Students from the Fall 2017 Cultural Informatics class have made their final posts about their projects (cataloguing and presenting 24 items via a CMS) and their summaries and visualizations from the Fall. You’ll find those posts here, one from each student in the class. Thank you all for a great fall semester! If anyone is interested in Cultural Informatics or this course, I will offer it again in 2181 (Fall 2018).
This week (October 2-6, 2017), students in MUSE 359 begin installing two exhibitions whose origins are described below.
The first exhibit is The Stories They Tell 4, a continuation of an annual collaboration, begun in 2015, between the RIT Archives and the Museum Studies program. Continue reading “Origin Stories: The Stories They Tell & Spirited”
This site is one of the digital workspaces for museum studies students to disseminate their work. This site began in the Fall 2015, specifically as a means of dissemination for work created by students enrolled in the Cultural Informatics class. From September-December 2015, the site was used by Prof. Juilee Decker and the students enrolled in the Cultural Informatics course Prof. Decker developed and teaches. Continue reading “Welcome to the Museum Studies Digital Workspace at RIT”
MUSE 359 was one of my favorite classes. After spending my summer in the RIT archive, this class was the perfect follow up. I got to build an exhibit, use CMS sites and even create my own collection. This class is everything a museum lover should take. As part of my final project I had to summarize my experience. I’ve learned a lot about Metadata, finding aids and collections and I look forward to MUSE 360.
For my Project 3 I decided to have my WordPress site dedicated to my RVS VHS Tapes. Why these tapes? Aside from notable movies like Star Wars, Titanic and Strange Days, the movies had various extras including Vinyl soundtracks, film and books. Click the link to check out my movies and their extras!
I’m terrible at endings.
Try as I might to find a way to wrap things up, to come to logical and reasoned conclusions, I always seem to come up short. So in a very real way, my portfolio is a microcosm of how I work: disjointed, comprised of seemingly unrelated items, and ultimately interesting as an end result than in a journey there. Which is why my choices ended up being roughly chronological, based on the pieces I had read most recently, rather than tying together to tell a unified story.
The images were a particular pain point for me; as an avowed hater of clipart, finding meaningful visual aids to the summaries posed a major problem. In the end, I tried to strike a balance between relevance and simplicity, and sought to find images that, while not potentially making sense on their own, served as interesting supplements to the summaries themselves.
This project made me notice something: I don’t really collect things. Sure, I own quite a few objects, including a likely unhealthy amount of DVDs and CDs, but all of my purchases and acquisitions are essentially functional. Rather than defining who I am and what is important to me explicitly, they do so implicitly and primarily serve to be function. Which is why it was so lucky that my family happen to be big on collecting. Not just items, but also memories and experiences. For this project, I went with the largest collection we have in my household: things related to The Avett Brothers, a newgrass band that my family has obsessed over for what feels like forever.
The difficulties in working with items that are not directly my own mainly manifested themselves in trying to piece together a narrative; by creating a digital collection of these items, what narrative will I be telling? What can I add here? In the end, I tried to show what makes this band special to us, and how pervasive they are in our life.
For my final portfolio for this class, I chose to write about my personal experience with the three projects we did over the semester, and about six of the readings that I had found most interesting. For the projects, I spoke mainly about my experiences with them – why I chose the topics I did, what I felt I learned from them, and the steps I had to take while completing them. For the readings, I tried to summarize each, and then connect it to the topics we learned in class. I chose to write about the readings involving: Undergraduates at Work in the Archives, Smithsonian SIA and Crowdsourcing, Open Heritage Data and API’s, Ara Irititja, and Mukurtu. Although I enjoyed many of the readings we did throughout the semester, these are the ones that I found most interesting, and felt I would be able to talk about and draw connections with. In reflecting on these different parts of this class, I feel that I learned a lot, and I will be able to apply this knowledge going forward with my education and career.
For this project, I wanted to make an online collection of items I have acquired because of concerts. I chose four general categories of items – t-shirts, CD’s, posters, and photos, and created item hierarchies based on these categories. For me, this “big idea” of this project is to have a way to “store” all of these items for my personal memory, but also as a way to demonstrate something about my music interests. I personally think that the music a person enjoys says a lot about who they are as a person, so for someone who doesn’t know me, this website might tell them a little more about who I am as a person through my music interests.
So looking through the articles once again and working on the portfolio, had to think about how I’ve gone a bit of a distance. In the grand scheme of things considering how I still have classes in this MUSE major to go, probably not all the way, but a way nonetheless, and quite the way. If you asked me what metadata was back in August, for instance, I wouldn’t have the foggiest idea, and yet here I am making one of the five responses one regarding metadata, and using Omeka so I can put a fair bit of metadata. The Projects in themselves are also quite the distance, especially the work that was done in Projects 1 and 3. Gone a fair ways, and reflecting back on it with this final paper/portfolio was a nice way to send off the class.
I’m nearly finished completing the last assignment for this class, the Portfolio project. I initially encountered some difficulties, however, as Omeka was having technical issues and wouldn’t allow me to load my personal page or the RITMUSE Omeka page. This meant that I couldn’t find the “big idea” for my Cast Iron Exhibit from project #3, and I wasn’t able to gather any visuals for my response to project 2 (in which we uploaded a selection of objects from Project 1 to Omeka, WordPress, and Drupal). Omeka eventually began to work again, thankfully, so I was eventually able to obtain the visual documentation I needed. It was somewhat amusing, however, that while I was attempting to create a final summary of my experience working with different content management systems, one of them malfunctioned and therefore slowed me down. Still, Omeka ended up working, and I was able to continue on to screencap the tags I used for the Lodge Loaf Pan, to highlight the way I used the tagging option to provide an additional layer of context about the cookware in my exhibit.