The Archivist’s Nook: Get Off the Road to Digital Perdition

nun, slide projector and twenty-first century classroom with computers
Your grandmother’s Catholic school classroom has changed: Left, sister teaches with a slide projector in a Baltimore Catholic school, 1955. Right, a teacher in a fully-loaded Catholic school classroom in Covington, Kentucky, 2010.

… and come to this Conference!

Come all ye lovers of free things digital!  Teachers and archivists, archivists and teachers, we call you all.  The Catholic Archives in the Digital Age Conference takes place October 8-9, 2015 on the campus of The Catholic University of America.  And it’s FREE.

Perdition:  I don’t know how to digitize my collection materials. I don’t know how to get free online stuff for my classroom.

Let’s face it, resources are scarce—time, money, and staff are in short supply.  Most archivists would love to put their unrestricted materials online for researchers and teachers to use.  And most teachers don’t like spending hours online searching for excellent classroom resources.  But the fact is, archivists don’t usually have the time, staff, or equipment to make their materials widely available.  Teachers, for their part, don’t always know where to look for digital documents they can use in their Catholic history, religious studies, and theology classes.

Purgatory:  I know there is cool, free online digital stuff.  But how do I make my own?  And where do I find the best stuff for my classes?

If you are an archivist or media specialist, chances are that you have done research into digitizing some of your materials.  Or have digitized some of your collection materials.  And if so, you have put some thought into scanners, platforms, and outreach.  If you are a teacher, you may have found a couple of go-to websites like the American Catholic History Classroom or the Daughters of Charity Provincial Archives exhibits.  But again, scarce resources can prevent archivists from making their materials widely available to those who could most benefit from them.  Teachers may not know how to find the best materials for their curriculum online.

scanner with Catholic Action pamphlet
Bridging Worlds. Ditch Digital Perdition. Learn how to digitize. Learn what has been digitized at the Catholic Archives in the Digital Age Conference in October.

Our thought is that we might bring together two groups of people who could have fruitful conversations on this matter.  Archivists could talk to teachers about what kinds of materials they held in their archives, and teachers could talk to archivists about the kinds of primary sources they could best plug into their lesson plans, and even what kinds of lesson plans they would like to see online.  We also thought that offering  a digitization workshop to teachers, media specialists, and archivists would be a great service to the Catholic community.  The  Our Sunday Visitor Foundation agreed that this was a good idea and gave us the money we needed to hold the conference and workshop free of cost to participants.

Heaven:  I can make free online stuff and I know where to find it.  Yeah!

Come and listen to resourceful Catholic high school teachers, innovative archivists, and savvy digitization specialists talk about their work.  Join in the conversation.  Participate in the workshop.  Get off the road to digital perdition…  Register now!

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