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Wednesday, October 3 • 09:00 - 09:30
The Great Migration: year one, lessons learned in public digitization

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For the last year, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) has pioneered a public digitization program known as the Great Migration Home Movie Project. Three days a week, we welcome a member of the public and their family into our conservation lab to have their home movies and audio recordings digitized with a level of care that would typically require hundreds of dollars at no cost. At the end of each appointment, the original media are returned to the family along with digital copies of their home movies on a USB thumb drive. Additionally, the family may opt-in to participation in our growing, publicly accessible collection of African American home movies. The project has been well received by the public, but it has not come without certain challenges. These challenges come in many forms and touch on different aspects of media conservation, institutional bureaucracy, advocacy, customer service, emotional labor, and digital literacy. Along with showcasing some of the project’s successes, this paper will place an emphasis on the lessons NMAAHC has learned over time and how we have approached the challenges that have arisen. It is our hope that after hearing our presentation other institutions will be empowered to start their own public digitization programs.

Chair
avatar for Lindsay Mattock

Lindsay Mattock

Assistant Professor, University of Iowa School of Library and Information Science
Professor Mattock completed her doctorate at the University of Pittsburgh School of Information Sciences. She also holds a MLIS with a concentration in Archives, Preservation and Records Management and a BA in Film Studies. Her professional experience as a video-technician and training... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for AJ Lawrence

AJ Lawrence

Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
AJ Lawrence is the Media Archivist for the Robert F. Smith Digitization Fund at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC. He has been with the museum since 2017 and previously worked with the American Archive of Public Broadcasting... Read More →


Wednesday October 3, 2018 09:00 - 09:30
Main Hall / Auditorium Department of Economics, University of Ghana, Legon

Attendees (6)