Last week I attended the Technology Association of Grantmakers (TAG) conference. There’s a lot to reflect on coming out of that gathering, and while many of the threads feel disparate, it felt important to try and make some sense of the conference by forcing myself to write about it. In doing this, I’m reminded of the distinction Michel-Rolph Trouillot draws between the fact and the narrative of history, between “what happened” and “that which is said to have happened.” In this post, I’m firmly trafficking in the latter, as I try to weave together a bunch of events which may only share temporal or spatial proximity. But let’s get into it and see what threads can be pulled together!
Before I began my work as a fellow at the Rockefeller Archive Center in early July, I thought my role would essentially be that of a project archivist, inspecting batches of motion picture films before and after digitization as well as testing the RAC’s new cloud-based infrastructure for digitized audiovisual materials. When I arrived here, however, I quickly realized that the fellowship experience would be much more expansive and provide exposure to the RAC’s functions beyond audiovisual archiving. Whereas my year at the L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation taught me a highly specialized set of skills working with analog media, my time at the RAC was equally essential because it allowed me to connect these skills to larger concepts and trends in library and information science.
We are the Web Analytics Owners Group, an internal Rockefeller Archive Center (RAC) working group formed with 5 staff members from each of our program areas. As we prepared for the scheduled sunsetting of Google Analytics in July 2023, our team undertook a project in December 2021 to find an alternative analytics platform that fit our needs. We analyzed and compared 5 different platforms and ultimately chose Matomo because it was user-friendly, aligned with our requirements, and emphasizes user privacy. In this post, we’ll detail how we implemented Matomo at the RAC and what the next steps are for our group.
In early summer 2023, the Rockefeller Archive Center was finalizing the development of its new cloud-based infrastructure for digitized audiovisual materials. This corresponded with the beginning of my 10-week Fellowship at the RAC. As a recent graduate of The L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation, I arrived here with prior experience (primarily) in the physical and intellectual control of analog audiovisual collections. My RAC Fellowship has allowed me to continue building these skills with various film inspection and vault management projects. However, the Fellowship has also allowed me to broaden my experience with digital asset management as an integral player in the testing of the RAC’s new digital infrastructure. This has been an opportunity to develop a working knowledge of command line tools and to become familiar with digital preservation workflows.
The Rockefeller Archive Center has a long relationship with Archivematica; I think we were one
of the first institutions to implement Archivematica in production. Our use of Archivematica
coincides with our use of PREMIS Rights. Early on, we decided that we would always add PREMIS
Rights statements to transfers to support mediated access to digitized and born-digital records.
Having machine-actionable rights statements allows us to flexibly develop and change our
implementation of mediated access without being tied to a particular model or definition.
As part of scaling up our digitization and born-digital transfer processes, we wanted to distribute
the work of authoring and managing PREMIS rights statements across the organization. However,
particularly when serialized in XML, a significant degree of specialized expertise to understand
and author PREMIS Rights. Over the years we’ve created several different kinds of graphical
user interfaces aimed at lowering the barrier to the human management of PREMIS Rights.