SNCA in the Afternoon: tours, apps, partnerships, A/V preservation

Afternoon sessions at SNCA – I’m watching/ listening to Sean Mulligan present “A Walk in the Past: Promoting the Archives Through the Use of Campus Tours.” Very relevant to my work at Davidson, as I’ll be giving my first campus tours later this week (to new job candidates), as well as a fuller, more focused tour in October (to alums of one of the fraternities). We’re also trying to get into the realm of smart phone app tours – there’s a possible collaboration on the table currently involving fragrant plants on campus, and I’ve been putting out feelers to faculty to see if there’s a possible class partnership out there. Nothing confirmed yet, but fingers crossed!

Anyway, another picture of slides:

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Mulligan’s presentation really focuses on how getting physically out of the archives can help connect the archives to your community – his tours are primarily given to freshman at UNC-G, and some of these students will then visit the archives to ask follow up questions. As someone about to give these kind of tours, I think his tips on making sure you have a narrative (as opposed to just dropping unconnected facts), using visuals (such as photographs), planning your route, and connecting tours with current courses, events, or anniversaries are excellent to keep in mind.

The other speaker in this session is Linda Lashendock, who’s presentation is called “One Woman Shop: Connecting User to Archival Video.” The lack of best practices in A/V preservation is problematic (Lashendock mentions that we’re decades away from having practices really developed), but nearly every college/ university archive holds some sort of A/V material. How are we preserving older physical formats (and by extension, what are we doing with the digitized use copies), and how are we storing, cataloging, using, etc. etc. born digital material? I feel woefully unprepared for planning for this – even as a person who focused on digital preservation more than physical during my graduate study and worked in DH-ish positions for the past two years or so. But not only does Davidson have older A/V formats that need care and preservation, the institution is creating more and more digital visual material. We need to think about this…

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So, that’s the end of the last session at SNCA! Post-conference, I’m actually heading to a meeting related to this last session – along with my collaboration partner, Chelcie Rowell, I’m heading to A/V Geeks in downtown Raleigh to meet with Skip Elsheimer to talk about planning a Piedmont Home Movie Day for the fall. HMD is not strictly an archives/ library thing – according to the website, its:

Home Movie Day events provide the opportunity for individuals and families to see and share their own home movies with an audience of their community, and to see their neighbors’ in turn. It’s a chance to discover why to care about these films and to learn how best to care for them.

Chelcie and I are interested in planning an area HMD (actual event location TBD, but Western Piedmont-ish definitely), as both an outreach and general archival advocacy event, but also as a way to engage with people in the area who may not be archival users of our institutions. HMD could be a collecting event, or a film festival, or a series of education workshops on A/V preservation… or all of those! In any case, if you’re in the central North Carolina area and want to help plan or be involved in any way, email me (!

As a side note, wow I have never typed so much during a conference before! I usually take notes on a Google doc and Tweet occasionally, but today I’m taking notes (on a Google doc and also on my phone), Tweeting (from my own and from Davidson’s archives account), and writing these entries. I was explaining that to a friend via text during a session break, and he made this #tooaccurate comment: