October 16, 2017 – “Ampersand!”

Welcome back, everyone!

Before starting off, it would be apropo to mention the elephant in the room that this is indeed being written almost two days after the date shown in the title. Apologies are in order, but time that would have been used to write this post was used for a separate assignment. However, expect things to return to normally scheduled posts for the foreseeable future. Now, on to the business at hand.

As I logged in for the day, there were two reading assignments waiting for me. The first was an article by Ayda Pourasad and Julie Rogers titled “How NPR’s Research, Archives & Data Strategy team is saving sounds of the past for the future” (https://current.org/2017/05/how-nprs-research-archives-data-strategy-team-is-saving-sounds-of-the-past-for-the-future/) which goes over the history of the department when it was known as the NPR Library to its growth and the development of the Artemis digital audio archive. The other article was by the American Archive of Public Broadcasting titled “AAPB Launches Crowdsourcing Game” (https://americanarchivepb.wordpress.com/2017/04/20/aapb-launches-crowdsourcing-game/) which is about the visual-audio matching game, FIX IT, developed by the American Archive of Public Broadcasting. It encourages players to read and listen to correct the mistakes to rank up their score all the while teaching the player about how to transcript audio. Please take a look at FIX IT, when time is available.

The main work of the day was learning how to code the finding aid and the into Notepad Pro, a program I did not even know existed, with a more advanced version of HTML called XHTML. I never learned about it in high school, let alone work with it before. After some trial and error (mostly learning how to code the “&” symbol, which is called an “ampersand” apparently), I eventually got the hang of it and coded in the media section of the O’Shaughnessy collection.

It may not seem much in writing, but making sure the right tags are closed and the appropriate codes are correctly implemented is very time consuming. In the process of doing this, I checked some of the DVDs to make sure I knew the contents before categorizes them in the code. I used the finding aid Word Document I had been using previously as a reference on identifying what piece of media I was coding in.

Ms. Rubin proved to a valuable source to rely on in case I ran into a problem. If the code somehow was broken, she was able to help me to identify the the problem. Usually this included not making the ampersand code (“&”) or there was a tag not properly closed. Fortunately, this was not a constant recurrence and I learned what I should be looking for as I advanced through the coding process.

Eventually, I managed to complete coding the two media boxes and their contents. The next set of the collection were the photographs and this would be a bit more complicated. Not only did I need to code in the the folders that contained the photographs, but they needed to be reorganized and the folders were in need of relabeling, just what I was concerned with. I would not finish this with the remaining time I had left.

So, I learned to code in a language I had never used before, began creating the real finding aid, and managed to finish coding a part of the collection. Not bad for a first timer. That was all for the day, but there was more to come. Until next time, stay safe and enjoy your day!

Author: 57r3l574d

I am currently a Graduate Student at the University of Central Florida and simultaneously employed by the university library's Special Collections and University Archives as a Other Personnel Service (OPS) Student. Expected to graduate in 2019 with a History MA - Public History Track.

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