women holding a banner that reads we are the future

As we creep in to the close of this project it is worth reflecting on possible future directions and purposes that may come next. First, we hope to create access to these materials so that folks can do research and learn from the rich holdings. We hope the materials will be used by students, YWCA USA members (past and present), and researchers of all kinds. Hopefully community and collaboration will build once the materials are available online. Beyond that, this project has set the groundwork for future large-scale digitization projects at Smith Special Collections. Documentation has been created, workflows have been practiced, and outcomes evaluated. It is my personal hope that this project paves the way to more content available and described online.

Update: Ingesting

blank computer screen with two post-it notes on it indicating that the computer is ingesting.

Ingesting into Compass (the Five College digital library) has commenced! Ingest includes only the digital assets with their identifiers so the collections are not viewable to the public until their metadata finds them. That process, headed by the wonderful Digital Library Application Manager roughly involves:

  • Transfer of microfilm metadata from spreadsheet to ArchivesSpace (ASpace was not implemented when microfilm description was taking place)
  • Transfer of microfilm and photograph metadata from ArchivesSpace to Compass and matching that data to its digital asset.
  • Transfer of serials metadata from bib records in Aleph to Compass and matching that data to its digital asset.
  • Updating metadata records to include a Compass URL.

More to come and hopefully some viewable records to share soon!

Student assistant reflections

Hello All! I’m Gracie Elliott, the Smith College student assistant working with Mandy on the YWCA Digitization project. I started in February 2017 and worked part time for the duration of that semester, went full time over the summer break, and went back to part time once the school year began. As we work through the final stages of the project, and draw closer to the digital release, I have been invited to reflect on my perspectives and experiences being a part of it. When I started with the project a little over a year ago, I came in with an elemental understanding of archival work, and as a complete metadata novice. However, I was fascinated with the prospect of working in an archive, especially one with Smith’s feminist leanings, and thought it would be a useful educational experience to have before I graduated. I didn’t realize how cool it was going to be to assist with a specific project, and how much knowledge I would acquire by the time the project is finished. Continue reading