Picturing the Past and Planning for the Future: Central Florida Memory

The following chapter excerpt is from the fourth section of Digitization in the Real World; "One Plus One is Greater Than Two: Collaborative Projects." Download the entire chapter for free (PDF) or purchase the book online at Amazon.com.

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Author

Lee Dotson, Selma Jaskowski (University of Central Florida Libraries)

Abstract

Central Florida Memory Central Florida Memory is a collaborative digitization project to create a collection of primary sources related to Central Florida’s history that provides a compelling look at Central Florida before the area became a tourist destination. Through cycles ranging from limited resources to ample grant funding, the collaboration has grown from a small pilot project with three partners to over 80,000 images contributed by seven partners. Organized for the user, the website has been enhanced to create more user friendly methods of access and includes storylines, lesson plans, and links to other sites of interest. This paper provides lessons learned about how to incorporate a variety of materials from diverse institutions into a single digital collection.  

The Beginning -- 2002

When the directors of the University of Central Florida Libraries and the Orange County Library System came up with the idea for Central Florida Memory (CFM) over drinks in 2001, it seemed like a friendly way for the two institutions to collaborate on a project that would serve both academic and public library patrons and foster inter-institutional understanding.

With the addition of the Orange County Regional History Center, the three institutions had the necessary resources to begin building an exciting digital collection. In 2002, the group began meeting to evaluate the collections of the three partners and determine what materials in each collection would provide the most compelling and engaging look at Central Florida’s history.

Coming from very different missions and working environments, the partners recognized early on that this collaboration would take some work. Staffing, funding, and the capacity for participation needed to be discussed and an understanding of each institution’s identity and purpose gained. Through quarterly meetings where brainstorming was center stage, the group identified the strengths each partner could bring to the project. Committees were formed and populated with members from each institution to foster communication among participants as well as organize functional responsibilities. While the full group discussed and agreed on overall structure and support, the committees focused on operational tasks such as selection, metadata and cataloging, storyline, marketing, and evaluation and assessment. The scope of the project was defined, collections examined and material chosen for inclusion in what was hoped would become the definitive site on the history of Central Florida.

Pilot Project -- 2002

When the directors of the University of Central Florida Libraries and the Orange County Library System came up with the idea for Central Florida Memory (CFM) over drinks in 2001, it seemed like a friendly way for the two institutions to collaborate on a project that would serve both academic and public library patrons and foster inter-institutional understanding.

With the addition of the Orange County Regional History Center, the three institutions had the necessary resources to begin building an exciting digital collection. In 2002, the group began meeting to evaluate the collections of the three partners and determine what materials in each collection would provide the most compelling and engaging look at Central Florida’s history.

Coming from very different missions and working environments, the partners recognized early on that this collaboration would take some work. Staffing, funding, and the capacity for participation needed to be discussed and an understanding of each institution’s identity and purpose gained. Through quarterly meetings where brainstorming was center stage, the group identified the strengths each partner could bring to the project. Committees were formed and populated with members from each institution to foster communication among participants as well as organize functional responsibilities. While the full group discussed and agreed on overall structure and support, the committees focused on operational tasks such as selection, metadata and cataloging, storyline, marketing, and evaluation and assessment. The scope of the project was defined, collections examined and material chosen for inclusion in what was hoped would become the definitive site on the history of Central Florida.

Download the entire chapter for free (PDF) or purchase the book online at Amazon.com.

References

Book 24: Carey Hand Funeral Home records, April 1, 1924 - August 21, 1924. (n.d.). Central Florida Memory. Retrieved August 14, 2005, from http://www.cfmemory.org

Central Florida Memory grant writing committee. (2004). Central Florida Memory. [Institute of Museum and Library Services grant proposal]. Orlando, FL. Retrieved December 1, 2009, from http://www.cfmemory.org/Share/About/Narrative.pdf

Central Florida Memory website. (2003). Retrieved May 11, 2003, from http://centralfloridamemory.lib.ucf.edu.

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Central Florida Memory website. (2009). Retrieved March 13, 2010, from http://www.cfmemory.org

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Digital Services Tracking Database. (2005). Internal tracking database used at University of Central Florida Libraries. Orlando, Florida.

Dotson, L. (2005). See how it’s done. Central Florida Workshop for Museum & Library Personnel. Retrieved March 5, 2010, from http://www.cfmemory.org/Share/Workshop/Behind%20the%20Scenes%20I.ppt

Dunlop, D. (2005). How it all connects II. Central Florida Workshop for Museum & Library Personnel. Retrieved March 19, 2010, from http://www.cfmemory.org/Share/Workshop/ Metadata%20Part%202.ppt

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Gronlund, G. (2005). Weaving the story. Central Florida Workshop for Museum & Library Personnel. Retrieved March 27, 2010, from http://www.cfmemory.org/Share/Workshop/CENTRAL%20 FLORIDA%20MEMORY%20WEAVING%20THE%20STORY%209%2030%202005%202.ppt

iArchives process. (2010). Retrieved February 20, 2010, from http://www.iarchives.com/process.shtml

IMLS National Leadership grants. (2010). Retrieved February 17, 2010, from http://www.imls.gov/applicants/grants/ NationalLeadership.shtm.

Lavoie, J. (2005). Showing it to the world. Central Florida workshop for museum & library personnel. Retrieved February 23, 2010, from http://www.cfmemory.org/Share/Workshop/ Showing%20it%20to%20the%20World.ppt

Library services and technology act grants. (2008). Retrieved January 14, 2010, from http://dlis.dos.state.fl.us/bld/grants/LSTA/ LSTAinfo.pdf

Moving theory into practice digital imaging tutorial. (2010). Retrieved March 15, 2010, from http://www.library.cornell.edu/preservation/tutorial

 Orange County voter registration. (n.d.). Central Florida Memory. Retrieved August 15, 2005, from http://www.cfmemory.org

PALMM documentation. (2010). Retrieved March 11, 2010, from http://fclaweb.fcla.edu/node/572/

Success story: Central Florida Memory. (2009). In A new story based approach to digital collection [OCLC CONTENTdm brochure]. Retrieved March 5, 2010, from http://www.oclc.org/us/en/services/brochures/211595usc_F_CentralFloridaMemory.pdf