While Chris Anderson’s discussion of the “long tail” in the context of the Smithsonian had some interesting and relevant points (for example that only 1% of museum artifacts are on display at any one time), his lack of expertise in the museum world also seemed very apparent. While there may not be enough curators to perfectly identify each object, his “good enough” solution is not the way to go, especially when you’re dealing with an institution that often deals with and employs select “authorities” in various fields. Should we really hire curators (per his suggestion) that claim to be the expert in a certain area, trust them around priceless artifacts, take away time from someone’s schedule to monitor their progress, and then trust the information they produce? It seems that he is taking a “quantity” approach (which adds to the information abundance of our period) rather than a “quality” approach. Is this diminished authority in favor of object abundance really the best solution for the Smithsonian?
I changed the font on my website (in the css document in my screen folder), and it worked on Mozilla on my computer at home, but didn’t work when I opened Mozilla on my work computer. I also changed the color codes, which worked on both computers. Why is the color change but not the font working?
Is Omeka automatically set to the standards mentioned in the Preservation chapter in “Digital History” regarding website preservation, or is this something we have to do on our own?
Also- how can archives support website preservation and maintenance with limited funds, especially considering projects that were shut down after several years due to a lack of funding?
My project is a group of items highlighting the P.K. Yonge Florida History Collection in Gainesville, FL. The focus of my website is aspects of the Civil War(such as women on the home front, or camp life) in Florida, which was the least-populated state in the Union preceding the war. This online archive will include mainly print/textual material (such as letters), although photographs and newspaper engravings will be used as well.
I have a few questions:
1- The first is similar to Tracie’s question. Our readings said not to be too broad with subject categories, but when I checked the subject categories listed under documents that I was using, they were very broad (i.e. North America for a letter from Jacksonville, Florida.) Should we be more specific?
2- I’m still a little confused about the difference between Contributor vs. Creator- aren’t these similar entities? (The readings didn’t give an example for Contributor)
3- Is there a plug-in that allows for greater zoomability? I didn’t see one, but I thought maybe there were some not listed on the Omeka site. I have letters that would be easier to read if the user could zoom further.
4- Finally, on my “home page” for my Omeka project site, it says ”
Sorry, this page doesn’t exist.”
Yet, it still allows the user to browse my items, although my “Featured Item” isn’t showing up. Is this something I need to fix on Omeka or my FTP server?
I have a technical question related to John’s question from class last week. I’ll be posting some Civil War letters to my archive, and if I can type transcripts of these letters in Microsoft Word can I also enable a keyword search similar to the one on EEBO or JSTOR where you can search the Microsoft Word documents, but the image the viewer is able to see will actually be the scanned letter? I know we talked about this a bit during the scanning demonstration, but I’m confused about how to accomplish this on my website.
The first question I have is related to the readings, though it wasn’t discussed much, and the costs of digitization- it seems like before something is digitized it should first go through conservation first because it would seem counter-productive to make a digital copy and THEN conserve the original document. How much consideration is given to conservation costs in the process of budgeting for digitization?
Also, if we are using some images from other sites as well (i.e. images already uploaded at different archives), will it make a visual difference if we save them as a .tiff format if they are already in a .jpeg format, or does that have to be done during the original scanning of the object?
Steve Krug discussed the issue of usability testing and how important it is before launching a website. In our case, we are dealing with a more direct audience (I think?) because we are creating an internet archive, and not a business/marketing website. Should we pick specific types of people (i.e. fellow graduate students) for usability testing because of this, or do a random selection (like Krug suggests)?
Also- there was a section in the Krug book that talked about Java and HTML, and some other really confusing things. If we don’t fully understand all this, are there chapters in the HTML book that you can recommend that would help us/me understand this better?
I had a few questions about the readings this week, and the first is similar to Stacey’s “a-ha” moment after reading the “Interchange” article. It seems that many of us are so worried about the technological aspect of our websites that we are forgetting the historical or historiographical purpose of what we’re creating. How can we, as graduate students already overloaded with work and research, incorporate digital training into our curriculum? It seems like a necessary component to archival training now, yet not all library science and archival programs require this training. We may be more accustomed to web-based medium than our predecessors, but that doesn’t necessarily constitute a level of expertise needed to coordinate this into an online archive or exhibit. Should this be a standard component of archival, museum studies, and library science training in the near future?
My second question is somewhat related to the first. In producing these online exhibits we encounter many advantages in the variety of “experiences” we offer the viewer, yet we also encounter limitations in how to portray the various mediums. For example, most people who look at Leonardo DaVinci’s “The Last Supper” online don’t realize how large it is, and also that it is cut to fit around a doorway in a convent. How does this affect the viewer’s interpretation and understanding of the image, if we can’t possibly portray this at real size (or smell, feel, etc.) on a website? Can we find ways to ameliorate these problems when it comes to posting these documents and images online?
This week’s readings about copyright bring up several interesting issues, especially when considering digital copright and internet sharing. Michael Jensen brings up many good points about managing (and not destroying) the valuable characteristics of the nonprofit publishing system. His Prague example and the example from “Copyrights and Copywrongs” regarding cheap books in the late nineteenth century heed some warnings about the digital world- will this easy-access, “free use” internet lead to a decline in quality, or other issues (similar to the women working for pennies to produce cheap books)? Should there be more copyright legislation (or just a greater sense of professionalization) in order to protect quality on the internet, or will this destroy the internet’’s ability to encourage creativity, science, and democracy?