Digitization (YCW Project)
Posted on December 2, 2019
Hello! My name is Christina Borys and I am currently the Collections Assistant – Digitization here at the University of Alberta Museums (UAM). This position is partially funded through the Young Canada Works (YCW) at Building Careers in Heritage program offered by the Government of Canada. The YCW at Building Careers in Heritage program sponsors internships for students and recent graduates to develop work skills and gain professional experience with organizations from the heritage, arts, and cultural sectors. Over the next six months I have been tasked with a digitization project here at the UAM, developing tools and resources for collections and unit staff, and testing out my resources through photographing collections and uploading them to our database and new search site.
I recently completed my Master’s in Library and Information Studies this past spring at the University of Alberta, and I have previously completed my Bachelor of Arts here as well with a double major in anthropology and classics. My undergraduate degree is really what sparked my interest in cultural heritage and memory institutions. I was lucky enough to be able to study abroad several times during my undergrad: I attended a semester in Cortona, Italy; an archaeological dig in Oppido Lucano, Italy; as well as a field school in Belgrade, Serbia, which spurred a passion for travel as well as a deep exploration into the ways we connect with spaces through objects and (surprise!) photography. While on my field school in Belgrade, I completed a photography project allowing me to explore film and street photography by taking pictures of my everyday surroundings. Though this project focused on the affective aspect of photography, my later work digitizing Métis scrip documents allowed me to see how photography can be used for cultural memory work and preservation. I am excited for the opportunity to learn and grow in this position as a recent graduate and a new professional in the field and to start putting all that theory into practice!
You can find posts about this project here
You can find a list of online digitization resources here
Throughout the next few months I will be using this blog to track this project and some of the challenges and successes along the way. Digitization has become such a large part of cultural heritage institutions and will inevitably play a part in any future career I hold in this field, so I am looking forward to being able to obtain hands-on experience in this area and work through a project from start to finish. Hopefully through providing a reflection of my own experiences doing this project, I can offer some helpful tips and tricks to those wanting to take on a similar project.