Archives on a Shoestring: Using social networking & web tools to share Vermont archives (conference report)

On Monday, I spoke at a small conference of about 45 archivists, librarians, and museum types at the Vermont Historical Society. The topic was Archives on a Shoestring: Using Social Networking and Web Tools to Share Vermont Archives.

“Shoestring” was intended as a metaphor not only for the cash-strapped but also for intrepid and plucky ideas:

I talked about Middlebury History Online, our archive of the College’s early history using WordPress.

Selene Colburn (UVM) talked about their popular “Ask” campaign to promote library research services. They use bookmarks, posters, the web, Flickr, and Facebook. Students clamor to be featured in the campaign.

Amber Billey (UVM) demo-ed Omeka, an open source, WordPress-like platform for hosting web exhibitions. Smith College, to name just one example, uses Omeka for its Girl Zines collection.

There was considerable drooling over Collective Access, a cataloguing tool and web application for museums, archives, and digital collections. Collective Access sees itself as David in the battle against Goliath. Goliath is being played by CONTENTdm. (Yes, that’s the very software we use to power Digital Collections at Middlebury). Champlain College will be launching a collection in Collective Access soon.

A few other highlights:

Broadcastr, a location-based mobile app that delivers content based on where you are (Foursquare meets podcasting?)

HistoryPin, a Google partnership with a UK-based non-profit group to share historic, archival photos on Google Maps and Streetviews.

Dipity: Interactive social-network-y timelines.


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