Share in our discoveries across three projects as we work to provide the first intellectual access to our hidden treasures relating to work and labor in early 20th Century New England, the 1939-1940 New York World's Fair and its period, and Boston local TV news.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Priceless Process

As we work through the project, we are constantly building, testing, and either tweaking/rebuilding or celebrating.

The latest development that has shifted from rebuilding to celebrating is our updated EAD XML output that is not limited to EAD or XML! This discovery is thrilling for a number of reasons, but, the two most important to me at this moment: this is how we will be able to wed PBCore items to our EAD collections beyond CollectiveAccess; there is no limit to how many configured mappings/outputs we can create. We will be able to share and share alike with a freedom that has happily replaced a lump of anxiety formed by the unknown of future sharing.

How is this possible? As CollectiveAccess creator/developer Seth Kaufman explained it: "The new system generates export data based upon rules and mappings between elements in the export format and CA fields, so it's not limited to EAD or even XML. It's also possible to have multiple mappings for a given format, and to have mappings for different types of objects, collections, etc. The new system currently supports EAD, PBCore, NewsML and OAI DublinCore. More formats can be added if the need arises."

Maine Archival Collections Online (MACON) is an initiative among Maine archives and libraries in development of a multi-institutional repository with EAD search capability. Gemma Perretta, NHF collections manager, conducted a comparative analysis between our EAD XML and that of the MACON EAD best practices mapping, and we'll be able to create an output specific to sharing our records with the proposed repository.

As we develop the public utility we are not enjoying the gigantic list of place names. We notice variations of the same place names (Massachusetts, Mass., Ma, MA) and place names that lead to nowhere (aka The Mystery Places). Clicking on a place name should result in a listing of related collections; clicking the Mystery Places result in a page without any listings. Zero results. Karan Sheldon has been tracking heritage data issues, and we will be working on a new plan for integrated collection and item-level place browse and search.

We are halfway to being OAI compliant, meaning we can import, but are waiting for export capabilities. WorldCat, here we come!

Northeast Historic Film looks forward to hosting Kelly Miller and Tim Stinson on their site visit for the CLIR-funded study "Observations on Engagement with Hidden Special Collections and Archives." The goal of the study is to document current practice regarding scholarly engagement with hidden special collections and archives that may be useful to others. We will meet Kelly and Tim on Friday, October 29, as they spend the day learning about Northeast Historic Film, our hidden and previously hidden collections, and get a chance to meet some scholars we are working with.

I look forward to sharing more celebratory updates very soon. Until then, I hope you're enjoying the transition from outdoor fun to indoor fun with some loving company!

Philip W. Hussey Home Movies, Philip W. Hussey Collection, Northeast Historic Film. Boy plays checkers with grandfather, ca.1940.


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