Posted on January 4 2017 by Temp

Hiring, Scanning, and Planning; College Women Project Update

Bryn Mawr College students in geology lab
Bryn Mawr College students in geology lab

Things are brewing at College Women. Since we received the new grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities last spring we've been busy getting ready to add large collections from all 7 institutions to the site. The first step in that process was hiring the project manager, Evan McGonagill, in late July.  Evan was previously the assistant director of The Albert M. Greenfield Digital Center for the History of Women’s Education at Bryn Mawr, and many of you will remember her from her work on the Women’s History in the Digital World Conferences in 2013 and 2015.

There are three other major areas where we have been putting our energies.

First, our Metadata Committee has been refining our standards so that we can provide better subject access to the large number of letters, diaries and scrapbooks that we will be adding to the collections.  

Second, we have been working with our site developer, Interactive Mechanics, to build an efficient system for automatically harvesting images and metadata from our institutions’ digital libraries. We discovered during the pilot phase of the project that the existing Drupal harvesting tools weren’t sophisticated enough to work with our multiple systems and standards, which meant that we had to load new images and metadata manually, a laborious and time-consuming process. We also became aware of an exciting new intermediate system for managing data from multiple institutions, REPOX, which we think will make the Collegewomen.org site work much more efficiently. We will talk more about this in a technical report post later on, but in the short run it has meant some delays. Nonetheless, we are still optimistic that we will be ready to begin uploading new collections by the beginning of February.

Third, all 7 of us have been ramping up operations to digitize and catalog student letters, diaries and scrapbooks. As we do this work, we are also keeping alert for documents with particularly interesting content so that we can highlight these in the future.

We are planning a new wave of publicity about the project and the site when we load the new content in early 2017, so be on the lookout for that. In the meantime, follow us on Facebook and Twitter @CollegeWmnHist!

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