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Personal Digital Archiving - Schedule - May 4th

Saturday, May 4 - Community Workshops [Open to Public]


Workshop Program

10:00 - 12:00

Social Media Archiving for Beginners
Location: Amy Knapp Room, Hillman Library
Melody Condron

Bring your laptop or device to this 2-hour social media archiving workshop. Learn about different methods for saving your social media posts and information of many of the most popular platforms, including: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Learn about built-in tools, free software, and a few for-purchase options to saving all of your memories. Bonus: did you know that many of your photos from Myspace may still be available? We will also walk through how to access them if they are still out there.

10:00 - 12:00

Using Google Photos & Drive for Personal Digital Archiving
Location: Digital Scholarship Commons, Hillman Library
Mark S Middleton

Google introduces new services and features all the time. They introduced a new online “cloud” photo repository in 2015 - Google Photos. Both the features and no fee aspects (free) of the service offer significant benefits for the home archivist and genealogist. Photos are frequently a key focus of historical and genealogical research. Unidentified photos are likewise a part of any genealogist’s photo collection. Solving who unnamed individuals in a photo are can be very frustrating; Google Photos can offer help in this endeavor.

The workshop will start by covering the formats needed to upload photos and videos. I’ll cover the wide range of features offered in this extensive service. You’ll discover many tips for using these features efficiently.

Learn which recommended formats from the Library of Congress are accepted by Google Photos.  Recognize some of the significant flaws in the JPEG format.  I will review best practices for personal digital preservation while using features of Google Photos.

A key capability in Google Photos that can be used is facial recognition. Learn how to turn this capability into a real powerhouse for identification of friends and relatives. The ability to share photos with other people can turbocharge identification of people as you crowd source your efforts. Another significant feature of Google Photos anybody will appreciate is location information. Knowing where a photo was taken is a critical part of the context and metadata missing from older photos.

Its important to know the differences in Google Photos and a companion service Google Drive. The features in these two services will be reviewed. Google Drive is important for storing non-image based files.

With the ability to upload images from PCs and Macs as well as Android or iOS smartphones the Photos service can be a key part of your file backup and storage plans. Lastly, There are important warnings that should be noted before modifying or deleting images.

1:00 - 3:00

Digital Archiving 101: Methods of Self-Preservation
Location: Amy Knapp Room, Hillman Library
Zakiya Collier

Queer writers of color, Audre Lorde, James Baldwin, and Beverly and Barbara Smith, understood the importance of caring for themselves and remembering, documenting, and sharing their stories. Within the library, archives and museum profession there has been continuing discussion on collecting and preserving queer of color narratives. However, there has not been sufficient focus on the digital self-documentary practices that these communities employ as a means to both document their lived experiences and as a method of survival itself. The proposed community workshop explores creative approaches to self-preservation through the sharing and demonstrations of my own personal digital archiving practices as black-queer woman – including periodically downloading social media archives, blogging, establishing naming conventions for files and photos, digitizing journals, collecting and digitizing family and community ephemera, web-archiving meaningful resources for queer communities of color, archiving screenshots, and creating digital zines. Participants will learn about and see examples of the facilitator’s personal digital archival survival strategies. The workshop will conclude with the participants creating a collection of letters that will allow for reflection of the individual legacies and liberatory journeys as QTPOC+, to be archived, digitized, and produced into a digital zine by the workshop’s facilitator.

Affirming the addition of archiving to the repertoire of survival strategies in the everyday lives of queer people of color, the workshop applies the term, self-preservation – defined as the preservation of oneself from destruction or harm, or a natural or instinctive tendency to act so as to preserve one's own existence – to queer of color self-documentary practices such as saving photos, journals, correspondences, and digital content. Workshops like the one proposed aim to amplify and enhance the ways in which queer people of color have always recognized their own legacies and ensured their continued existence through archiving, albeit outside of the profession. Centering the archival practices of queer communities of color and decentering the profession’s efforts to acquire queer of color collections makes possible the imagining of archives that not only rewrite history but also affirm the existence of queer people of color by not robbing us of our strategies of survival in a world in which “we were never meant to survive.”

1:00 – 2:00

Recollection Studio Tour
Location: 3rd Floor, Carnegie Public Library
Brooke Sansosti

The REcollection Studio at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh supports the preserving and sharing of Pittsburgh's diverse voices, knowledge, history, and memories.  The Do-It-Yourself public digitization lab provides specialized hardware, software, and documentation to transfer analog materials to digital formats.  By using the lab, the public learns to use and apply new technology to preserve and share photos, slides, negatives, documents, VHS tapes, and audio cassette tapes. The tour will explore the origin, space, and current functions of the digitization lab.

3:00 - 5:00

Creating Community Oral History Projects
Location: Amy Knapp Room, Hillman Library
Amy Welch and Natalie DeRiso

During this interactive workshop participants will learn about the development of two oral history projects in different areas of Pittsburgh one designed by Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, one by a small neighborhood organization, Manchester Historic Society. Both projects were developed independently, but share specific challenges that we’ll discuss overcoming in designing a final project.

The first part of the workshop will work through the prototyping process CLP used to test interest in a user-generated oral history project. From the initial proposal to the final oral history “kit,” several versions of the project were tested to determine patrons’ interest in the project, the best way to collect stories, and the possible ways to share these stories and preserve them long-term.

The second project that is the basis for this workshop developed out of city planning processes, proposed by residents as a way to preserve and widely share the Manchester neighborhood’s history. This section of the workshop will discuss some of the challenges that arise when new and old residents of an area work to tell a balanced story of a neighborhood in transition. We will work through identifying interview candidates who can be ambassadors for the project, as well as dealing with sensitive interview topics.

With that background in place, participants will be guided through their own prototyping process for an oral history project and test their ideas on each other to fine-tune a second iteration they can bring back to their organizations or neighborhoods. We will also work on developing an initial list of interview questions for each participant, related to their project’s specific goals, and practice interviewing each other to build confidence and empathy – both crucial aspects of conducting an oral history interview.

3:00 - 5:00

Personal Data // Personal Privacy
Location: Digital Scholarship Commons, Hillman Library
S.E. Hackney

Digital privacy today is an opt-out situation-- an individual’s information is public unless they make it private, and often users don’t know where their personal data is being kept, or who has access to it. People in the US have an implicit right to privacy, under the provisions of the Fourth Amendment which protects against unreasonable search and seizure, and other countries have laws explicitly protecting individual privacy. However, faced with the social costs of leaving the digital world and the monumental effort to reign in data that has already been dispersed, many users are left asking “Is this worth it?”

This workshop is designed for users of digital media of all skill and knowledge levels, and focuses on practical, small-scale steps that individuals can make to better protect their privacy online, and to maintain a better awareness of how their personal data is being used by others. The workshop will begin with a 20-minute overview of the terminology, tools, and data collection techniques used by social media platforms, and other digital repositories of personal data.Following this, there will be a hands-on, peer-mediated working session for participants to experiment with and try out various personal privacy tools.  This includes apps, browser plugins,  privacy settings on social media, downloading your data from social media, as well as hardware encryption and other practices. Additionally, this workshop will focus on the importance of privacy practices for vulnerable populations, and the ways that managing our personal data can help create a safer place for all of us online.