Next week, La MaMa Archives will collaborate with Liza Harrell-Edge, Manager of Digital Initiatives for the New School Special Collections, to convene a Collective Access documentation edit-a-thon. The event is modeled after the Documentation Hack-a-thons that the Digital Library Federation and the Association of Moving Image Archivists collaboratively hosted in 2013 and 2014. We’re hoping it will begin to open up a broader conversation within the Collective Access user-community– both in New York City and elsewhere.
Devoted users of the Collective Access cataloging platform know how flexible and extensible the software is. The developers at Whirl-i-Gig (who created the platform) offer a wonderful cookbook of documentation on their site– trouble is, this material is aimed at users with a high level of tech and coding competency. Documentation aimed at project managers with basic- or intermediate-level coding skills is still lacking. So we’re teaming up with the New School and other members of New York’s Collective Access User Group to share knowledge, and to start drafting documentation designed to help project managers better deploy the wide-ranging tools that the platform offers.
The general objectives of the event are to:
- identify gaps in existing documentation and try to fill them
- share what we’ve learned using CollectiveAccess
- share tricks and shortcuts
- offer tips re: what we wish we knew before we started
From a personal standpoint, I’m hoping we can develop at least some documentation in a Q+A format, to address questions like:
- “How do I search for all records created by a specific cataloger?”
- “How do I sort my search for entities by Last Name?”
- “What options exist for exporting data?”
Do you use Collective Access? Please join us! We’re gathering (for what we hope will only be the first of many edit-a-thon events) on Monday, June 15 from 4-7, at The New School,63 5th Avenue, L101 on the lower level. Email rachel [at] lamama [dot] org with questions.
And if you can’t join us, but want to participate, feel free to contribute to the shared document where we are collecting ideas: http://piratepad.nl/buJvOGnNMt