Last week, Tanya and I travelled to Chapel Hill for CurateGear 2015: Enabling the Curation of Digital Collections. After reading Tanya’s acoount of her experience, I thought I would fill in some of my favorite bits of the day.

Susan Malsbury – The GMHC Hotline Database: Capturing a snapshot of AIDS service providers in NYC

Susan presented a fascinating demonstration of emulation of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis hotline database in the Manuscripts and Archives Division reading room at NYPL. She explained the very simple setup of an emulation experience for researchers to access a disk image of the original born-digital materials from the collections. They have a dedicated machine in the reading room, offline and USB blocked (so patrons cannot make copies). There is a reader login account to access the records. They also load a pdf of the finding aid on the machine so researchers can see what they are looking at (since there is no internet). Serving the disk images in this way allows researchers to experience and utilize the materials without any harm to the original records. Given the many disks in our collections here in Special Collections & Archives, I found this to be a very inspiring and accessible way to provide access to patrons.

Lori Donovan – Archive-It 5.0

Lori spent a lot of time discussing Archive-It’s 5.0 updates that started rolling out in October of 2014 and will continue in 2015. This was a great session, as I think about WFU’s use of Archive-It a lot and enjoy hearing about how we can do this better. Some of the highlights of her talk included the fact that Archive-It is overhauling the user interface for the first time since they started in 2006. This is great news! It’s not done yet, but the reports section has been released. The reports (and later everything else) has a much cleaner, streamlined look and dynamic visualization of the information in the reports. You can really mine down into the information in the reports and fine tune your crawls with a much better understanding of what information you have captured. I was truly excited about these changes and can’t wait to see the future rollouts of Archive-It 5.0

I found the whole day at CurateGear 2015 a very interesting and inspiring experience. I would be happy to talk more about the presentations I mentioned or any others that I attended at CurateGear 2015. Thank you to the Dean’s office for the opportunity to attend.