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Furman entrance sign

Greenville, South Carolina was a busy spot this week as the Tri-State Archivists Conference opened with archivists from North and South Carolina and Georgia. The conference opened with an exciting talk about the Digital Public Library of America by Emily Gore. Emily, who formerly worked at NC Echo is now one of five individuals working for DPLA. This portal allows users to (as DPLA likes to say) search, browse and explore. DPLA hopes to have 5 million records when they roll it out in a week. Their content comes from partners such as the Smithsonian, Hathitrust, NYPL and Artstor. All the data that comes into the DPLA is free under Creative Commonslinked open data. Geonames uses uri streams to replace authority records and generate more exact description. One of the fun things Emily mentioned was Unglueit and she mentioned the book, So You Want to Be a Librarian, by our friend, Lauren Pressley.

Sculpture-reflection

One of the sub-themes of this conference was oral history. Several presenters spoke on this topic and how they were using the audio of oral histories in their institutions. Our lunch speaker was Cliff Kuhn of the Oral History Association. Cliff spoke about the resurgence of oral history as technology has made these projects viable on the web. Projects such as Storycorps have shown what the possibilities are for local oral history projects. Cliff spoke about the
ramifications for the archival community for oral history projects. The IMLS supported project at Michigan State University, Oral History in the Digital Age sought to create best practices and reach practitioners. This helped to rekindle an interest in sound and oral history. Cliff mentioned many projects worth exploring, such as, The Uprising of 34 which describes a strike in Georgia in 1934; Memoryscape which offers London/Thames walking tours and Serendip-omatic, a project that connects your sources to digital materials located in libraries, museums, and archives around the world.

At lunch, I met the folks from Spartanburg, SC Public Library who were about to present. I couldn’t resist going to their session which was about their oral history project called: Attics to Archives. Their library lost much of their photographic collections due to a management takeover in the past which caused much of their collections to be discarded. They partnered with local groups, organizations and used internships from Converse College and work with public history classes to do much of he work. At one point, they even handed out 3D glasses.

Spartanburg SC session using 3D glasses

I attended a great session next called: Pinning, Tweeting and Likes, or How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Social Media as an Outreach Tool. This session was given by Beth Doyle and Josh Hager of Duke University. Josh used a Facebook based outreach to conduct interviews with archivists across he country to see how they were using Facebook. Josh found that many fb pages were created for the simple reason that everyone was doing it. Other reasons for using fb were raising the profile of the institution, to raise money, and collection based outreach.
Josh mentioned several rules for using fb:
…think visually…fb is made for pictures.
…think collaboratively…interact with other institutions and share each others content or try to get them to share an archival item.
…think intrinsically …value is relative to your audience and what they are looking for.
…think narrowly.. create an identity for your page. He used this statement as an analogy for this ‘narrow’ idea: “think of us like a friend with a great record collection.”

Beth Doyle, Head of Conservation at Duke spoke on the topic: Conservation Goes Social. Beth uses all social media for her work. Some of her ideas are the “Quick pik series” which is a one-off way of showing conservation work. Also, Iowa State and Duke collaborate on the 1091 Project(1091 is the number of miles between Duke and Iowa State). In the 1091 Project, they both write about the same project from their perspective. The Devils Tale is a project about what’s being done in the conservation lab. Beth’s primary site is called Preservation Underground, and was nominated for the Salem Press Library Blog award for its innovative use of the blog to tell their story.
Beth’s Lessons:
…Be sure you have the time to maintain your site
…Post weekly
…Shorter is better eye catching title
…Limit acronyms
…You can push content to all your sites
…Have fun
…Be professional
…Read your post before you post

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention two ZSR-related events at the conference. Rebecca Petersen and I presented our poster on Clarence Herbert New: A Man of Extremes to a packed corridor!

CHNew-poster

Also- Vicki Johnson and Rebecca Petersen both presented. Rebecca spoke about Archives Week and Vicki spoke about our Documenting Diversity event lat year. Both of these stellar colleagues were excellent and well-received by the audience….so proud!