I had the pleasure of joining a number of colleagues at the inaugural meetup for Digital Cultural Heritage DC last night. The informal group bills itself as a monthly gathering for those “working to acquire, preserve, steward, provide access to, exhibit and interpret digital cultural heritage,” and “a great opportunity for networking with others from the DC library, archive, museums community.” Any interested persons are welcome to attend.
About 40 individuals with varied backgrounds showed up. It was a fascinatingly diverse group of people, ranging from students to seasoned cultural heritage veterans. All of them shared a sense of enthusiasm for working with digital content and for exchanging ideas about current and future practices and projects.
The event kicked off with a series of short talks.
- Trevor Owens from NDIIPP spoke about Viewshare and You: Digital Collection Visualization for the Rest of Us
- Jennifer Serventi, Office of Digital Humanities, National Endowment for the Humanities talked about Digital Humanities on the LAM: What’s Up At ODH
- Nancy Proctor, Head of Mobile Strategy and Initiatives Smithsonian Institution, addressed “Recruiting the World” – so how’s that going for you? Interrogating the metrics of success for crowdsourcing
Attendees had lots of questions, which lead to a lively dialog about everything from content visualization, to ideas for supporting innovative stewardship projects, to leveraging expertise inside and outside institutions. The mixed background of participants led to discussions that came at issues from different perspectives, which I liked. In chatting with people after the talks, I found that others also enjoyed the the chance to interact with those whose interests, while generally similar, are just different enough to offer the possibility of new insights.
Digital Cultural Heritage DC meets on the third Thursday of every month. Check the group’s Meetup site for details about future events.