Friday, April 15, 2016

Digitizing scrapbooks on twitter? #ArchivalUnvertainties

Several weeks ago Dr. French sent me an email about a tweet by Scholarslab on Twitter. The tweet read, “Bridget Moynihan unpacking complexities of digitizing scrapbooks—rights, ephemerality, remediation. #ArchivalUncertainties.” If you’re like me, when you read the tweet, you thought how cool…. Other people are talking about digitizing scrapbooks! Even cooler, because we live in the digital age, I could use the hashtag #archivaluncertainties to do some more investigation on the topic. What I found was pretty cool, so I thought I would share it with you!

So, what happens when you search #archivaluncertainties?

Well, clicking on the hashtag, I found a lot of people talking about different speakers who were discussing a variety of issues related to archival work. Doing a little more research, I discovered that this particular hashtag was the title of a conference held at the British Library Conference Centre in London on April 4, 2016. Once I discovered the name of the conference, I was able to find a brief description of the event. According to blogger Sebastian Gurciullo,

The conference “represents an opportunity to explore the uncertain future of literary archival sources in the present age. While information technology is changing rapidly and bringing new possibilities for the democratisation of knowledge, debates remain" about how to handle archives in the digital age.

Upon further investigation, I discovered the conference's program. The program revealed a variety of speakers addressing a range of topics about archival practices. Personally, I was most interested in Bridget Moynihan’s article, given that from someone’s tweet, I could tell that Moynihan was lecturing on digitizing scrapbooks. Unfortunately, I was unable to find any articles, websites, or blog posts written by Bridget Moynihan. What I did find, however, was a blog post by the Bodleian Library that held a brief description of Bridget’s talk.

According to the Bodleian Library, Moynihan’s area of interest is digitizing the scrapbooks of Edwin Morgan. As an archivist, Moynihan wants to digitize these scrapbooks in order to make then available to as many people as possible and to have the scrapbooks digitally preserved. Furthermore, Moynihan believes that digitizing scrapbooks allows people to manipulate data in new ways. For example, Moynihan shares that the documentation of an object’s metadata allows information to be shared in analyzed like never before.  Interestingly, Moynihan reveals that there are creative possibilities for metadata, “like using sound to represent the different aural qualities of news clippings versus magazine clippings.”

Personally, I found the creative possibilities for metadata to be very interesting. Thinking about the FBCWP project, I wondered… what would it look like to incorporate sound into metadata? As I started thinking, lots of ideas came to mind! For example, the church scrapbooks talk about the music ministry all the time. I know the church has recordings of their church services. How cool would it be to get recordings of the choir and attach it to the metadata that addresses the music ministry at the church?

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