Irish Pamphlets Project Management & Workflow

Project Management

While the actual number of pamphlets that are going to be digitized for this project is not exceptionally large, there is a fair amount of historical background work that is going to go in to creating the website. The staff for the project will include a project director/manager, ideally one that has a subject speciality in Irish history. This will be a full-time position for the duration of the project. This person will be responsible for deciding which pamphlets to digitize, and will be the final checkpoint for all text transcriptions and biographic/timeline information. If the person that is hired for the project manager position has a background in or familiarity with Irish history, there won't be much, if any, call on the time of the archivist at the Archives of Irish America. If the person doesn't have this background, there might be a brief (~5 hours) demand on the archivist's time at the beginning of the project.

The project manager will oversee a team of student workers who will be responsible for the majority of the digitization and transcription of the pamphlets. If possible, the project should pay these students; if not, they will be unpaid interns with course credit. The student workers will also be responsible for compiling the list of important events/people that will be highlighted on the website. If possible, these students will also do some of the background research on the newspaper clippings and other information that will be used in these biographes and on the timeline. If this seems like too much for the students to handle, a part-time person might have to be brought on to the project for a brief period to do some of this research.

Additionally, there is going to be a website developer on a short-term, contract basis, that will manipulate an Omeka theme to suit the needs of the project.

Workflow

The first step for this project is to select the pamphlets for digitization. This project is focusing on a smaller part of a much larger collection, but we want to make sure that everything we are including is relevant to the digital site, but also that we are not missing something that might be relevant from a different part of the collection. Once all of the pamphlets are selected, each one will be assigned a number for identification.

The next step will be to digitize all of the pamphlets, and to save the files with each unique ID number. Ideally we would scan a preservation copy first, and then make a smaller, more web-accessible copy from that preservation copy. However, before the smaller file is created, we would check the scan for quality to ensure that we don't waste time making duplicates of poor quality scans. As each pamphlet is scanned, someone on staff will be working to enter in all metadata for both the print and digital items.

This project will be using Omeka, which has a place to enter in a transcription of a printed image file. Once the image file has been created, the next step will be to create a transcription of the pamphlet itself, so that the text will be searchable. Due to the small-ish number of pamphlets, with varying amounts of text, we will be doing these transcriptions by hand.

Once both the transcription and the metadata are completed, both will need to be proofread. The metadata will simply be proofread by someone other than the person who created the original. The transcription will be proofread by a team, with someone reading out the original and someone checking the transcription.

As the site is also going to feature brief biographies of the important people connected to the collection, as well as a timeline to give historical context, the next step will be to check the pamphlet for key names or events mentioned in the text, or who authored the pamphlet. We will hold this running list until we go through all of the pamphlets, and then go back and create the bios and timeline, so we don't duplicate anything, and can also see the relationships between the different pamphlets.

Since we are using Omeka, we can upload images and text as we go along, but will hold off on making anything "public" until the entire site is completed.

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