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Exploring Strange New Worlds: Archives TNG

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Presentation on the impact of using Web 2.0 technologies in a small municipal archives, given at the Association of Canadian Archivists' conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia, June 2010.

Presentation on the impact of using Web 2.0 technologies in a small municipal archives, given at the Association of Canadian Archivists' conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia, June 2010.

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Exploring Strange New Worlds: Archives TNG

  1. 1. Exploring Strange New Worlds: Archives TNG Amanda Hill Deseronto Archives & Hillbraith Ltd.
  2. 2. Double cream impossible to source in Ontario $1.20
  3. 3. Except at Thanksgiving – and then it’s expensive! $4.99
  4. 4. Family heirloom solution to the problem of no cream
  5. 5. Cultural heritage institution with information about this object. Would like to find out more…
  6. 7. Subscription-only service
  7. 8. Perhaps I can find the item at the institution’s own website?
  8. 10. Perhaps not…
  9. 11. Have to use academic credentials to get access
  10. 13. Restrictive licensing means I can’t share the image. The description of the object is inaccurate (and no response was received to a suggested correction).
  11. 14. User experience <ul><li>Frustration </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Difficulty of getting to the item in first place </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not being able to share the item with a wider audience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Being ignored when attempting to improve information attached to the item </li></ul></ul>
  12. 15. User requirements <ul><li>Easy access to materials, direct from search engines </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Raises profile of collections </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ability to share items with others </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Free promotion of repository </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Good public relations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ability to help improve descriptions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Better metadata! </li></ul></ul>
  13. 16. Image by Stuart Davis of Trek Art (from http://www.xs4all.nl/~dassel/wall/1701-d-wallpaper.jpg ) Isn’t that going to be expensive and complicated to do?
  14. 17. <ul><li>Total annual budget: $11,000 </li></ul><ul><li>Staff: 1 part-time archivist (0.2 FTE) </li></ul><ul><li>Open 6 hours a week </li></ul><ul><li>Limited IT infrastructure & support </li></ul><ul><li>Collection rich in images </li></ul>Deseronto Archives Tricorder image from http://www.flickr.com/photos/mountsutro/4434140820/
  15. 18. Deseronto
  16. 19. Seeking new civilizations <ul><li>Sep 2007:Gmail & Google Calendar account for Archives </li></ul><ul><li>Oct 2007: Blog set up </li></ul><ul><li>Jan 2008: Flickr account opened </li></ul><ul><li>Jul 2008: Moved to ‘Pro’ Flickr account </li></ul><ul><li>Jan 2009: Began tweeting </li></ul>$47.99
  17. 20. Basic usage statistics <ul><li>1,062 images on Flickr </li></ul><ul><ul><li>41 images with comments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>156 images ‘favorited’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Over 50,000 views </li></ul></ul><ul><li>60 blog posts, 4 pages </li></ul><ul><ul><li>53 comments </li></ul></ul><ul><li>223 tweets </li></ul><ul><ul><li>107 followers </li></ul></ul>
  18. 21. Impact (more interesting!) <ul><li>Comments and notes from users </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration with users </li></ul><ul><li>New accessions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>virtual, digital and tangible </li></ul></ul><ul><li>New creative works </li></ul><ul><li>Funding for new projects </li></ul><ul><ul><li>and a trip to Halifax… </li></ul></ul>
  19. 25. Unexpected meeting in London with donor of images
  20. 26. Creativity <ul><li>15 year-old using the images as a source of inspiration for a virtual railway project </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual guided tour of Deseronto using Flickr geo-location of images </li></ul>
  21. 29. Walking tour
  22. 30. Financial impact <ul><li>$4,000 in 2009 for digitisation from Town of Deseronto </li></ul><ul><li>$20,000 recently received for ‘About Deseronto’, a new community-created site </li></ul><ul><ul><li>75% from Ontario Ministry of Culture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>25% from Town of Deseronto </li></ul></ul>
  23. 31. Disadvantages? <ul><li>Too Much Information: personal details added to a blog post (quickly taken down) </li></ul>
  24. 33. Things to consider <ul><li>Security/portability of images and metadata from ‘cloud’ services </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Have backup copies </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Possibility of vandalism/inappropriate content </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Vigilance important (incidence negligible so far) </li></ul></ul>
  25. 34. In Conclusion <ul><li>Overall, benefits of sharing have far outweighed any disadvantages </li></ul><ul><li>It’s possible to have a big impact without having a big budget </li></ul>
  26. 35. http:// portland.craigslist.org /forums/?act=Q&ID=134617845
  27. 36. <ul><li>www.flickr.com/deserontoarchives </li></ul><ul><li>deserontoarchives.wordpress.com </li></ul><ul><li>twitter.com/DeserontoArch </li></ul>

Editor's Notes

  • Before I start I’d like to explain that I emigrated to Canada from England three years ago and it’s the best move I’ve ever made. Except for one very small thing.
  • This is a selection of the types of double cream (sometimes called heavy cream) that you can buy in your average British supermarket ALL YEAR ROUND. When I came to Canada I was horrified to find that I couldn’t buy FRESH double cream anywhere. It seemed that I had come to a very strange new world indeed.
  • Then I actually found some double cream in one of our local supermarkets. Joy! … But the joy was shortlived as it proved to be a thanksgiving-only event. And an expensive one at that.
  • Luckily, my Dad had passed on to me this interesting device. It belonged to my Great Grandmother and is used to make cream from butter and milk. He gave it to me some years before I emigrated because I’m an archivist so I must like old stuff, right? At the time I thought “Who on earth would ever bother making their own cream?”. So, since I’ve been in Canada this item has probably had more use than it ever had when it was owned by Great Gran. It’s in its own box and even has its original instruction book!
  • Frustrated at having to try so very hard to look at something Frustrated at being ignored when I try to improve the information provided with that thing
  • But, you may be worrying, isn’t this next generation of archival interaction going to be incredibly complicated and expensive to do?
  • Deseronto’s location: approximately mid-way between Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa on the shores of Lake Ontario.
  • Or 26 quid
  • My main message is that even on a shoestring, you can make something quite remarkable.
  • ×