The Barbados Mercury Digitization Training Workshop

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The Barbados Mercury Digitization Training Workshop
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Subjects / Keywords:
Caribbean Area ( lcsh )
Barbados ( lcsh )
Workshop ( lcsh )


Images and documents from the training workshop organized on July 11 and July 12, 2018 in the context of The Barbados Mercury digitization project at the Barbados Archives Department. The training was provided by two digitization specialists from the A. Smathers Libraries of the University of Florida, Gainesville. The workshop spanned over two days: the first day was open to professional archivists and librarians from other institutions in the island, while the second was dedicated to the core project team. This is the second workshop for the start of the project. The first workshop took place in December 2017. You can find more information about the first workshop here:
General Note:
Please see "Thumbnails" for all photographs of the workshop, and click on "Downloads" to find material related to the workshop, such as description of the photographs, program, attendees list, etc.

Record Information

Source Institution:
Barbados Archives Department
Holding Location:
Barbados Archives Department
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All rights reserved by the source institution.


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Thoughts on t he Mercury Digitization Project Training Workshop by Lenora Williams Project Assistant The Training Workshop of The Mercury Newspaper Digitization Project was held on 11 th 12 th July 2018 at the Department of Archives. The administrators of this project graciously extended an invitation to scholars, senior officials and new professionals in Research, Archival Science and Library S cience to participate in the training workshop. Th is turned out to be of mutual benefit to the hosts and invited guests as the exchange of ideas over the course of the workshop inspired persons to recognize the wealth of historical information Barbados has, to think seriously about a digitization strategy and to exchange collective ideas and resources to the good of the historical record. As a junior heritage professional, it was amazing to see the potential collaboration across the institutions. Seeing the invitation extended and accepted went a long way t o refute the criticism many institutions often face about exclusion among them This was further restated in the introductory session of the workshop when speakers told participants the grant was the efforts of persons from several institutions both from B arbados and abroad. The workshop was a series of presentations and demonstratio ns which allowed persons to ask questions and gain first hand experience with the equipment and allowed each person to engage with the information at their own pace. While many persons were familiar with scanners many people were not familiar with digitizing with the DSLR camera one of which wa s used in the workshop and will be used in the project However, as one of three amateur photographers in the audience we were excited to lean on the information we already had and also build on it in order to digitize in this way. As the Project Assistant, I will be one of the main persons involved in the day to day digitizing. After the first week of digitizing after the workshop I can say all the demonstrations by Laura Perry and Jake Goodson of Digital Library of the Caribbean has prepared me to fulfill my role in the project. They were able to give me an understanding of each step in the process and the general objectives of each. I found it very helpful to be able to access professionals in the industry who have the experience working with several types of materials. Most importantly the hands on training inspires me to approach my duties with a confidence that reading a manual may n ot be able to cover. A s I continue to learn more about the contents of this resource I am digitizing, conservation methods and the new software I am being to exposed to I will always be grateful to those who provided this opportunity and those who made the workshop the success that it was. July 26, 2018


July 11, 12 2018 WORKSHOP Digitization of the Mercury Gazette Description of photos Images of the workshop held for the launch of the digitization of The Bridgetown Mercury Gazette on July 11 12, 2018 at the Department of Archives, Black Rock, St. Michael, Barbados. The workshop was by invitation only. Participants included senior scholars and professionals from the University of the West Indies, Federal Archives, The National Libr ary Service Barbados Museum and Historical Society, and independent researchers. Please read details of the workshop in the description of the item s description Photo credit: Lenora Williams, Brian Innis Day 1: July 11, 201 8 Location: Barbados Archives events room July11a L R: J. Forde, T. Davis, J. Top pin, V. Clarke, T. Thorpe, C. Lewis, K. Proverbs, K. Jordan, J. Niles July 11b L R: I. Thompson, A. Levi July 11c L R: E. Benjamin, G. Haynes, A. Cummins, L. Per ry July 11d L R: C. Lewis, K. Proverbs, K. Jordan, J. Niles, G. Haynes, L. Parris, E. Benjamin, G. Haynes, A. Cummins, L. Per ry July11e L R: L. Perry July11f L R: L. Perry July11g L R: L. Parris, C. Lewis, E. Benjamin, A. Cummins, I. Thompson, J. Goodson, L. Perry, E. Spencer (partially hidden), V. Clarke (partially hidden), T. Thorpe July11h L R: J. Goodson, L. Perry


July11i L R: J. Goodson, L. Perry T. Thorpe July11 j L R: J. Goodson, A. Levi, J. Forde, July11k L R: L. Williams, E. Spencer, I. Thompson, J. Goodson Day 2, July 12, 2018. Location: Barbados Archives Project digitization room July12 a L R: J. Goodson, J. Breedy July12b L R: J. Goodson, J. Breedy July12c L R: J. Goodson, C. Lewis July12d L R: J. Goodson, C. Lewis July12e L R: J. Goodson, B. Innis, C. Lewis, J. Forde, T. Davis, July12f L R: A. Levi, L. Perry, J Goodson, B. Innis, J. Forde, T. Davis July12g L R: A. Levi, L. Perry, J Goodson, B. Innis July12h L R: J. Goodson July12i L R: J. Breedy, A. Levi, B. Innis, J. Goodson


Surname Given Name Title Institution Benjamin Edward Supervisor of Microfilming and Binding National Library Service Breedy Jennifer Archives Assistant Department of Archives Clarke Valerie Head Elizabeth Watson Audiovisual Unit, UWI Cummins Allissandra Director Barbados Museum and Historical Society Davis Treca Administrative Officer Office of Public Sector Reform Forde Jean Management Development Officer Office of Public Sector Reform Goodson Jake Special Formats Imaging Assistant University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries Haynes Grace Coordinator, Government Department Libraries National Library Service Innis Brian Conservator Department of Archives Jordan Kelvin Archives Assistant West Indies Federal Archives Levi Amalia Archivist Project Leader Mercury Gazette Digitization Project Lewis Charles Technical Services National Library Service Niles Justin Student Archivist West Indies Federal Archives Parris Loleta Librarian National Library Service Perry Laura Digital Production Manager University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries Proverbs Karen Archivist Department of Archives Spencer Ebony Administrative Assistant Department of Archives Mercury Digitization Training July 12th 2018 Attendance List


Thompson Ingrid Chief Archivist Department of Archives Thorpe Takiyah Stenographer Elizabeth Watson Audiovisual Unit, UWI Toppin Judith Officer in Charge Sidney Martin Library, UWI Williams Lenora Project Assistant Mercury Gazette Digitization Project


WORKSHOP SCHEDULE SESSION 1: 9:30 am 12 pm 9:30 9:40 am In t roductions (name, institution, position ) 9: 4 0 9: 5 5 am Ingrid Thompson Director, Archives Department Opening remarks and welcome. Overview of the British Library Endangered Archives Programme Grant for digitizing the Barbados Mercury Gazette 9: 5 5 10:1 5 am Alissandra Cummins, Director, Barbados Museum and Historical Society Mining the Mercury: Unsilencing Barbados Pasts 10:15 10: 35 am Amalia S. Levi Archivist, Mercury Digitization Project Leader The Barbados Merc ury digitization and digital scholarship opportunities Overview of the workshop and introducing UF digitization training team 10: 35 10:45 am Coffee break 10:45 11: 15 am Laura Perry, Digital Production Manager, University of Florida Libraries Introduction : Digitizat ion in Libraries and Archives 11: 15 11: 30 am Jake Goodson Special Formats Imaging Assistant, UF Libraries Introduction: Digitizing Special Formats in th e Caribbean 11:30 12 :00 pm Group discussion and troubleshooting Q&A Current digitization effort s, interests plans Iss ues you have experienced Lunch break : 12 pm 1 pm SESSION 2: 1 pm 4:30 pm The afternoon session will be specifically dedicated to training 1:15 4:30 pm Digitization Imaging and metadata TRAINING WORKSHOP FOR THE DIGITIZATION OF THE MERCURY GAZETTE Day 1 Open t o library and archives professionals b y invitation only Wednesday, July 11, 2018 Archives Department, Black Rock


The Barbados Mercury digitization and digital scholarship opportunities Wednesday, July 11, 2018 Amalia S. Levi Archivist Project Leader


PRESENTATION OUTLINE 1. December 11, 2017 workshop What we learned 2. July 11, 2018 workshop What we aim 3. Building on lessons learned Opportunities for scholarship and research


December 11, 2017 Workshop What we learned




A riddle: What do you think when you hear: Manipulative platform owners Biased readers


Who is involved in its production and dissemination? Which audience and what goals did the gazette serve? What does the physicality of the gazette reveals? Who writes and who reads? Who speaks, on behalf of whom? What genres of writing can be found in the gazette? What is its place in the network of other colonial papers? How does the gazette reflect colonial attitudes? What subjects and topics can the gazette be further mined for? QUESTIONS DISCUSSED IN THE DECEMBER WORKSHOP


May 17, 1783 Runaways from Martinique: 2 negro men Raphael, 22 y.o ., a barber Charles, 23 y.o


Runaway slave Philley Melia Believed to be harbored by Her mother Sary Hill) Her husband Elisha NETWORKS OF PEOPLE, PATTERNS OF RESISTANCE


Sample data in runaway slave ads


Reading in between lines and against the grain The written text above: The illusion of normalcy The web of silences beneath A seething revolt


The power to form connections through historical newspapers People do coalesce around historical newspapers. In postcolonial societies, historical newspapers can have the power to help us Help them see slaves not as passive, but as people who fought back.


The power to change scholarship Dominant narrative of a strong charismatic male leader Reading newspapers against the grain: Shed light on role of women, and the power of networks of everyday people


Value added when becoming part of larger initiatives For Mercury: Barbados Archives + EAP + dLOC 1) Promote research that bridges collections siloed along national lines 2) Become part of other international projects: Transatlantic Digitised Newspapers project Transnational flow of information around the globe Innovative approaches to the digitized archives of historical American and British newspapers Runaway slave ads projects (patterns, networks). 3) Become part of communities that complement and enhance your knowledge


International collaborations A balancing act. Be clear and sincere. Define expectations. Learn to juggle different mentalities.


July 11, 2018 Workshop


Page 1 (of 10,500 pages)


Digitizing historical newspapers: Opportunities for further scholarship and public humanities projects about the enslaved


Digitization is not always the solution Selective and partial Resource intensive (staff, funding) Time consuming Fragile (digital preservation)


Reproduces inequalities, exclusions


Favors written documents Favors mainstream (European) languages


a) Documents scanned as images b) Not searchable c)




Need for culturally sensitive + culturally appropriate description Beyond colonial worldviews Pointers to marginalized stories and individuals Aim of collaborative finding aid workshop December 2017 Ongoing work, hope to replicate dialogue through a reading group.


OVERCOMING ARCHIVAL SILENCES ON MARGINALIZED PEOPLE We need to consciously create the archival record for marginalized groups retrospectively


Sample data in runaway slave ads


Never a finished product, But a beginning

PAGE 28 as data/tree/master/LaGaceta COLLECTIONS AS DATA








Sharon Leon, presenting the enslaved community sold by the maryland province jesuits in 1838/ HISTORICAL NETWORK ANALYSIS


PAGE 36 Digital Humanities projects