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.

Summer course

I am pleased to be teaching Projects in Digital Archives once again this summer.  In the course, we will be working to finish up the Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold archive that my Fall 2011 class began.  I’ve also added some new things from last year.  For example, we will be reading a selection from Sarah Schulman’s new book to get us talking about why we should archive audio.  We will also be reading the AIMS Born-Digital Collections report.

Download Syllabus

Spring 2012 Courses

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.

Digital Libraries (Download Syllabus)
Members of the class will work on designing a new digital library project (something that does not exist), or choose to work on a project that has already been started (to varying degrees) but needs further work. Groups that we will be working with include The Dalton School, The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, and the Pratt SILS LMS Program.

Student work from Projects in Digital Archives

I am pleased to announce two new digital archives created by students in Projects in Digital Archives (LIS 665) at SILS.

peters.jpgThe 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.

Boots book coverThe 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.

Fall 2011 Courses

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:

jdc.jpgProjects 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.

boots_of_leather.jpgProjects 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.

dragonflyeffect_opt.jpegSocial Media (PDF)
This course has been updated, and I’ve broken my tendency not to have a required text and instead will assign The Dragonfly Effect: Quick, Effective, and Powerful Ways To Use Social Media to Drive Social Change (2010, Jossey-Bass). I think the students this semester should find it an interesting read.

Teaching at Metro NY Library Council

Take my class at Metro NY Library Council: Planning and Managing Digital Library and Archives Projects.

Class Description:
Is building a digital collection enough? What comes next? How do we guarantee long-term access? Can we afford to do this? These and other issues will be considered in this workshop designed for both librarians and archivists interested in creating or maintaining digitization projects within their institutions. The first part of the workshop will be dedicated to establishing a purpose, perspective and strategy for your digital project so that it has the best chances for community impact and success. How will your digital collection be made meaningful and interesting to patrons? What learning goals motivate your effort? What about born-digital material? The second part will be dedicated to establishing a solid technical, organizational and resource infrastructure needed for the successful execution and maintenance of your digital project. This section will cover issues such as long-range budgeting and funding, ensuring technical elements as well as human resource infrastructure, adopting sensible standards, and ensuring legal and ethical compliance. And lastly, the course will conclude with strategies for evaluating your digital project for its efficacy.

Who should attend:
Librarians, archivists, and students interested in launching or maintaining digitization projects

By the end of this program, participants will:

  • Be able to develop a strategy for a successful digital project
  • Have the necessary information to evaluate their technical, organizational, and resource infrastructure for digital project readiness and make adjustments to ensure readiness.
  • Be able to evaluate their digital project for effectiveness
  • Be able to make legal and ethical judgments related to digitization