This week has been a good one. I started the week by cutting down the remaining documents, re-looking at them and analysing what they say and whether it was the best example out of the sources that I had. I may have been a bit tough but I needed to be in order to make sure that the project was do-able within my time at the archives and also manageable to scan and upload onto Omeka.
Speaking of Omeka, I had some preliminary training. Omeka is, how many people describe it, WordPress for museums. You can upload files, create collections and create exhibitions from your items. After a brief training and look around, I spent some time playing around with the software. Adding items and creating collections was very simple and, after a YouTube video, I successfully uploaded items in batch using .csv files. Creating exhibitions was a bit more complicated. Creating a simple layout and pages is fine, but I had some ideas in my head from the research I did on National Archives exhibitions which meant that what was in my head was probably a lot grander than what the software could do. However, with some tweaking and also with a crash course in HTML coding, I managed to hyperlink pictures, create an interactive map and also try to change colours of the themes (although this last one until now has been unsuccessful). But the test site that I have been playing with is ok and has allowed me to get a good feel as to how I can layout my learning resource.
After this play around, I created a PowerPoint which laid out the basic interface and layout of each of the webpages. It shows how many pages will be in the learning resource and also helped me to create a common layout for each of the themes which will give my resource an air of professionalism and also ease of use for the user. But there are still unique elements for each theme (e.g. the map for the Festival of Britain page).
I also had some copyright training this week which was very illuminating. I had never had any copyright training before (bar referencing my uni work) and it was so useful to understand the process of contacting people for copyright, keeping records of agreements etc.
One big thing to happen this week was that I visited the Leicestershire Record Office. The staff there were all lovely and friendly, being given a guided tour of the office by one of the archivists and speaking to the digitisation manager and conservator. During my time, I not only saw how the office digitise their documents on a big overhead camera and what becomes of those images, but I also got a chance to explore the archive’s museums’ collection. These are focused on Leicester Museum but the documents that I found were perfect for the resource! They highlighted why the museum was founded, who by and how it developed in its early years. If I had had a bit more time, I could have gone more in depth with some of the sources, but I think the brevity of the placement was always going to restrict what I could do.
Lastly, on Friday, I began ringing and contacting museums to ask for copy right permission to use their material. This was the reason behind all of the filtering through of the documents. I had some quick responses, and they continue to keep coming. But everyone has been so nice in their responses, I hope I do these institutions justice with my digitising and learning resource. I must say I was nervous using the phone, but with a brief intro written and a couple under my belt, I got used to it and enjoyed contacting them. It is the first real time that I have been able to contact external bodies and something which I think will be extremely useful in the future.
So quite a busy week training wise. This week is more secondary research and waiting for copyright replies. I will have digitisation training on Thursday and from then on, I will be able to start digitising documents and writing sections for my learning resource.
Thank you for reading!