Archives have traditionally been where old documents, photos, and other forms of material are kept safe for long-term preservation and access. The primary source materials contained in these repositories are an important educational resource, but are not always easy to find. Documents related to one area can be contained in various repositories that are located across the United States. There are many archives that don’t even have an online presence. Therefore, I propose the creation of a site and tool that would centralize an archive’s activities as well as provide one location for the public’s primary source material needs. All repository information, finding aids to collections, requests for further information, photographs, video, sound files, and payment transactions would be handled through this single content management system.
This site would produce benefits for both parties involved – the organizations responsible for maintaining and providing access to the archival materials as well as the users. The users would be the general public (researchers, scholars, and students) seeking valuable primary sources of information. This website would allow archives to improve their online presence (and create one if needed), content, and their various operations (information requests, requests for scans of documents, photographs, video, and sound files). This website would contain various tools that would help organizations promote archival resources and services to users, grow and diversify their audience, increase access to archival materials and share the knowledge, images, video, and sound contained within their records. It would also increase efficiency, productivity, and decrease turnaround time for patron requests.
Organizations will have their own login, be able to create and maintain their own institutional “page” information, add and edit finding aids to their various collections, manage different material requests and orders, process payments (if applicable) and foster discussions with their patrons. It would essentially allow archives or any organization possessing archival material to do more with less – something that has become expected in the current economy. Meanwhile, the public would have greater and more convenient access to primary source materials than ever before. Individual users of this site, through their own login, will be able to search through the collections of organizations apart of the site and gain access to the services they provide. My goal is to create an easy to use content management system designed specifically for archives that would allow them to create a better user experience and provide enhanced services to their patrons.
This would be a hosted system enabling the organizations that manage archival records to display their content and interact with patrons. To access additional functions and support, there would be a premium membership available for a minimal annual fee. Each repository would establish their own guidelines and fees (if any) for materials requested (document, photo, sound, and video) within their archive. These fees would depend on several factors including the number of items that are requested as well as the time, energy, and resources needed to fulfill the request.
Search Collections: by Location
Entrance Page Animation
Search by Location
Social media will be a major part of my marketing strategy. I intend to use various social media sites as a means of displaying the vast and variety of collections available on my site to access and use for research.
University of Pennsylvania Archives on Facebook:
This is a great example of a well-done facebook page. I also noticed that they did something very clever. Under “Info” for their page instead of simply putting the history by year of the actual Archives that the facebook page represents, they put down all the important events that occurred during the history of the University or the records that they contain. In this sense, it is more like a timeline of the records.
COCA-COLA SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS:
The Coca-Cola Archives Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CokeArchives
Coca-Cola Archives Twitter: https://twitter.com/coke_archives
The best-operated archive related social media accounts belong to the Coca-Cola Company. They have a great blog, Facebook page and Twitter account. They are a huge corporation, likely have a ton of funding and being invented in 1886 have a lot of great iconic material to work with but they also happen to have some great Archivists employed there. They do great job with engaging the audience and there is a consistent look between the different accounts. The posts are short and well written, meaningful, and they do a wonderful job of engaging and responding to customers and all that express interest in the content they share.
D23′S ARMCHAIR ARCHIVISTS ON YOUTUBE:
Disney does not have social media accounts dedicated to only their archives but they DO an interesting feature called “D23’s Armchair Archivists” that they publish onto their YouTube channel. Disney started releasing these productions of Armchair Archivists every week in November 2010. They are short videos that with a host take the public behind the scenes of Walt Disney Archives. They often examine the significance and history behind some of the items that are stored in the archives. For example, one week Armchair Archivists focused on the props and costumes from the Avengers movie, another video focused on Disney’s voice actors and the records from past movies, and another took a look into the Disney animation research library. This is a great way for Disney to get fans of their shows, movies, and other products engaged not only with current productions but past ones as well.
I would love to do something similar on YouTube with my site and the different collections featured there. It’s a different and engaging way of presenting the history and significance behind the information that my site will contain.
Online Publications – PR Article:
The Huffington Post - is a general online news site aimed at a wide audience. It would increase visibility and knowledge of my site to a large audience if I could get an article about Archiverse published in such a publication.
Inside Higher ED - http://www.insidehighered.com/
I feel that widely read online publications such as Insider Higher Ed and The Chronicle of Higher Education would also be good places for an article about my site to appear. These publications are geared towards a much more specific audience, those interested in education. This would be an ideal audience for what my site has to offer.
The Chronicle of Higher Education -http://chronicle.com/section/Home/5/
Example article: http://chronicle.com/article/Digital-Library-of-America/143489/
Engadget – Engadget is another widely read blog that deals much more with technology related topics. Many of those that regularly read this blog could be interested in my site. It can be a way for news about Archiverse to reach a relevant but somewhat different niche. There are many educators and librarians who also read Engadget but there are also those who read this blog that don’t read the other publications.
Example article: http://www.engadget.com/2013/04/18/digital-public-library-of-america-launches-in-beta/
LISNews – Is a collaborative blog devoted to current events and news in the world of library and information science. One of the most widely read library science publications along with Library Journal. Librarians, the teachers and students they interact with will be a major user of my site so it’s important to get publicity that is geared towards them as well.
Example article: http://lisnews.org/libraries_in_the_time_of_moocs
Library Journal -
Information Today, Inc. –
Example article: http://www.infotoday.com/OnlineSearcher/Articles/Features/HathiTrust-and-Digital-Public-Library-of-America-as-the-future-88089.shtml