I am a recent graduate of the public history graduate program at Rutgers University. I currently serve as the digital media coordinator for the Mid-Atlantic Regional Center for the Humanities, where I wrangle bloggers and tackle our social media platforms.
In the last two years I've created an oral history database using StoriesMatter for the Salem County Historical Society, collected data on school group attendance for the education department at Cleveland's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and I've digitized the Balch Institute Ethnic Images in Advertising Collection at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. I volunteer at the Alice Paul Institute in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey and the Digital Center at HSP.
In my spare time I am often silly and irreverent.
I begin my internship tomorrow morning. It probably comes as no surprise to anyone that I am both excited and terrified. Everyone feels this way when starting another leg of their life-changing journey, right? In preparation for my first internship I’ve been reading up on archival principles, the “joys” of digital archiving, and volunteer training and management. I’ve also downloaded the PastPerfect user manual from the internet. I’m not exactly sure why, since I tend to learn processes by doing them, not by reading about them. The hope may be that I will “pick up” more if I’ve read ahead. Yes, I’m going with that. The next five days means learning PastPerfect and the oral history software Stories Matter. It also means learning names, procedures and gauging the general mood of my host institution and how I, as a geographic outsider and intern, will fit.
Then I’m leaving the country for a month before coming back in mid-July to finish the internship. I only hope I learn fast enough, take good enough notes and don’t forget everything before I return.
I treasure learning, I thrive on it, but that doesn’t mean I’m not intimidated by the process!
I’m starting my internship in the coming weeks, and part of the process is to craft a suitable project and accompanying bibliography of relevant materials. The project is exciting, I’ll be archiving oral history videos for a local historical society, using Past Perfect and the Stories Matter software. While I’m learning how to manage the programs, the oral histories and the physical objects and ephemeral materials the interviewees submitted, I’ll also be writing the procedural manual for future volunteers. The society has a small staff, and will rely heavily on community volunteers to watch the videos, tag them, and archive them using the software. I have to figure out how to make the process understandable, useable and “friendly.” I’m pretty stoked to say the least. As far as my bibliography goes, I’m looking for books/chapters/articles on digital archiving and working with or training volunteers. I have a good start on the archiving side. Does anyone have any good suggestions for books on volunteers?