The goals of professional museums, large libraries and amateur historical societies intersect in challenges of preserving collections and providing community access. In every community in the United States, there are valuable opportunities for these groups to collaborate, cooperate and share resources in order to preserve more artifacts, serve more community members and tell more complete stories of their region.
A Project Manager and two Metadata Specialists will be hired by the Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI). For technical work we will contract with a Systems Administrator and Web Producer. The temporary staff and contractors will work with a Project Team made up of professionals and lead volunteers from MOHAI, University of Washington Libraries (UW), and the other participating organizations from the Association of King County Historical Organizations (AKCHO). They will draw upon the expertise of an Advisory Committee, comprised of scholars, public officials, and experts in specific areas.
Over a two-year period, MOHAI and UW staff will work with temporary and contracted staff, funded by this proposal, to select, scan, and create metadata for 12,000 historic images. MOHAI, UW, and AKCHO members will each provide approximately one-third of the images. The project will provide training to AKCHO members in historical research, metadata creation, and the use of CONTENTdm software. It will draw upon expertise of permanent museum and library staff as well as the Advisory Committee. The images and metadata will be made available using CONTENTdm software developed at the UW, and will be permanently hosted on UW servers. The project will help each partner institution create its own web presence with a searchable database of their contributed images. These Web sites will be integrated into a single database enabling students, scholars, lifelong learners and other researchers to search across organizational boundaries to gain a more complete understanding of Seattle/King County history.
The settlement of Seattle and King County, beginning in the 1850s, has taken place in the age of photographs. Were they to be combined, the image collections of MOHAI, UW and AKCHO-member groups would form a comprehensive history of a region. The images that reveal the history of Seattle and King County are at best only partially accessible to the most determined and persistent students, scholars, educators and general public-and never able to be viewed together. Crossing Organizational Boundaries will make possible an unprecedented level of access to a unified comprehensive collection, and thereby foster a thorough understanding of a region's history.
Crossing Organizational Boundaries will create national models for museum, library and historical society cooperation and for public access to collections. These models result from creation of a major primary material resource for educators, scholars and lifelong learners that provides access to the history of a single region through a comprehensive collection of 12,000 historic images and metadata.