This is the second in a three-part series on INST 728B, a new course at Maryland’s iSchool. To see the first post, click here.
There are only a few weeks left in the semester, and the students on INST 728B are in the midst of digitizing the Schleswig-Holstein Postcard Collection. Here are a few of the things we have done during our meetings:
- Looked at all of the postcards! There are over 100 postcards. In order to process this collection, we needed to know what was there. This included a series breakdown, and identification of metadata (to be collected), subjects, and topics. Since this is an artificial collection created for the class, we arranged series based on how the user would search the records.
- Digitized the cards! We used a Flip Pal to scan the postcards and upload them. These Flip Pals are really cool – they are small yet they scan at up to 600 DPI. Check them out here. We also created Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the Flip Pal so that the DCIC can use them later on!
- Quality Control and Naming of the Images! We had to make sure all the images had a name and that all the images were cropped, not sideways, and not duplicates. Fortunately, Dr. Heger took on some of this task while we were working hard on number four…
- Collected the Metadata! While this step was possibly the most tedious, it wasn’t too difficult once we got the hang of it. Once we decided which metadata to collection (based on the potential users of the collection), each student took 12 postcards and collected that information. This metadata included a title, size, language, and TGM Subjects.
By the end of the semester, we will have digitized the cards so that they are ready to be seen by genealogists, local historians, and anyone else who would be interested in this area of Germany in the late 19th Century. We will have also written up a Digitization Work Plan. Stay tuned for the last in our three-part series, where we’ll show you the Work Plan!