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.
I came across this tweet earlier today and recalled the bit of time I spent with the CBS This Morning team in February 2015.
— Sarah Sulick (@sarahtsulick) February 5, 2015
Looks like I forgot to share about this 15 seconds of fame when it happened! In all seriousness, it was a brilliant opportunity to tell a wider audience about the innovative efforts of the Digitization Program Office, the 3D and Digitization teams, and OCIO’s support of Smithsonian Transcription Center.
So, on that Thursday, at the National Museum of American History, I demonstrated the varying projects in the Smithsonian Transcription Center (TC). Then we checked in on the National Numismatics Collection mass digitization project on the conveyor belt. After that, I chatted on camera for a few minutes with Mark Albert about the promise of crowdsourcing.
Not in the final video edit: I also explained the benefits and potential of making knowledge more accessible in collaborative ways. I described some of our discoveries so far and how the TC fits into other digitization practices at the Smithsonian.
The piece aired on 07 February 2015 as “3D imaging takes Smithsonian from Washington to the world.”
Be sure to watch for an apt reflection on digitization and access from former Digitization Program Office Director Günter Waibel at 3:18 (right before my bumble bee tour). Günter’s final quote closing the clip underscored the ways that these efforts match the vision of James Smithson: “He understood that when information is shared, science gets better.”
I’m looking forward to sharing more updates soon on the ways SI staff, volunteers, and the TC’s mechanisms are increasing the capability for information to be shared easily – and in turn, improve understandings of history, culture, and art, as well as science.