For this project I developed online access to a research collection of historic clothing and related archival materials, most recently using Omeka. The project began in 2001 as an Excel spreadsheet, then was migrated to a Filemaker database that I developed, with custom scripts for management of these complex objects and related materials. Along the way I also refined our process for creating ObjectVRs (interactive 3D views) of the clothing (which I discuss in greater detail at https://www.ardenkirkland.com/work/portfolio/objectvrs-3d-views/). In 2010 the project was migrated to the Omeka platform, combining the database with functionality for detailed exhibitions to accompany our gallery shows. As of fall 2021, this digital collection has been migrated from prior web hosting with Dreamhost to Vassar’s “VassarSpaces” web hosting with Reclaim hosting, and updated with a fresh look, new functionality for faceted search, and some tidying up of the data. Throughout the many phases of this project I have supervised undergraduate student employees for metadata entry and image processing.
See this project at: https://vccc.vassarspaces.net/
To better represent relationships between items in this collection, I have taken an existing theme for Omeka and customized the functionality for media display, with custom PHP for displaying different metadata for different item types, and for displaying related items, as you can see in an example at https://www.ardenkirkland.com/work/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/kirklandomekaphpexample.pdf.
I have presented about this project on numerous occasions at different stages in its development. For example, in July 2014 I prepared a guest lecture about this project, in the form of a YouTube video, for a class at the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University, as you can see at https://www.ardenkirkland.com/work/portfolio/inside-a-digital-collection/. I also shared this project as a poster at the April 2012 symposium for the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education (NITLE), as a capstone to my work with the Mellon funded “Digital Archives That Count” initiative, providing support for faculty research building digital archives at liberal arts colleges across the US (https://www.ardenkirkland.com/work/portfolio/digital-clothing-building-a-research-archive/).