For over 3 and half years, I’ve been wrangling projects, pictures, and passions with the Smithsonian Transcription Center. I have been so fortunate to learn from and collaborate with an endlessly curious set of digital volunteers. Their commitment and generosity continues to inspire me (and astound me!). I’m grateful for the support of incredibly talented staff from across the Smithsonian Institution; I count myself lucky to have partnered with archivists, collections managers, digitization pros, librarians, social media managers, educators, researchers, interns, and directors. I want to thank them for their patience and kindness. They supported me while teaching me about their needs, standards, and aspirations.
I also wish to thank my colleagues in the Office of the Chief Information Officer for their dedicated support of systems and services that provided access to digital collections.
I’m further grateful to have worked with creative, funny, and talented teammates at Quotient, Inc. I have greatly enjoyed creating solutions and successes with you!
Finally, I want to thank colleagues who manage other crowdsourcing, citizen science, educational, digital humanities, and public engagement projects. As individuals and a whole, these people have modeled collegiality. Thanks to all of you for sharing what you learn and practicing what you preach.
I’m working on thanking all of the people above individually, but that will take me a while. Until then, please know that it has been my great pleasure to learn through conversation, observation, and collaboration – thank you!
♦ ♦ ♦
So what’s next?
I’m thrilled to share that I will be joining the Library of Congress in the National and International Outreach service unit and specifically, the National Digital Initiatives division.
Their work focuses on impact and possibility; I am looking forward to new challenges encompassing both and sharing along the way.
Dr. Meghan Ferriter is an interdisciplinary researcher who currently cultivates programs of engagement and advises on workflow as Project Coordinator for the Smithsonian Transcription Center. She collaborates with volunteers and staff to increase access to and interaction with Smithsonian Institution collections. Meghan also shares with the wider cultural heritage, digital humanities, and citizen science communities the goal of increased knowledge-sharing and improving experiences in collaborative activities like crowdsourced transcription.
Her primary research explores the communication of cultural beliefs through media technologies and in media discourse; and the ways groups learn and refine understanding of social relationships through these resources – whether through political cartoons, newspaper discourse, hashtags, or user-generated content. Meghan’s research examines social identities and boundaries; processes of cultural change; language, power, representation, and discourse; and sport and popular culture. Trained as an anthropologist and cultural historian, Meghan’s doctoral thesis explored the extent of change in discourses of mediated sport (and she revels in qualitative research).
Meghan also loves to trouble the ways people use and communicate with digital media and technologies. She is interested in the transformative power and consequences of computer-mediated communication and participatory culture. Her recent research explores communities collaborating in digital platforms including Tumblr and Twitter and crowdsourcing and citizen science best practices.