November 6, 2017, by Matt Davies
The ISYP Digitisation Project: A New Year by Jamie Shakespeare.
A new academic year has just begun, and with it comes the next stage of the DHC student Volunteer’s project to digitise and build an online archive of the Classic’s departments Independent Second Year Project (ISYP) student work (you will recall that in this innovative module ‘students select not only the subject-matter of their work but also the format in which they submit it‘) The project is now taken up by a new team of volunteers and here 2016-17 volunteer Jamie Shakespeare updates readers on progress and tasks the new team!
When last we wrote (see ISYP Digitisation project news) the 2016-17 student volunteer team were familiarising ourselves with the exciting possibilities of our newly installed DAM (Digital Asset Management) system Omeka. Omeka would allow us to showcase ISYP’s student work to a wider audience whilst ensuring the projects longevity. At that point copious material from the course remained to be scanned, copied and sorted before that year’s cohort of ISYP students departed taking the work with them. Records needed updating with the arrival of the new system, and progress seemed steady but slow.
Fast-forward six months and our records were almost complete, our ability to organise associated information about each individual entry to the database (known as metadata) more comprehensive, and a small but varied online archive was beginning to take shape. As the academic year came to a close our priority became exporting what we could from the previous DAM system- Portfolio- to Omeka, thus transforming our extensive catalogue of titles and descriptions into a vibrant, visually rich record of each year’s student work. Given the volume of material, progress was still slow, but we finally had the beginnings of what will eventually become a complete and archive.
However, in case you are wondering, these projects have not yet been published, and this is where the 2017-18 DHC volunteers come in. The online archive is yet to be completed, and the finer issues of copyright, individual anomalies and uniformity of presentation yet to be attended to. However, thanks to the work of the 2016-17 team, the tools are now in place for the new team to tackle the issues, and take the project forward into the future.
We all owe a debt to those who came before us, and this applies to the work done on the ISYP digitisation project as well. As with many DHC projects, contributions span across years and departments. The invaluable work of Rhiannon Compton (see Rhiannon’s blog here) in establishing the ISYP database using Portfolio allowed our team to get the project to its current stage, whilst the careful oversight of Matt Davies and Dr Lynn Fotheringham ensured that the process was rigorous and professional, yet also enjoyable. The new team of volunteers will continue the project, digitising and transferring material to Omeka, and will cement an online presence that will be further built upon by future students. Like previous volunteers, they will learn, not only specific skills such as digitisation, preservation and archive management, but also about project management and team-working.
For my own part, and on behalf of the 2016-17 team I’d like to thank everyone who helped us to take the project forward, and to wish the new ISYP digitisation team the very best of luck!