Now that the addition to the De la Torre collection has been processed, I am stepping away from completing the update to the finding aid and its translation to Spanish, but only for a few days. To make sure we are on schedule to officially release the digital exhibit, as well as preparing to display some of the physical materials themselves, I am currently focused in digitizing some photographic selections and adding them to their corresponding online exhibit pages. This is how the process unfolds:
- Choosing the photo.
Due to having so many interesting documents to highlight, the Cristeros in Sonora page of the exhibit ended up a little text-heavy, however the recent addition to the collection gave us more photographic options from which to choose. After consulting with Borderlands Curator, Veronica Reyes-Escudero, we decided that Cristero General Luis Ibarra was the perfect person to showcase in that page, especially as he appeared in this photo (one on left), standing next to Alfonso De La Torre, the one family member with experience as a soldier in the movement.
- Digitizing to specifications.
Special Collection’s Digital Initiatives Archivist, Erika Castaño, graciously provided me with a crash course on the basics, including an overview of the university’s digitization policy, the required digital image formats and standards for each kind of item, and the digital reproduction workflow. After spending some time getting acquainted with the specific Photoshop commands, I created a master TIFF file, and a lower resolution JPEG to be used in the actual exhibit.
- Uploading to Omeka and adding metadata.
Next, one must add the images to the Omeka archive and, one by one, include all pertinent and available metadata in the Dublin Core menu item. Once this is done, the next step is to add the images to the proper exhibit pages and, with a click of a button, make them public. The process is fairly simple, although it does require research for the description of the images. Take the sample photo: we had a copy in the original collection, but it was thanks to the recent addition, which grouped photos by family member, that we were able to positively identify the young man standing next to General Luis Ibarra as Alfonso De la Torre.
- Publishing (and editing when necessary).
A challenge I have encountered with the final product, even as I diligently follow instructions for each step of the workflow, is that the photographs will sometimes have parts of them cut off when published within the individual pages. This might require playing around with the dimensions of the JPEG version of the image, perhaps even with the code, to make sure no one’s head is cut off by the template layout—something that remains for now a work in progress.
There you have it—an elegantly simple, if somewhat multi-step, process.