Digitizing and Maintaining [archival] Collections

Digitizing and Maintaining [archival] Collections

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November 23, 2018

Center for Urban History, Lviv

We shall present the experience of the Urban Media Archive in using the Collective Access software specially designed to create digital collections and manage them.

New technologies have the capacity to significantly reduce a gap between users of archives, libraries and museums, and the institutions physically storing the artefacts. It has long been unnecessary to travel long distances and to undergo complicated bureaucratic procedures in order to take a closer look at a document or a piece of art. We can read archival documents online, and view the digitized artefacts in detail. Digital materials are often the basis for designing study modules. Opportunities of digitizing of various data and making it accessible via Internet are now so easy to use that in the last decade we have witnessed the birth of many models of online projects representing huge museum and archival collections. However, the outward simplicity is hiding behind the complexity of operations at the institutions that offer access to their collections. What is hidden behind the bright interfaces of the websites with large archives? What is the inner mechanics of the suchlike projects? What do you need not to lose thousands of files and the big data? What tools do you need for that? These questions are faced both by the institutions and by private collectors, by collections researchers, and by their makers.

The workshop intends to raise awareness and foster exchange of experience among the projects and institutions holding their own (often archival) collections, and creating digital catalogues or databases, or willing to digitize and duly manage their own collections of documents or artefacts. Another important aspect for discussion will be a problem of spreading and representing the collections online. The workshop wishes to engage professional museum workers, archivists, and librarians, but we will also be happy to welcome private collectors, art historians, and curators who deal with big volumes of materials.

The workshop "Digitizing and Maintaining [archival] Collections" is based on the experience of the Urban Media Archive at the Center for Urban History. We shall present a free software - Collective Access (www.collectiveaccess.org) we used to manage photo and video collections of the archive. Development and implementation of the system to manage archival materials helped update the media archive’s website. We will show you how the system could function and illustrate it with the digitized collections of Lviv television, home videos, or amateur films.

Workshop participants could discuss relevant issues in digitizing of (archival) collections in Ukraine, their maintenance and management. At the same time, the Urban Media Archive will present its experience of employing digital tools and software that could be useful for archival and museum institutions.

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    The project is implemented with the support of the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation


Image Gallery by Taras Bovt