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Presented by Emily Shaw at the Annual Conference of the Visual Resources Association, March 12-15, 2014 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Session #10: Case Studies in Collaboration within Archival and Special Collection Environments
MODERATOR: Amanda Grace Sikarskie, Western Michigan University
• Edward Benoit III, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
• Jim Cunningham, Illinois State University
• Emily Shaw, University of Iowa
• Amanda Grace Sikarskie, Western Michigan University
Each of the presentations in this session tells a story of collaborations between archivists or special collections librarians and content area scholars. While the content of these speakers’ projects differs greatly—from circus-related images to quilt and embroidery programs on public television to the conceptual art of the Fluxus group—each project benefited from a team approach that made use of various skill sets. Both Jim Cunningham and Amanda Sikarskie worked on digitization projects of collections for which metadata (which was collected in the mid-twentieth century) were initially incomplete, outdated, or just plain inaccurate, prompting partnerships between archivists and content experts at outside institutions. Edward Benoit III’s minimal processing project, on the other hand, dealt with a variety of collections and content areas. It ultimately led to a similar outcome, however, solving the problem of minimal metadata by inviting scholars to participate in social tagging of the collections. Finally, Emily Shaw’s work with the digitization of the Fluxus West collection at the University of Iowa tells the story of forging new relationships through interdepartmental collaboration within a large research university. Please join us for this dynamic session that will be of interest to archivists, librarians, and content experts alike.