Archiving the Distillery

by Amber Atteberry

cimg2630.jpgThis summer semester I’ve been interning for the museum at the St. Augustine Distillery. I’ve started working on creating an online version of the museum exhibits for guests to experience from the comfort of their homes using Omeka, creating a digital archive of museum items, and cataloging museum items. I’ve spent time getting familiar with Omeka and visiting Omeka websites to gain an understanding of how the program works. I’ve been reading and studying Dublin Core to gain a deeper understanding of the different components of metadata and best practices.

In addition, I’ve been creating digital text files of the labels and other text displays in the museum to add to the site, and to add to the archive and database of museum texts. I’ve been researching museum pieces to create labels, and am starting on photographing items for ease of cataloging. Each item is assigned a number based on year acquired in the collection, the type of item it is (currently either AR for artifact or EP for ephemera), and a four-digit number, beginning with 0001. Soon I’ll begin scanning documents and ephemera and transcribing them, creating a database, and uploading the items to the site. Ephemera items will be uploaded first, followed by high quality photographs of artifacts and items.

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Some challenges have arisen in the course of cataloguing, one of which is accessing the documents, ephemera, and items in a locked museum case. The case key has been lost, and therefore the majority of the items are inaccessible for scanning. A locksmith will be hired to access the case, and once those documents are accessible then it’ll be possible for me to scan and transcribe properly.

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