In-house and Outsourced Archives Digitization

In-house and Outsourced Archives Digitization

Digitization can be performed either in-house or outsourced. In-house implies that a department of the institution captures the images—supplying hardware and software, trained personnel, and overhead. Outsourcing requires entering into a contract with a vendor who will receive the images, convert them, and return the originals with the required digital files. Both in-house and outsourced alternatives should be considered when embarking on a digitization project.

Crass Career Advice

Crass Career Advice

The best career guidance I’ve encountered derives from an unlikely source, a record I purchased at Extreme Noise in Minneapolis when I was 16:

You must learn to live with your own conscience, your own morality, your own decision, your own self. You alone can do it. There is no authority but yourself.

The conclusion to the fifth studio album by seminal British anarchist punk band Crass urges listeners to take up the challenge of personal responsibility. The exhaustion of vocalist Eve Libertine’s delivery emphasizes the message’s sincerity. I’ve often thought about this mantra as it pertains to the LIS field.

Staffing and Collaboration for Digital Archival Projects

Staffing and Collaboration for Digital Archival Projects

Staffing needs for digital projects depend on the project’s size and complexity. Training existing staff members to work on digitization projects is a critical component of change management within the institution because digital projects require new skills. The digital age is moving memory institutions into new paradigms of delivering both services and content, and this alteration brings with it a need for training in managing information in a hybrid environment.

Why Digital Archives Expand Access and Awareness

Why Digital Archives Expand Access and Awareness

I was once the director of an archival collection related to historical buildings around the world. From Babylon to Bauhaus, the collection held just about every amazing world monument you could think of and documented state-of-the-art historic preservation techniques. Here was my challenge: the archives was institutional with no public access, and I was a “lone arranger” in charge of all aspects of archival management at the organization. How could I share these treasures?

The Panoramic Vision of Barthes and Burgin

The Panoramic Vision of Barthes and Burgin

In this essay, I provide a new critical consideration of the works of the semiologist Roland Barthes and the artist Victor Burgin. The influence of Barthes on Burgin’s work is well documented. Equally, Burgin’s prominence as a theorist concerned with text and image offers a productive dialogue with Barthes’ work. The interaction between the two is most apparent in my mind when they discuss the limitless possibilities of the panorama and panoramic vision.

Letter #31: Groom and Lover

Letter #31: Groom and Lover

I'm continuing my series of scanning, transcribing, and annotating my grandfather's love letters to my grandmother leading up to their marriage in June 1940. The letters are chronologically organized and preserved, using the methods I discuss in detail in my book, Creating Family Archives: How to Preserve Your Papers and Photographs.

In the final letter of the Grandpa's Love Letters series, Grandpa describes some last minute details before the wedding. Like the letter before, I'm shocked at the prices: $125 for most of the wedding. I compared the results of several historical inflation calculators, and that amount is equivalent to about $2,200 currently.