Syllabus and Weekly Assignments

ILS652 Digital Memorials and Cultural Archives
Course Syllabus

1. Course Information
Course Title: Digital Memorials and Cultural Archives
Course Number: ILS652
Course Section: 01
Academic Session: Summer B
Credit Hours: 3

2. Instructor
Name: Nancy Florio
Email Address:
Phone Number: 860 318-5118 (limited coverage – email preferred)
Fax: 1.203.392.5780
Office Hours and Location: Meeting times can be arranged on request for Tuesday and Thursday, prior to and following course meetings

3. Location and Class Dates
Class Dates: June 25, 2012 – July 29, 2012
Days: Tuesday, Thursday
Time: 1PM – 4 PM
Place: Buley Library, 406T, Southern Connecticut State University
See Campus Commuter Student Parking Map Building #11

4. Pre-requisite/Co-requisite Requirements
Pre-requisite Courses: None

5. Course Description
Introduction to the theoretical and practical issues confronting digital public historians, digital archivists, and digital curators of memorials and memory sites.
This course is a combination of theoretical and hands-on approaches to the creation of cultural digital archives of memorial sites using OMEKA open source software. Using a combination lab and discussion format, students will gain direct experience creating digital archives. Working with the VOICES of September 11th 9/11 Living Memorial Project primary source material contributed by family members, students will help add to the digital collection that will memorialize the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Information on 9/11 Memorials, corporations, community response to the attacks, and stories of the survivors and rescue workers will be added to the archive. In the process of adding this material to the 9/11 Living Memorial Project, students will apply theoretical knowledge gained through readings and discussions.

6. Required Text / Readings
Cohen, Daniel J, and Roy Rosenzweig. Digital History: A Guide to Gathering, Preserving, and Presenting the Past on the Web. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006. Print. ISBN-10: 0812219236 | ISBN-13: 978-0812219234
[This text is available online at

Lorna M. Hughes, Digitizing collection : strategic issues for the information manager. London, 2004. Print. ISBN-10: 1856044661 | ISBN-13: 978-1856044660
Available through Amazon:

* Additional readings for each class will be posted with the Class Schedule

Recommended Texts
Steinhoff, Sascha. The Vuescan Bible: Everything You Need to Know for Perfect Scanning. Santa Barbara: Rocky Nook, 2011. Print.

7. Online Resources
Handbook for Digital Projects: A Management Tool for Preservation and Access, Maxine K. Sitts, Editor, Andover, Massachusetts: Northeast Document Conservation Center, 2000.
[Individual sections will be assigned]

8. Tk20 Requirement

9. Course Objectives / Learner Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this course students will be able to:
• Create a workflow plan for a digitization project
• Use digital archiving tools
• Create collections using OMEKA software
• Create museum exhibits within the OMEKA collection
• Understand and adapt Dublin Core Elements

10. ALA Competencies
This course addresses the following student competencies from the ALA’s Core Competencies of Librarianship. Final version Approved by the ALA Executive Board, October 25th 2008. Approved and adopted as policy by the ALA Council, January 27th 2009

2. Information Resources
2A. Concepts and issues related to the lifecycle of recorded knowledge and
information, from creation through various stages of use to disposition.

2B. Concepts, issues, and methods related to the acquisition and disposition of resources, including evaluation, selection, purchasing, processing, storing, and deselection.

2C. Concepts, issues, and methods related to the management of various collections.

2D. Concepts, issues, and methods related to the maintenance of collections,
including preservation and conservation.

3. Organization of Recorded Knowledge and Information
3A. The principles involved in the organization and representation of recorded knowledge and information.

3B. The developmental, descriptive, and evaluative skills needed to organize recorded knowledge and information resources.

3C. The systems of cataloging, metadata, indexing, and classification standards and methods used to organize recorded knowledge and information.

4. Technological Knowledge and Skills
4A. Information, communication, assistive, and related technologies as they affect the resources, service delivery, and uses of libraries and other information agencies.

4B. The application of information, communication, assistive, and related technology and tools consistent with professional ethics and prevailing service norms and applications.

4D. The principles and techniques necessary to identify and analyze emerging technologies and innovations in order to recognize and implement relevant technological improvements.

11. Modes of instruction
Participating in discussions
Discussing cases
Use of various software platforms
Doing research
Reading assignments
Writing proposals and workflow models
Sharing and discussing classmates’ digital archives

12. Evaluation and Methods of Assessment
The final grade for the course will be assessed on the following criteria:

Individual – 20%
Create a blog page and add meaningful entries about course content and issues that come up as you apply the technical and theoretical knowledge gained from the readings and class discussions.
Follow and comment on at least two classmates’ blog entries
Participate weekly in the creation of a Digital Archiving LibGuide

Team Discussions – 20%
Each team will be responsible for leading a threaded discussion on a topic relevant to the weekly lab

Primary Team – 30%
Create at least one victim entry, enriched with metadata and following accepted best practices
Create a museum exhibit for victim entry
Presentation to the class of individual victim museum exhibit
Presentation of archive to the VOICES of September 11th staff (if available)

Secondary Team – 30%
Create one additional 9/11 collection
Create a museum exhibit for that collection
Presentation to the class of museum exhibit
Presentation of archive to the VOICES of September 11th staff (if available)

Final letter grades will be based on total points accumulated through completion of these components. Grades will not be curved. Consistent with the current policy of Southern Connecticut State University, the minimum passing grade for this course is “B”. For details on the grading system and academic standards and regulations, please refer to the appropriate sections of the Graduate Catalog, 2010-2011.
A+ 99-100 points
A 92-98 points
A- 89-91 points
B+ 86-88 points
B 82-85 points
B- 79-81 points
C+ 76-78 points
C 72-75 points
C- 69-71 points
D+ 66-68 points
D 62-65 points
D- 59-61 points
F 58 or fewer points

13. Course Outline

I. Introduction
II. Open Source & Proprietary Software Platforms
III. Metadata
IV. Understanding Dublin Core Metadata Elements
V. Managing a Digitization Project
VI. Digitizing Images and Text
VII. Digitizing Audio and Video
VIII. Intellectual Property and Copyright Issues
IX. Design Esthetics
X. Preserving Digital History

14. Current Bibliography
See Weekly Schedule for assigned readings

15. Library Resources
SCSU’s Buley Library has many resources available to on-ground and distance learners alike. Rebecca Hedreen is the Distance Librarian and a very helpful contact. You can access the Buley Library Resources here:
You will also find the LibGuides Research Guides helpful. You can access them here:

16. Accommodation for Disabilities
Southern Connecticut State University seeks to provide appropriate academic adjustments for all individuals with disabilities. Southern is committed to fully supporting all applicable federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and guidelines with respect to providing appropriate academic adjustments to afford equal educational opportunity. If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, if you have emergency medical information to share with me, or if you need special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please contact me as soon as possible. In addition, there are a variety of resources available to you through the University’s Disability Resources Office located in Engleman Hall, ENC 105A: (203) 392-6828; (203) 392-6131 TDD.”

17. Academic honesty statement
Plagiarism involves taking and using as one’s own the writing and/or ideas of another and ranges from outright stealing to inadequate attribution*. The department does not tolerate plagiarism in print or online. Violations of plagiarism or the use of commercial organizations or paid individuals to write all or part of work submitted for a class may result in a failing grade for the course or dismissal from the program. (*See 3. Integrity of Research and Other Scholarly Work, on the Graduate School’s website statement)

Proscribed Conduct (from Student Handbook)
Academic misconduct including all forms of cheating and plagiarism. Academic misconduct includes but is not limited to providing or receiving assistance in a manner not authorized by the instructor in the creation of work to be submitted for academic evaluation including papers, projects and examinations; and presenting, as one’s own, the ideas or words of another person or persons for academic evaluation without proper acknowledgment.

Disciplinary sanctions which may be imposed by the University include expulsion from all universities within the CSU System. In cases of academic misconduct, faculty member may fail the student on the work or the course. Ability to take action extends beyond the semester in which the course was taken.
Furthermore, the School of Graduate Studies 2008-2009 Catalog and the Department’s brochure entitled “Academic Standards and Program Regulations”(page 35): “The integrity of scholarship is the cornerstone of the academic and social structure of the University. It is the expressed policy of the University that every aspect of graduate academic life, related in whatever fashion to the University, shall be conducted in an absolutely and uncompromisingly honest manner. Violations of academic honesty are grounds for a failing grade and may result in dismissal from the School of Graduate Studies.”

18. Submission of Course Work
All work completed on the class blog, LibGuide, and Omeka site is accessible online and will be viewed on the due dates listed. Any written work will be submitted through the Assignments link on Vista.

19. Late Submissions Policy
All work is due on the stated date. If you are not able to meet the deadline due to a personal, medical emergency, please contact me PRIOR to the date to make arrangements.

20. Class Cancellation
In the event that a class needs to be cancelled, you will be contacted via your preferred email account. I will collect this information at the start of the course.

Additional Course Information

Course Requirements
I. Attendance and Participation
II. Weekly posting on class blog, discussion threads, and LibGuide
III. Collaborate with Primary Team on Victim Entry and Museum Exhibit
IV. Collaborate with Secondary Team on an additional 9/11 collection and
Museum Exhibit
V. Final Presentation

Digital archiving can seem to be a very singular and narrowly focused undertaking. In fact, there is a large community of like-minded folks whose passion is giving voice to others through digital archives. You will be expected to post on your blog weekly concerning the process of creating your digital archive. This will include your successes as well as your frustrations. Developing a collaborative spirit toward digital archiving will only help in adding to the knowledge base and moving the field forward. Please read each other’s blogs and comment on at least two each week. Postings and comments should be completed by midnight the day prior to class.

I will create a Digital Archiving Best Practices LibGuide prior to the start of class. This LibGuide will serve as a knowledge base for the creation of cultural and digital memorial archives using Omeka software. As a member of the class community, you will be expected to add your knowledge and insights so that at the end of the course, you will have a lasting, durable resource of best practices.

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