This week I accomplished the task of migrating all of the items from the original archive to the new Omeka section of the Weaving Our Story integrated platform. I opted to move the items over by hand instead of figuring out the export/import feature in Omeka. While I am sure that is a possibility, I didn’t want to waste valuable time figuring out the Omeka process through trial and error.
Looking back, the process of moving the items over manually took far more time than I thought that it would, but the process had a hidden benefit. In having to look at each piece of metadata individually, I was able to detect errors that I had made as a novice metadata technician and to correct them. Because I have added items at different points in the process, I could also see that my metadata strategy changed based on the collection I was drawing from and the progress I had made in the course. I recall an earlier reading from the program noting how metadata, which should seemingly be unbiased, invariably reflects the institution or individual creating it. This was apparent in going back through several iterations of gathering information.
I find the concept of “progress” on this project to be a bit illusory. While I want so much for there to be visible process on the front end, I am beginning to realize how much work goes into creating a sustainable project from the back end. I now realize the importance of creating an organized system for naming files, housing them on network drive in an organized fashion and keeping a separate document or spreadsheet that keeps track of everything. However, without a consistent plan for the details, what people see on the front end may be muddled.
Now that I have the details sorted out, my goals for this coming week are to continue to work on permissions releases and to begin to play with how the refreshed archive can be re-imported into the Scalar site in order to create a web of exhibits.