DIG 500 is both an introduction to essential concepts in the field and a practicum in the first phase of the curation workflow, namely the acquisition of digital material. The class surveys the variety of digital artifacts that we consciously or unconsciously create and consume today, with a focus on how to collect and manage digitized and born-digital artifacts and their related data. Students learn technical skills such as how to digitize analog documents, photographs, and videos, as well as curatorial knowledge such as how selection criteria vary as a function of type of institution (archives v. libraries v. museums v. laboratories) and field (art v. archeology v. astrophysics). The course also reviews methods for ensuring the ongoing integrity of the artifact and laws governing the acquisition and use of intellectual property, such as how copyright extends to images, editions, and future versions of a work. 3 credits. No prerequisites.
Skills introduced include: • 2d and 3d scanning • Accessing open data • Collecting born-digital material • Crowdsourcing content and metadata • Designing a database • Digitizing analog material • Drawing a database schema • Finding shareable media • Making your media shareable • Putting a collection online with Omeka • Understanding generative AI • Understanding copyright • Using generative AI for curation • Visualizing data
The course will consist of a series of video lectures, readings, and associated assignments broken up into week-long topics. Within each week you will be expected to:
* Watch all of the lectures and tutorials listed in the week*s introduction and read any assigned material.
* Submit the weekly assignment on the course web site (or as a link to another site or resource, as appropriate).
* Participate in the ongoing discussions on the course web site. It cannot be emphasized enough how important this is to successfully taking an online-only course. A significant part of what you get from the class will come in talking and listening to other students and the instructors as they discuss their own take on the material.
This course is designed to be completely asynchronous so there are no specific times for meeting with other students or the instructor. Instead, interaction will take place via the online courseware, where you will also be submitting assignments and giving feedback to other students.
Given the variety of backgrounds expected in students for this class, you will be expected to bring perspectives and questions based on your own discipline, expertise, and/or workplace. Everyone*s participation in peer-to-peer messages and presentations will be critical to the success of the class.
If the only time you post a message is when you're turning in an assignment then you will have little opportunity to display your understanding of the ideas being discussed and we will not have much information to use when evaluating your success in the class. Ask questions, throw in comments, and generally add to the discussion as much as possible, particularly if you think you missed something or you have a stupid question. Odds are other people are as confused as you are.
If you for any reason think you may have an issue, either on a specific day/week or overall, talk to us! It is much easier to make accommodations ahead of time than after the fact.
As with all classes, it is expected that you will treat others with respect. If you are repeatedly abusive toward your classmates you will be moderated out of the conversation and it will be considered an absence for purposes of the attendance policy.
Grading for your assignments is weighted equally across each week of the class, including the faculty's assessment of your participation; the final project counts for two weeks' worth of assignments. The criteria for participation will be determined by the quality and quality of your online conversations, including asking questions, posting related links, critiquing others' assignments, and responding to threads initiated by the faculty or your classmates.
The more you add thoughtful, insightful comments to the discussion the more both you and other students will benefit. Questions are always welcome and should be asked publicly so that everybody can see the answer unless there is a very good reason to ask privately. In many cases you will be expected to look at and critique other students* work as an absolute minimum level of participation.
This is a graduate level course and you are expected to perform accordingly. Meeting the requirements in an average manner will result in a "C" as the final grade. Better than average effort and execution will result in a "B". An "A" is reserved for those students who demonstrate exceptional creative development, application, innovation, effort, and an in-depth understanding of process. Under normal circumstances a C or lower grade cannot be used as a graduate student to count towards completion of your certificate. Failure to complete any of the required components of your grade with an average or better effort will result in a "D" or an "F" as your final grade.
Each week's assignments count equally toward your grade; the final project completed in Weeks 13 and 14 counts for two weeks.
The following statements are dictated by the University of Maine; aspects may not be applicable to this online class.
In this introduction, we broach the question of what defines digital curation, looking back to the history of curatorial practices as well as sampling some contemporary issues in the field.
After you've completed the required and elective viewing/reading for this week, please find the #what-is-curation Slack channel and by 11:59pm Monday post a substantive analysis of two of the elective readings or viewings from week 1 that you found most illuminating. What about these readings appealed to you? What do you think others in the course should take away from the readings? Did they change your perception of digital curation? Be sure to cite specific examples from the material.
Once you've posted, you'll be able to see the other students' posts. By 11:59pm Wednesday, please respond to other posts to start helping one another think about the material. It's your responsibility to make this a learning space. We look forward to what you have to say.
In the Slack #bio channel, post a brief description of your background and what you hope to get out of this course.
Optional: although the social media landscape is currently in flux, microblogging services like Twitter/X and its decentralized rivals Mastodon and Bluesky (currently invite-only) can be valuable resources for digital curation professionals. Feel free to share your handles for others to follow along with your biography.
See the Slack #reference channel for a link to the survey.
Jon Ippolito outlines some developments in the field from the last few years and points to resources to learn more about them.
In this lecture, Justin Wolff reviews the history of curating and argues that it requires adding value to works that are presented or collected. Each of the three parts counts as one viewing. (You can ignore the introductory section from 00:00:00 - 00:05:05.)
A video interview with various experts describing what digital curation means to them.
A general introduction to what digital curation is and why it is needed.
A brief history of museums and summary of the contemporary challenges facing them.
A provocative, if academic, essay on the conflicting roles museums have played in history.
This webinar looks at three ways that collecting institutions have responded to COVID-19, including crowdsourcing metadata, offering virtual experiences, and examining cultural bias.
This compendium of past webinars organized by the Digital Curation program covers topics ranging from digitizing nitrate film to using spatial analysis to understand what Robert E. Lee could see at Gettysburg. Each teleconference counts as one viewing, and you can use the interactive interface to jump to the topics that most interest you.
A workshop that helps make sense of the craze over Non-Fungible Tokens--crypto-tokens that have helped some artists create unique versions of digital files and sold them at exorbitant prices.
A news article on the popular adoption of the term "curation."
Another news article on the popular adoption of the term "curation."
A perky cultural critique that suggests curation has long been an unacknowledged feminine occupation.
Examines the career of a groundbreaking 20th century curator to argue that "the practice of curating, in the Szeemannian sense of organizing ideas and images into meanings and narrative, really has been universalized and cheapened."
Short guide to how scientists can keep their data secure and relevant in the long run.
Christine Borgman talk on varieties of data curation: "One person's data is another person's noise."
A study warning of uneven geographic access to supposedly open data (eg, politically sanctioned countries trying to access Github).
Richard Hollinger outlines general models of digital curation suggested by practitioners in the field.
A detailed history and explanation of one of the most cited, if also generic, conceptual models for digital curation.
An explanation in diagram and bullet points of a more concrete model of digital curation from the UK.
A deeper analysis of and proposed extension for the DCC model cited above.
Learn how basic netiquette--etiquette for the Internet age--can help make on- and offline classes go smoother.
(Just watch the video by itself, or to earn this badge, just answer the quizzes as you go and enter your Maine.edu email at the end.)
Mastodon is an open-source alternative to Twitter that has been praised for its independence from corporate influence, welcoming atmosphere, and relevance to academics and cultural heritage professionals. (When you start you'll be asked to join a server. You can always change this affiliation later without much trouble; digipres.club is one with numerous digital curation members.)
Although delivered to an audience of art curators and critics, this talk includes advice that may be useful to writers working in digital curation more generally.
In this section, Kendra Bird, and Jon Ippolito survey some of the huge challenges facing individuals and organizations that manage culture in the digital age.
Social bookmarks are one of the most barebones of today's "curatorial" networks, consisting merely of public bookmarks with tags added by the people who bookmarked them. For this assignment, you'll report on a recent article or resource tagged with "digitalcuration" on Pinboard, a successor to the original social bookmarking service, Del.icio.us.
First check the #pinboard channel in Slack to see what others have reported on to prevent redundant reports. Then visit Jon's news items tagged digitalcuration on Pinboard and look over the stories listed there. You may wish to filter the stories down to a set that interests you by adding another subject under "Related Tags" at lower right. (And if you like, you may also report on a related story or resource that is not currently in this Pinboard list, eg by visiting the list of stories tagged "digitalcuration" by all Pinboard users.)
Next write a 3-6 sentence description of at least one article, followed by one or more sentences describing whether any of the article's techniques or conclusions might be valuable for your own field or workplace. Post this in the #pinboard channel.
(Note that Pinboard is different from Pinterest, which is an image-oriented social network. For more on social media, see this tutorial.)
Choose an artifact characteristic of your field--such as a Word document, email, digital image or video, Web site--and write a narrative describing its hypothetical lifecycle.
In two or more paragraphs, imagine and describe the phases of its journey, including creation, modification, duplication, distribution, duplication, storage, future access, and death (the point at which it can no longer be retrieved or reconstituted).
Be as concrete as possible about which stakeholders are involved in its lifecycle, what platforms it morphs onto, and which media it morphs into.
Please post your narrative as a message in the appropriate discussion in the #birth-and-death channel in Slack.
Justin Wolff of the U-Me Digital Curation program introduces a roundtable on challenges of digital curation.
Today's new forms of publication, access, and even preservation are challenging the traditional role of the curator as gatekeeper to culture. This video introduces students to the politics of curating in the Internet age.
Richard Hollinger, the head of Special Collections at U-Me, talks about integrating curating into the very capture of digital materials.
U-Me Digital Curation faculty Richard Hollinger, Jon Ippolito, and Justin Wolff talk through existing and as yet undeveloped tools for digital curation.
Richard Hollinger, Jon Ippolito, and Justin Wolff of the U-Me Digital Curation graduate program talk about the challenges of preserving bits in the age of ephemeral digital media.
This tutorial introduces the cloud, which plays an increasingly important role in the lifecycles of digital objects. Watch the video, pass the quizzes, and earn the badge.
This academic paper describes some of the factors that influence the lifecycle of everyday digital objects such as emails or web bookmarks.
A feature on the problems families face coping with the digital legacy of the deceased, including a survey of "digital estate management" services that purport to solve those problems.
This paper proposes to manage the burgeoning storage requirements of security videos through algorithmic transformations that excerpt only the useful content.
Basically an infomercial for a service called Zapier, but describes a good workflow for managing photos from your phone and social media.
Focused less on how to manage photos across social media and more on the hardware and software used to organize them.
Some practical tips on naming and deleting photos.
Digitization of Analog Materials
This week's "Introduction to Digitization" video is only a brief overview of digitization. Post a response covering one or more aspects of digitization the video does not cover, such as other analog objects, digitizing techniques, or output file formats. You could focus on a project that you have worked on or have been planning, or just something you are curious about. Post a description of the object(s), technique(s) and format(s) in the #digitization channel. Try to incorporate ideas from the readings or other articles you may find.
By Paul Smitherman
A rambling but informative talk on the practical problems with scanning large volumes of paper documents to make them searchable, including the limitations of PDF and JPEG-2000.
Even born-digital material often must be converted to a new format before it can enter a digital collection. This week looks at methods and issues related to this process.
It is necessary at times to convert digital objects from one format to another. This is required in order maintain accessibility and for long-term preservation. In the digital preservation world this is often referred to as normalization. It is a standardized procedure in the digital archiving process. Post a response about a digital format that would need a conversion for these reasons. There are many older formats to consider: documents, photographs, audio, video, websites, magnetic computer tape, etc. Discuss the original and final formats and the conversion process. Some objects may require conversion to an intermediate format as well. Post your response in the #04-normalization channel.
You might want to look at the Guardian's guide to metadata, before you begin.
MoMA's Ben Fino-Radin explains to DIG students how to collect data from floppy disks. (Just watch 00:00-21:23.)
Post a response about one of the five processes listed in the video. Using a specific example, write about the background, the technologies involved, and the pros and cons of using that approach.
An international consortium based at the University of Michigan that stores, curates, and provides access to scientific data. From the website: "Data curation is akin to work performed by an art or museum curator. Through the curation process, data are organized, described, cleaned, enhanced, and preserved for public use, much like the work done on paintings or rare books to make the works accessible to the public now and in the future. With the modern Web, it's increasingly easy to post and share data. Without curation, however, data can be difficult to find, use, and interpret."
This week looks at the general topic of crowdsourcing using 3d scanning as a case study. This is the strategy of letting members of the public contribute to a task or project, typically over the Internet.
Create your own account on the 3d model sharing site Sketchfab. You'll use these credentials later.
Next, choose a three-dimensional physical object to digitize. This can be something from a personal or institutional collection, and doesn't have to be of intrinsic value. You can experiment with several options, but the best objects tend to be:
The best backgrounds are:
If you can't accommodate these constraints, try sticking pieces of colored tape to the object or background as landmarks.
Then install an application described in one of the articles on 3d scanning tools. Each offers a different method to create a 3D model from images of an object--via iPhone, Android phone, or via a Windows desktop application. (We've recently tested Qlone for iPhone, which works decently if you can print the base first. Polycam is also popular.)
Most of these apps have video tutorials that show you how to create your 3D model. Once you're done shooting and processing your object, publish it to your Sketchfab account. You can do this in the Trnio app by linking to your Sketchfab account (under your user profile), and then choosing the Export to Sketchfab option when you're done processing your scan. Please apply the keyword "DIG500" so we can find your model when you're done. You can search Sketchfab for DIG500 to see some models created to date.
Be forewarned that this is cutting-edge technology and doesn't always work as expected. Give it a few tries and if it fails tell us what you tried to do. You can learn something from trying it, even if you're not happy with the results.
Feeling adventurous? Instead of creating a 3d scan with photogrammetry, try trendy new techniques like NeRFs or Gaussian Splats. Although they are not yet suitable for creating virtual models, both techniques use AI to capture reflections and light effects that photogrammetry can't, require fewer photographs, and can use video as input. Try KIRI or Luma, but be aware they may require a good camera.
Write a post to the appropriate forum consisting of at least 2 paragraphs. In the first part, describe your experience attempting to digitize a 3D object. What was harder than you expected, and what easier?
In the second part, step back from this particular technique to survey the range of crowdsourcing examples described in the videos/reading. What would be the advantages and disadvantages of applying a crowdsourced approach to your own field or workplace?
As always, be sure to cite specific examples in detail (from the reading, from your experience, or hypothetical) to support your argument.
Finally, respond to a classmate by asking a question or making a comment in reply to their post.
Geographically-separated archaeologists and historians are using 3d scanning and printing to "teleport" a sensitive artifact for analysis.
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A 2018 report from UMaine's Hudson Museum on 3d scanning as an aide to repatriation.
This video explains a new technology that uses AI to interpolate views between photographs.
Choose topics that interest you from the table of contents for this conversation on crowdsourcing between Scott and DIG students.
You may also be interested in the archive of past Digital Curation teleconferences.
This is a clearer version of the Photosynth demo mentioned in the "Unreliable Archivists" talk and in "Trusting Amateurs" text, which demonstrates crowdsourcing photos to map photographic detail onto a virtual model of Notre Dame.
Data curation for digital architecture and other design software.
Example of a firm specializing in 3d analysis, including 3D scanning and photogrammetry, for legal cases such as car accidents.
This preprint on "unofficial" preservation practices and why they are sometimes more effective than professional enterprises reprises some of the arguments in the "Unreliable Archivists" video.
An art historian examines the practice of re-creating portrait paintings with homemade costumes and props. (The article is worth reading just for the photos!)
Constantly evolving technologies are driving the shift from "analog" curation toward more digitally focused models. As curators, is important to keep up with these changes to continually provide robust and engaging access to information. This week shows how the technique of 3d scanning introduced previously can be extended to produce physical or virtual objects, using innovations such as 3d printing, augmented reality, and virtual reality.
Given your own professional and/or academic experience, how might you apply some of this week's technologies in your own work? What sort of digital data do you personally think would lend itself well to an augmented- or virtual-reality environment, or to a 3D-printing context? Write a post to the appropriate forum consisting of at least 2 paragraphs, citing examples from the reading.
This week's lesson introduces you to techniques for taming "Big Data" with metadata and visualization.
First, find a chart, infographic, or other visualization under "Samples" below that interests you. Post the image or a screenshot to this week's channel with a one-paragraph description of why you think it is especially good or bad. (Tufte's principles can help here.)
Then apply one of the visualization techniques described in the tutorial (or another of your choosing) to some numerical data or text. Ideally this data set would come from your place of work, but you'll find plenty in the FreeCodeCamp compendium.
(If you're confused, WordClouds.com, is an easy one for beginners; it's a replacement for Wordle, which required the now-obsolete technology of Java applets.)
Post the resulting image, and a link if appropriate, in a second post to this week's channel, along with a description of what was revealed and hidden by that particular technique. (If necessary, take a screenshot; either way you can just drag the image onto Slack with that channel open.)
This tutorial demos some basic tools for visualizing numerical and textual data. Watch the video, pass the quizzes, and earn the badge. Note that the script below offers links to newer apps that serve the same purpose as outdated apps in the video like Textecture and Wordle.
The script for the Visualize Data badge includes updated links to tools like those shown in the video tutorial.
Links to freely available scientific and political data sets, from the World Health Organization to the US Census to Yelp business reviews.
Explore some of the extraordinary data visualizations by this duo of artist-researchers, asking yourself what is revealed and what is concealed by each visualization.
An animated infographic created by the Thomson travel blog (the original is lost but this is a brief screen capture.)
A summary of some data visualization principles from the guru of graphic clarity, Edward Tufte.
This screencast shows how to prompt GPT-4 to convert prose to data, data to a chart, and then the chart to a text-based conclusion, based on the goal of compiling planetary surveys.
A transcript of the input and output texts used in the demo of data visualization with GPT-4 above.
The pros and cons of data visualization variations; assumes some understanding of statistics.
These two screencasts focus on specific graphic design techniques using Adobe Illustrator to create concise, visual representations of factual or statistical information.
This week you'll learn how to make your data accessible to a broad public--and keep it that way. You'll learn some of the legal and technical strategies for ensuring long-term access to media files, as well as how to plan out a database to organize your collection.
Assume you have been tasked with creating a database for your own personal or institution's collection (or part of it--a half-dozen tables are enough). Follow the instructions in the tutorial above, summarized in this diagram, to create your schema. Rather than a raster-based tool like Photoshop, it's easiest to use a vector-based image editor like Illustrator. You can also find special tools for making charts like Omnigraffle, LucidChart, Gliffy, Creately, or Visio ($5/month for web version). Or just hand-draw it on paper and post a scan!
By by 11:59pm Monday, post a draft image to the Week 9 channel, along with a description of any questions or revelations you encountered. By by 11:59pm Wednesday post a final image, incorporating any feedback you may have received.
This tutorial teaches how to plan out a relational database, including table structure, data types, and relationships between fields. Watch the video, pass the quizzes, and earn the badge.
This video uses a photo-tagging example to show how relational databases can prevent typos, retrieve related data, and assign multiple roles to people in the system.
The second week of the access section focuses on virtual exhibitions, which are essentially Web sites whose content comes from databases. You have two options for this week's assignment in addition to the midterm review.
Your professors are keen to know what's working and what could be improved. You'll find a link to the Google Form in #reference. We appreciate your help in making our course better!
CHOICE 1: Airtable
This is a good choice if you want to focus on relationships in your collection.
This tutorial shows you how to translate a schema into a functioning database using the Airtable platform.
Follow the instructions in the tutorial or its script to build a functioning database with Airtable. You may work from the schema you made last week, but ideally your database should have some tables with one-to-many relationships and some with many-to-many relationships.
When you're done, click the "Share" button in the upper right-hand corner and choose "Create a shared link to the whole base." From here you can copy a private, read-only link. Post this to #exhibition along with a description of what you liked best and worst about Airtable.
OR CHOICE 2: Omeka
This is a good choice if you want to focus on describing items in your collection.
Blair Mueller's Airtable on Egyptian history, created for this class, is a beautiful example of how a relational database can serve as a research aid.
This chart shows the pros and cons of common website builders such as WordPress, Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace.
Anne Goodyear's presentation at UMaine's 2013 Digital Humanities Week tackles a serious questions for anyone working in digital curation today: with new media platforms blurring the lines between publication, exhibition, and education, what is the appropriate paradigm for a museum or archive that shares its collection? Is there any point in drawing distinctions between publishing scholarship in an online journal, didactic commentary on a museum Web site, or curatorial notes in an online collection record? Her talk draws on a number of new publication and exhibition initiatives she's been involved in as curator of the American Art Collection at the Smithsonian and president of the College Art Association.
This third week on Access examines the question of access control: how curators choose whether or not to share archival materials, given complex laws and norms governing intellectual property.
Do one of the following and post the URL to the #sharing channel:
a. Use the techniques shown in the tutorials to find and add a legally shareable image, audio, or video file to your own Web page or blog.
b. Pick a media file or text you want to share, and embed a Creative Commons license next to it into your own Web page or blog.
If you don't already have a blog, here's a comparison of popular platforms like WordPress and instructions on creating a WordPress.com site. ⚠️ You can create a WordPress.com site for free--just steer clear of paid options.
Copyright can be a headache for curators hoping to make the contents of their archives accessible to a broader public. Communities such as indigenous peoples have different norms for sharing cultural knowledge. These restrictions are not the all-or-nothing prohibition of Euro-American copyright, which is a blanket economic incentive, but more nuanced incentives meant to create social bonds.
Based on this week's readings and viewings, what do you see as the differing assumptions behind the rules for sharing established by copyright versus native traditions? Which norms would make the most sense for the kinds of materials you work with in a personal or professional context?
This tutorial shows you how to locate images and other content online that are free to use, how to give proper credit, and how to indicate legal use. ℹ️ Google Image Search has simplified its interface since this video was made; now just choose Tools > Usage Rights.
Learn how to make it easy for others to share and/or re-use your media. You'll learn how to add a Creative Commons license to your Web page that search engines can find automatically.
Digital artists weigh in on how text-to-image generators may change their practice for better or worse.
An explainer on "deep fakes" that simulate realistic videos of people, with or without their consent.
Wendy Seltzer's talk at the 2017 Digital Humanities Week, University of Maine
Watch these excerpts (11:18-65:12) and any others that interest you:
Artist Holly Herndon demos AI that can accompany her live, in her voice, in languages she doesn't know. How does the ability to synthesize identity affect creators and their rights?
Good examples; overall, make your attribution reasonable and suited to the medium.
General recommendations for ethical data reuse.
General recommendations for ethical data reuse.
A more technical look at linked biological data.
Distinguishes between copyrighting data v. metadata v. a database.
Good examples; overall, make your attribution reasonable and suited to the medium.
This week looks at the impact of generative AI and other cutting-edge technologies on the creation and curation of data and cultural heritage.
Please complete two (2) of the following three assignments. All posts go to the week 12 channel.
Choose among the reading on generative AI below or an alternative reading list about the blockchain, crypto, and NFTs.
By Sunday 11:59pm, post a question (basic or sophisticated) about the material for this week.
By Wednesday 11:59pm, decide whether the promise of this new technology outweighs the risks, and post your conclusion. Back up your judgment with citations from the reading/viewing and/or class discussion.
Explore the Learning With AI toolkit of 300 crowdsourced strategies, resources, and videos. Under "resources" or "strategies," search for specific words; filter by keywords like "syllabus + plagiarism"; or follow curated pathways like "write with AI" or "prioritize humanity." Then find at least one assignment, article, video, or other resource not on the site that you think would make an appropriate addition, ideally one that relates to your own field or interests. Suggest it using this form, adding existing or new tags to help make it discoverable by others.
Choose an AI-assisted task from the Learning With AI toolkit Strategies section or from Tasks 6 through 12 in the Introduction to New Media syllabus. Modify the task in any way that adapts it to your own workplace or interests, but make sure it remains a multi-step process. (Giving text or image generators incremental prompts almost always produces better results than one-off, "zero-shot" prompts.)
Recommended free text generators are OpenAI's ChatGPT-3.5 and Anthropic's Claude. (You can try Google's Bard but it has a reputation for unreliability.) Free image generators include OpenAI's DALLE-2 and the Stable Diffusion interface Leonardo.ai.
Post your evaluation of the experience along with the best results you achieved. (Long text outputs can be added as replies to your original message.)
Sections required (8:35-51:08): "Can generative AI be creative?"; "Which tasks are appropriate for large language models?"; "The trade-off between creativity and trust"; and "Demos of ChatGPT in the classroom."
"Machine learning data collection practices differ from those of curatorial archives is the level of intervention and supervision. [The large language model] approach often encourages data collection to be indiscriminate." (56 minutes)
Cultural heritage professionals discuss whether and how to apply AI to libraries, archives, and museums. Their conclusions are...mixed. (Skim the transcript if you don't want to listen to the podcast.)
This interface to prominent museum collections finds artworks by similar appearances (try choosing an image and then clicking "Positive").
A prominent commercial database service looks to offer an AI interface.
Your final written project in this class will be a text of 800-1200 words that will make up 20% of the course grade. You must get prior approval for your topic, based on a 2-3 sentence proposal you'll submit to the faculty. The following week you submit a draft, which will be commented on by both classmates and faculty. Your final revision will be due the following week, and can (and usually should) include enhancements such as links, images, screenshots, or other media, e.g., as screenshots. All questions, proposals, and drafts should be posted to #final-project--preferably in a format that is easy to access and review (eg, a Google Doc rather than Microsoft Word).
For the style of your final essay: we emphasize real-world skills in our program, so write your final draft as though you will publish it on the web, eg on a blog. Colloquial, lively writing is fine as long as it's grammatical. Add a title and your name at the top of the document itself, but otherwise omit any prominent references to our class; this is your research and you should take the credit!
If you can think of a digital curation project that would be more suitable or interesting for you or your workplace, feel free to propose this and the faculty will see if we can shape it to match our criteria. Ideally the project should have something to do with acquiring material into a collection, since that is a major theme of the course.
Though you may suggest your own idea for topic and format, here are two options suggested by the faculty:
Review a digital curation tool of relevance to your own work or interests. You can learn more and find suggested tools in the Digital Preservation Coalition's guide to tools or Ashley Blewer's list of content management systems.
Your review should answer these questions:
If you want to dive deep into a tool for a specific task but don't want to install it yourself, OpenSourceCMS.com will automatically create an installation of an open-source Content Management System that you can try for an hour or so. This could be an easy way to review a basic feature or two across multiple packages, or to choose a system to install yourself and explore in more depth later.
Drawing on your own personal or workplace needs, identify some analog material you would like to digitize or born-digital material you want to collect, then follow these steps:
1. Research and decide the best approach to digitize and collect your data or media. A good place to start is the Smithsonian's digital curation guidelines.
2. Earn the following badges:
(This badge is optional, and shows you how to use the free GanttProject software.)
3. Create a well researched budget and timeline based on these tutorials. (If your institution already has a template for either, feel free to use that.) What will it cost in money and staff time to complete the project? Remember, your goal is not just to get the material onto a hard drive, but to add appropriate metadata, a backup system, and potentially import the material into a preservation system such as Archivematica. You do not need to incorporate later stages of digital curation, such as adding the material to a database, making it searchable online, or preserving it in the future.
4. Add your timeline and budget to a text that explains your plan as well as the resources you would need to secure, in the form of specific grants, hires, or equipment, to collect this material accordingly.
Although option A is not appropriate for AI help, you are encouraged to experiment with generative AI such as ChatGPT for accomplishing option B. Such help might include:
The final week/s are devoted to an end-of-term project agreed upon by student and instructors.