Hi Amy, everybody,
at the Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive we are engaged in a
project called MOAC (Museums and the Online Archive of California).
The project as of now consists of 10 museums from California, ranging
from small to big. (Size, however, is not always an indication for
the extent of in-house technical support & expertise!). We contribute
finding aids to the Online Archive of California, which is hosted by
the California Digital Library.
In the long run, the goal of the exercise is to bring all museums,
even the tiniest one's, into the fold and provide them with a
framework and a set of tools they can use to encode EAD finding aids,
whether they have experience with the EAD or not. EAD for the masses,
so to speak. We have our consortium wide standards for EAD encoding
in place, and you may want to check out the documentation at
http://www.bampfa.berkeley.edu/moac/. As for tools, the consortium
partners have a choice between using an Access Database developed by
the Bancroft Library, or using a Filemaker Database developed by us.
For us, the biggest challenge in sharing our tool seems to be issues
of support and documentation - we barely scraped together the time to
develop the tool ( we are a very small, but rumbunctious shop!), but
we only have rudimentary documentation, and we can offer no
one-on-one support. At the last consortium meeting I gave a workshop
on how to use our database, and hopefully that'll make implementation
a lot easier for the project partners.
From my perspective, joining a consortial project in order to get
collections online seems like a great way to go for a small
organization with limited resources and experience. You establish a
tangible relationship with a number of other organization, some who
may be ahead of you, some who may be even more of a novice then you
are, and in that way, gain a good support system for work you would
want to do anyway, consortium or not.
Only my 2c's...
Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive
Digital Media Developer http://www.bampfa.berkeley.edu/
Digital Imaging SIG Chair, MCN http://www.mcn.edu/visig_subscribe.taf
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