Maintaining "Sustaining MedArt"

 

Maintaining "Sustaining MedArt"

It is early April, so the Sustaining MedArt team is once again preparing for the International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The project, originating with an initial usability survey in the autumn of 2014, explores the relationship between perceptions of site usability and sustainability. In particular, we entered this project wondering how user experiences correlate to preservation worthiness. 

In addition to preparing our grant report for the NEH (with ample input from Jedd Hakimi, in particular), Dr. Langmead and I are planning our portion of the Collective (A Roundtable). This collective presentation, listed on page 43 of the Medieval Congress 2017 program/tome, is sponsored by the Material Collective, “a collaborative of art historians and students of visual culture” seeking “to foster a safe space for alternative ways of thinking about projects.” For our participatory portion of this session, we will ask attendees to engage with questions about their personal collections of research images, among other things (await update in May!).

During and since the autumn, we’ve accomplished various tasks in preparation for writing our grant report and producing a socio-technical digital preservation roadmap. These are as follows:

  • We interviewed Dr. Alison Stones, co-creator of the MedArt, and Philip Maye, a major contributor to the site. From these interviews, we learned a great deal about the site’s origins and major moments of change throughout the past two decades.
  • Lindsay Decker, our courageous MLIS-student researcher, thoroughly examined various iterations of the website through an analysis of the website’s file tree and the hard drive on which former instances are saved. Screen captures on the Internet Archive have played a vital role throughout this research as well. The end result? A comprehensive index of the site(s) modeled after an archival finding aid. Lindsay has blogged about her research processes here and here.
  • Jedd Hakimi continues to research and write extensively in preparation for the final grant report. He has provided helpful frameworks for thinking about various aspects of the project throughout the past few months.
  • I am producing an academic poster (WATCH THIS SPACE!) and am applying for various conferences (ditto). I will also be posting our presentation from Kalamazoo in late May!
Categories: 
  • Current Projects
  • Sustaining MedArt
  • Graduate Work
  • VMW