On Thursday, August 10, members of the 2023 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 – Instructor: Mark Conrad), Tools and Software for Digital Curation (12 weeks – Instructor: Mark Conrad) and Implementing Digital Curation in the Workplace (12 weeks – Instructor: Richard Marciano). 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.
1. Monica Pampell: Synthetic data and generative AI: an interactive learning experience
Monica led off with her presentation, Synthetic data and generative AI: an interactive learning experience. Monica conducted a literature review/research on these two topics. Using chalkboardwisdom.org as a platform and tikitoki she developed an interactive website displaying the results of her research. Richard Marciano, the instructor forthe third DCIP course, described Monica’s capstone project as, “…a great way to make an interactive, searchable bibliography [and] summarization of research.” He went on to say that the project was unique in that Monica used the tools she was researching to help her create the final product.
2. Vera Nunez Martinez: Digital preservation of legacy file formats
Vera conducted research to address a major problem at the international organization where she worked. The organization operates a document management system containing over 800 thousand documents. A large percentage of the documents in the system had or were in danger of becoming inaccessible due to obsolescence of their file formats. Vera used DROID to identify the file format of the documents in the system. Combining metadata from DROID with metadata from the document management system she was able to identify large groups of documents that should be priority targets for mediation.
3. Ebony Ferguson: Buried While Black – Payne Cemetery: The disinterment of a historically black cemetery in Washington, DC
Ebony Ferguson was up next with her presentation, Buried While Black – Payne Cemetery: The disinterment of a historically black cemetery in Washington, DC. Ebony’s capstone project grew out of her interest in genealogy. While investigating the history of one of her ancestors she ran across the story of Payne Cemetery and its destruction. She discovered that this story was not unique to Payne Cemetery. Other historically black cemeteries – including others in the DC area – had met similar fates. Ebony incorporated her findings into an interactive ESRI Storymap.
4. Elise Martin: Exploring Indexing Methods for Handwritten Text
Elise Martin then gave her presentation, Exploring Indexing Methods for Handwritten Text. The Calvert Marine Museum wants to convert a handwritten acquisition logbook into a computer searchable digital finding aid. To do this the museum had volunteers transcribing the text into an Excel spreadsheet. This process was extremely time consuming. For her capstone project, Elise decided to investigate Handwritten Text Recognition (HTR) tools. She did an initial assessment of a dozen different HTR tools. Based on this initial assessment she chose the open source HTR tool, Transkribus, for further testing. She had some success with Transkribus, but she plans to continue experimenting with a new version of the software and possibly other HTR tools.
5. Erin Berry: Columbia MD Archives digital curation manual: balancing legacy and current standards
Next up was Erin Berry with her presentation, Columbia MD Archives digital curation manual: balancing legacy and current standards. For her capstone project Erin drafted a digital curation manual for the Columbia MD Archives. She began by examining past and current practices at the archives and past and current resources for addressing the needs of the archives. With that information in hand, she examined current standards for digital curation and determined what would be practical for the archives in its present circumstances. The final result of her efforts was a digital curation manual for the Columbia MD Archives.
6. Jennifer Kirby & Monica Luciano: Machine Learning at the Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC)
The final presentation of the evening was by Jennifer Kirby and Moni Luciano: Machine Learning at the Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC). They discussed their work in data wrangling and training machine learning models as part of the modernization of DTIC’s operations.
Mark Conrad: Closing Remarks
Instructors & Staff: Mark Conrad, Richard Marciano & Joe Sherren.
Attendees: Chris Haley (Maryland State Archives), Jennifer Proctor (ARLIS)
-Written by Mark Conrad