fellowship update: summer presentation series

Have you ever noticed just how many tools and projects include the word archives? ArchivesSpace, Archivists’ Toolkit, Archivum, Archivematica, Archive-It, Archon… And as if those aren’t enough to keep up with, there are a plethora of other tools to consider  …. ePADD, BitCurator, atom, Aeon, ContentDM…

The features and functionality of the various tools can overlap or can be different yet complementary. The software development support and options for hosted services vary widely. The use cases and placement within workflow is fluid often depending on institutional context and content types. This is no huge issue for professionals actively engaged with learning, testing and implementing the various tools. But what about folks who don’t work with these tools every day, but need to know about them? How can our colleagues keep it all straight?


communicating the shades of digital archives and preservation tools through summer presentation series. (Flickr user Alex Ford)

Well, there is likely no one solution to this, but communication is a big deal in complex organizations. One communication effort for IASC has been the digital archives blog, Engineering the Future of the Past (EFP). This summer, Kari also launched a series of presentations for MIT Libraries staff on digital archives and preservation tools. Kari opened the series by talking about the overall digital archives ecosystem, possible workflow options, and tool integration ideas. Then she hosted a few sessions focused on the following tools: Archivematica, ArchivesSpace, atom, and BitCurator. For slides and other details, check out the post on EFP.

On August 28, I presented on ePADD as part of this summer series. I discussed how email can be challenging for archivists and then gave an overview of my experience testing ePADD so far. I hope to share my slides soon (probably on EFP).

If you’re actively communicating with colleagues about emerging digital curation workflows and software, I’d love to hear about your strategies.


reading notes: march reading group

This is a guest post from Greta Suiter, Collections Archivist, MIT Institute Archives and Special Collections and member of the informal Archives and Digital Curation Reading Group at MIT Libraries.

Collaboration in Access and Preservation of Digital Content

Collaboration in Access and Preservation of Digital Content


The primary readings for the month of March were both originally presentations turned into articles. The first was “Your Code Doesn’t Exist in a Vacuum” by Becky Yoose, originally presented at Code4Lib held in Portland, OR in January 2015. The second reading was “We are what we keep; We keep what we are: archival appraisal past, present and future,” by Terry Cook. To accompany these texts we also looked at the SAA code of ethics, websites created with indigenous people’s needs in mind – such as the Plateau Peoples’ Web Portal, and community archives, in particular some RRCHNM created websites that serve as an “archive” for material, often related to a tragic event (Hurricanes, 9/11, Boston Marathon bombing).

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fellow update: code4lib 2015

Okay, so, February has not been a good month for blog updates or reading. But I did have the opportunity to attend Code4Lib 2015 in Portland! The atmosphere was reflective (this was the 10th year of C4L) and really fun. While conferences with different tracks and loads of presentations can be great, I really appreciated the single track style of C4L. I liked hearing complete talks (no fear of missing out!) and having a shared experience with other attendees.

I’ve been working on summarizing my experience since I got back and I’ve decided that, for me, the talks fit into two broad categories: teaching/learning/culture and ideas/projects/tools. 

In this post I’ve listed some of the highlights from each category. There were many other great talks and projects – the Code4Lib wiki has slides available for most of the presentations and lightning talks. Or check out the video of some of the talks.

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