As a last-minute decision, I decided to go home for a week for Canadian Thanksgiving. I got a lot of weird looks when I said I was home on Thanksgiving break–in October. Though I was going home to enjoy my family and friends, I did make myself a To Do list before I left. But let’s just say that I didn’t finish it.
However, my week off wasn’t a total bust. I was talking with my mom, who also happens to be the librarian in my hometown, about the end of this semester and my upcoming independent project. I was telling her about the different options I could do and that I wanted to produce something that was going to be useful once I was finished with it. I had looked into Omeka a little bit and was interested in playing around with the site, so I asked her if we could do something that could mutually benefit each other. She had always wanted to start a historical component to the library and had the donations to do it, but never the time or resources. I had looked at what she had collected from locals and noticed quite a few postcards.
This was it. I could start an archival website, using Omeka, with a collection of postcards. This way, more items or collections could be added as time permitted or as more donations were given.
So I scanned in all of the postcards as TIFFs at 600 DPI. Thanks for the tip, Tim. I noticed that not all of the postcards were marked with their creators which was a little disappointing because I knew that might be an issue. However, I found out later that I should have measured the originals, but I found out too late as I was already back in Canada. *Exasperated eyeroll*
Then I really looked into Omeka and signed up for a free trial. The building-end of the site was really easy to maneuver. I was able to pick my URL and my site name and with an “abracadabra,” my site was made. By coincidence, I had decided to create a collection first: Cashton Postcards. It was here that I became unsure. There was information that I didn’t have like the postcard creators, publishers, etc. Was this going to be a major issue? I skipped over the information that I didn’t have and decided to add an individual item into the collection. I ran into the same problem here. Not all the postcards had the information I needed, I didn’t know who donated each individual postcard, and like I said earlier, I hadn’t measured the original postcards.
I think this will end up being an interesting project for me as I get to learn more about online catalogs, digitizing a variety of media, and metadata. I’ve already made some mistakes, and I’m sure there will be more, but hey, the grade isn’t everything, is it?