An Online Event & Experimental Born Digital Collecting Project: #FolklifeHalloween2014

If you haven’t heard, as the title of the press release explains, the Library of Congress Seeks Halloween Photos For American Folklife Center Collection.  As of writing this morning, there are now 288 photos shared on Flickr with the #folklifehalloween2014 tag. If you browse through the results, you can see a range of ways folks are experiencing, seeing, and documenting Halloween and Dia de los Muertos. Everyone has until November 5th to participate. So send this, or some of the links in this post, along to a few other people to spread the word.

Svayambhunath Buddha O'Lantern, Shared by user birellsalsh on Flickr

Svayambhunath Buddha O’Lantern, Shared by user birellsalsh on Flickr

Because of the nature of this event, you can follow along in real time and see how folks are responding to this in the photostream. See the American Folklife Center’s blog posts on this for a more in depth explanation and some additional context of this project and a set of step-by-step directions about how people can participate. As this is still a live and active event, I wanted to make sure we had a post up about it today for people to share these links with others.

Consider emailing a link to this to any shutterbug friends and colleagues you have. In particular, there is an explicit interest in photos that document the diverse range of communities’ experiences of the holiday. So if you are part of an often underrepresented community it would be great to see that point of view in the photo stream. With that noted, I also wanted to take this opportunity to highlight some of the things about this event that I think are relevant to the digital collecting and preservation focus of The Signal.

Rapid Response Collecting & a Participatory Online Event

Aside from the fun of this project (I mean, its people’s Halloween photos!) I am interested to see how it plays out as a potential mode of contemporary collecting. I think there is a potential for this kind of public event focused on documenting our contemporary world to fit in with ideas like “rapid response collecting” that the Victoria and Albert Museum has been forwarding as well as notions of shared historical authority and conceptions of public participation in collection development.

We can’t know how this will end up playing out over the next few days of the event. However, I can already see how something like this could serve cultural institutions as a means to work with communities to document, interpret and share our perspectives on themes and issues that cultural heritage organizations document and collect in.

Oh and just a note of thanks to Adriel Luis, who shared a bit of wisdom and lessons learned from his work at the Asian Pacific American Center on the Day in the Life of Asian Pacific American event.

So, consider helping to spread the word and sharing some photos!

Gossiping About Digital Preservation

In September the Library held its annual Designing Storage Architectures for Digital Collections meeting. The meeting brings together technical experts from the computer storage industry with decision-makers from a wide range of organizations with digital preservation requirements to explore the issues and opportunities around the storage of digital information for the long-term. I always learn […]

Data Infrastructure, Education & Sustainability: Notes from the Symposium on the Interagency Strategic Plan for Big Data

Last week, the  National Academies Board on Research Data and Information hosted a Symposium on the Interagency Strategic Plan for Big Data. Staff from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Institute for Standards and Technology presented on ongoing work to establish an interagency strategic plan […]

Close Reading, Distant Reading: Should Archival Appraisal Adjust?

From time to time, co-chairs of the National Digital Stewardship Alliance Arts and Humanities Content Working Group will bring you guest posts addressing the future of research and development for digital cultural heritage as a follow-up to a dynamic forum held at the 2014 Digital Preservation Conference.   The following is a guest post from Meg […]

Beyond Us and Them: Designing Storage Architectures for Digital Collections 2014

The following post was authored by Erin Engle, Michelle Gallinger, Butch Lazorchak, Jane Mandelbaum and Trevor Owens from the Library of Congress. The Library of Congress held the 10th annual Designing Storage Architectures for Digital Collections meeting September 22-23, 2014. This meeting is an annual opportunity for invited technical industry experts, IT  professionals, digital collections […]

Perpetual Access and Digital Preservation at #SAA14

I had the distinct pleasure of moderating the opening plenary session of the Joint Annual Meeting of COSA, NAGARA and SAA in Washington D.C. in early August. The panel was on the “state of access,” and I shared the dais with David Cuillier, an Associate Professor and Director of the University of Arizona School of […]

August Library of Congress Digital Preservation Newsletter is Now Available

The August Library of Congress Digital Preservation Newsletter is now available: Included in this issue: Digital Preservation 2014: It’s a Thing Preserving Born Digital News LOLCats and Libraries with Amanda Brennan Digital Preservation Questions and Answers End-of-Life Care for Aging, Fragile CDs Education Program updates Interviews with Henry Jenkins and Trevor Blank More on Digital […]

National Geospatial Advisory Committee: The Shape of Geo to Come

Back in late June I attended the National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC) meeting here in DC. NGAC is a Federal Advisory Committee sponsored by the Department of the Interior under the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The committee is composed of (mostly) non-federal representatives from all sectors of the geospatial community and features very high profile […]

Digital Preservation 2014: It’s a Thing

“Digital preservation makes headlines now, seemingly routinely. And the work performed by the community gathered here is the bedrock underlying such high profile endeavors.” – Matt Kirschenbaum The annual Digital Preservation meeting, held each summer in Washington, DC, brings together experts in academia, government and the private and non-profit sectors to celebrate key work and […]

Digital Preservation 2014 in Three, Two, One…

And we’re off! Digital Preservation 2014 starts today and we’re really excited to welcome our colleagues from near and far to Washington DC this week for a full and packed program! Digital Preservation 2014, the annual meeting of the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program and the National Digital Stewardship Alliance, provides opportunities to […]