Losing control: experiments in outreach
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Losing control: experiments in outreach

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Presentation to the Archives Association of Ontario, June 16, 2011, looking at different approaches to outreach in a small municipal archive service.

Presentation to the Archives Association of Ontario, June 16, 2011, looking at different approaches to outreach in a small municipal archive service.

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  • 1. Losing control:experiments in outreach
    Amanda Hill
    Hillbraith Ltd.
    [Deseronto Archives]
  • 2. Pushing the boundaries
    Existing outreach
    Flickr site for images
    Bi-monthly town newsletters (delivered to every home in Deseronto)
    All mediated by the Archives
    How to take it further?
  • 3. User-generated content?
    Grant of $16,000 from Museums and Technology Fund, 2010 with matched funding of $4,000 from the Town of Deseronto
    Used to build and generate content for a new website: ‘About Deseronto’
    Inspiration: http://ournewhaven.org.uk
  • 4.
  • 5. Absence…
    Physical distance from home town
    Feelings of affection for home town
    with apologies to Jessica Hagy of ‘Indexed’ http://thisisindexed.com
  • 6. Low-cost, sustainable approach
    Just launching a beta version of their hosted service in April 2010
  • 7. Omeka.org and Omeka.net
  • 8. Omeka.net plans
  • 9.
  • 10.
  • 11. Disadvantages
    Initially, Omeka.net did not offer an option for users to upload materials direct
    Which had been the whole point of ‘About Deseronto’
    Hard to get people to engage
    Very small population, which doesn’t help!
  • 12. New direction
    Oral histories
    Archives Board members helped to identify potential interviewees
    10 interviews conducted during the course of the project
    Big learning curve – technology, technique
  • 13. Christmas in the funeral home
  • 14. Memories
  • 15. ‘About Deseronto’
    Partial success
    ‘Contribute’ option now available, but not really being used!
  • 16. Other outreach experiments
    Family/Heritage Day competition
  • 17. Self-guided tour
  • 18. Doors Open
    Partnership between Napanee and Deseronto
    Benefits of Napanee’s previous experience
    Recycled earlier work: Flickr images for display boards and brochures
    Plan to use these materials in future events - Waterfront Festival on July 2nd
  • 19.
  • 20.
  • 21. Facebook
    Set up a Facebook account for the Archives to help promote Doors Open through an event page
    An unexpected success
    (yet another site to maintain…)
    Also used Twitter to do a daily tweet on Doors Open
  • 22. Doors Open verdict
    A lot of work, but good to meet people on the day who had never used the archives
    1,000 people visited sites in Deseronto
    Identified some more potential oral history interviewees
    Even accessioned some new materials for the archives!
  • 23. Conclusions on experiments
    Try different things to see what happens
    Some things work better than others
    Some are more work than others
    Digitization groundwork (lots of images on Flickr) was a real boon
  • 24. Contact details
    @DeserontoArch on Twitter