Webinar Recording Roundup

Every other Thursday, AAPB NDSR staff have invited a guest speaker to join us for a webinar for the AAPB NDSR community. We’re taking a break in December before the residents take the reigns to schedule webinars of their own, starting in January — but before signing off, we wanted to share the live recordings and slides of our last two webinars.

Studs Terkel Radio Archive: Tips and Tricks for Sharing Great Audio

Grace Radkins, Digital Content Librarian at Studs Terkel Radio Archive, discusses how the archive maximizes its partnerships with the local radio station and external programs and projects to promote the archive and make the content more accessible.

View the recorded webinar

Download the slides

(Notes from Grace: The Trint transcription page showed in the webinar is behind a password, and the link in the PowerPoint goes to their homepage. The Hyperaud.io link opens to the video shown in the webinar; their website is www.hyperaud.io.

Starchive, the Studs Terkel database, is built and maintained by Digital Relab.

You can learn a little bit about student work at the Studs Terkel archive on http://www.nvonstuds.com, although most of the images of their work has been removed at this point. Currently, the best place to find audio from the Studs Terkel archive is on the Studs Terkel Radio Archive Blog or at https://soundcloud.com/studsterkel-radio-archive.)

From Theory to Action: Digital Preservation Tools and Strategies

Danielle Spalenka, Project Director of the Digital POWRR (Preserving Objects With Restricted Resources) Project, will present on POWRR and how best to take advantage of the open-source and low-cost resources available in the digital preservation environment.

View the recorded webinar

Download the slides

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Is there something that does it all?: Choosing a metadata management system

Early in our NDSR cohort chats, each resident agreed that our host site’s current metadata collecting and organizing practices could be improved. Many of us sought to find a database tool that could help our staff manage their data effectively.

KBOO is like many other organizations that keeps its archives information in multiple spreadsheets. Tapes that were digitized by a vendor were sent back with magnificent details on the digitization process—yet these details were not consolidated with the inventory. The original inventory did not document which items had digital files, or where the files were stored. File location information was not in any spreadsheet and had to be determined by asking staff. If anything happened to the preservation master files, there would have been no way to restore them or get them back, and perhaps nobody would have noticed. This is obviously a tragic example that nobody wants. It demonstrates what could happen if an archive doesn’t know how to maintain digital files.

Audiovisual archivist and technologist Dave Rice reminded me that the important work is for an archive to protect its media and metadata, regardless of a database system or not. Spreadsheets are perfectly acceptable since repositories of a range of sizes need solutions in a range of sizes. At KBOO, the spreadsheet system was not efficient. Excel doesn’t allow more than one person to edit the file at the same time to control versioning so new information would be created by volunteers and not folded into the master spreadsheet. The master record wasn’t kept up to date, and the proliferation of Excel sheets would have continued. Yes, Excel sheets work but KBOO’s use of them was not working. Google Sheets and Excel Online didn’t handle KBOO’s large single spreadsheet very well. Could an easy to use database encourage staff to control and protect its metadata? I kept researching for a system that could make things better.

Kara Van Malssen, Partner & Senior Consultant at AVPreserve, gave our first NDSR webinar (it was excellent!). In a follow-up, I asked for some advice in my database search and she suggested that I prepare for comparing database systems by creating business requirements, functional requirements, and use cases. This information is necessary whenever an organization is thinking of engaging a tech developer or vendor. Small repositories often don’t have the time or archival perspective to ask useful questions about how it wants its data to be stored and accessed. Some developer/vendors work with the organizations (at cost) to determine what the needs are. I suggested that KBOO could determine their needs in-house, it would take time, but no additional cost (contact me if you’re curious to see them).

So, after documenting the requirements, the question was “Is there something that does it all?”

My perspective is that it is possible to do almost everything with technology. So the answer is yes, multiple people and companies could develop the system. However, the requirements are only one thing an organization has to document. KBOO also needed to document the availability of financial resources (up-front and ongoing) and commitment of staff time and knowledge (up-front and ongoing) required for ongoing maintenance of a system.

This is where the database comparison work began. I decided to research and compare several open-source and non-open source systems that support audiovisual records and archival metadata: systems as column headers and KBOO requirements as row headers (contact me if you’re curious to see it). I also gathered notes about up-front and ongoing costs and reached out to staff at institutions to get comments about their experience installing and maintaining their chosen system—this relates directly to up-front and ongoing costs. For open-source I looked at the activity level of the user base in finding solutions.

KBOO’s immediate needs are for managing its audio metadata in-house, preparing records for public searching, and opening up the records so that multiple staff and volunteers can see what we have and fix records with correct or additional information. I proposed ResourceSpace (on a Bitnami stack) installed on a network server for in-house use for several reasons that fit KBOO’s needs:
* Records can be imported and exported to/from csv
* Different security/access levels for administrator and volunteer/staff data entry
* More than one person can view and edit at a time
* Batch upload of media can associate files with existing records
* Database fields can be defined based on my PBCore data model
* Installation and set up is easy to understand
* Great documentation and very active user group
* More reasons (contact me if you’re curious)

Time will tell if KBOO will use and maintain the system into the future. Exporting back to csv actually is the most important from my perspective—the data is still flat. I will only be at KBOO until the end of May for the NDSR program, and KBOO does not have an archivist. The set-up of ResourceSpace is uncomplicated enough to set up with clear directions (which I’m writing), and if anything happens, KBOO can always turn the data back into the Excel format it is familiar with. ResourceSpace can be used for other potential archiving needs as determined by KBOO and a future archivist, but for now I’m keeping it simple to meet their current requirements.

So can ResourceSpace do it all? Well, it can do the specific things KBOO needs it for. ResourceSpace is still just a tool that a human uses. As such, it is a tool that a human needs to understand and take care of. I said earlier that almost anything can be done with technology. Human work can’t be replaced with computers. But—human work can be simplified with technology and computers. I hope this tool encourages work to be done more easily by many people.

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Inside the WHUT video library clean-up – part 1: SpaceSaver

Resident log, NDSR date 20161121.1


We are definitely making headway with the WHUT video library! While I’ll continue updating the progress of WHUT’s video library clean up, I first wanted to outline some of the steps and accomplishments we’ve done thus far.

Consider this a flashback post since we fixed the shelf back in September.

Back in 2011, WHUT participated in the American Archive of Public Broadcasting project: http://americanarchive.org/. Along with an inventory list and digitized content, WHUT was given a list of recommendations:

new shelves to be placed in library-adjacent rooms A and B
retiling the linoleum floor
thermometer and humidity reader
removal of 2 metal shelves in the back of the library
new overhead light bulbs
new overhead light fixture covers
fix the broken sliding shelf (manually or by contacting the company)

The majority of these recommendations are doable and I plan on tackling all of them (except maybe the retiling the linoleum floor. Nobody got time/money/space for that.)

The first one I thought I’d tackle was “fix the broken sliding shelf.”

Our compact shelving unit was broken. How broken was the shelf?

This broken:


CCBYSA. Photo: SpacerSaver_01
I still don’t know how the gear and chain fell out (you’ll see why later)

I didn’t want to manually try and fix (or possibly break) the shelf. So I decided to contact the company:



Photos CCBYSA – made on http://gifmaker.me/

I called the 1-800 number on their site: http://www.spacesaver.com/ and eventually got a call back. Fun fact: each region has a SpaceSaver representative and ours was Zach! I stated who we were (WHUT at Howard University); explained the situation (the gear and chain fell out. Apparently a common problem); and asked how much it would cost to fix it (our quote was $275). After talking with the rep, I had to schedule a time for when the SpaceSaver technician (Ron) could stop by. But before I could call Ron, I had to confirm with my supervisors at WHUT that this shelf should/could get fixed and we’d need outside help to do it.

When I got the thumbs up from WHUT, it was time for the shelf to get fixed!


Giphy: http://giphy.com/gifs/qualcomm-d3MLEZoYiWR0J2TK

Have you ever wondered what the inside of a compact shelf looks like?

Probably not, because who wonders that?! But this is what it looks like inside and it turns out we have a super rusted over axle. And since this shelving unit is from the 1990s, unless we want to update to the new, electronic compact shelving (which probably won’t happen while I’m here at least), there’s not much we can do about it now besides being gentle to Shelf A/B as we move it and keeping it clean.


CCBYSA/ Photo: spacesaver_02

Left: SpaceSaver compact shelf. Right: Inside SpaceSaver compact shelf.

spacesaver_03 spacesaver_04
spacesaver_05 spacesaver_06
Super rusty. We doused it in WD-40
Photos: SpacerSaver_03, SpacerSaver_04, SpacerSaver_05, SpacerSaver_06
spacesaver_07 spacesaver_08
Seriously!? How the gear and chain fall out?! #archivesmystery
Photos: SpacerSaver_07, SpacerSaver_08, SpacerSaver_09, SpacerSaver_10


Thanks Ron from SpaceSaver!!!

It only took 2 hours to fix. Honestly, the scheduling/planning/approving process of fixing the shelf took longer. And now the broken sliding shelf is fixed and no longer broken!



Giphy: http://giphy.com/gifs/hulu-parks-and-recreation-nbc-l0MYMPis1gRhiYNk4
new shelves to be placed in library-adjacent rooms A and B
retiling the linoleum floor
thermometer and humidity reader
removal of 2 metal shelves in the back of the library
new overhead light bulbs
new overhead light fixture covers
 screen-shot-2016-11-21-at-11-23-12-am fix the broken sliding shelf (manually or by contacting the company)

End of resident log, NDSR date 20161121.1

Follow WHUT’s video library clean-up on Twitter: #insideWHUTVL #videolibrarycleanup #whuttv #ndsr

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Catch up on the AAPB NDSR session at AMIA!

Last Saturday, six of our seven AAPB NDSR residents presented a panel at the Association of Moving Image Archivists conference on their experiences preserving media at public broadcasting organizations across the country. If you couldn’t attend the session, we invite you to catch up virtually with this summary of questions and Tweets around the panel!

What metadata does your station currently collect, and how is it organized? How can these practices be improved?

What are some of the tools or software that you are using as part of your project?

How does your station make it’s archive accessible to the public, and how are you engaging the local community as a resident?

Would you apply for NDSR again, if you had the choice?

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Archives in Conversation (A Glimpse into the Minnesota Archives Symposium, 2016)

Unfortunately, I was unable to make it to AMIA due to a family commitment, and I very much missed the cohort, and a very popular conference! In a rush of guilt, I instead agreed to speak on a different panel here in the Twin Cities.

I’ve been a member of the Twin Cities Archives Round Table (TCART) for about three years. TCART has been very good to me, as I get to meet archivists from all around the state, and even western Wisconsin. At $10 a year for membership, it’s the best deal in town. At the Minnesota Archives Symposium, I spoke on the Young Professionals panel. Six archivists spoke to our experiences as up and coming professionals, most of our experiences were centered on the local metro area, though some of us had followed jobs around the country.

We spoke about establishing an archival career, from volunteering all the way up to establishing full-time employment. With positions from non-profits to academia to corporate archives, we reflected on how they got to where they are today (including hurdles they faced along the way.) We talked about how established professionals can mentor and supervise new graduates and employees to success.

Of the hurdles, most of us talked about unpaid internships as being a real barrier to those of us starting out in the profession. I only took one unpaid internship as a student, but one panelist had taken eight, while working full time. Across the panel, we tried to impress upon our local community that this is not sustainable. It’s a message I think all of us need to hear, across the entire profession.

I also spoke about my experiences with the AAPB NDSR cohort. When I mention this residency I am often met with blank looks, even by those in my profession. Part of that is geographic, I think. With the first three residencies being concentrated on the east coast, other areas of the country are often not aware that this amazing experience is available to them. I highlighted what I feel are three of the strongest aspects of the program. The first is mentorship, with a shoutout to my local mentor, Jason Roy. It’s more than that, though, mentors include everyone involved, and (of course), the peer-to-peer mentorship. Second is professional development, including writing and more public speaking than I would have been willing to do even last year. That’s huge for me, personally. And of course, the invaluable practical experiences of diving into a project for ten whole months. Those kinds of opportunities are hard to find.

I look forward to being a link between my beloved Minnesota (and the Twin Cities in particular) and the greater NDSR community. Thank you, TCART, for the opportunity!

Which brings me to the very first NDSR Symposium:

The National Digital Stewardship Residency (NDSR) will hold a Symposium on April 27-28, 2017 in Washington, D.C. It will be free and open to the public and aims to: discuss and create standardized guidelines based on the NDSR evaluation being undertaken by the Council on Library and Information Resources; develop sustainability strategies; expand the geographic reach of NDSR; foster a digital preservation community of practice; and raise awareness of the NDSR program.

Registration will be required and space is limited. Travel grants are available to NDSR alumni and those organizations interested in organizing a future iteration.

Open call for session proposals and applications for travel grants will be accepted now through mid-January. Please visit https://ndsr-program.org/ndsr-symposium/ for more information.

This symposium is being funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and presented by The Metropolitan New York Library Council, in partnership with WGBH.

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Webinar Recording Roundup

Every other Thursday, we’ve invited a guest speaker to join us for a webinar for the AAPB NDSR community. Now you can catch up some of our most recent webinars by watching the live recording or viewing the slides.

Imposter Syndrome

Past NDSR residents Jen LaBarbera, now Head Archivist at Lambda Archives of San Diego, and Dinah Handel, now Mass Digitization Coordinator at the New York Public Library, hosted a discussion on imposter syndrome in professional library and archives environments for our AAPB NDSR residents.

View the recorded webinar

Download the slides

Preservation and Access: Digital Audio

Past NDSR resident Erica Titkemeyer, now Project Director and AV Conservator at the Southern Folklife Collection, presented on audio preservation workflows and tools and best practices for managing audio metadata.

View the recorded webinar

Download the slides

Troubleshooting Digital Preservation

Past NDSR resident Shira Peltzman, now Digital Archivist at UCLA Library, hosted an interactive workshop on information-seeking, troubleshooting, and pursuing digital preservation activities in areas outside of personal knowledge or expertise

View the recorded webinar

Download the slides

Stay tuned for more AAPB NDSR webinars, and don’t forget to check out our session if you’re going to be at AMIA in Pittsburgh!

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Vietnam, Oral Histories, and the WYSO Archives Digital Humanities Symposium

October 20-22 marked The Past Made Present: The 2016 WYSO Archives Digital Humanities Symposium (simply referred to as the symposium for the rest of this post), an event that has been intertwined with my residency work since my first day at WYSO. While the symposium consisted mainly of work being done in the Miami Valley, there were also participants from WGBH, the Library of Congress, and the University of North Texas.  The symposium opened with a gallery talk by William Short and Willa Seidenberg that was open to the public.

picture-1 Willa is pictured center. Jocelyn Robinson, organizer of the symposium and WYSO’s Archive Fellow can be seen smiling on the left. Sorry, photography is not exactly my forte.

The symposium gave me a chance to see what great digital humanities work is being done in the region. While the focus of the symposium was on Vietnam era materials to correspond with this season’s of Rediscovered Radio here at WYSO it also included presentations on Dayton’s place in the history of funk, my NDSR work at the station, and WYSO community focused and created material like Youth Radio, Veteran’s Voices, and the Civil Rights Oral History Project.

picture-2Presentation on Rediscovered Radio. Daniel Ellsberg (best known for the Pentagon Papers) visited Antioch College in April 1965 as part of the three day Vietnam Colloquium.

Creating public access to WYSO’s Oral History Project is one of my tasks for my residency. The project was created in 2013 and is currently run by Dr. Kevin McGruder, Assistant Professor of History at Antioch College (Antioch College holds WYSO’s license). Currently the project consists of over thirty interviews equaling over thirty-five hours of content about Yellow Springs, Ohio, Antioch College, and the surrounding area. Collecting the interviews is becoming especially important as elders in the community pass away. Orlando Brown, along with his wife Lenora were interviewed in 2015. Orlando passed away last month.

picture-3Dr. Kevin McGruder discusses WYSO’s Oral History Project

With a partnership with the Greene County Public Library, six interviews are currently online though without transcripts. The transcripts for the six existing interviews and the rest of the interviews will go online over the duration of my residency. While I haven’t had the chance to listen to all of the oral histories yet, a few topics covered in the first six interviews include housing discrimination, Freedom Summer, SNCC, YWCA, the desegregation of Yellow Springs including Gegner’s Barbershop, using public transportation during segregation, and sexism in the workplace. I plan to cover the WYSO Oral History Project more in future blog posts.

picture-4Cyrus Moore presents on the Vietnam Veterans of Athens County Oral History Project being conducted by the Athens County Historical Society & Museum.

My main take away from the symposium was the effect of the Vietnam War had not only on soldiers but also on Americans at home and on the Vietnamese. As someone who went through the public school system in the 1990s and the 2000s, Vietnam was barely covered (if at all) in history classes. Bridget Federspiel, a Dayton high school teacher brought up a similar point during the presentation about at the Veteran’s Voices Project at Wright State University’s Veterans and Military Center. In the history textbook Federspiel uses to teach freshman students, Vietnam is covered in a paragraph. The symposium gave me a chance to listen to clips of oral histories from Vietnam veterans being collected by Ohio institutions and fill in my gaps of knowledge. Oral histories are raw, first person accounts, something that can’t always be conveyed in textbooks.

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