On Thursday, August 11, members of the 2022 Cohort of the Digital Curation for Information Professionals (DCIP) Certificate Program gave presentations about their capstone projects. The DCIP Certificate Program consists of three classes – Introduction to Digital Curation (6 weeks), Tools and Software for Digital Curation (12 weeks) and Implementing Digital Curation in the Workplace (12 weeks). Members of the cohort who successfully complete all three courses are awarded a certificate.
For the third course, cohort members must complete a capstone project in which they use some of the skills and knowledge that they have acquired in the first two courses to implement a digital curation project. The capstone project can take place at either their workplace or as part of another organization or project that interests them.
Ashley Gosselar gave the first presentation of the evening. The final output of her capstone project took the form of a Jupyter Notebook entitled, A Data-Driven Approach to Reparative Description at the University of Chicago. The University of Chicago Library’s Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center maintains over 1600 finding aids to its collections. For her project, Ashley used a set of digital tools to analyze the text of all the finding aids to identify, locate, categorize, clean, enhance and visualize the extent of “red-flag terms” – words that might be offensive, or might indicate that the subject matter of a finding aid merits review to ensure that a collection is described in an inclusive and culturally competent way – across all of the descriptions. The use of a Jupyter Notebook allowed her to document all the steps that she took during her project. It also serves as a narrative report of her findings.
Lauren Brown followed with a presentation on her project, entitled, MKULTRA: A Map of the CIA’s Medical Experiments and Torture. MKULTRA was a clandestine program of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. It consisted of a series of experiments or subprojects designed to test and determine how far the human mind can be pushed: how malleable the human mind is to outside control, and how that mind can be controlled for the benefit of others.
For her capstone project Lauren collected digital images of MKULTRA documents, used OCR software to capture the text from those images, and used ESRI’s StoryMaps software to record her initial findings. She plans to continue her research beyond her experience in the DCIP Certificate Program and would welcome a chance to collaborate with others who have an interest in MKULTRA.
Ricky Gomez delivered a PowerPoint presentation about his project in which he identified born digital records that were kept on various media (primarily floppy disks and CDs) within an otherwise analog collection at the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Having identified the born digital records he worked with several tools to make the records more suitable for long term preservation. He also updated the finding aids for the collection to reflect the presence of the born digital records in the collection.
Julie Grundvig was unable to participate directly in the session because at the time she was at a remote location with no internet access. Before leaving on her trip, she recorded a presentation about her project.
The 2022-23 academic marks the 90th Anniversary of the York House School in Vancouver, British Columbia. Julie is the archivist, curator, and librarian for the school. For her capstone project, Julie chose to use ESRI StoryMap software to create an online exhibit entitled, The Buildings That Shaped Us: A virtual tour through York House School building history. Using a number of the features of the software she has created an interactive exhibit that will be available to the general public for the anniversary celebration. Julie intends to continue working on the exhibit even though she has completed her capstone project.
The members of the DCIP Cohort for 2022 all did outstanding work on their capstone projects. They made creative use of the tools that were introduced in the first two DCIP classes (and others). They also applied many of the concepts and practices, including Computational Thinking and long-term digital preservation, that were introduced during those classes. The Cohort creatively applied digital curation tools and methods to a wide variety of data across a diverse set of subject matter.