The Importance of Software

This week
has been kind of an odd one for me. I had planned to finish up the metadata for
the Chaffey letters, but I encountered some issues with our metadata software,
CONTENTdm. I was in the middle of uploading a series of documents about the
Colorado River Aqueduct and the Hoover Dam to the Claremont Colleges Digital
Library when the metadata software started operating very slowly. After doing
some trouble shooting with Tanya and the software providers, we eventually got
the metadata software up and running again.

In the
meantime, I’ve been doing some miscellaneous tasks related to the Chaffey
brothers and Frankish letters. I used an excel spreadsheet to track metadata
for the documents for which I couldn’t use CONTENTdm. I also cleaned up some of
our internal files, in particular a file which tracks the progress for each and
every item that we work on. These internal files help CLIR CCEPS fellows keep
track of the items in the collection that we all work on and sometimes it is
nice to make sure that these files are up to date. This is especially the case
because pretty soon we will have some new faces here at CLIR CCEPS. I was happy
to see that for the most part these files were in pretty good condition, but it
is always nice to double-check that things are complete and consistent.

The big
lesson I learned this week was how important our technology, especially our software,
is to this project. We use very specialized equipment and software every step
of the way to get the original physical documents onto the Claremont Colleges
Digital Library, so it’s important that everything is working. I’m glad our
metadata software is back up and running!