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Poster session

Aug 08 2008

Yesterday was the Capstone Poster session for the iSchool. We each had 90 seconds to present our project and had to make a poster to go with it. I think that the session went very well. I was really happy with how my poster turned out. After watching a few people play with the website, I have a couple of minor changes to make this weekend, which I hope will help with usability.

Sno-Bliz Capstone poster

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Online Exhibit Live

Aug 05 2008

Mary and Ernest HansenWe are very excited to announce that the Sno-Bliz Online Exhibit is now live. The Online Exhibit is a a collection of Hansen’s Sno-Bliz memorabilia, including photographs, signs, articles, and video.

You can also check out and comment on some of our photographs on our Flickr account and our videos on YouTube.

 

So Close

Jul 30 2008

I am so close to launching the Online Exhibit I can almost taste it. As of right now, all of the pages on the site look and behave the way I want them to. I just have a few technical details to work out and some text to polish.

Uploading items to the exhibit is going well. I’m figuring out some pretty cool tricks that I can do with OpenCollection.

I’ve also run ABBY Fine Reader 8 (an OCR program) on many of the articles and other documents and created PDFs (with mostly clean OCR) for many of them which I’m including in the Exhibit.

If all goes well, I plan to launch the Online Exhibit on Tuesday.

I also decided to simplify my cataloging. I realized that it did not make sense to separate letters from paper documents, so I folded them into the paper documents category. I’ve updated my Naming Schema to reflect this.

Online Exhibit Preparation Update

Jul 24 2008

I have now gotten both OpenCollection and OpenCollectionAccess (a nice front end for OpenCollection) working on the site. I figured out how to add metadata elements, including Dublin Core. I also figured out lots of other things about how to organize stuff in OpenCollection, which I hope will add ease of browse and functionality to the Online Exhibit.

I also started working on changing the look of OpenCollectionAccess to what I want the Online Exhibit to look like, with some help from my friend Jesse. My friend Maggie pointed out that I need to make sure that the Online Exhibit is obviously a different place than the main site. I think that one of the ways to do this (other than my plan for a top nav and a different break in space for the nav) is to make the roll-over color for images different. The idea is that the color will be the roll over color for “Online Exhibit” on the main site and the “Main Site” link on the Online Exhibit will be blue. I’m thinking about going with a green, since so much of OCA already uses a green color and green is a good sno-ball color. So, the final product will probably look something like this (but I think the green will be darker):
design version 6a

I’ve uploaded and catalogued about 20 images so far. I even re-purposed one of the OC fields to link to a Flickr image of the object, and only show up on display if I’ve uploaded the image to Flickr. And I figured out how to make Flickr link back to the Online Exhibit. I’m really excited about this as I hope people will use either Flickr or email to let us know more about the pictures that we know almost nothing about.

As of right now, everything is locked up because I don’t want people seeing an unfinished product. I hope to be able to launch everything in a week to a week and a half.

OpenCollection

Jul 14 2008

After almost a week of trying to figure out everything that needed to be done to start running OpenCollection on SnoBliz.com, it is finally working. Now I can get to the fun part – uploading and cataloging everything that I digitized last month and setting up the Online Exhibit to look just how I want it to. I’m really excited about this. I currently have the directory hidden, but as soon as I get it where I want it, I’ll make it public.

A huge thanks to Jen and Thomas at drak.net, Seth at OpenCollection.org, and my really good friend Jesse Martinez. I couldn’t have done this with out all of y’all.

Scanning done

Jun 12 2008

I finished scanning everything yesterday. I have the exact totals at my finger tips, but I ended up scanning on site 1 cup design, a few letters/short-stories/poems, several business documents (like business cards and gift certificates), about 70 photographs, and 5 articles from magazines or newspapers (one was 12 pages long). I also took a bunch of digital photography for the website and the fun of it. I wasn’t able to take shots for a QTVR panorama because I didn’t have a tripod. But I hope to be able to make one for them at some point in the future (if one doesn’t get made for this project).

I finalized the main website design and am mostly done building the whole thing on a test server. I still need to get content from Ashley.

Also, I mocked up a look for the online exhibit part of the site. I like it and Ashley does too.

Online Exhibit Version 1:
Online Exhibit Mockup v1

Two days of scanning

Jun 07 2008

I’ve spent the past two days at Hansen’s Sno-Bliz scanning photographs and other items. So far we have a total of 49 digitized items, 40 of them photographs. All photograph and text items are being scanned in 24 bit color and at 400 ppi using a Brother MFC-465CN scanner.

For some reason the scanner is tinting everything slightly red, although the amount of red tint seems to vary. I made sure that my monitor was well calibrated, but it still happens, so I’m pretty sure it’s not my monitor. I’m getting good at color correcting for red.

The process generally goes like this: place photograph on scanner which already has the color bar on it (add the grey scale color bars to scanner if it is a black and white photo). From the Photoshop file menu open “Brother TWAIN”, pre-scan the image, select the area to scan, wait for image to scan. Immediately save tiff version of image as preservation copy. Color correct photo using eyes and color bar, rotate image so that it is straight, crop down to just around image. Save as tiff access copy. Catalogue image as best as possible (including measurements of original photo).

I’m getting pretty fast at this. I scanned 26 photographs today (and I even took a break to have a Cream of Ice Cream snoball).

Naming Schema for Hansen’s Sno-Bliz Digitized Files

Jun 03 2008

Basic naming schema

sb_xx9999_x.ext

sb = this is the code for all files to keep the set together.
xx = Two letter code to represent the original source*
9999 = number in which item was scanned. Numbering system is reset for each major type of item
x = type of digital file (preservation, access, derivative)**

*Working list of Two Letter Codes after preliminary assessment:

doPaper documents (such as business cards and letters)

Code Resource Type
ar Newspaper/Magazine Article
au Audio Recording
cg Collage of Photographs (scanned as one item)
cp Cup Image (Opaque or Transparency)
dp Digital photograph (photograph was born digital)
ph Photograph
sg Signs
vd Video Recording (either digitized or born digital)

**Types of digital files

A minimum of three digital files will be created for each digitized item. The raw totally unedited file is considered the preservation file and will have a ‘p’ at the end of the file name. A raw slightly edited (eg., color corrected, color bars removed, straightened) version of the file is considered the access file and will have an ‘a’ at the end of the file name. Any further modifications to the file (eg., shrinking, change of ppi, change of size, change of file type) is considered a derivative file and will have a ‘d’ at the end of the file.

If an item has to be scanned in parts, then there will be a letter after each part of the preservation file. The access file should be one complete file of the full stitched together image.

If there are multiple versions of a derivative file, each version will have a letter after the code, da, db, etc. The collage of photographs, the intent is to place the whole image and then detailed images of each photo online. For this purpose, each single photo section will have a two digit number after the letter d, d01, d02, d03, etc. Numbers will move from top-to-bottom and left-to-right across the collage.

Digitizing

May 29 2008

I’m back in Austin and I’ve started doing some digitization. Early this morning I had an appointment with the UT Library Digitization services and they digitized three of the large laminated photo collages for me. I’m really excited about those (and not only because I’m in one of them). My plan is to put up the entire image, but also break them up into smaller sections and place them on Flickr. Hopefully we’ll be able to find out some of the people that we don’t know.

Now I’m in the Lab digitizing some video. Two of the videos contained the same content from the Food Network, but the other one was a home movie from the early 90s that someone took while waiting online for a snoball one day.

I still need to come up with a naming schema. I hope to figure one out before next week when I start scanning the photos at the store (good thing my color bars from Amazon.com came in yesterday).

Prep-week update

May 24 2008

This has been a busy first full week on this project. I spent most of it doing prep work so that once I get started, everything will run smoothly.

I have met with archivists from Loyola, Tulane, and Historic New Orleans to see if they are interested in the collection and if the collection would be a good fit. I hope to have the archivists from Loyola and HNO come look at what we have before making a recommendation to Ashley.

Ashley and I also met with a graphic designer to talk about logos, design, and branding. She’s going to take a look at the website design, so I hope that she has some good suggestions for me soon.

I also spent a lot of time setting up things so that I can start really working on stuff. I helped Ashley purchase equipment both for the shop and for this project and then set it all up so that it works on both of our computers (we both use Macs, which makes everything really easy).

Young Ashley making a Sno-BlizAs part of testing some of the new equipment, I scanned my first photo for this project. This is a very young Ashley making a snoball with her grandmother Mary and father Jerry watching. The color is somewhat off. I ordered a set of color bars from Adorama.com, but they won’t come in until next week. I may rescan the photo after they come in.

I am currently in the process of setting up the backend of the website. Furthermore, I started a Flickr account and a Hansen’s Sno-Bliz Flickr Group, which already has a few members. I’ve added a widget to this blog to display random photos from the group.

I have also started thinking about metadata and file naming conventions for the online exhibit.

The next step is to start going through the collection and select fun things to digitize.

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