Tuesday, March 05, 2019
Hello everyone! It’s been a cold winter here in North Dakota, but the beginning of March not only means that spring is slowly but surely on its way, but also that it’s time for another monthly update!
As of the end of February 2019, the Theodore Roosevelt Center has cataloged and given metadata to 61,310 items. Of those, 58,492 items have gone through the metadata review process, 56,602 have been investigated for the status of copyright, and 53,935 items are published on the web site.
While looking only at these numbers may make it appear that we had a bit of a slower month, with only a couple dozen items receiving new cataloging and only two hundred or so new items publishing to the website, rest assured that we continue to do hard work behind the scenes! Projects this month included linking new materials (more on that in a second), continuing to update our internal database of subject names, and providing assistance on a number of research questions.
Before I talk a little bit about our linking process, I should give some background. One of the major milestones that the Theodore Roosevelt Center is looking forward to is the point when we can say that we have published all of the materials from Theodore Roosevelt’s terms as president. While we knew that we had previously made some progress towards this—particularly during his first term—we did not know exactly where we stood with regards to this goal. Because of this, one of the projects we undertook during February was to get a snapshot of where we were in this project, looking at the materials how many items we had in each reel that were at the various points in the workflow. In addition to the three steps we use above (items cataloged, through metadata review, and through copyright review), we also looked for items that only had had images linked, but had not yet received any description, as well as items that did not yet have any work done whatsoever. After doing all of this, we found that of the approximately 62,000 items related in some way to Theodore Roosevelt’s two terms in the presidency, we had slightly less than half completed, slightly less than half untouched, and the remainder in various steps of completion. Although it was a little daunting to see so many items that had not been started, we were encouraged that we have worked on over half of the total items, and it gave us some guidance on how to proceed. While the completion of all these items is clearly still a long-term goal, we decided that our first step will be to complete the materials from TR’s first term, of which there are only about 5,000 untouched items. As a first step towards completing this portion of our materials, we have begun the process of connecting images to these empty records so that we can then flesh out the items with descriptions, subjects, and other helpful metadata to make these items discoverable. Having these items linked will also help this process go faster, as it becomes possible to recognize when correspondents are discussing the same topic, reducing the amount of original research we need to do to describe these items.
Elsewhere in the Theodore Roosevelt Center, we have also published videos from our 2018 symposium, Women in the Arena, just in time for Women’s History Month! Check out the videos tab here or visit us on our YouTube channel to check them out!
As always, thank you for your interest in the Theodore Roosevelt Center, and keep watching as we continue to make more items available!