Integrating the Classroom and the Digitization Center: An Innovative Approach
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Following several successful years of building increasingly larger, highly impactful digital collections, the Baylor University Digital Projects Group chose the Spring 2013 semester to take the next step in its development by creating a new graduate level course for the Department of Museum Studies called Technology and Outreach in Museums. Taught by Eric Ames, Curator of Digital Collections and a lecturer in the department, the course is an innovative approach to integrating classroom lectures and philosophical exploration of the topic with hands-on, intensive training on current digitization and outreach methods using the resources of the Electronic Library’s Riley Digitization Center. The purpose of the course is to give graduate students the opportunity to select materials from non-digitized archival collections; curate the materials for inclusion in a digital exhibit/collection; digitize the materials using the scanning equipment of the Riley Center; create a digital exhibit; and formulate a marketing plan to promote the exhibit to scholars, faculty and the general public. This presentation will focus on the development, proceedings and lessons learned over the course of the semester. Ames will also present tips for institutions interested in following a similar path, including how to manage the interests and skill levels of 15 graduate students in a working digitization center, challenges to implementing technological solutions and students’ perspectives on the course. If possible, a graduate student from the course will be invited to attend and lend his/her perspective on the course.