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

Culture in Transit Toolkit…. Coming Soon!

Although our project is drawing to a close, we are still working feverishly behind the scenes getting ready for our last, and most important project milestone; the launch of the Culture in Transit Toolkit! We are pleased to say that the Toolkit will be launching in the very near future.

A major goal of the project was to make our approach to digitization replicable by anyone. With the launch of the Toolkit, we believe that goal will be realized. Made up of 3 main sections that reflect our work over the last 18 months, the Toolkit will provide guidance and information on those looking to undertake community digitization work, undertaking digitization work with small cultural heritage institutions and just what equipment you really need to create a mobile digitization workstation! There will be reusable resources available for download throughout each section.

We will be announcing the launch of the Toolkit on Twitter (@DigitizeNYC); go follow us if you don’t already, so you can be the first to know when the Toolkit is up and ready for use! We’ll also be linking to the Toolkit from this website for easy access.

If Twitter isn’t your thing and you’d like to receive a notification via email when the Toolkit launches, then please email cultureintransit@metro.org and we’ll be sure to notify you on launch day.