Dana Dorman was the project manager for the Historical Society of Pennsylvania’s Greenfield Digital Project and is currently project manager for the William Still Digital History Project, which is focused on the Underground Railroad. Sarah Newhouse is the Project Assistant for the Greenfield Digital Project and a processing archivist at HSP.
ABA: In a few words, tell us what you’ll be talking about at the ABA meeting.
SN & DD: We’ll be talking about Closed for Business, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania’s new digital history project focused on the early years of the Great Depression and the December 1930 failure of Bankers Trust Company, a large Philadelphia bank. Our project uses TEI document encoding, HSP’s digital asset management system, and Drupal 7 CMS to give users access to over 300 documents and biographies of individuals and organizations. This project represents two and a half years of document selection, encoding, and web development.
ABA: What do you hope audiences will get from your talk?
SN & DD: We’d like our audience to walk away with a better understanding of a) what TEI encoding is and b) what it takes to manage and launch a project this. And we’d also like them to learn from our mistakes!
ABA: What is your favorite archives-related micro-presentation get-together that has “ABA” for initials and is celebrating its one year anniversary?
SN & DD: Alex, we’re going to go with ‘what is Archivists Being Awesome?’
ABA: On a scale from 1 – 10, (10 being hardest) how easy would it be for other archivists to implement the project you’re presenting here?
SN & DD: Depending on implementation, about a 7. As with all digital projects, this one is easier with in-house expertise, existing digital systems, and institutional support. But there are some open-source and commercial tools out there to help you tackle TEI projects, and more are on the way. This is probably not a great project for the lone arranger, but it could be scaled down.
ABA: Great, thanks Sarah and Dana. We look forward to hearing more about your project at the meeting!