Last Thursday, our team had the pleasure of participating in the Metropolitan New York Library Council’s Annual Conference (#metrocon15), on the 14th floor of Baruch College’s vertical campus at 24th and Lex. The event offered a pleasant reminder of the vibrancy of NYC archives and libraries, and the power of this professional community.
The day kicked off with a keynote by the media scholar Siva Vaidhyanathan, who offered a set of sobering reflections about creeping internet privatization and the role of information workers in maintaining the open and public nature of the web. Vaidhyanathan’s talk was followed by several sessions worth of overlapping project briefings. We got to hear Sarah Gentile discuss the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s digital archive, Mark Matienzo reflect on the Digital Public Library of America’s ingest process, and Jennifer Vinopal explain the work of the NYC Digital Humanities Group, among other presentations. We also had the chance to schmooze, chat, and network with colleagues from Barnard, the Center for Jewish History, NYU, XFR Collective, the Brooklyn Public Library, the Theater Library Association, and Long Island University.
Most delightfully, we had the opportunity to present about the work we’ve been doing on the Pushcart Project. To a packed room, we offered a brief introduction to both La MaMa’s archival collections and the methods guiding our catalog development. We covered a great deal of ground in 30 minutes — we discussed our use of metadata standards and controlled vocabularies; the key components of our customized CollectiveAccess database; and the challenge of describing experimental theater events and documentation.
It was a lovely day, and a great way to introduce our project to the NYC library and archives community. (This was our first time presenting about the project.) We plan to post the powerpoint slides from our presentation shortly. In the meanwhile, you can see a curated set of storify-ed tweets from the presentation here.
See you next year, #metrocon!
Note: For another account of the conference (including a short description of our panel) , check out the post that the Jozef Pilsudski Institute of America has posted on their site.