Today is the official start date for the CPC project—can I get a collective, “Hooray!”? (No? I’ll assume it’s just because you all have Halloween candy hangovers.)
The past few weeks have been abuzz with preparatory activity, since we wanted to be able to hit the ground running once the project had officially begun. We’ve been researching scanning equipment, making contacts (LOTS of wonderful contacts!), trying out workflow-related software solutions, and evangelizing the project at every opportunity. (I’ll note that we’re continually needing to remind each other that this is a marathon—not a sprint. Three years is a long time.) (…. And a short time, when I look at our goals.) It’s all about balance and preparation.
We’re spending a lot of time these days gathering information about similar projects currently underway, and sussing out how we might be able to learn from each other.
A big one, of course, is the Digital Public Library of America (dp.la), which aims to bring together public library data for the use and enjoyment of all. They have amazing tools on their site such as this count of digital assets (sorted by provider) and these metadata documents which, truly, have made for excellent reading material. It’s heartening to see such articulate description of the open data, open source, open sharing culture that we’re all trying to foster.
Officially, first up on the docket for the project are to begin scanning microfilm—we’re currently researching a few facets related to that task (such as the exact form and content of microfilm we’ll be working with, the nature of our access to it, and the best way to capture those specific scans) and then will begin the longer term task of scanning and analyzing that content.
Concurrently, we’re getting our ducks in a row to refine the CPC site (presidentialcollections.org) by working with local developers. We plan to reinforce the existing infrastructure, affirm and improve the technological specifications, and generally get it (and us) ready for the site to be the central hub for all partner data moving forward.
I’ll closing, I’ll just say that these past few weeks have been useful in terms of beginning to find a new rhythm (since we all have other job responsibilities in addition to the CPC project!). We’re excited to be underway!