The Data Culture Project is a model project for both a thoughtful approach to the use of data and technology as well as exploring methods for worplace education and change. Data Culture focuses on providing training for organizations “struggling to figure out how to build capacity to work with data.” The project leaders suggest: “You don’t need a data scientist; you need a data culture.” Helpful for cultural heritage organizations looking for staff training around more thoughtful production and use of their data, or as a model for how to run an effective educational initiative. Part of the larger DataBasic.io learning portal, led by well-known practitioners and scholars Rahul Barghava and Catherine D’Ignazio.
Excellent introduction to the history of and philosophical underpinnings of Scandinavian participatory design, a foundational movement for current participatory design, values in design, and critical technical practice movements. Notable for emphasizing the political nature of the practice of participatory design, in that in its beginnings it was seen as a method for democratizing the workplace. This article, written in 1995, suggests that a move towards ethics de-emphasizes the political aims of earlier participatory design projects, and that political (i.e. social justice) aims should be re-introduced. An excellent reading that will expose systems designers to the long history of participatory and user-centered design that would be well-paired with more recent readings that incorporate additional intersectional analyses, allowing system designers to contrast the Scandinavian emphasis on a class analysis (through a focus on the democratic rights of workers) with later work incorporating race, gender, and disability.
The CWRC Ontology Specification (at version 0.99.6 as of this posting) is an excellent example of a thoughtful technical specification showing the process of both creating methods for standardizing data while grappling with the difficult process of distilling human experience into data definitions. The intellectual context included in the robust documentation would be helpful for any project dealing with questions of standardization in cultural heritage data. The ontology itself offers a rich vocabulary for literary study and history with a strong emphasis on representing concepts through careful gender and intersectional analysis. The ontology is a project of CWRC, the Canadian Writing Research Collaboratory, which “brings together researchers working with online technologies to investigate writing and related cultural practices relevant to Canada and to the digital turn.”
The Black Metropolis Research Consortium is a model project for inter-institutional collaboration and community partnership. The project focuses on methods needed to surface and connect materials related to the history and culture of African Americans. The BMRC’s activities include support for internships and fellowships along with projects such as surveying and processing relevant collections for inclusion into their specialized search of finding aids related to African American history and culture. See in particular the BMRC database as an example of increased accessibility through the focused processing of archival collections. The BMRC is, from their website hosted at the University of Chicago: “a Chicago-based membership association of libraries, universities, and other archival institutions. Its mission is to make broadly accessible its members’ holdings of materials that document African American and African diasporic culture, history, and politics, with a specific focus on materials relating to Chicago.”
The Archivists and Archives of Color Section is an essential group, informally known as AAC, that creates space and advocacy for archives and archivists of color. A section of the Society of American Archivists, AAC members are often at the forefront of thinking about how to partner with marginalized communities and steward community archives both physical and online. It is also an essential community of support for archivists of color.
Beautifully argued and written, suggesting (and further analyzing) practices of marking absences in history, and it is quite productive for those in processing, cataloging, digitization, and system design to consider how they might mark absences. From the article: “At saakaciweeyankwi, the annual Myaamia language camp in Indiana, a non-Miami man showed up one evening to speak with elders. He hoped to learn more about the history of the land where his wilderness preserve is located. After some conversation, we figured out that he wanted some tidbits to put on signs around the property with Miami names for landmarks and maybe something about the Miami who lived there. After those of us who run the camp discussed our response, we told him that there is no doubt that Miami people lived on that land. Unfortunately, there are no Myaamia names for those landmarks because those Miami were either forced to migrate west of the Mississippi River or they were massacred. Either way, those particular place names were lost along with the names of the people who kept them. I sincerely suggested that he put that on a sign.” Falzetti analyzes the potential of similar such markers in archives and special collections, which has interesting implications for the design of digital collection systems.
This study path will ask learners to replicate the methodology/follow the model described in Dorothy Berry’s case study “Digitizing and Enhancing Description Across Collections to Make African American Materials More Discoverable on Umbra Search African American History” in order to better understand the value and values of additional description in surfacing materials from marginalized groups.
This study path asks learners to consider how their own possessions would be described and organized in a cultural heritage institution, and reflect on the assumptions behind how we describe and interpret cultural objects.
How do different types of media affect the representation of groups? This study path will look at examples of multimodal representation and also offer an opportunity to document a community using different modes of media.
The study path introduces students to user experience testing reports, and introduces ideas from feminist HCI and psychology in order to critique and improve those tests and reports.