Tag Archives: archival method

The Real Work

Begin with materials

“Know what you are doing and do it well”

–Ed Hogan

What are you Doing?

Today (Thursday) 

  • In the first case you did: You worked in the Mason Library Archive with your issue of Aspect magazine. The goal for the class session was to describe (not to interpret) the issue—both its material elements (layout, color, etc.) and contents (editor(s)), authors, sections, titles, book review, editorial matter. You are creating metadata for the issue.(You might glance back at the Welcome to the Archive: The Dublin Core on the Ephemera page to really (no really) know what you are doing
Contributing Editors at work on the Aspect Magazine project


  • You are writing a “Research Installment” on you blog. An interesting post describing what you are doing, what you are learning, in the KSC archives
  • You are annotating eleven blogs and offering constructive commentary, using the social annotation tool Hypothes.is. Make the comments using the Open Space of Democracy group. Your annotations for the writer will generate a reader’s-eye view of her or his blog. Is the blog not merely writer- but also reader-centered? Does the blog have a point of view, or standpoint, that binds the commentaries together to give the writer authority, that gives the blog integrity
  • You are writing and rewriting Approach your writing as an editor. What is at stake? Are the stakes clear? Does the blog post take the reader from one place to another? Also read your writing as a copy editor, pruning and trimming, expanding only when necessary, getting it right. Curate your blog. Does your blog suggest a point of view (can you name that vantage point or suggest it in your title and subtitle), is there a standpoint that aligns the commentaries as a whole, that grants you authority as a writer, and that gives the blog itself integrity. Reread the earlier posts in the category Digital Tools
Gentlemen, Scholars, Archivists: Rodney and Zach in their domain


  • You are posting your Aspect issue metadata on your blog by 10 AM. You can put it on a drafts page or just make it a post. This deadline is, well, a deadline. Thank you. Come to class at 2 ready to participate in an editing workshop
  • You are coming to class and you are ready to dive into a freewheeling blog charrette


  • You are reading the short essays in democracy and art (links posted on the schedule) before class, thinking about what you read, and coming to class ready to talk about these readings on democracy and art
  • You are checking the Reading page on this blog and congratulating yourself on the materials you have read so far in the course! (You are then thinking that this is the archive you are writing about on your blogs)
  • You are wondering about what we will be doing as we outline and write (together) the description and parameters of the projects you will be doing during the eight weeks we have left in the course

    Issues of Aspect ready for scanning


You are invited to reread the excerpt from Walt Whitman’s “Preface” to the 1855 edition of his book of poems Leaves of Grass posted on the schedule page:

This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.

And you are taking a moment to consider another interesting moment of creative democratic practice in your satchel of cultural history: the performance of the song “America” in September 1981 by Simon and Garfunkel, performed as part of the free benefit concert on the Great Lawn in New York’s Central Park that brought out 500,00 people to listen to music in the rain

You are now ready for spring break!