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UnCommons Perspectives STRATEGIES AND CHALLENGES FOR DIGITAL COLLECTIONS IN THE WEB 2.0 OUTSIDE THE FLICKR COMMONS Francesco Spagnolo, PhD Director of Research The Magnes, Berkeley
FOSTERING THE INSTITUTIONAL VISION The history of the Jewish Community in the American West and the Global Jewish Diaspora continues to be told:To a wider audience, Through a sustainable model ENSURING COLLECTION STEWARDSHIP Collection care, services, access and publicationare streamlined and become part of the same curatorial process:Resources are focused and aligned with the institutional vision A MEASURABLEMODEL A nimble and innovative Collection staff is the protagonist of all processesCollection work becomes effective and measurable
INTEGRATING THREE ONLINE “VENUES”: WEBSITE :: DATABASE :: WEB 2.0 DIGITAL INITIATIVES ENSURE THAT MAGNES COLLECTIONS AREPRESENTED :: FOUND :: ACTIVATED
ONLINE PRESENCE With digital images from the collection,Magnes staffcan instantly publish curated web exhibitions via the Jewish Digital Narratives platform, and create digital archives accessible on Flickr (“From the Dusty Archives…” collection). This was made possible via the collaboration with John Fox, who created the software, MemoryMiner, which manages metadata (titles, captions, dates and geocoding), creates image tags, uploads to Flickr, and generates stand-alone html pages. (This is a web page created with MemoryMiner, highlighting the Israel Bonds Collection in the Magnes Archives)
EASE OF ACCESS The Jewish Digital Narratives platform allows to integrate the Magnes website with popular online platforms like Flickr, and thus to gain visibility in the “Web 2.0.” Nine exhibitions were created with this platform since the program was inaugurated in September of 2008, on both Flickr and the Magnes Website. Over 40 “Dusty Archives” were also generated since 2009, with a presence of over 2,500 assets on Flickr. The “Web 2.0” (Facebook, Flickr, Google Maps, etc.) is a new digital language, understandable across cultural barriers. (This is a sample entry from a Flickrpage. And yes, it is Cary Grant in the photograph, selling “Israel Bonds.”)
GLOBAL VISIBILITY The Jewish Digital Narratives platform allows to publish digital images from the Magnes collection on popular sites like Flickr. In turn, this promotes the visibility of the Magnes by gaining valuable online “real estate” in Google searches. (This is a sample Google Image Search with the keywords “Milhaud” and “David”: Magnes results appear along those of important online vendors, like Amazon, and often are featured among the first 3-5 “hits”).
INSTANT PUBLISHING The Web offers a widely accessible publication platform, which is replacing traditional books and journals. Digital images are easily published online, where they are accessible to millions of users. (This is a sample from the Magnes Flickr page, with images from the Israel Bonds Collection, ca. 1950-1960)
ONLINE DATABASE: AN INTEGRATED PLATFORM Collection preservation, catalog, access, and publication are streamlined within the same process. (This is a sample from the new IDEA database, highlighting the Isabel Wiel Collection.)
ONLINE DATABASE: UNIQUE COLLECTION INFORMATION The new IDEA database allows unique “federated”access to Archive, Library and Museum holdings with one, global, keyword search. (This is a sample from the new IDEA database, using the keyword “Dinkelspiel”: paintings and archival papers are retrieved with only one search)
ONLINE DATABASE:ACCESS TO DIGITAL IMAGES The new IDEA database allows direct access to digital images of the items in the collection, with one, global, keyword search. (This is a sample from the new IDEA database, using the keyword “Ketubbah”: many of the over 200 Jewish marriage certificates in the Magnes collection have already been digitized and are available online.)
ONLINE PUBLICATION Magnes staff can instantly share information based on digital images from the collection via the new Opensource blog. The new blog is followed daily by hundreds of viewers. (Top post generated 339 views). (This is a sample entry from the opensource blog, by dr. Lara Michels, about Edward Bransten)
DIGITAL PRODUCTION The creation of digital images from the collections directly engages the existing Magnes staff: • Curators • Coll. Information Manager • Digitization Technician
ONLINE COMMUNICATION Collection Services are easily accessible online. A new Rights and Reproduction request form was recently made available on the website. An average of ten researchers contacted the Magnes Reference Desk each month via the online Research Information Form since it was published on magnes.org.
CREATING A SUSTAINABLE MODEL A streamlined workflow allows a small professional staff to measure the visibility of the collection, also in terms of revenue. Rights and Reproduction licensing fees increased by 300% during FY09. (Digital Production Workflow Chart).
MEASURING SUCCESS Online visibility can be monitored. Magnes images on Flickr were viewed over 60,000 times since the launch of the Jewish Digital Narratives platform in September of 2008. (Metrics from the Magnes account on Flickr, 2009).
DIGITAL PR Digital content is easily marketable online. 500 Facebook members currently receive live updates about the Magnes. This online “community” is constantly growing.
ONLINE MARKETING Digital images from the collection can instantly generate merchandise. (This is a sample entry from the Magnes online store on zazzle. com)
ENGAGING PARTNERSHIPS Since 2007, the new digital programs of the Magnes have generated •an unprecedented access to the collection •a growing number of prestigious academic partnerships (USC, NYU, UC Berkeley School of Information…) • promising philanthropic support (Haas Fund, Toole Media Fund…) (Users from three continents discuss Magnes content online).
THE FUTURE The new Magnes website, which is currently being developed in Drupal, will act as a broadcasting platform that fully integrates: