Voces Digital Audio Archive is a website created for LIS-665, Projects in Digital Archiving. Learning objectives achieved: technology, LIS practice, and communication.
Project Title: Voces Digital Audio Archive
Project URL: http://devcentro.prattsils.org
Additional documentation: View/download Metadata Team – Final Presentation
Project Description: Students enrolled in the Projects in Digital Archives (LIS 665) course worked on creating and enhancing a digital archive for a collection of audio interviews from the Archives of the Puerto Rican Diaspora, Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños (Centro) at Hunter College. Centro is the oldest and largest Latino research and archival institution in the Northeast United States, and it is dedicated to the interdisciplinary study and interpretation of the Puerto Rican experience. (Note: due to unresolved matters regarding copyright ownership the digital archive our class created may not be currently available to the public in its entirety.)
Methods: This project involved digitizing analog audio material for the purposes of preservation and access and expanding upon and improving the appearance and functionality of a content management system built by a previous class. Utilizing best-practices in digital archiving, we also made improvements to the existing metadata scheme, assigned metadata, and undertook research on the materials.
My Role: As a member of the metadata team for the Voces Digital Audio Archive, I was integral to the creation of the file naming schema and to revising and enhancing existing metadata standards. I additionally identified and resolved a number of problems. For example, I discovered that the file upload capacity was too small to accommodate our audio files and, after discussing the matter with the tech team, helped determine the best way to proceed. In addition, our team identified issues with some of the PBCore fields. In response, I proposed solutions the team ultimately adopted to clarify the structure and content of the records and the database. I also resolved several issues with a specific set of materials that suffered from incomplete and contradictory information received from Centro and incorrect digital file naming by our class.
My role included uploading all of the audio files and entering item level metadata into Omeka, including descriptive information and tags to item records. After our team entered all of the metadata, I surveyed the records to ensure that the metadata standards we developed were met across all of our newly created item records. During this process, I identified a problem with the Omeka platform that was preventing record updates from being made and worked with the tech team in order to correct the problem.
Finally, I identified problems to be addressed by a future metadata team, including the need to correct and standardize file names and metadata across all records in the archive and the importance of making certain that the archive is web accessible and fully compliant with section 508. In addition, I identified the need to better reach the target audience by making the archive accessible in Spanish, which had not previously been considered.
Learning Objective Achieved: Technology
Rationale: Working on the Voces Digital Audio Archive project provided me practical experience using a number of technologies widely applicable to the LIS field. I have become proficient with the Omeka platform, a platform developed expressly for the display of library and archival collections and with importing data and record creation. I gained experience applying PBCore and Dublin Core metadata standards. I also strengthened my skills in creating archival quality digital files from analog audio materials, ingesting archival files into a digital asset management system, and making the files discoverable through precise application of metadata standards.
Additional Learning Objective Achieved: LIS Practice
Rationale: Our team made use of professional LIS practices, such as adopting professional standards for audio digitization and metadata creation. We additionally carefully considered the rights restrictions regarding the materials and various methods to make materials available without infringing upon copyright, and we developed language asserting that Centro was making all efforts to locate rights holders and asking rights holders to contact Centro regarding rights clearances.
Additional Learning Objective Achieved: Communication
Rationale: The goal of creating this digital archive is to communicate content. As a result of the work of our team, users will be better able to access and receive information through content communicated via the online interface. In addition, the group nature of the project provided the opportunity to demonstrate communication skills used within our metadata group, between other teams in the class, and with Centro archivists, with whom we consulted to ensure that we had accurate and sufficient information to correctly apply metadata to the records and files created in Omeka.