Tag Archives: digital collections

Repository Update: Women’s March on Denver

Written by Jamie Seemiller, Acquisitions Archivist, Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Department

Denver Public Library, Western History Collection, WH2371

Denver Public Library, Western History Collection, WH2371

On Saturday January 21, 2017, over 100,000 people flooded the streets in downtown Denver to protest. The Women’s March on Denver was one of many marches across the country in collaboration with the Women’s March on Washington. The march took place at the door step of the Denver Public Library. As the Acquisitions Archivist in the Western History and Genealogy Department (WHG), I felt that this event gave us a unique opportunity to reach new donors and to preserve the history of the event.

On Sunday, we posted a donation call on the WHG Facebook page. The post reached 25,440 people and was shared 234 times within the next few weeks. We received over 250 emails that resulted in donations of over 1,200 digital photos/videos, 105 protest signs and 12 pieces of ephemera such as “pussy” hats, buttons, and artwork.

In an average year I have about 80 in person donor meetings and receive several hundred emails and phone requests, so this kind of response was exciting and overwhelming. While we normally review every potential donation in a staff acquisitions committee meeting, we decided to forgo our normal procedure. We felt it was more important to encourage “citizen archivists” and engage with the community.

During the collecting phase, I corresponded with donors by email, phone and in person. I strive to have every donor sign a gift form and to give me background about the items they were donating. In order to manage the flow of donors and materials coming into the library, we created two excel spreadsheets one for the physical materials and one for digital donations. We had a volunteer inventory the physical materials. Meanwhile, I documented the digital donations and downloaded them on our server. Each individual donation was placed in a folder with the donor’s name in order to track their provenance.

Denver Public Library, Western History Collection, WH2371

Denver Public Library, Western History Collection, WH2371

The next step was to appraise the collection. First, we decided to review any materials without a gift form. For the digital material, any donation without an gift form was removed from the collection. This amounted to 18 donations and 160 digital photos. For the protest signs, we decided to keep signs that had a unique message or design. We kept 8 of the 40 signs that did not have gift forms.

Next we discussed how we are going to provide access to the collection. We agreed that we would like to have every donor represented in the online collection. We decided that we can not keep everything, but by curating the donations one by one we can fully represent the event and the individual stories that brought people to the march. While appraising the digital material a metadata spreadsheet was created for import into our digital collections, and a priority list for digitization of the physical materials. Any videos selected will be available on YouTube. We plan to share the collection with the public with a program and exhibit in September and to have the digital materials online this summer.

Note: This piece was  originally shared as a Collection Highlight in the Society of Rocky Mountain Archivists Newsletter.

Recap: Third Thursday with DocNow

Last week we hosted another Third Thursday chat on Twitter with Bergis Jules of DocNow to talk with us about A&A issues of social media.

Catch up on the chat with this Storify summary of the conversation!

Remember, we host Third Thursday chats every other month. Follow #appraisethis. Chat summaries are posted by the following week. Next up is June 15 – topic TBA so stay tuned!

 

Repository update: Egyptian Postcard Collection

By Ryder Kouba, Rare Books and Special Collections Library, The American University in Cairo.

Since Herodotus, Egypt has drawn tourists interested in the Pyramids; however starting in the mid-19th century Europeans descended on Egypt to explore ruins, sail down the Nile, and relax in luxurious hotels. Documenting the travel literature about Egypt has long been an important collecting area of the Rare Books and Special Collections Library at the American University in Cairo; guidebooks and travel accounts make up the bulk of our collection, but we recently made turn-of-the-century postcards, the most visually interesting material, available in our digital library. The postcards are largely from the Golden Age of Travel, and are a visual representation of what visitors to Egypt were interested in, and will support travel writing courses offered to AUC undergraduates. The images also help document Egypt’s architectural heritage, which has been eroded over the past 50 years (an extreme example is the collapse of a lovely Art Noveau apartment building in my neighborhood a few weeks ago); many of the famous hotels depicted no longer exist, but were at one time world famous.

The postcards, and much Western material we have about Egypt, is also found in other libraries and digital collections (AUC was founded in 1919 and so has a bit of a late start). For me, this can be helpful regarding metadata, but also raises questions about what to digitize and place in our digital library. We’ve also expanded our travel literature collection with our web archiving activities, which provides a fun challenge given the amount of material available for collection within a limited budget.

Recap: Third Thursday Chat on Appraisal & Records Management

Last week, we were graciously joined by members from the SAA Records Management Section to talk about the interactions between appraisal and records management practices. A summary of the chat session is now available on our Storify page.

This is our third installment of the A&A Third Thursdays on Twitter. Check out earlier chat summaries also via Storify and take note that our next chat is April 20th with Documenting the Now.

Hope to see you there!