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Losing control: experiments in outreach

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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Losing control: experiments in outreach

  1. 1. Losing control:experiments in outreach<br />Amanda Hill<br />Hillbraith Ltd.<br />[Deseronto Archives]<br />
  2. 2. Pushing the boundaries<br />Existing outreach<br />Blog<br />Twitter<br />Flickr site for images<br />Bi-monthly town newsletters (delivered to every home in Deseronto)<br />All mediated by the Archives<br />How to take it further?<br />
  3. 3. User-generated content?<br />Grant of $16,000 from Museums and Technology Fund, 2010 with matched funding of $4,000 from the Town of Deseronto<br />Used to build and generate content for a new website: ‘About Deseronto’<br />Inspiration:<br />
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  5. 5. Absence…<br />Physical distance from home town<br />Feelings of affection for home town<br />with apologies to Jessica Hagy of ‘Indexed’<br />
  6. 6. Low-cost, sustainable approach<br />Just launching a beta version of their hosted service in April 2010<br />
  7. 7. and<br />
  8. 8. plans<br />
  9. 9.
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  11. 11. Disadvantages<br />Initially, did not offer an option for users to upload materials direct<br />Which had been the whole point of ‘About Deseronto’<br />Hard to get people to engage<br />Very small population, which doesn’t help!<br />
  12. 12. New direction<br />Oral histories<br />Archives Board members helped to identify potential interviewees<br />10 interviews conducted during the course of the project<br />Big learning curve – technology, technique<br />
  13. 13. Christmas in the funeral home<br />
  14. 14. Memories<br />
  15. 15. ‘About Deseronto’<br />Partial success<br />‘Contribute’ option now available, but not really being used!<br />
  16. 16. Other outreach experiments<br />Family/Heritage Day competition<br />
  17. 17. Self-guided tour<br />110 downloads <br />
  18. 18. Doors Open<br />Partnership between Napanee and Deseronto<br />Benefits of Napanee’s previous experience<br />Recycled earlier work: Flickr images for display boards and brochures<br />Plan to use these materials in future events - Waterfront Festival on July 2nd<br />
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  21. 21. Facebook<br />Set up a Facebook account for the Archives to help promote Doors Open through an event page<br />An unexpected success<br />(yet another site to maintain…)<br />Also used Twitter to do a daily tweet on Doors Open<br />
  22. 22. Doors Open verdict<br />A lot of work, but good to meet people on the day who had never used the archives<br />1,000 people visited sites in Deseronto<br />Identified some more potential oral history interviewees<br />Even accessioned some new materials for the archives!<br />
  23. 23. Conclusions on experiments<br />Try different things to see what happens<br />Some things work better than others<br />Some are more work than others<br />Digitization groundwork (lots of images on Flickr) was a real boon<br />
  24. 24. Contact details<br /><br /><br />@DeserontoArch on Twitter<br />