ILR School

PTA Issue 5 (2015)

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    Creating a Large-Scale Digital Exhibit on a Small-Scale Budget
    Wolfe, Erin (2015-12)
    [Excerpt] On July 26, 2015, the United States celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), one of the most significant civil rights laws of the 20th century and the result of decades of work on behalf of disability rights: “a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities.” In recognition, the Dole Archives at the University of Kansas (KU) created an original exhibit on disability rights in the U.S. from the perspective of Senator Bob Dole’s experience. We supplemented the curated exhibit with over 12,000 thematically related pages of archival documents, implementing a hybrid approach of item-level and folder-level scans, and providing access via a SIMILE Exhibit interface embedded in a responsive web site. This case study focuses on the digitization efforts of the project, the creation of the web exhibit, and relevant lessons learned through the process. It illustrates an example of the practical aspects of a smaller institution’s efforts toward (a) an MPLP-inspired approach to bulk digitization, including folder-level scanning and minimalist metadata creation, and (b) the use of open-source technology (specifically, Bootstrap for responsive web design and SIMILE Exhibit for an interactive digital collection) to facilitate discovery and access to a large amount of content in way that is usable, accessible, and flexible.
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    From the Editor
    Miles, Randall (2015-12)
    [Excerpt] Digital. Digital. Digital. We have the pleasure of presenting another issue of Practical Technology for Archives that is full of great information on dealing with our digital content.
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    “Swipe Aid”: Using Swipebox to Create a Side-Swipeable Image Gallery for Finding Aids
    O'Dell, Allison Jai (2015-12)
    [Excerpt] The Swipe Aid Project provides another technical solution for the integration of digitized content with a finding aid, specifically aimed at mobile environments. This solution uses a free, open-source JavaScript library (Swipebox) to deliver a multi-device-friendly image gallery within the finding aid. The below project description provides a step-by-step explanation of how Swipebox is used to create a finding aid image gallery. This is followed by a summary of initial feedback, which demonstrates the importance of a finding aid image gallery, as well as desired functionality and further areas for development. This article contributes to the growing body of literature on “next-generation” finding aids by presenting a simple solution to the integration of digitized content for mobile environments.
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    Creating Three-Sixty Objects for Marist Archives Using Open Source JQuery Reel
    Singh, Monish (2015-12)
    [Excerpt] In this article I will look into some of the recent 3D digitization projects and highlight numerous technological and financial challenges that would be familiar to many small and medium sized archives. I will further propose jQuery Reel, an open source three-sixty player as a viable alternative to 3D modeling and discuss the workflow we employed at Marist Archives.
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    “Exploring” CollectiveAccess at the American Alpine Club Library
    Surles, Elizabeth (2015-12)
    [Excerpt] Archivists face a bewildering array of technologies designed to help administer and provide access to archival collections. From free, open-source software such as ArchivesSpace to proprietary software such as Eloquent, archivists may choose from a wide variety of tools. CollectiveAccess, a web-based, free, and open-source system, offers many features to archivists who need a low-cost way to manage and offer online access to their collections. CollectiveAccess was developed and is maintained by the company Whirl-i-Gig and is comprised of two main software components: “Providence” and “Pawtucket.” Providence is the core of CollectiveAccess and provides secure user interfaces for data entry and editing, filtered and faceted searching, file management and upload, and general system administration. Pawtucket is an optional CollectiveAccess component that generates a public-facing website to provide access to files and metadata saved in the Providence database. This paper describes work completed at the American Alpine Club Library (AACL) in Golden, Colorado, to implement a CollectiveAccess instance, which was given the name “Explore.” The AACL publicly launched Explore in February 2013, using both Providence and Pawtucket. Explore was created with many purposes in mind: to provide access to digital collections, to create and present online exhibits, to manage digital assets, to administer archival and museum collections, and to serve as a value-added benefit of membership in the Club. The flexibility of CollectiveAccess made it possible for the AACL to structure Explore for all of these purposes, however, its success in each area was inconsistent and the system design was too ambitious to be ultimately sustainable. This article details the AACL’s experience launching Explore and provides a helpful case study of how the software was used and customized in a small library and archives with limited staff and resources.