminal text in LGBT studies and I think it should be an interesting project, especially considering recent developments impacting the LGBT community.
I thought I would mention some of the new digital archives my classes have put together recently. The first is Summer 2011’s addition to the Lesbian Herstory Archive’s Digital Collection, including a number of recordings of Audre Lorde.
I also wanted to mention the Speaking of Dance collection put together by my Spring 2011 course. It includes audio interviews from Barbara Newman with dancers, choreographers, and company directors.
My colleague Debbie Rabina and I received funding from the Goethe-Institut—the Federal Republic of Germany’s cultural institution operated worldwide—to complete research and development on the GeoStoryteller project. GeoStoryteller is a mobile, augmented reality application that brings library and archival collections to the streets to enhance student learning and promote historical understanding. The first application of this platform will be German Traces NYC, a learning experience that focuses on German cultural heritage in New York City, particularly with respect to immigration through the eyes of German immigrants (1840-1945). The application will be used with high school students, particularly German language students, in effort to use the city as classroom and connect everyday places with historical and cultural contexts.