Surveying and Editing the Metadata of Our Marathon: The Boston Bombing Digital Archive
Document TypeLightning Talk
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AbstractIn this talk, I will discuss my experience surveying and editing the metadata of a large crowdsourced public history archive. The Our Marathon collection includes nearly 8,000 items, with materials ranging from letters to collages to oral histories and other first-person accounts collected in the wake of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Along the way, collaborations were established between Northeastern University and the NPR radio station, WBUR, the Boston Globe, and the Boston Public Library. This archive bears some resemblance to other projects that used crowdsourced materials in response to a public trauma, such as the September 11 Digital Archive and the Hurricane Digital Memory Bank relating the experiences of Katrina and Rita. I added to and edited the Metadata Object Description Schema (or MODS) records from this collection, in order to clarify the copyright status, associated names and subjects of these materials, as well as the languages used in certain items, so as to improve discoverability for researchers viewing the collection through Northeastern University Library's Digital Repository Service. One of the biggest issues with these records initially was their lack of standardization and authorities, and in order to address these problems I needed to develop new ways of searching and surveying this collection. In working with this collection, I have realized that it presents some challenges that are perhaps unique to such a large, crowdsourced response to a shared trauma. Because this is a kind of memorial, with a goal of both community building and healing, it is important for users to be able to access this material on their own terms. Yet the large number of items in this collection require organization to allow for meaningful access.
Permanent Link to this Itemhttp://hdl.handle.net/20.500.14038/52787
RightsCopyright © 2023 Ryerson. This is an open-access document distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (CC BY 4.0). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) are credited.
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Copyright © 2023 Ryerson. This is an open-access document distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (CC BY 4.0). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) are credited.