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Klye’s Links on Tagging/Keywords/Taxonomy

June 2, 2011

So they are easy to refer to, and because I am in a rush, I’ll just make a list and move it later.

These will be very useful if HRAF ever calls back!


Of course these are all from Kyle’s work in the Fall of 2010 here:

Job Description: Something to aim for…

May 16, 2011

Job: Digital Archivist: New Museum (New York)


By Updates and Current News – Posted on 05 May 2011

The New Museum seeks an experienced Digital Archivist to lead the second phase of the museum’s digital archive project. The Digital Archivist will provide leadership and strategic planning for the project, manage the museum’s physical and digital assets, train staff on best practices, research and digitize materials, ensure public dissemination and develop new areas of the archive.

Working hours will be 40 hours/week, 10:00 – 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. The position reports to Deputy Director and works closely with Information Technology Manager, Curatorial, Education and, External Affairs departments.


Founded in 1977 by Marcia Tucker as an alternative museum site, the New Museum has been an important platform for emerging theories, cultural debate, and early exposure and scholarly treatment for important yet under recognized figures in contemporary art over the last 34 years. Our acclaimed solo exhibitions and landmark group shows define key moments in contemporary art history, the evolution of contemporary art institutions, and reflect the global nature of art today.

Unlike most museum digital archives whose purpose is primarily focused on object collections, the New Museum’s Digital Archive is a groundbreaking project to archive the programmatic history of an institution – what an art museum did, not what it owns. Over the past 5 years the museum has been developing a digital archive of the programmatic activity of the institution -exhibitions, public programs, performances and publications encompassing its 34 year history. The digital archive currently contains over 7000 images and documents, 200 audio recordings, 60 videos, 45 publications and over 4000 artists, curators and authors associated with New Museum. Phase I of the Archive has accomplished the following. 1) Established infrastructure and meta-data structures, 2) Digitized and imported primary materials 3) Launched public website and internal interface. The archive was built and developed in Collective Access software, an open source code and database system and uses modified Dublin-core metadata standards.


* Preserve the New Museum’s history that would otherwise be lost or inaccessible by organizing and cataloging our current physical and digital assets;

* Research and digitize materials, manage the selection of the appropriate formats, and ensure that all items are properly encoded within the archive;

* Contribute to the development, digitization and implementation of new digital archive areas not in Phase I including, institutional history, building architecture, and educational materials, including curriculum and teaching guides;

* Continue to research and import comprehensive audio, visual, and textual digital materials on the Museum’s exhibitions, performances, publications and public programs of the past 34 years according to a prioritized matrix of assets. Phase I includes approximately 40% of the possible assets for the archive and additional materials are to enrich and amplify existing asset categories;

* Organize, catalogue and classify existing physical and digital materials to be used internally and externally;

* Create procedures, train staff, and establish a sustainable work flow for the maintenance of the digital archive into the future;

* Establish and manage an archive internship program working with local university undergraduate and graduate programs. Supervising in-house digitization process, data entry and application of criteria;

* Ensure the Archive is widely disseminated to the public-universities, libraries, archivists, scholars and museum professionals by establishing digital links and participating in professional forums, panels and discussions.


Candidates must have Master’s degree in Library and Information Science or equivalent. Candidates must have 2 to 5 years experience in the digital archive field. In addition to technical skills below, applicants must possess excellent written and verbal skills and ability to provide leadership within a collaborative environment. Knowledge of contemporary art history and previous work experience within museum or cultural non-profit art environment preferred.


Thorough knowledge, aptitude and experience with database systems commonly employed for digital archives. Working knowledge of Collective Access in particular extremely helpful.

Knowledge of software programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Final Cut Pro video editing beneficial.

Programming knowledge in PHP a plus.

Read more: Job: Digital Archivist: New Museum (New York) |

A Poem

November 19, 2010

In the garden at Gethsemane,
Mary and Eve sit beside each other
under one of those desert trees
so ravaged and improbable
that its perfume becomes a witchery.
Is it the smell of birth or death around me,
Mary asks, her grief as old a companion as Eve,
its jolt still a surprise between them.
What did it even matter, Eve asked,
where she had come from,
whether it be from a rib
or some yearning loneliness?
Eden had turned so treacherous,
why such devotion then
to the teasing of light from darkness
when they are so inseparable?
And so Mary felt about her son.
Did not every mother know her own
to be part blessing, part permission
to begin again? Inside he waited
to be betrayed, history unconcerned
that the distinction between
criminals and heroes
is frequently only fashion.
-Sarah Lantz

And miles to go before I sleep

November 18, 2010

Whose woods these are I think I know.I am grateful the VOICES team and Mary Fetchet pursued the grant and conceived of the project. They invested their time and money into developing our skills and with time I hope this proves to be a good foundation for the VOICES archive. I hope that the project continues and they are able to reach out to the previous students and others in the community that have the desire and skills to build on the work we have started. This is where the hearts and minds of students, archivists, and social workers can join together.

The skills we have developed this project are more conceptual, but so grounded in the hands-on struggle with definitions of elements and desires for the appearance of the items and the data. While I was all excited about cutting and pasting Java scripts in to do the lightbox, it made me realize how far away from coding and scripting I have moved. For years I said I know just enough to be dangerous, but now my knowledge is so old it’s nonexistent. At the same time it was still exciting to make something work, especially since we had to troubleshoot and correct the bits we pasted in.

I can not help but reflect on the journey. It has been emotional and exciting. But this is not the end. We have another day of class and weeks of rounding out before I can feel satisfied with my work on this project.

About Kyle’s Post: Tagging

November 11, 2010

I have finally read the articles Kyle linked in her blog last week.  (sorry for the delay.)  My understanding of tags that we would add is that they should be descriptive but not any field covered by metadata.  Perhaps elements of the descriptive titles or captions work as tags, but the subject’s name is something most people would type into a search box.  After reading the articles what stands out is that we are not creating a classification system.  “Folksonomies: Tidying Up Tags” and Ontology is Overrated”  shifted my understanding of the role of tags.  As a self-editing base for classification, with size, font, or color weighting popular tags, this is really democracy in action. While I can see exactly why you wouldn’t run a library this way, or any collection, we do have the metadata and are putting significant effort into standardizing it.  So the tags are really there for the community of users.  Libraries have a long tradition of opening up to the users.  The extension of literacy, the opening of the shelves, and now a voice in relevancy are a part of the evolution of library service.  Librarians will still create controlled vocabulary taxonomies to assist in searches.  They are an even more useful tool in the age of the ubiquitous google search box. (There is one on my public library’s home page.)   By allowing a separate, anarchic tagging system, we can serve more parts of the searching community.

Two quotes from the articles that sum this up for me:

The answer is to remain open minded and look at solutions that retain as much as possible of the metadata submitted, bearing in mind that metadata can be mined in all sorts of ways. Amy Gahran of Contentious observes that “A folksonomy merges, diverges, and evolves much the way language does, through usage and interaction” [23]. This is one of folksonomy’s great strengths. There is a real danger that by tidying up tags we are condoning the implementation of a destructive solution that may lose valuable metadata. The two questions we need to ask ourselves may be: Even assuming that such a consensus were possible, do we really want a world where everyone speaks a collaboratively defined analogue to the Queen’s English? To what extent, in this instance, with a fantastically complex and valuable database of user contributions from all over the world, is it possible to separate the metaphorical baby from the bathwater? (Guy, M., Tonkin, E.: )

Similarly, the idea that the categorization is done after things are tagged is incredibly foreign to cataloguers. Much of the expense of existing catalogue systems is in trying to prevent one-off categories. With tagging, what you say is “As long as a lot of people are tagging any given link, the rare tags can be used or ignored, as the user likes. We won’t even have to expend the cost to prevent people from using them. We’ll just help other users ignore them if they want to.” (Shirky, Clay: )

November 11, 2010
Discussion reminders from class on Sat. Nov.6th
what we did and didn’t get to…

I kept this image as a way of reminding myself what topics we covered, or wanted to cover, in class last week.  I found that we touched on many of the topics, but left some under-explored.  

We certainly discussed copyright issues enough, being first on the list.  I did find some back-up for the discussion of putting personal items, whether tributes sent to the family or eulogies that reveal familial issues in an article from Harvard’s Divinity School.  They are digitizing orphans’ records from the Unitarian Service Committee for the Holocaust Museum.  A lawyer from Harvard’s Office of General Counsel thought that the historical significance of the files outweighed personal privacy concerns and that items could be removed upon request.  Our records are more recent, but if we codify standards about items from children and obscure sensitive numbers,  as in images of driver’s licenses or employee ID cards, I still think we can follow the same policy.  A statement in the about section informing people items will be removed upon request by affected parties should cover it.

Archival Perspectives.

November 5, 2010

Dr. Brown is bringing up copyright issues, and emotions keep bubbling through as I work on this project. Some of our work is at cross purposes between build a memorial and/or an archive. I considering the shear volume of newspaper clippings and articles in the folder we worked on at the VOICES office, I think we may have to consider links for the Living Memorial and archive the scans of the articles. The clippings have sentimental and archival value on their own, and without citations, they are truely stand-alone pieces. The personal letters are different and I just realized that I have posted a private letter that reveals the full name and job title of someone who may not wish to be a part of this project. does the fact that the family has already made this available through their personal online memorial change our position, or the creator’s?

However, the complete articles may pose thornier copyright issues. I believe properly cited articles do not violate copyright, but that would be an area to research. I feel for a memorial, as with Youtube, the burden is on the copyright holder to request a removal. We can certainly go above and beyond, and send notices to cited pieces so they are aware and have the opportunity to request removal. I do not know if we to get permission for every piece. Do museums contact creators of publiclly disseminated items before constructing an exhibit?