~Digital Observation~

I am working in a traditional archive, mainly processing and creating finding aids the old fashioned way (uploading PDF’s of my Word Document finding aid.)  I am not processing digital collections nor am I working in EAD or using Archivist Toolkit, however that does not mean I don’t have any exposure to Digital Asset Management (DAM).

My main goal as an archivist intern at the Burke is to make the collections I am processing accessible to audiences worldwide.  There are a few ways that this is achieved.  I have to upload my finding aid to the Burke Library website so that the collections can be found if someone is looking specifically for collections in the Archives.  I also have to catalog the collection into Voyager so that the collection is recorded into the Columbia Libraries.  This way anyone who is searching CLIO can find the information.  Then I have to link the PDF to this catalog record so that the specific information about the collection can be viewed.

My job of making the collection accessible does not stop there though.  The use of social networking and a blog are utilized in order to reach a wider audience.  I have submitted posts and photographs (I have personally taken) regarding the collections I have processed to the blog and then “tweeted” the information to the Burke Library Twitter page and also submitted an update to the Burke Library Archives Facebook page.  I learned that you can track statistical information about who and from where the Facebook page is viewed.  This is useful for showing administration that the collections are being looked at by a wide audience.  Even in traditional archives there is always a digital aspect to the work in today’s world.  I think it is inescapable.  Hopefully in the future with more funds the Burke will have a chance to digitize their collections.

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