Since the end of my main project, I have worked on several things. I have worked on research for outreach. Mainly this entailed researching archival materials at the Glenn Black Lab in order to pick out stories for an upcoming display about the students who have taken part in the Angel Mounds field schools offered by IU and Glenn Black when he was an instructor at the university.
I have also been working on cataloging books that have been donated to the library at the Glenn Black Lab. This is an excellent opportunity because it gives me further experience in cataloging. I also get to learn the ins and outs of using the website Librarything for cataloging purposes.
Yesterday I finished uploading all of the materials for my digitization project. Once they are approved, they will be posted to IU Archives Online. I have learned a lot about digitization, preservation, and the history of the Midwest while working on this project and I am proud to have assisted the cause of accessibility by digitizing these documents.
I still have two weeks left in my internship and I will be working to help with outreach. This help will come in the form of display prep. This time, I will be getting to look at the history of Indiana University and its contributions to Indiana Archaeology by researching past Angel Mounds field schools and the students who attended them. This research will eventually contribute to a display in the Glenn Black Lab of Archaeology.
Today I finished up the process of uploading the images to the main Glenn Black Lab server. The images will soon be ready for review and after approval will be posted to the IU Archives online website. The next step is to upload the images to the IU Archives Online Dropbox where they will face approval. To get to this point, I had to organize the images into folders for each EAD identifier. This was not a difficult process, but it did take time to complete.
Today I finished up my work encoding and digitizing the four boxes of Mascouten materials at the Glenn Black Archaeology Lab. I have learned a lot from working on this project. Especially in the realms of EAD and XML encoding. I also learned about the archival best practices in use at the Glenn Black Lab and the ways in which the materials here are organized. I was also able to further develop my Photoshop skills and and gain proficiency with the Oxygen XML Editor. I also learned a lot about Indiana history and the different peoples that have lived in this region over the years. From the various Native American groups, to the French, to the British, and finally the Americans. The next thing on the agenda is to begin the next steps in the process to get the digitized materials uploaded to IU Archives online so they can be viewed by researchers and IU and around the world.
Today I finished up encoding the last folder in the third box. All I have left to do is digitize this folder and I will be ready to move on to the final box of my project. My workflow has become quite efficient by this point and I very much enjoy immediately digitizing the contents of a folder after encoding them instead of waiting until all folders in a box are encoding and then going back through. I am unsure if it is actually faster or just psychologically feels quicker, but I enjoy it. In terms of events highlighted in this box, there is the Battle of Fallen Timbers. This battle was fought in Maumee, Ohio, a location around 4 and a half hours away from Bloomington.
So far the efficiency of my work seems to be improving after the previously mentioned changes to my workflow. I have already encoded and digitized 2/5 folders in the third box I am working with. In terms of content in the box itself, it showcases another time of conflict and transition in the Midwest. This time the conflict is the American Revolution and how that conflict impacted the lives of the peoples living in the region and the changes that came when the territory came under the sway of the newly independent United States in the years after the war ended.
This week I began work on the second half of my project. For the first two boxes I encoded every folder and then scanned every folder. For the box I am working on now, I have decided to switch up my workflow. I will now be encoding and then immediately digitizing each folder. This so I can determine if one method if more efficient than the other. Plus doing it this way means I will not have to backtrack through the box to get the folders when it is time to digitize after encoding, once a folder is completed it is completed and I can move on to working on the next in line.
Last week I reached a major milestone on this project. With the completion of Box 2’s digitization, the project is officially halfway done. I have already learned quite a bit working on this project. Not just about archival digitization practices but also about the history of the peoples document in the sources contained within the boxes. It is fascinating to learn more about the past and to see what resources are available at Indiana University.
A large part of why I wanted to undertake this project is because I wanted to increase my experience working in archives and special collections. This past semester I declared an archives and records management specialization for my MLS. This internship provides an excellent way to gain experience with special collections work and assist future scholars with their research. In terms of practical skills I have gained so far, I have learned how to encode EAD in XML. Coding in general is not something I am overly familiar with, but now I am confident in my understanding of how to use XML to encode EAD.
The major news of this update is the completion of EAD encoding for the second box of Mascouten documents. This box showcases a transition in life for the Native American inhabitants of the Midwest as well as the Europeans who have come to live in the region as well. This transition is brought upon by the transfer of control of the French colonies in the region to Britain following the French and Indian War. Those familiar with the American Revolution will begin to see some recognizable names in the correspondences between Europeans and European Americans found in this box. Specifically, several letters addressed to Benjamin Franklin can be found in these materials.
The next phase will be to digitize the materials located in box 2.