In a recent meeting with the Virginia Tech Special Collections Digitization Specialist, Ryan Speer, we began to work out a game plan for digitizing materials from Special Collections and using Omeka through the library account. We first discussed my source base, which include much of the VT University Archives housed at VTSC. Together we decided that I only digitize the items that I use in my research or items that correspond well. To choose these I must have a draft of the research done before I, or a special collections associate, begins to digitize a lot of stuff that I don’t really need or has little value to my project. Currently I have dozens of items from The Virginia Tech, the student newspapers before it became The Collegiate Times, but only a few items from the University Archives, most of those from the papers of Dr. McBryde. Although I have marked about 100 newspaper articles that may be useful, I will probably not use all of them in this paper because of the time and length constraints and the repetition of similar ideas. So it would be unwise and a waste of time to digitize all of these articles if I can achieve the same end from only a few. One can imagine how this problem would increase as my primary sources increase over the next month and throughout the research portion of this project.
On the web-based side of this digitization project, Ryan has contacted Paul, his liaison to all things vt.edu based, to ask for a username and password for me to be able to use the library’s Omeka server, but even if I am not able to get this password, I will be able to the CHNM Omeka server when I download the program. I would rather use the library server because I will have local contacts in case problems arise and because Ryan is proficient using the server and able to lend his time and expertise to my project. The other problem with the Digital Library at VT is that students currently can only be access it when they are on campus. Library staff like Ryan can access from home as well as on campus with a login ID and password. He has contacted Gail McMillan to try to get me a login ID and password so that I have the option to work from home or elsewhere when using the Digital Library.