Tag Archives: catalog

HCLE Autumn 2016 Progress Report

Welcome to the autumn quarter of 2016 HCLE report. We share many of these news items via our outlets (wiki, blog, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) and collect them here for your and our convenience.

Our staff of 1.4 FTEs, volunteers and outside collaborators reached the following milestones in the winter (October through December) of 2016.

 

Catalog

  • Our cataloging process was documented to aid training and make comparisons with outside suppliers.

Collaboration

  • An initial and encouraging contact was made with Greta Nagel from the Museum of Teaching and Learning.

Outreach

  • Liza Loop addressed Jerry Herberg’s class on “Computing in the 21st Century Classroom”

Operations

  • We solicited and are reviewing bids for outside suppliers to produce our Proof of Concept.

Please pass our news along, especially if you know someone else who will want to contribute money, know-how, artifacts, stories, or connections. Even by glancing at what we’ve done, you’re helping make HCLE happen as you pass along the story. Thank you.


  • Fundraising

Following our fundraising strategy defined previously, we are preparing news releases based on the Make versus Buy process and Liza Loop’s Geekfest presentation. The releases will be used as introductions and reminders to possible funders, both individuals and organizations.

We were encouraged by the response to our submission to “A Great Tweet Will Win $10,000 Each for 10 Small Nonprofits”, an innovative funding instrument exercised by DeluxeCare. HCLE was not in their fields of study for 2016, but they encouraged us to look for 2017’s topics.

 

  • Collection

Liza Loop added items by Murray Turoff and Starr Roxanne Hiltz, key contributors to online conferencing starting in the 1960s.

 

  • Catalog

Our trial of various suppliers of catalog maintenance systems continues. To aid in making comparisons we documented our current cataloging process using our proprietary Catalog Maintenance System. The documentation will aid training of volunteers and staff, and provide a benchmark against other suppliers.

The Collector Systems trial has been delayed awaiting changes in their software, a migration from our original import to a more proper variation of their software, and a review of the crosswalk linking pertinent field names from the HCLE list to the Collector Systems list. In the meantime, we will continue to use our Catalog Maintenance System.

The criteria list for ranking suppliers is being reviewed in case we decide to not use Collector Systems.

In conjunction with our Proof of Concept effort, two contractors, Logikbar and Webhelper, are also tasked with estimating the effort required to provide an alternative cataloging system, whether custom-built or using something like Salesforce or Adobe Catalyst.

 

  • People/Volunteers

Our current team of volunteers and consultants continue to help with specific issues with the Catalog Maintenance System and miscellaneous system administration tasks.

We are pleased to introduce new volunteers and enthusiasts that have experience in the history of computing in learning and education.

Previously, we mentioned Chuck House and Jenny Better House. Chuck House has released a book on interviewing, which is being reviewed.

Andy Molnar may aid in promoting existing interviews, conducting a Future Flashback interview, and contributing to possible exhibits such as NSF impact and military origins of educational technology.

Murray Turoff and Starr Roxanne Hiltz, as well as Marie Hicks are becoming familiar with our efforts.

 

  • Outreach

Liza Loop addressed Jerry Herberg’s class on “Computing in the 21st Century Classroom. The slides are available on our blog, Are my old lessons still needed in new classrooms?

In support of our planned virtual reality exhibits, Liza Loop attended VR for Good in Esalen from October 9-14.

GeekFest Berlin 2016 made Liza Loop’s video available online and also provided a copy so we may create more succinct excerpts. The editing has begun on five topics.

  • LO*OP Center’s history
  • How LO*OP recevied Apple 1 #1
  • Distance Learning
  • Computer Literacy
  • Moving Electrons versus Moving People

We proposed a workshop for the 2017 Society of California Archivists Annual General Meeting (AGM) April 27-29 in Pasadena. The workshop will convey our experience with our Catalog Maintenance System Make Versus Buy process, and will help others modify HCLE’s process to meet their criteria and situation.

We are considering attending various events in 2017. Final decisions have not been made pending responses to various presentation proposals and funding constraints. The following are the candidates as of the end of December 2016.

 

blog posts published

 

Social Media Traffic Report

1/1/2014 12/29/2014 12/30/2015 12/31/2016
Facebook 59 91 104 171
Twitter 67 271 408 493
WordPress 18 42 49 50
Wikispaces 12 41 62 69

 

  • Wiki

The HCLE wiki continues to act as a communications center and as a digital loading dock.

We conducted a link check to eliminate or correct broken links. The exercise emphasized the value of PURLs, Permanent URLs, and regular maintenance.

 

  • Collaborations

An initial and encouraging contact was made with Greta Nagel from the Museum of Teaching and Learning. This is important and fortuitous because there are very few museums or institutions devoted to preserving the history of teaching and learning. Mutually supportive initiatives are being discussed.

Chuck House is a long term Computer History Museum trustee and founder and executive director of InnovaScapes Institute. Mutually beneficial activities are being discussed.

Kevin Savetz and Liza Loop are collecting materials from the 1999 Vintage Computer Festival.

 

  • Exhibits

The previously mentioned virtual reality project has been postponed for reasons outside HCLE control.

The oral history of David Minger, an education administrator, was captured to document some of the systemic implications of computing and automation in managing students, class, registration, and funding.

 

  • Operations

We solicited and are reviewing bids from outside suppliers to produce our Proof of Concept. A dedicated and well-funded effort may produce a demonstration site that can be used for communicating our vision and to engage collaborators, enthusiasts, and funders. At the close of the quarter, Logikbar and Webhelper were producing time and cost estimates that will be reviewed in January of 2017. The scope of work will include database improvements for our catalog maintenance system, the Proof of Concept (aka our Museum Lobby), and video editing of our 2016 presentations.

 

  • LO*OP Center

    • HCLE supported the LO*OP Center Annual meeting in December.

HCLE Summer 2016 Progress Report

HCLE Summer 2016 Progress Report

 

Welcome to the summer quarter of 2016 HCLE report. We share many of these news items via our outlets (wiki, blog, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) and collect them here for your and our convenience.

Our staff of 1.4 FTEs, several volunteers and many outside collaborators reached the following milestones in the winter (July through September) of 2016.

 

 

Fundraising

  • We updated our strategy to take advantage of our Oral History Workshop and our Make versus Buy process.

Catalog

  • The initial phase of our Make versus Buy process resulted in a trial of Collector Systems and a potential $300K savings.

Collaboration

  • The content of the Oral History Workshop is being edited prior to publication.

Outreach

  • Liza’s presentation at the Geekfest 2016 Berlin conference was well received.

 

Please pass our news along, especially if you know someone else who will want to contribute money, know-how, artifacts, stories, or connections. Even by glancing at what we’ve done, you’re helping make HCLE happen as you pass along the story. Thank you.


A Pioneer has passed

Seymour Papert, co-founder of the MIT Media Lab (then known as the AI Lab). Liza worked with him briefly in the 1980s and taught his childrens programming language, LOGO, in several California schools.

Although Seymour’s work is already well documented, his death highlights the urgency of our museum’s oral history work. Other prominent Pioneers are approaching the end of their lives. Many have not had a chance to provide such a complete legacy. We are working on a virtual exhibit to highlight Seymour’s numerous advances and accomplishments within the field of education and computing. His work is appreciated. His loss is felt.


 

  • Fundraising

    • Strategy

We updated our fundraising strategy to take advantage of our inaugural Oral History workshop (see below), the opportunity to refine our Cal Humanities proposal, and the preliminary results of our Make Versus Buy process (see below). In general, we intend to use feedback from our recent CalHum proposal to update our appeals. The results of the workshop are also an opportunity to demonstrate some of what we hope to preserve and accomplish. The results of the Make Versus Buy process help demonstrate one way we intend to support the creation of the museum.

After we’ve incorporated the feedback from CalHum, we intend to contact Foundations and NGOs with the news of the various updates.

If there are no direct responses, we intend to revisit the Kickstarter campaign, contact key foundation board members for advice, referrals, and hopefully resources.

We’re revisiting our list of foundations and so far have researched candidates to contact from:

      • Kresge
      • Moore
      • Broad
      • Sloan
      • Carnegie
      • Kresge
      • MacArthur

We welcome suggestions about who to contact.

In preparation for the next Kickstarter campaign that will target funding our Proof of Concept, we’ve drafted a series of interview questions from which we’ll create a video interview of Liza. A good video is highly recommended for Kickstarter campaigns, which is why we are focusing on a simple, yet hopefully effective approach.

 


  • Collection

    • social media

Our social media campaign is predominantly for advocacy, collaboration, and fund raising, but it has also been uncovering and collecting digital artifacts, online collections, and oral histories. We conducted a review of the discoveries and compiled them for eventual inclusion in our Catalog.


  • Catalog

    • Catalog Maintenance System – Make Versus Buy

We completed the main selection phase of our Make Versus Buy analysis. After reviewing approximately two dozen candidates, we decided to begin a trial of Collector Systems. Estimated savings are of ~ $300,000 and a shortening of the software timeline of approximately six months. Collector Systems was chosen because it is a cloud-based solution, with relatively low recurring and non-recurring costs, that is somewhat customizable, and that can be readily scaled as needed. The cost of the study was ~$800.

Our preliminary evaluation of the trial is inconclusive because of an interruption in communications, plus a miscommunication about the particular software package we should be using. Liza’s conversations with their CEO enabled a free extended trial until we’ve made our decision. At the close of the quarter, Collector Systems was shifting us to the software package more appropriate for museums, and using our map of the metadata crosswalk to modify their displays to match our needs. They were very receptive to suggested improvements such as including social media in the contact information. A gallery was created with relative ease, but will be probably be replaced after the account is switched to the museum system.

Concurrently, we will continue to use HCLE’s Catalog Maintenance System because it is our established process and we may need to return to it.

One consequence of our review has been an improved documentation of our current digitization, cataloging, and artifact management process. If we choose Collector Systems, we will similarly document the process.

We continue to improve our Catalog Maintenance System by fixing bugs and improving functionality.


  • People/Volunteers

    • Student Project

Liza attended the Sonoma State Internship Faire to recruit interns to work on any of eleven tasks.

Our current team of volunteers and consultants continue to help with specific issues with the Catalog Maintenance System and miscellaneous system administration tasks.

Kimberly Loop has been contracted to edit the videos from the Oral History Workshop held in June.


  • Outreach

    • Events

The primary event was Liza’s participation as a presenter at GeekFest 2016 in Berlin. It was a two day event that “brings together the founding fathers of the early personal computer era and the first Hacker scene and there will be a panel of memories from this era.” Liza was invited partly because of her involvement in the Homebrew Computer Club and the West Coast ComputerFaire. Videos of the presentations are available on YouTube.

We are also preparing a workshop for next year’s Society of California Archivists Annual General Meeting (AGM) April 27-29 in Pasadena. The workshop will convey our experience with our Catalog Maintenance System Make Versus Buy process, and will help others modify HCLE’s process to meet their critieria and situation.

1/1/2014 12/29/2014 12/30/2015 9/30/2016
Facebook 59 91 104 137
Twitter 67 271 408 469
WordPress 18 42 49 49
Wikispaces 12 41 62 68

  • wiki

    • The HCLE wiki continues to act as a communications center and as a digital loading dock. An alternative format was proposed and is undergoing outside review.

We continue to refine the videos from the Oral History Workshop that was conducted in June with Leuphana University in Luneberg, Germany. The goal is to create a series of videos, one for each presentation.

We are also in discussions about possible publications, both informal and academic, based on the event.

No decision has been reached on holding a similar event in 2017, partly because of insufficient funding.

Inspired by the event, we are considering producing a monthly series of Oral History videos and podcasts. Each video would be an interview with an HCLE Pioneer. Questions would be standardized. The interviewee would have the opportunity to present several slides, which is one of the benefits of a video rather than a podcast.


  • Exhibits

    • Thanks to some auspicious networking, we are in discussion to create a demonstration exhibit using virtual reality.

  • Operations

    • There are continuing efforts to improve our processes within CiviCRM and our gallery exhibits.

  • LO*OP Center

    • No significant support efforts were required in the quarter.

  • admin

    • A web site and domain name audit was begun to manage site and file proliferation.

 

HCLE Catalog Progress – The Three Cs

One of the most important parts of our Virtual Museum is the catalog, the place where everything will have its place, and from which we will build exhibits and connect items in the collection to related people, institutions and topics. Rather than wait until it is done, we’ve decided to share our progress. The three C’s: Collections, Constituency, Content.

The following is mostly written by Liza Loop. This page, like all pages on the wiki, is a work in progress. Want to help?

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Introduction

Here’s the challenge. We have a collection of physical items – books, papers, letters, videos, audios, software on all media, urls, program listings, course syllabi, etc. Most of this “stuff” is on paper. I expect to have at least 10,000 items and grow from there. In addition we have hundreds of web links to digital items other people and organizations have posted on the web. By combining these items in many different ways we can tell the story of how computing was learned and became a tool for learning in general. We need a comprehensive catalog to help us find these items.

We have three types of information to be managed — three C’s. Physical paper needs to be scanned to create digital images readable online. Computers, robot toys and ephemera need to be photographed. Then both physical and digital items need to be cataloged. All of this stuff is the “collection” and should be described in the Collection Catalog (first C). We also need some kind of constituency relationship management software (CRM) to keep track of members, donors, potential funders, authors, staff, volunteers — all the people and institutions that are related to a museum or library or archive. This will probably start with about 3,000 entries and grow. “Constituency” is the second C. I want to relate the people with the items catalog without having to double enter any of the data. For example, the volunteer who enters a piece of software into the catalog should have a record in the CRM and an identifying field (element) in the catalog. The third C is Content, specifically, the content of the web site we are building as a Virtual Museum. So our Collections Management System has to talk to our Constituency Management System and both have to work with our (Web) Content Management System. What are the best (most functional and easiest to maintain) open source tools to use for this? Simple, eh?

A Few Terms, Tools and Standards

2014 is a banner year for museums, libraries, archives and private collections to go digital. If each of us invents a different way of describing what we have to the world of web users most of our valued items will not be found. Hence the need for a common vocabulary (or “ontology”) and global standards. These indexing systems are not handed down from on high by some higher-than-human authority, they are created by groups of humans. The process comprises holding a series of meetings (who attends such meeting is a whole other issue), proposing a list of terms with descriptions, publicizing this list among potential users, trying it out over several years and eventually converging on a single “core” list with idiosyncratic additions (extensions) needed by differing communities of practice (say, automobile parts dealers and 4th grade school teachers). The builders of HCLE wish to be as compatible as possible with global standard as they emerge. The commentary in this section is aimed at exploring the major standards now being developed for describing the kind of “stuff” in our collection.

Digital Resource Locators

As our collection grows, more of our digital items are being hosted (stored on a computer connected to the Internet) by other institutions, (e.g. Stanford University Libraries Special Collections and Internet Archive) and not necessarily in HCLE’s own digital repository. To make these items show up on a museum visitor’s screen requires each one must have its own internet address. There are several competing methods for identifying online resources and HCLE is working on choosing which one to use. For those of you interested in this issue here’s an excellent explanation: About Persistent Identifiers.

Metadata and Ontologies (Specific HCLE details at HCLE Metadata discussions)

The question of how to describe different kinds of objects (items) online is being hotly debated today. Books are fairly straight forward since librarians have been exploring this issue for thousands of years. Other media, such as software, or complex content, such as a programmed teaching workbook, may require more description. HCLE needs a volunteer specialist who can advise us as we proceed down the metadata path. So far we have identified the following resources:

Metadata Agencies and Standards Committees

Some examples of metadata schemes

HCLE Tools

So far I’ve explored MS Access, MySQL, Omeka and I want to look at CiviCRM. One of our volunteer consultants has suggested that we should think of the task as implementing CiviCRM and extending it to include the catalog. I prefer to have the catalog be a single, simple, flat table rather than a complicated relational structure. I’m collecting opinions on this from advisers who have experience in this. I will either have to be dependent on volunteers or raise the money for paid consultants.

Stay tuned.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

There is plenty of work to do, and much of it is industry-wide. If you want to do more than just “Stay tuned”, then let’s talk about how we all can work on this together.