We recently launched a new feature on DIMES – called a “minimap” – which allows
users to jump directly to search matches within collections. This feature was
conceptualized and implemented over the course of several months through the
efforts of colleagues across the RAC and represents a bit of an unusual approach
to a common design problem in archives, so it seemed worth writing about the
process behind it in more detail.
The D-Team has worked over the past couple of years to integrate processes for digitized and legacy born-digital content into Project Electron infrastructure. In addition to updating policies and workflows, we have developed a microservice to package bags; an application to store, calculate, and assign PREMIS rights statements; and a microservice to create image derivatives and IIIF Manifests.
My time at the Rockefeller Archive Center was nothing but phenomenal and educational. While it was a remote internship, the lessons that I will take from this experience will follow me through my career, both as a student and an aspiring records manager.
For Phase 2 of its Culturally Competent Description Education Campaign, the Rockefeller Archive Center organized a series of reading group discussions to explore how to implement workflows and policies for creating more inclusive archival description, how to make histories that have been marginalized more discoverable, and how to recognize and combat white supremacy culture in our practices. Lessons learned from organizing and facilitating conversations about culturally competent description during the first phase of the Education Campaign influenced how Amy Berish, Katie Martin, and I approached developing the reading group sessions while increased collaboration and knowledge sharing with our colleagues expanded and invigorated the substance and scope of each discussion. The sessions’ escalating focus on the collections and practices of the RAC have made the path towards action more tangible.
Over the course of the last few years, the Digital Strategies team has built and implemented a ton of new applications, many of which use technologies that we hadn’t used before. We’ve considerably leveled up in our development chops and technical capacity, while also strengthened our partnership with our IT team in the process. Still, there’s no denying that having a whole bunch of applications to maintain adds a different dimension and stress to our work.
As a result, our current efforts are primarily driven by the desire to be better and more responsible maintainers. This requires us to work simultaneously across areas of infrastructure, applications, processes, and people.