Gearing Up to Wind Down

The flurry of activity at the end of a project can often alternate between the workings of a well-oiled machine and one that sounds like someone threw sand in the gears. It seems that everything is going smoothly and then you find typo after typo and have to go back into each item to edit. Many of the comments posted in the last few days have to do with the tediousness of quality control – making sure that entries are correct because as Chrisie stated, “it’s peoples’ personal lives we’re dealing with”. If someone turned over the beautiful tapestry of our collection they would see a mass of strings and knots all interconnected – the behind-the-scenes work that is unbelievably time-consuming and invisible but critical to the finished product.

In the past five weeks you have discovered:

  • the importance of getting a quality scan the first time
  • exactly what the 15 Dublin Core elements mean
  • how to analyze an item and apply the core elements
  • what intellectual control means and why it’s important to gain it over your collection
  • how critical it is to develop a workflow and then be flexible when it needs to be adapted
  • how easy it is to make mistakes
  • the shortcomings of not being able to batch edit items, heck you even know what batch edit means
  • what it means to create a digital archive and begin to think like an archivist
  • there are a lot of really interesting people out there passionate about digital archiving like Bailey, Anne, Frank, Lorna …
  • there are people to whom it will mean everything that you have taken the time to give voice to those lost on 9/11
  • there are so many people who survived and carry that burden with them all the time and need to tell their story
  • you will never look at another digital collection without thinking about all the work that went into its creation
  • so much knowledge and skills too numerous to list individually

Most importantly, I guarantee you will never again think about the events of 9/11 in the same way.

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