It’s been a day of prep on all fronts for tomorrow. Launching the Heaney at Queen’s Exhibition as part of a larger symposium has involved consultation with various stockholders in the project, chasing artefacts and assembling metadata. Thankfully the bulk of the narrative has been assembled and ingested and the general shape of the exhibition established. The narrative prepared (in very short order) by: Stephen Connolly, Manuela Moser, Caitlin Newby and Charlene Small is top notch. After making some editing choices to adapt it for on-screen presentation it feels very strong. Getting digital rights to some of the other pieces has been the most close run thing. Word only arrived let this afternoon that we finally have the go ahead between various different stakeholders in the process. Digitisation has also been done in rapid production mode by the Special Collections staff in the Library to make a variety of other assets available for use.
The soft launch last week of the very first exhibition in Omeka launched by the Library at Queen’s (Sir Robert Hart) blazed our path and helped us get a feel for potential pitfalls that we might encounter on this second (time critical) exhibition. My earlier post about practicing what we preach actually alludes to the digital project management practice that we have attempted to follow:
- Release early, release often;
- Get feedback from the general public;
- Let the actual end-users express their needs and respond to them quickly.
All serious tips shared as part of the Digital Project Management workshop delivered in the Library a few weeks ago. This same experience also helps to shape an upcoming shorter session which I will be delivering for the Digital Humanities and the Study of Literature symposium sponsored by the Institute for Collaborative Research in the Humanities here at Queen’s.
As background, the ICRH is an exciting new venture at Queen’s that I have been privileged to be a part of. Gathering together diverse post-doctoral and industry practitioners, it creates an environment of deep engagement by providing an inviting physical space to work and to gather, great opportunities to informally be involved in discussion and a very supportive framework for not only imagining but for realising new scholarly opportunities in the humanities. In conjunction with Special Collections in the Library the two are very actively fostering initiatives throughout Queen’s and as part of the new Northern Bridge consortium.
Anyway, after a lot of good back and forth we are very close to ready to share the Heaney at Queen’s Exhibition with the ‘Seamus Heaney: a Conference and Commemoration’ taking place from 10-14 April.