2021 CTDA Virtual Open Meeting

Join the us virtually on June 18th, for Connecticut Digital Archive (CTDA) Virtual Open Meeting! Come Zoom with the CTDA and other archivists, curators, and librarians from across Connecticut to talk about all the work being done to advance digital cultural heritage across the state.

The meeting is open to anyone interested in digital preservation and culture. We welcome any and all participants, you don't have to be a member of the CTDA to participate!

When: 9:00am, Friday, June 18th, 2021

Where: Zoom! (Supported by the Connecticut League of History Organizations (CLHO))


Want to talk informally with friends and colleagues outside of the Zoom box? Visit the CTDA Gather Lounge!

Pick an avatar and enter the private CTDA Gather Lounge where you can mingle with friends or sit at a private table to talk more confidentially. The Gather Lounge comes free with your registration. 

Login and instructional information will be emailed to you a few days before the meeting. 

The CTDA Gather Lounge is sponsored in part by Gather https://gather.town


Simon Tanner

So What?
Answering this question by finding and showing the value in your digital collections

Have you experienced that frustrating “so what” conversation, where every idea garners a shrug and “so what” response? Simon Tanner will explore innovative ways of rethinking value when we plan to invest in digital or seek to justify our digital collections. In this interactive session, Simon will explore concepts of sharing, impact, and attention to stimulate debate about what we value, why we value, and how to plan to achieve value. He will tie this thinking together into a simple structure for making successful proposals and performance review.

Simon is a Professor of Digital Cultural Heritage in the Department of Digital Humanities at King’s College London. His most recent book, Delivering Impact with Digital Resources, introduces a fresh way of thinking about strategy and a mechanism to provide evidence of benefits that extend to impact.A detailed look at his new book can be found here: https://bvimodel.org/bvim/delivering-impact-with-digital-resources. Visit for the book info, stay for the clickable bibliography, glossary and downloadable content!


We will be hosting the virtual meeting using Zoom (thanks to the CLHO for letting us use their account!). We will be using the Zoom Breakout Room feature for a number of events, including the community conversations. You can learn how to use breakout rooms in this guide from Zoom support.

We will also have a dedicated support person available during the meeting if you need any help.

Room 1 - CTDA in Context

Learn more about the CTDA's efforts to identify and break down socialized power structures and inspire institutional and systematic change in Connecticut's cultural heritage community.


Room 2 - Islandora 8

Learn about the new, upgraded version of Islandora, the platform that will power the CTDA starting in 2022 and beyond!


Room 3 - CTDA Community Member 

New to the CTDA? Interested in a refresher? This is the session for you!


Room 4 - Conversation with Simon Tanner

Continue the conversation started in the Keynote with our special guest, Simon Tanner


Reporting Back on the Connecticut Collections Alliance Project

Kathy Foulke - Mystic Seaport/Hartford History Center at Hartford Public Library

Talk will cover work accomplished and key findings of the Connecticut Collections Alliance (CCA) project, focused on facilitating discoverability and usability of cultural heritage resources through connecting platforms, enhanced description and curation.


Archives and Virtual Reality: Incorporating Artifacts and Correcting OCR

Meghan Arends - Greenhouse Studios, University of Connecticut Library

Discussion on the use of archives for the creation of a virtual reality project by Greenhouse Studios, Courtroom 600. OCR is generated and corrected to provide accurate text for documents that are displayed in-game. Specific talking points include the need for accuracy within the OCR, the importance of remaining faithful to the original artifact, and the format/stylistic decisions made in the process.


Virtual tour: the Digital Library Lab at Hartford Public Library

Leah Early - Hartford Public Library

Leah will the equipment and capabilities of the HPL's Digital Library Lab.


The Middletown Bulletin Spreadsheet Ingest

Julia M. Lee - Russell Library

The Middletown Bulletin was published from 1947 to 1996. The focus of the newspaper was the large Italian-American community in Middletown. News of local, national, and international events were included. Original Italian language articles were included in every issue. Spreadsheet ingest was the obvious choice for this sized project. After many hours on Google Sheets and lots of CTDA tech support we have been able to add all of the weekly issues to the Russell Library collection.


The CCSU COVID-19 Archive

Brian Matzke - Central Connecticut State University

This talk will discuss the process of creating, promoting, and populating an archive of materials that captures the CCSU community's experience of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Sourcery - Remote Access to Archives and Special Collections

Garrett McComas - Greenhouse Studios, University of Connecticut Library

Sourcery aims to improve the systems and technologies whereby researchers access not-yet digitized archival documents. Using the Sourcery app, a researcher seeking a document can simply select a participating institution, enter in the citation information, and the request will be routed directly to the repository.


Preserving the History and Legacy of UConn’s Black Experience in the Arts Course

Rebecca Parmer - University of Connecticut Archives & Special Collections

This lightning talk will discuss UConn Archives & Special Collection’s efforts to preserve, digitize, and raise the visibility of a series of recordings made for UConn's long-running, groundbreaking course, Black Experience in the Arts, through a CLIR Recordings at Risk grant.


Indexing Oral Histories

Elizabeth Rose - Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford

Learn how we are using OHMS (Oral History Metadata Synchronizer) to make our extensive oral history collection, stored on CTDA, more accessible online.


We have learned a few things since we have moved to all virtual meeting in the past year plus. Below are a few ground rules that we have found to be helpful while participating in an online meeting: 

  • Mute your microphone unless you are speaking

  • Please keep your camera off during presentations. You are welcome to turn them on to ask questions, during breaks and community conversations.

  • Pets, kids, significant others, etc. wandering into the frame are OK. (In fact, we encourage them to visit during breaks!)

  • Snacks and drinks are OK (even if you can’t share them!)

  • If you have to step out to deal with something—that’s OK, but please don’t take your video/audio feed with you while you do.

We have designed the meeting so you can pick and choose which sessions you would like to attend. You can spend the whole day, or drop in for any particular session. You can design your own meeting experience!


A note from CTDA Director Greg Colati:

The Governor's announcement "reopening" Connecticut is welcome news, but it will NOT affect the 2021 CTDA Open Meeting scheduled for June 18.

We understand that many people and spaces are not yet ready for reopening, and in truth, it would be impossible for us to switch our planning and preparations at this late date.

We have all learned a great deal about how to communicate and congregate in virtual spaces, and in many ways the ability of the CTDA to interact with its members has been enhanced by the widespread adoption of virtual meeting tools.

We will continue to develop the best ways to allow our members to communicate with us and with each other, including future meetings that are in-person, virtual, and some combination of the two. In fact, this can be a topic of discussion at the Virtual Open Meeting!