9/11 Digital Archive
Launched shortly after the attacks, the 9/11 Digitial Archives uses electronic media to collect, preserve, and present the history of 9/11 and its aftermath. The archives contains over 150,000 digital items, such as emails, personal stories, and digital images. There is also a section of the archive with gathered links of additional resources the user can use in order to research more information about the attacks on 9/11. The 9/11 Digital Archives is also powered by Omeka which was cool to see since we learned about Omeka two weeks ago in class.
For someone, like me, who has never seen the 9/11 Digital Archives before, the website is very easy to navigate. To search the collection, there is a collection tab that you can click and sends you to this screen, categorizing the digital collection into seperate sections, such as Audio, Personal Accounts, Photography, etc.
When a user click on one of the boxes, for example on the photography box, the user is sent to a page with a description of what is categorized under photography and a collection tree with links for all of the digital photographs, usually organized by people or title, that the user can click on and browse through or download.
One of the cool things about the 9/11 Digital Archives is that it is very easy for the average person to contribute their own content and personal stories to the archive. The user just clicks on the contribute tab and fills out the boxes of information. Any user can contribute their own personal story or audio, video, or digital images to the archives.
Bracero History Archives
The Bracero History Archives collects and makes available the oral histories and artifacts pertaining to the Bracero program, a guest worker initiative that spanned the years 1942-1964 where millions of Mexican agricultural workers crossed the border to work in more than half of the states in America. Users of the digital archive have the option to browse through the collections in either English or Spanish, making the archive accessible to a wide audience.
When the online user goes through the collection, they have the option to browse through the entire collection (3,209 items), or can browse through particular divisions of the collection: Images, Documents, Oral Histories, and Contributed Items. The collection items are not listed in any particular order, such as alphabetization, so unless the user has a specfic individual or item they are looking for that they can type in the search box, the user has to take more time to look through the collection to find what he or she may be looking for.
The Bracero History Archives also offers users a selected bibliography if users are interested in researching the history of the Bracero program beyond the archives. The archives also offers resources for teachers to teach students about the Bracero program and also offers online tutorials on how to navigate the online archives for first time users.
Compared to the 9/11 Digital Archives, I found it much harder to contribute my own personal items to the archives. Even though the Bracero History Archives offer another video tutorial on how to contribute digital items to the archive, I still couldn’t figure out where on the website I go to contribute the items myself. I also think the website has changed since these video tutorials were created, making it difficult to find out where I am supposed to go to contribute digital items to the archives. Kudos to the people who figured it out though, since there are many contributed items to the archives.
Overall, I thought both digital archives were interesting and easy to use. I especially liked that both offered ways for ordinary users to contribute their own items to the digital archives.
Do you prefer one digital archive over another?