Culture in Transit Toolkit Now Available!

We’re delighted to announce the launch of the Culture in Transit Toolkit, the culmination of our 18 month project funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, News Challenge on Libraries.

The project has had huge successes, with 3,400 unique items digitized and shared online – in our respective institutions’ online digital collection portals and with the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). We have undertaken 52 community events across Queens and Brooklyn, hosted 2 training workshops and worked with 10 cultural heritage institutions across New York City and Westchester County, providing on-site digitization services to expose hidden archival collections, preserve local history and share these collections on a wider platform.

The Toolkit mirrors our main areas of work; there is a section devoted to community engagement and digitization events, a section dedicated to working with small cultural heritage institutions to digitize archival collections and a section on equipment – the link that united our project together to enable us to undertake different forms of digitization work but with the same mobile digitization workstations.

Landing page for CIT Toolkit

Landing page for CIT Toolkit

Our aim was to make digitization achievable in as low maintenance and as straightforward way as possible – both in terms of equipment needed and project execution. We compiled our mobile digitization workstations with this in mind and in our Toolkit you’ll find equipment lists for our Scanning and Copy Stand digitization kits. We also used this blog as a forum to discuss our equipment choices and review certain products.

The Equipment page on the CIT Toolkit

The Equipment page on the CIT Toolkit

An important aspect of the project for us was sharing what we learned and after presenting at various conferences over the past year, we have had the opportunity to connect with a lot of people who spoke of the value a Toolkit could bring to them. With the launch of our Toolkit, we are excited to share the information and experiences we have amassed over the course of the project in a helpful, user-friendly way that we are confident will enable others to undertake such work.

We want to make our approach to digitization replicable by anyone, anywhere. We have, therefore, licensed all of the content in the Toolkit under a CC 1.0 Universal license, meaning the content is in the public domain, with no copyright restrictions. Anyone is free to reuse any of the material in the toolkit.

If you would like to get in touch with a question or comment, we’d love to hear from you! Please email cultureintransit@metro.org