Tuesday, May 22, 11:15am-12:15pm
Room: Heritage Gallery

Accessible Transformations of Early Web-based Archives

Karl Stolley and Katie Ediger, Illinois Institute of Technology

Description: We will describe our experience and efforts to rescue and accessibly redesign a digital archive that contains digitized audio files and transcripts and translations of Holocaust-survivor interviews as recorded in 1946 by Dr. David P. Boder. Our project represents a complete, accessibility-minded overhaul that addresses challenges common to digital archives and other presentations of rich-media content originally prepared for the web in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

We will describe and demonstrate how we are making a universally accessible, web-standards-compliant user interface that works across all modern devices, and also how we are writing custom scripts to automate the process of rescuing and restoring content from the original archive.

The media content in our archive was originally presented through the now-defunct Flash player. We have developed the prototype of an entirely HTML-based system for delivering the audio using the HTML5 <audio> element. Additionally, the audio is now presented alongside universally accessible transcripts and translations, which we have structured to conform to the WebVTT (Web Video Text Tracks) standard that the new interface presents perfectly timed to the audio recordings.

Additionally, we are creating a series of custom scripts to help rescue the transcripts and translations. Those scripts will help to automate the correction of mismatched character sets that incorrectly encode diacritics and other special glyphs from Spanish, German, Russian, and other languages. The scripts will also improve the existing presentation of the transcripts in HTML and JSON, and extend them to WebVTT.

New Directions in Digital Library Publishing: Increasing Access to Non-Textual Cultural Dance Narratives

Sara Benson, Copyright Librarian and Assistant Professor, University of Illinois Library; Harriett Green, University of Illinois Library

Description: This panel presentation will describe a developing project centered around the anthropological study of the Bele dance movement in Martinique to explore how best to develop a library based publication of a non-textual cultural heritage. The presenters will explore issues ranging from how to protect the cultural heritage of the dance participants as well as innovative methods to utilize digital media to tell the story of a dance rooted in the African diaspora. This project is an ongoing one, and audience members will be encouraged to provide comments to the panelists after the presentation with additional ideas about working with non-textual cultural heritage digital publications.