After our discussion last night, I’ve been thinking about Chris’ Navy Yard example for linked data. Last semester, I interned at the Transit Museum Archive, and one week I needed to assist a curator in finding photos of all things transit related to Times Square from 1940-60. Beyond doing a basic subject search in our PastPerfect records, I basically had to pore over hundreds of contact sheets with a magnifying glass, looking for signs of the station. Obviously, a linked data structure would come in handy for such a project, but how can such an under-funded and under-staffed archive ever hope to accomplish that? The backlog at the Museum’s archive is pretty intense – so shouldn’t that be be their main priority? Last night’s discussion has left me questioning where and how does an archive or library with a 3-person staff start on a project like this? Do they rely on grants, interns, consultants? As Chris mentioned, we need jobs when we graduate, but how can we realistically turn these project ideas into actual work getting done?

Advertisements