As Hannah wrote back in February,
the new DIMES we’ve just released is more than one system; it could more accurately
be described as a system of systems. One of those pieces is the
which facilitates requests for records, either onsite in our reading rooms, via
digitization processes, or by downloading or emailing citations. This post
describes that system in more detail, including the motivation behind it, the
process by which it was developed, and our future plans.
I’ve just finished reading Managing the Flow of Technology, a book which synthesizes the results of several studies done in the 60’s and 70’s by Thomas J. Allen which analyzed the production of new technologies in the aerospace industry. Although the book reproduces some of the problematic aspects of the corporate culture it describes (overwhelming whiteness and maleness, and an obsession with quantitative analysis), and some of Allen’s suggestions seem dated (open office layouts), many of his insights into how technical knowledge moves within and between organizations seem useful, so I thought I’d try and summarize the main points of the book, and draw some connections to the work of the D-Team.
In spring 2020 as the RAC offices closed due to COVID-19, we convened a group of 5 staff members representing each of the Rockefeller Archive Center’s program areas to learn and explore how we measure our work and impact in the context of website analytics data. This Web Analytics Owners Group was formed as part of a project to standardize and better leverage the organization’s use of analytics data from our various web properties. It has been an incredibly successful case of cross-program collaboration, building expertise, and strengthening the RAC community in what has been a pretty bleak and isolating year for the world. One year out, this post reflects on how this group came together and what has made it successful.
My experience at the Rockefeller Archive Center can be summarized with the innocent belief that when destiny closes a door, a window opens at the other side. On January 1st of this year, if I had been asked about my plans for the rest of the year, the most straightforward and simple response would have been to go about my routine of working, studying, and enjoying my free time. Although advisors had encouraged me to apply for some “beyond-the-classroom” experience, applying for an internship was not in my plans. COVID-19 changed things. During these difficult times, trying to remain sane, healthy, and continuing to move forward academically and professionally were critical needs in many people’s lives. On a personal note, it challenged my predisposed plans and ideas. I was placed in the position of rethinking my future. As a result, I reflected on my passions, needs, and goals.