I spent a lot of time yesterday playing around on Omeka. And despite my efforts I don’t have a lot to show for it. I found myself going through old folders of data, eager to label and identify my objects carefully – only to realize that I’d developed multiple labeling systems or had only tagged half of my content. I have a new appreciation for the amount of planning and foresight required in the organization of huge datasets and primary documents.
But the activity also raised some interesting questions for me about traditional scholarship (in which I access archival materials and write about what I find, providing citations) and digital scholarship (where I want, in part, to SHOW you the things that I found) and made me think about getting permissions for and digitizing all of the documents I’d love to include in a digital collection. Given that sources are housed in different archives (and that none of them are digitized and most of them aren’t indexed) the project in my mind just tripled in complexity. Where does one even begin?