Taking a Digital Walk Through History

Through collaboration with the Department of History and Biggio Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning at Auburn University, the Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts & Humanities developed a digital walking tour of Civil War sites in Auburn, Alabama. The digital tour can be accessed through Google Maps or YouTube on a smart phone or tablet. I’d like to discuss the ways in which digital technology can be used to illuminate historic sites by expanding information in static displays, as well as the challenges of creating such projects, the replicability of the projects, and opportunities to carry out similar projects in the future.

– Maiben Beard

Name Authority in Digital Projects

I proposed a session on controlled vocabulary, but thought of a slightly different related topic: authority control of personal names. This could be merged with my other proposal or be a separate discussion? Questions to discuss include: Do you even attempt any sort of name authority control, that is, trying to have only one authorized form of the name of a particular person? Do you leave this up to your content management software? Do you maintain a spreadsheet? Do you rely on the form in your library’s online catalog and formulate other names according to the same rules? Do you use some other recognized system for establishing names? Would having a shared database of authorized names for Alabama persons be a good idea? How would we set it up?

– Dana Caudle

Linked Data Between Encyclopedia of Alabama and Alabama Mosaic

The folks at the Encyclopedia of Alabama work hard to link it out to Alabama Mosaic. I think they do a lot of this linking manually. Can we link out from within the Alabama Mosaic VuFind index to specific parts of the Encyclopedia of Alabama? Could we use linked data or something similar to automatically generate these links both ways? Do we even have software that can do this or would we have to write code?

– Dana Caudle

Best Practices for Alabama Mosaic

This would be along the lines of a “talk/make” session to talk about metadata best practices for Alabama Mosaic. Alabama Mosaic harvests from a wide variety of institutions in the state. It is only as good for discovery as the metadata from each institution which is harvested into the VuFind index. Could we make it better by agreeing on best practices for metadata creation? There are guidelines for creating metadata for digital collections as part of Alabama Mosaic, but are they sufficient to serve as best practices we can all agree on? What would you like to see as best practices for metadata that will be harvested into Alabama Mosaic? Do we even need best practices?

– Dana Caudle

Controlled Vocabulary for Digital Projects

I would like the metadata specialists who create metadata for digital projects around the state to have a discussion on their practices for adding subject or geographic metadata to digital collections, specifically on whether or not you attempt some form of authority control. Some questions for discussion: Do you assign subject headings or keywords to digital objects? Do you use formal thesauri or controlled vocabularies and/or local keywords or some combination of all of the above? Do you attempt to control your local keywords? Do you try to control vocabulary across collections? Do you use the controlled vocabulary features of your content management software or do you have an external way of doing so? Have you ever used vocabulary management software like Tema Trace? Do you even consider control of terms to be necessary for search/discovery for small digital projects?

– Dana Caudle

THATCamp Alabama 2015

THATCamp Alabama 2015 will be held September 4-5 at the Auburn University Library.

Hosted by the Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts & Humanities in the College of Liberal Arts at Auburn University and the Auburn University Libraries and organized by representatives from Alabama colleges, universities, and libraries, THATCamp Alabama is an “unconference”— a space to share skills and experiences with technology and humanities and brainstorm ways that we can work collaboratively on digital projects within our institutions and beyond. We are looking for technologists and humanists at all levels and hope to host a diverse group representing researchers, teachers, librarians, curators, archivists, and others. All participants play an active role in setting the event agenda by proposing sessions that reflect their interests.

You can read more about the THATCamp movement and browse other THATCamps at thatcamp.org.