Week 6: Reflection

I was initially very anxious about metadata and the issue of representing material digitally in  away that is very conscious of the goal of the SCL. In so my approach to each object was somewhat slow and cautious, but a method that I honestly believed served me well. I began by reading the object for the most relevant content and attempting to understand the purpose and message of said object. After that I began filling the basic tabs of title, creator, date and type. Once those were finished I would brainstorm both subject terms and a description which I would edit after a second rereading of the item. In so the decisions I was making were ones I now feel comfortable with as there was also a continuous return to the vocabulary terms we generated as a group. If I had to estimate a time frame for each object I would say it was anywhere from 30-45 minutes. There were definitely a couple of materials that I was a bit apprehensive about and reviewed multiple times in an attempt to ensure that I had done the information it contained justice. I attempted to stays as accurate and close to the text as I could, but overall I reviewed the materials all on separate occasions and as a class made alterations based on the consensus on the vocabulary.  The items without a title were simply given a brief description regarding type, prevailing topic and creator. I personally found each and everyone of the readings to be helpful as many of them placed Watts in the necessary context that would permit us to approach this project with a certain degree of awareness. In addition to those I found the articles discussing Digital Humanities and counter histories very impactful as well as the combination  ultimately spoke to the project we are attempting to lay foundations for. 

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

Fire This Time by Gerald Horne

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

“Venus in Two Acts” by Saidiya Hartman 

Digital Humanities Chapter 1 Anne Burdick

Tagging is a way in which to further group and or describe the content of an object and I believe it would be beneficial if it was implemented as a way in which to add commentary. As the objects themselves are telling only of the content within them the library could utilize tags to propel their social justice goals by including tags that speak directly to their community and to the strides they are attempting to make. Adding commentary via tags would leave the object largely  as it  is while simultaneously allowing for the SCL to connect said object to the present or revisit the past and correct/comment on whatever narrative was/is being perpetuated. By using tags the commentary could even be a sort of disclaimer that leads viewers, who may not have the entire story of Watts, to a more open minded and socially/racially conscious mentality.

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