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Arctic Library Portal Planning Workshop


Project start
Project end
Type of project
Project theme
Education & Outreach
Project topic
Computer science & e-learning
Education & Outreach

Project details

Science / project summary

This award supports two workshops that will create a consortium of international repositories (library, archives, museums, etc.) with significant collections on the Arctic. The workshops will be attended by key stakeholders from across the circumpolar nations who are interested in working together on the creation of an integrated Arctic Library Portal. This effort aims to build a unified digital access point for some of the world's largest Arctic collections, in conjunction with encouraging the initial digitization of an extensive new base of primary sources and the encouragement of more extensive scanning for efforts that may have begun, on numerous Arctic subjects that include social, economic, geographic, cultural, ethnographic, environmental, and historical topics. This effort will enable and potentially inspire increased awareness of available tools, networks and best practices that can be replicated across the Arctic and the globe. In addition, it has the potential to make large library materials available not only to academic scholars but to Arctic community members, and other members of the public many of whom have a great interest but do not possess the resources to gain access to these collections. This project supports the "democratization" of sources and scholarship, access for all. The first workshop will bring together key archive, library and museum personnel from across the circumpolar north to not only discuss the potential for collaboration on an Arctic Library Portal but to identify the most endangered collections, e.g. deteriorating analog tapes; animal infested paper collections; fading photographs and negatives and brittle film, etc. that could be part of a phase two project for salvaging such collections. The second workshop is a meeting in Boston to engage the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) and the broader academic community at Harvard, MIT, and other local universities that have been working on novel ways to categorize and integrate topical materials from widely scattered collections. This second gathering will focus on technical issues surrounding the creation of the Arctic Library Portal as well as ways to integrate this project within the expansion of a larger national digital infrastructure that has been envisioned by DPLA. New content teams in DPLA at the Boston Public Library are also framing an innovative approach to synthesizing digital content in new user-friendly formats for both specialists and the wider public, an effort that has been especially fruitful for integrating related materials by topic across a distributed platform.