Accessibility and Archivability

Okay, so this is the follow-up post to this (or, rather, that was the aperitif post to this one). I was at the Joint Meeting of New York City & Mid-Atlantic Archive-It partner groups at METRO a little while ago, and a question came up about how to best guide creators towards good practices in the website development stage, to better support future preservation efforts. There are some guides in place for this (jump to...
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How do web archiving frameworks work?

“If you wish to make apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe.” If you wish to explain how web archiving works from a technical standpoint, you must first understand the ecosystem. I was anticipating (jk - it’s live now, here!!) writing a blog post about website archivability from a development perspective (“How can I make my website more archivable?”) but realized I needed to provide an overview of web archiving in general...
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The Collection Management System Collection

Crowd-sourcing a list of digital repository options. Here is the spreadsheet! Hey hey. It seems like every couple of months, I get asked for advice on picking a Collection Management System (or maybe referred to as a digital repository, or something else) for use in an archive, special collection library, museum, or another small “GLAMorous” institution. The acronym is CMS, which is not to be confused with Content Management System (which is for your blog)....
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Thanks, team: My time at the New York Public Library

I said I wouldn’t write a cheesy (or grumpy) Medium post about me leaving my current job, so I guess it’s fortunate I have my own blogging platform and I don’t have to be a hypocrite about it! 😘 Today is my last day at the 🦁 New York Public Library 🦁, where I’ve spent the past two years as an applications developer. Like others before me (it is an honor to always be in...
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Open Source Bridge 2017

This week, I went to Open Source Bridge in Portland, OR. It’s a conference “for developers working with open source technologies and for people interested in learning the open source way.” Usually I spend a lot of time taking notes for myself and others via tweeting, but this time I decided to chill on the tweets and try to wrap things up as a blog overview instead. Day 1! Tech Reform Nicole Sanchez asked us...
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Cry Map: Greater Boston Area, ca. 2010

Last week I was describing the Greater Boston Area as a city I’ve pretty much cried all over. I didn’t live there for very long (and not consistently, either, so this time period is really little sections of mostly 2008, 2010, and 2012…I think). But when I did live there, I was notably very weepy. So I mapped it out and my description was… not wrong. I cried all over multiple cities, constantly. And it’s...
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How to livestream and record a conference when you have no money

I’ve explained this to so many people and thought about this so much that I had to check and make sure I definitely have not written about this on my blog before, but it turns out that I have not. First, what is this going to be about? This is a guide to setting up a lo-fi but totally acceptable livestreaming and conference video recording situation using affordable equipment, much of which can be found...
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Making an I Ching application in Javascript

This is the process I used to go about building a small, for-fun webpage. I hope this can help demystify the process of building a website, even if just a little bit. My first step was the figure out how the I Ching worked, which means going to Wikipedia and reading about it. This scared me a little bit, because the process is pretty complicated. You know, it’s like the O.G. algorithm. There’s an algorithm...
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Minimum Viable Station Documentation: Recipes

Last month I created and posted about a Minimum Viable Station document. There was such an overwhelming and positive response to this doc! I’m really so happy to see it expand into such a wealth of expert advice. However, I don’t want newbies to feel overwhelmed at the size of this document. I want anybody, at any level, to be able to set up their own digitization system within the constraints of their financial situation,...
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2016 Reflection and 2017 Goals: Retrospective and refactoring

Welcome to the Ashley Blewer annual report! It’s that time of year again, where I start thinking about where I was at this time last year and where I am now. Here were my goals for 2016. 2016 So. What did I do? Working Two projects I worked on shipped: LaMaMa Digital Collections and Screen Slate. Honestly I ended up doing basically zero work on Screen Slate other than attend meetings and complain about things...
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Minimum Viable Station Documentation

Hello, internet of people! Something I’ve been thinking about for a long time and have started working on is the creation of documentation for people who want to set up their own analog audiovisual media digitization stations (called elsewhere as memory labs, personal archiving labs, transfer stations, et al). Aside: I’m also super influenced by my goal of supporting an in-the-works Southeast U.S. Transfer Station by any (remote) means possible. 2017 goals! I’m specifically interested...
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FACING / FEAR / FIRST

Note well: I wrote this over a year ago and forgot to post it. Here it is, right in time for it to not be near graduation-time whatsoever. But also here it is, a preparing-you-for-your-job-hunt pep talk on the internet for whenever you need it. Hello. This is a much-fuller version of professional talk that I didn’t give in anticipation of the slightly nauseated-anticipation-feeling I know is felt deep within people exiting their final semester...
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Parsing XML into a CSV with Ruby

So a short while ago, my friend Lorena posed this question… Question: can I grab a XML & convert that to a .csv? or better yet can I grab certain parts of the XML and redirect to a .csv? #howto #help— Lorena Ramírez-López (@DaleLore) September 7, 2016 And thought “ya, I know how to do that and I also have a secret agenda to get all archivists to learn Ruby.” I sent her some pseudo-code...
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Aspect Ratios in LEMONADE, Pt. 2

Hello! I’m wrapping up this (very) brief LEMONADE series by talking about home movies! This is a little bit about aspect ratios but maybe a little bit more about preservation issues with home movies. If you haven’t, its worth catching up in Pt. 1 right here, because this picks up where that aspect ratio context left off. The first time we see the 4:3 ratio appear, it’s a cropped image during “Don’t Hurt Yourself,” sized...
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{Lets get digital}, talking about NDSR NY Symposium

Last Thursday, I attended {Let’s Get Digital}, a symposium hosted by the National Digital Stewardship Residence program (New York) for Preservation Week. (And thanks, also, to Brooklyn Historical Society for hosting and Archives Round Table of Metropolitan New York (A.R.T.) for sponsoring! The symposium opened with an overview of the NDSR program by 2014-15 resident, Vicky Steeves (resident at American Museum of National History, now working at NYU Libraries). It was great to hear how...
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