Saturday, November 05, 2005

Some thoughts

I was at a meeting this week and heard two interesting opinions:
1. Feeds are the new way to discover content, and people don't enter web sites from the front page anymore.
2. Dynamically generated web pages (and related databases) are the wave of the future.

My thoughts about these opinions:
1. True, especially with regards to newspapers. This means that it's even more important for content to be discoverable through other sources than the home page of the website. My impression of librarians so far is that we expect people to discover our sites, but don't really know how to attract our users other than through individual contact.
2. Seems like old news to me, but I was surprised at how many people were creating static web pages by hand to deliver content. It seems like such an inflexible approach. It's so much easier to use a database to make global changes and keep information updated.

My self-imposed project of the week was to explore digitization standards from various institutions. However, our database decided that a certain field only needed to be 950 characters, and that br tags didn't really need the <>, so I didn't get to explore digitization until Friday afternoon, and my Friday afternoons are useless for projects like this.

I did put together some links for more exploration next week:
The first three I read before I started my job, but now that I'm aware of certain issues I will probably pick up more:
A framework of guidance for building good digital collections -- a good resource, and I need to spend time thinking about each point and how it relates to our project.
Handbook for Digital Projects: a management tool for preservation and access. VI: Technical primer -- a good introduction to digitization -- and from Chapter VII:
Working with photographs -- an introduction to digitizing photographs

University of Tennessee's digitization standards -- I need to find more specific documentation like this
Harvard's digitization services bibliography -- some of these are outdated, but a good place to start

And I have to include this because it's a nice set of suggestions for creating descriptive metadata about photographs from the University of Washington for a similar project. Maybe I should hand it out to our project metadata creators.


At 8:25 AM, Blogger Jenn Riley said...

Here is another document interpreting the larger digitization standards and best practices for a specific institution: Current practice at IU may have changed a bit since this was written, but it might be of use. :-)

At 3:31 PM, Blogger Amy said...

Thanks alot Jenn! I'm finding that the digitization standards across institutions are fairly consistent. It's really helpful to have this type of documentation to consult while refining our own digitization workflow.


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