Monday, October 11, 2004

Winning the Vote

Last week, I wrote about two projects presented at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference held in Pittsburgh, PA. The project that I spoke about was formally named the Women's Suffrage Digitization Project, but became known as Winning The Vote.

Winning The Vote was a two-year project spearheaded by the Rochester (NY) Regional Library Council (RRLC). The project was supported by Federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds, awarded to The New York State Library by the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services. With RRLC as the the driving force behind the project, teams of people came together during the first year to learn about different aspects of digitization and to work on the guidelines and blueprint for Year Two, when the digitization was to occur. During Year Two, a team formed to work on different aspects of the project, including developing the web site. The team was primarily composed of RRLC staff members and outside contractors.

During Year Two about 200 items were digitized relating to the 30 suffragists -- both women and men -- who are featured on the site. Items were digitized from 18 institutions. The finished site was heavily marketed and is still well used, even though this was actually a demonstration project. (And as a demonstration project it is not receiving much maintenance.)

The presentation I gave, which gives an assessment of the project (valuable information for others involved in digitization projects), is available here.

This was a very valuable project to work on. I not only learned about doing a digitization project with multiple partners, but I also learned a lot of history. The items that are being digitized by projects ARE making more history available to people, and even those who work on the project learn! One of the most interesting facts I learned was about a domino, which is a type of mask. Look at this image to see dominoes being worn. You'll realize that you have seen these before, yet your feeling about them will change with this image.

No comments: