Well, it’s been a long semester, and I didn’t get as many entries in this research journal as I originally planned. But the research journal process has been interesting. It helped me gather my thoughts and know what I had to do next in the process of the research project. I can see that this tool will be useful in the development of future projects. In the mean time, I have developed a research proposal for a case study at an archive. I want to see what it would take to digitize successfully the audio/visual contents of an archive and to study how it would work. Going forward I can use the experience writing this paper when looking for grants and other funding in my professional career.
Tag Archives: Research
I am struggling a little with this research proposal, but I carry on. There seems to be a limited amount available on digitization of negatives as a means of preservation. I will continue to research the area, and perhaps branch out a bit. The first draft is started on my work, and I am hoping to complete it this week, so that I can get some feedback.
I am currently planning to look at what standards are available for the preservation of negatives. Is it considered best to freeze negatives for example, or are acid free containers good enough by archival standards. There seems to be some argument on the matter. Regardless, digitization is a complex issue. It is surrounded by benefits of being able to access information at a distance, but there is the ever present argument that it is too expensive, and the continuing rapid evolution of technology makes formats unstable. Additionally, there are concerns about server stability. How much backup is enough? Should it be backed up to 2 or 3 places. Certainly the more copies that exist in different places, the less likely to lose all of your data. The digital age is one that we are all having to ease into for fear of both moving too fast, and being left behind and becoming irrelevant.
I’ve let time get away from me with the semester, but I’m getting back on track now and updating my research blog. There will be a main post in the next day or so. But back to research for now…
My research project for 705 will consist of developing a project for a small, publicly funded archive that has recently acquired a collection of films. The collection spans a wide range of time, and many of the films in question are of the silver nitrate variety. The archive in question has not collected films in the past, but the nature of the film collection meets the new mission of the archive. As such, they do not currently have the facility to store volatile films such as silver nitrate on site. Currently the collection is being housed at another institution too far from the archive to make regular access to the collection feasible. The archivist has been tasked with researching the best option for storage (whether on-site, or at a local off-site facility) and being work on writing for grants to fund the project of moving the collection and funding the housing for the collection. Additionally, the collection was acquired with the intention of digitizing the contents, so the archivist will method that will be used to digitize the collection, by researching the current options available.
I’m still struggling to come to terms with a specific topic for this research proposal, which is not good for me, because there are portions of this project that will be coming due soon. Nevertheless I carry on. I am now leaning more towards a project regarding the digitization of photographs, negatives and films. This coincides with another interest of mine currently, namely, how to preserve the images on all of my negatives (yes, I had a 110 camera when I was small and a 35 mm camera later before digital became widely available). Even frozen, negatives will eventually break down, and the actual photographs will fade and color change as well. While I start a personal project, looking for the most cost effective way to digitize these items, while capturing the best image possible, I could cross my personal research into this project, looking at digitization options and practices in archives with regards to film. I plan to research the literature on this in the next day or so, looking at articles, and will post again soon.
Here you will find all of my research journal entries for the J705 research journal I am keeping this semester. I am currently considering a topic regarding digitization practices in archives and how those practices impact the business of archival science. I am a little concerned about my topic, because I am unsure how to gather all of the data that I want without a survey, and I’m not sure that I will have time to do a survey during the semester. I may have to narrow my topic down. I am going to start some preliminary research through journal searching and see what is available. I will post back once I have located some appropriate journal articles.
Whether a group that meets in person, or one that meets online, I always find group work difficult. Not because of other group members, but because I always have a hard time with group dynamics. I tend to be very uncomfortable in a group situation when I am not the leader. I think that this is more pronounced in an online situation because there is no good way to absolutely confirm that project sections have been turned in if I am not the one submitting the assignment. Even when group members send around an email that the project is complete or has been submitted, I wonder if the professor got the assignment. Ordinarily, I combat these nerves by volunteering to turn in the project, but due to a number of projects due at or around the same time during the semester, I felt it necessary to let someone else take responsibility this semester. We had a good group, so I felt confident as we completed project sections and assisted each other.
Group dynamics in groups where all team members live in the same area and can meet physically are different than the online experience. As an online group, alternative meeting options are needed. The use of Google Documents and chat programs was what my group chose to use and it worked well. We initially tried using the chat function in Blackboard, but several users struggled to keep a good connection when using the chat. When we determined that we would use Google for the chat service we decided to keep it simple and use Google for our other file sharing efforts as well. This consistency along with regular weekly meetings helped our group to work well together, despite our distance from each other physically.
Overall, I have found in this and other classes, that online group work can work as well as groups together if they choose a method of communication and create a schedule to communicate regularly. With regular communication and a consistent method of contacting other group members, much of the frustration felt during a group experience can be minimized, if not eliminated.
The creation of a group website was an interesting prospect. It required the group to determine the strengths of each member in order to best develop the site. We were able to determine the best areas for each of us to take the lead and then work towards the end result of the project. It required a great amount of trust on the part of the team members, to trust that someone that we had never met and possibly never interacted with, was not misrepresenting their abilities. I struggle with this any time I have a group project, but particularly when I have never worked with any of my team members previously. The lack of face-to-face interaction means that there is no body language, and since all of our communications were done via email or Google Chat, there was not verbal interaction which left few non-verbal cues to use building that trust. We had to rely solely on the written word of our group members and the results that they gave us. For the most part, we received good work from each of our team members in a timely manner. As a group, we were able to establish the needed trust and turn in our work completed well and in a timely manner.
Overall, this was a good group experience for me, especially because I let someone else take the lead. It let me experience the group dynamic and learn how to trust a group of people to finish their sections without being the one to ensure that everything was turned in. The project allowed me to learn to better participate in any group, as well as teaching me how to work well in a group that is separated by distance using different Internet options for communication.
QR Codes like the one above are becoming more and more common. (This code was created using a free generator produced by the ZXing Project.) They appear on documents, posters, blogs, websites and other forms of advertisements. The prevalence will only increase in the future, because QR code generators are rampant on the Internet. A Google search of the phrase “QR Code Generator” on 11/6/2010 returns over 12 million results, and a Bing search for the same phrase returns 102 thousand results. (Note: these numbers were accurate at 12:15 a.m. on 11/6/10 future searches may return different numbers). Anyone can use a QR code generator to hold business card, appointment, website and text information to name only a few functions. Denso Wave created the QR code in 1994, although mainstream use is much more recent.
The collection (or collected research) that I would love to see digitized, relates to an international study program I participated in during the Summer of 1999. I was able to travel to Israel, and work on an archaeological dig. The dig took place in Galilee, just outside of Nazareth at a tell called Khirbet Qana (or Khirbet Cana). Over the years since I participated in the dig, I have looked for digitized information on the research gathered at the dig, or online photos of some of the artifacts found during the dig, but there is currently no coordinated online digitization effort. It is disappointing, because I remember during the original dig that there was a regularly updated blog that included much of the information I was looking for, and I had hoped that the University of Puget Sound (who sponsored the dig) and Dr. Douglas Edwards (who led the dig) would continue the process of digitization and online records of the program. Unfortunately, it is my understanding that Dr. Edwards passed away a few years ago, which may have impacted the digitization program, or the program as a whole.