2020 DLF Forum: Online

The 2020 DLF Forum and affiliated events were held online, November 9-13. Though the COVID-19 pandemic required us to move our proceedings online, we’re thrilled that our first virtual DLF Forum was our most attended event to date! Presentations for this year’s events were pre-recorded, and made publicly available according to the conference schedule. Community conversations took place on Slack as attendees concurrently viewed scheduled presentations. This year, our Learn@DLF preconference was converted to a series of 1-15 minute tutorials about specific tools, techniques, workflows, or concepts. A handful were made available at the beginning of each Virtual DLF Forum conference day.

Links to the entire schedule of DLF Forum offerings, including pre-conference DLF Working Group videos and Learn@DLF tutorials, can be found below. To view recordings from our affiliated events, head to NDSA’s Digital Preservation 2020 site or CLIR’s 5 for 5: Conversations on Five Years of Digitizing Hidden Collections site.

You can keep up to date on future DLF Forum news by subscribing to our mailing listlistserv, or following us on Twitter. Use the hashtag #DLFforum to tweet about the DLF Forum!

Jump to…


DLF Forum Opening Plenary

CLIR Opening Remarks
Speakers: Aliya Reich, Louisa Kwasigroch, Charles Henry

CLIR staff members welcome attendees to the 2020 Virtual DLF Forum, provide contextual and logistical information, and introduce keynote Dr. Stacey Patton.

Keynote: Do Black Lives Matter in Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums?
Speakers: Stacey Patton

Dr. Stacey Patton delivers the 2020 Virtual DLF Forum Keynote, “Do Black Lives Matter in Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums?”

Forum Closing Plenary
Speakers: Louisa Kwasigroch, Nicole Kang Ferraiolo, Charles Henry

CLIR staff members close the 2020 Virtual DLF Forum.


Creating a Virtual Community for Virtual Reality: Challenges and Solutions for Program Building During a Pandemic
Speakers: Emily Sherwood, Maurini Strub, Meaghan Moody, Sebastian Jakymiw

As the hub for immersive technologies at the University of Rochester, Studio X’s anticipated Fall 2020 opening has been delayed due to COVID-19. This panel will share insights and strategies for re-envisioning a physical space-based community as a virtual one in the midst of the pandemic.

Emulation in Action
Speakers: Jessica Meyerson, Ron Nakao, Cynde Moya, Ethan Gates, Kris Kasianovitz

This discussion panel highlights “emulation-in-action” within the EaaSI Network – a distributed, community-driven architecture that supports the exchange of software and configured emulation environments between institutions. Brief demonstrations followed by facilitated discussion will explore three distinct emulation use cases: electronic music composition, videogames, and social science data.

Finding a Good Fit: Scaling Best Practices for Born-Digital Material to Fit the Needs of Diverse Communities
Speakers: Maggie Schreiner, Margo Padilla, Siobhan Hagan

Many different types and sizes of institutions hold and continue to acquire born-digital materials in their collections, and seek flexible and sustainable solutions for stewarding these materials. This panel brings together three non-academic institutions who have navigated creating and maintaining digital programs in a variety of settings, for diverse audiences.

Linked While Apart: Overcoming Division with Linked Data
Speakers: Xiying Mi, Jason Boczar, Bonita Pollock, Amanda Yesilbas

University of South Florida Libraries will present a panel discussion on how linked data technology can promote important digital cultural heritage collections. Topics of discussion will include the benefits of linked open data and how linked open data provides better access, discoverability, and interoperability of the collections.

Managing in a Crisis: How an HBCU Library is Adapting Digital and Archival Workflows in a Rapidly Changing World
Speakers: Joshua Hogan, Christine Wiseman, Sarah Tanner

This panel presentation will address how one HBCU-affiliated library, the Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library, tackled adjusting archival processes and workflows in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will also discuss how the Library is seeking to collect archival collections more responsively and actively in our changing world.

Metadata Works From Home: How Student Workers Continued to Work While Increasing Collection Accessibility
Speakers: Emily Vinson, Andrew Weidner, Crystal Cooper, Nick Tripp

Faced with campus closures, a University of Houston Libraries team developed plans to engage student employees in creating closed captions for hundreds of archival videos on the Libraries’ Audio/Video Repository. Panelists will describe the project and address unique challenges related to transcribing archival content, including dated and offensive content.

Recording Restorative Justice and Accountability: The Burnham-Nobles Digital Archive
Speakers: Gina Nortonsmith, Raymond Wilkes, Amanda Rust, Drew Facklam

This panel will discuss the Burnham-Nobles Digital Archive, which represents the Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project at Northeastern University School of Law. Highlights include the collaborative efforts of project stakeholders to honor victims of racially motivated violence and the archival value of social justice informed collection arrangement and description.

US Latino DH: Recovering the Past, Creating the Future
Speakers: Gabriela Baeza Ventura, Carolina Villarroel, Lorena Gauthereau, Linda Garcia Merchant

This panel focuses on the use of underrepresented US Latinx archives and digital humanities to reconfigure how we understand the past and imagine a more inclusive future through. The turn to the past allows to interrogate and rewrite/reimagine a US history where Latinx voices are not disregarded or erased.

Where It’s At: Using GIS Tools for Engagement and Outreach at an HBCU Library
Speakers: Brittany Newberry, Cliff Landis, Justin de la Cruz

GIS represents an innovative step forward for academic libraries. This panel will examine the use of GIS in a variety of ways: library instruction, disaster preparedness, and archives. As context and interactivity become more necessary, it’s important to consider and use tools outside the scope of a traditional academic library.

Combo Sessions

Combo sessions consist of three separate presentations by one to two speakers on a single topic or project. Presentations were grouped by the program committee based on overarching themes or ideas.

Creating accessible and inclusive content

Addressing Issues of Accessibility: Urgency In A World of Social Distancing
Speakers: Rebecca Y. Bayeck

Recent lawsuits against Hunters Point Library in New York for violation of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) evidence that accessibility is not optional, but rather mandatory for professional at all levels. This presentation builds on different fields to present approaches to address accessibility for practitioners in digital library, archives, and museums.

Creating Digital Libraries that People With Disabilities Can Use: Why Talking About Compatibility with Assistive Technologies is Necessary
Speakers: Daniella Levy-Pinto, Mark Weiler

Digital libraries are expected to follow accessibility guidelines to ensure people with disabilities can use them. Our presentation addresses the fourth requirement of the internationally adopted Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, which requires web content to work with people’s assistive technologies. This requirement is often neglected, perhaps because of its complexity.

Beyond Captions: The Role of Audio Descriptions & Transcripts in Video Accessibility
Speakers: Carli Spina

As video content increases in importance online and in digital collections, it is vital that this content be accessible. While captions are the best known accessibility feature for videos, audio description and transcripts are important to include all users. This presentation will introduce these features and workflows for their creation.

Digitally Documenting and Preserving the Heritage of HBCU Institutions (HBCULA Partner Combo Session)

We Were Here: Making HBCU Collections Digitally Accessible Through Grants
Speakers: Holly Smith, Jessica Leming

The Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library is home to extensive archival collections that document the history of HBCU education, campus and student life, and the development of higher education in Atlanta, along with collections related to civic and social organizations of Black communities in and around the south.

The Early Beginnings of SC State University
Speakers: Avery Daniels

This presentation will highlight the early years of SC State University from 1896-1911 under the University’s first president, Thomas E. Miller.

Archives Bringing Oakwood to Life
Speakers: Barbara Stovall

The Oakwood University Archives was established in 1973, as a depository of historical records. Its aim is to preserve source materials related to Oakwood University, its constituents, and the community with reliable resources. The information housed includes but not limited to photographs, historical documents, yearbooks, and presidential papers.

Envisioning sustainable approaches to documentation and preservation

One Place to Rule Them All! Creating a Shared Documentation Repository for Our Digital Collections–The Full Life Cycle of Creation, Maintenance, and Sunsetting
Speakers: Lauren Havens

Keeping documentation isolated to individuals – in email inboxes or other single location – is unsustainable. We’ve aggregated documentation for 200+ digital collections into a central, shared repository. We’ll share how we did this, what we’re documenting, who has access, and why it was important to collaborate with internal and external stakeholders.

Preserving DH Projects: Creating an Environment for Emulation
Speakers: Corinne Guimont, Alex Kinnaman

Digital Humanities (DH) projects are complex with multiple moving components in need of preservation. Early preservation planning for each component is a strategy for long-term access. This presentation will break down various components of a DH project, preservation approaches for those components, packaging methods for future recreation/emulation.

‘Time Capsule’ Archiving Through Strong Dark Archives (SDA): Designing Trustable Distributed Archives for Sensitive Materials
Speakers: John Bowers, Jack Cushman, Jayshree Sarathy, Jonathan Zittrain

Digital artifacts pose new challenges for delayed-release archiving. To protect our historical record for future generations, we propose Strong Dark Archives (SDA), a blended administrative and technical protocol for securing delayed-released archival materials among networks of libraries.

Implementing responsible workflows and practices

Classifying Reuse and Assessing it with Care
Speakers: Ayla Stein Kenfield, Santi Thompson, Elizabeth Joan Kelly, Kinza Masood, Caroline Muglia, Ali Shiri, Liz Woolcott, Joyce Chapman, Derrick Jefferson, Myrna E. Morales

This presentation will focus on definitions and ethical applications for use/reuse of digital materials. The speakers will: provide finalized definitions for use/reuse; introduce the impact assessment matrix and ethical guidelines; and address the lack of common practices for what constitutes and how to assess reuse of digital materials.

“Can We Digitize This? Should We?” Navigating Ethics, Law, and Policy in Bringing Collections to Digital Life
Speakers: Stacy Reardon, Michael Lange

UC Berkeley Library’s responsible access workflows and a corresponding community engagement policy support cultural heritage institutions seeking to digitize special collections by helping institutions navigate complex areas of law and policy. They also address social justice, adopting an ethics of care approach that balances potential value and harm.

Engaging with the Public Domain: Scaling up the Deep Backfile Project
Speakers: John Mark Ockerbloom, Rachelle Nelson

We discuss how we’ve trained and supported dozens of library workers researching copyright information on thousands of 20th century serials held by Penn, and publishing it as linked open data via Wikidata. We show how the data benefits digitization projects and researchers, and how more can get involved.

Incorporating community vocabularies to broaden access

Mitigating Bias Through Controlled Vocabularies
Speakers: Juliet Hardesty

This talk shares experiences in identifying ways to disrupt metadata bias. The goal of these efforts is to arrive at a process that identifies and incorporates controlled vocabularies from marginalized communities, that respects their interests, and is not hindered by metadata formats or system technology.

DanceDance Annotation
Speakers: Susan L. Wiesner

Too often when documenting movement, the community within which dances are created is ignored or overlooked. By combining insights from knowledgeable members of the communities themselves with new technological tools we can improve the interdisciplinary study of dance and other forms of movement through structured data and well-curated digital resources.

Curationist: Designing a Metadata Standard and Taxonomy for an Open Cultural Ecosystem
Speakers: Sharon Mizota

This presentation describes the metadata schema, content standard, and taxonomy guidelines created for Curationist.org, a crowd-sourced, multilingual aggregator of open access cultural content. Designed to accommodate multiple layers of metadata and to reflect Curationist’s progressive values, eventually, this collectively enhanced dataset will be available as linked open data.

New Approaches to Developing Digital Archives (HBCULA Partner Combo Session)

Building a Portal for Rosenwald Collections
Speakers: Alyssa Wynans, DeLisa Minor Harris

In February of 2020, Fisk University was awarded a Project Planning Grant by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The grant focuses on organizing and curating material from the university’s Julius Rosenwald Collections.

The Making and Digitizing of the W. B Broughton Archival Collection
Speakers: Carol Bowers, Courtney Rounds, Sloane Clark

During this presentation, Ms. Bowers, Mrs. Rounds and Ms. Clark from Allen University will provide information on discovery (how Mrs. Broughton founded the Archives and the Naming Ceremony) the digital collection process with Content DM and creating Meta Data, incorporating Past Perfect Software, and best practices to be implemented.

Transformative Praxis: A New Vision for Collection Development
Speakers: Amanda Strauss, Jordan Jancosek

The John Hay Library recently wrote a collection development policy that articulates a transformative vision for our collections and lays the groundwork for a new digital strategy. Through this presentation, we reflect on what it has meant to engage in transformative collection praxis during this particular historical moment.

Teaching social justice through digital archiving and data science

Teaching Towards Justice: Data Justice In Library Instruction
Speakers: Isaac Williams

As academic librarians increasingly teach data science skills, attention must be paid to scholarship arguing that big data increases inequality. By integrating data justice principles into instruction, librarians can encourage students to become responsible data practitioners. This presentation outlines ways librarians can include ethics and justice in data instruction.

“Digital El Diario” and Archival Justice in the Digital Humanities Graduate Classroom
Speakers: Juan Manuel García Fernández, Nickoal Eichmann-Kalwara

This presentation offers student and instructor perspectives on archival justice in the DH graduate classroom and the various DH literacies and competencies such a focus enables. In particular, we provide a closer look at the creation of “Digital El Diario,” a project that resulted from a discipline-agnostic graduate course.

BLM, Community Activism & Digital Archiving in the Era of George Floyd
Speakers: Portia Hopkins, Wanja Kuria

This presentation examines the community activism and archival work in Minneapolis, Minnesota related to anti-police violence against BIPOC. It highlights the work of activist Wanja Kuria, who, after Floyd’s murder, began protesting racism, state-sanctioned violence and documenting the ways in which the Black Lives Matter Movement operates on the ground.

Learn@DLF Tutorials

Presented out of the formal schedule but made available and highlighted during the Forum, tutorials are training sessions or demonstrations between one and fifteen minutes in length about specific tools, techniques, workflows, or concepts.

Accessible Design for Data Visualizations
Speakers: Rachel Starry

Learn about appropriately using color in charts, some online tools for selecting and evaluating colorblind-safe color palettes, and four design principles for creating maximally accessible data visualizations for all readers (simplicity, context, legibility, and contrast).

Designing for Labor Equity
Speakers: Ruth Tillman, Sandy Rodriguez, Amy Wickner, Cory Lampert

Representatives from the IMLS-funded Collective Responsibility: National Forum on Labor Practices for Grant-Funded Digital Positions steering committee will introduce and demonstrate the use of three tools to promote labor equity. Attendees will learn more about equitable project design, grant application language, and talking about contingency at work.

DIY Map Digitization and Access
Speakers: Jack Tieszen, Andy Rutkowski

This tutorial will teach the basics of using the open-source mapping program QGIS to georeference digitized maps along with publishing these maps using the software development platform GitHub and the mapping platform Mapbox.

Exploring a Data Skills Development Gateway – the Data Management Training Clearinghouse as a Community Resource for Instructors and Learners
Speakers: Nancy Hoebelheinrich, Karl Benedict

In 2016, multiple organizations launched a Data Management Training Clearinghouse. In 2018, DMTC was awarded additional support for enhancement from IMLS. This workshop will demonstrate the capabilities of the newly enhanced DMTC by providing hands-on introduction to the search and curation functions, and inviting participants to join the DMTC community.

Images as Data with Computer Vision
Speakers: Lauren Tilton, Taylor Arnold, Carol Chiodo

The tutorial will highlight approaches and resources for transforming digital images into data for search and discovery. The tutorial will begin by introducing the concept of computer vision. We will then share available resources, which include tutorials, white papers, and critiques of computer vision for identifying features in image collections.

Oral History as Data: Lightweight, Static Tool for Publishing and Analyzing Transcripts
Speakers: Devin Becker

Oral History as Data (OHD) is a static web tool that transforms interview transcript data into interactive websites. Users can publish, search, visualize, and share the text and audio/video from oral histories, qualitative interviews and similar outputs via the web in a few simple steps.

Using Wax and Jekyll to build minimal digital projects
Speakers: Jo Klein, Cass Wilkinson Saldaña, Angela Zoss

While a custom-built digital collection, exhibition, or repository can be a huge undertaking, it doesn’t need to be! This session showcases Jekyll and Wax as helpful tools for building digital scholarship projects minimally. We’ll explain the philosophy behind these tools, explore an example repository, and direct you to additional resources.

Lightning Talks

High-profile, high-energy lightning talks shared out of the formal conference schedule, with the opportunity to point viewers to contact information and additional materials online.

Breaking Boundaries with CollectionBuilder: Iterative Digital Collection Software Development with Partners
Speakers: Olivia Wikle, Andrea Green, Erin Holmes, Cal Murgu

This presentation will describe the collaborative development process of CollectionBuilder, a static web application that uses Jekyll, APIs, and structured metadata to improve the browsing, design, and visualization capacities for digital collections. Community-driven collaboration with partner institutions has broadened the capacity of CollectionBuilder as a skin interface and teaching tool.

Broadening Access to Big Bibliometric Data with a Community-Built Infrastructure
Speakers: Jamie V. Wittenberg, Jaci Wilkinson, Patricia L. Mabry, Xiaoran Yan, Valentin Pentchev, Robert Van Rennes

Despite demand, academic libraries struggle to provide big bibliometric datasets for their patrons due to the cost and specialized expertise the datasets require. CADRE is a cloud-based platform for sharing, provisioning, and analyzing big bibliometric data. Libraries share CADRE development expenses to reduce per-library costs, while increasing access for patrons.

The DH Toolkit: A Collaborative, Open, and Extensible Experiment in Pedagogy
Speakers: R.C. Miessler, Kevin Moore

In the summer of 2020, librarians and undergraduates at Gettysburg College collaborated virtually to develop the DH Toolkit, a collection of digital learning objects for Digital Humanities tools and concepts. This lightning talk will discuss the collaborative framework for creating the toolkit and its future in DH pedagogy at Gettysburg.

Lightweight Zero-Knowledge Encryption for Repository Deposit of Sensitive Data 
Speakers: Alexander Garnett, Jin Zhang

Providing access to sensitive data is unpopular within digital libraries and repositories due to the inherent disclosure risk. Hashicorp’s Vault platform has made it possible for us to implement a lightweight solution for secure, zero-knowledge encryption of deposited datasets, while still facilitating access requests.

No Scrap of Paper Left Behind: Digitizing the Berkeley Folk Music Festival
Speakers: Erin Gilchrist

This presentation will focus on the complexities, challenges, and collaboration that was necessary for completion of a three-year NEH grant to digitize, describe, and publicly release the Berkeley Folk Music Festival Collection. Challenges include redacting social security numbers, establishing authority records, describing esoteric text, and developing a content management system.

Pandemic Pivot: How to Take Your Event Online, Reach New Audiences, and Build Even Stronger Communities
Speakers: Meg O’Hearn, Christine Fernsebner Eslao, Aliya Reich

We can’t meet safely in person, but we can still gather to share best practices and build community. Join representatives from the IIIF Consortium, the LD4 Conference planning committee, and CLIR/DLF as they discuss the opportunities and the pitfalls prompted by the pandemic-related cancellation of in-person events.

Reality and Augmented Reality in the Penn and Slavery Project
Speakers: Katie Rawson

This presentation discusses the Penn and Slavery Project, an augmented reality tour and a research website, in the context of political and technological realities at the University of Pennsylvania. It considers how librarians structured opportunities to empower students to harness the possibility and technology of augmented reality for public scholarship.

What Have We Learned?: A Reflection On A Scrapbook Representation User Study
Speakers: Shannon Willis, Marcia McIntosh

The presenters conducted a multi-stage, multi-year research study of the images required to represent complex scrapbooks in an online environment. This presentation reflects on the process of the study, the methods used, what went well, and what they would do differently. Findings from the research will also be presented.

Working Groups at DLF Forum

Once we decided that the 2020 DLF Forum and affiliated events would be held in a virtual format, it meant that our working groups wouldn’t have the opportunity to meet in person for their typical working meals that take place throughout the Forum; however, 2020’s virtual format meant that we had more new DLF Forum attendees than ever before. Because DLF’s working groups are open to ALL, regardless of whether you’re affiliated with a DLF member institution or not, we asked leaders of the DLF working groups to introduce their groups and the work they do to the new and returning members of the #DLFvillage in a series of blogs and videos.

Born-Digital Access Working Group
Speakers: Jessika Drmacich, Karla Irwin

This presentation is a short introduction to DLF’s Born-Digital Access Working Group. It was created as part of the 2020 DLF Forum, which took place online November 9-10, 2020.

Data & Digital Scholarship Working Group
Speakers: Jason Clark, Sara Mannheimer

This presentation is a short introduction to DLF’s Data & Digital Scholarship Working Group. It was created as part of the 2020 DLF Forum, which took place online November 9-10, 2020.

Digital Accessibility Working Group
Speakers: Jasmine Lelis Clark, Debbie Krahmer, Mark Weiler, Gabriel Galson, Amy Vecchione

This presentation is a short introduction to DLF’s Digital Accessibility Working Group. It was created as part of the 2020 DLF Forum, which took place online November 9-10, 2020.

Digital Library Pedagogy Group (#DLFteach)
Speakers: Nick Homenda, Heidi Winkler, Martha Stuit, Alex Wermer-Colan

This presentation is a short introduction to DLF’s Digital Library Pedagogy Group (#DLFteach). It was created as part of the 2020 DLF Forum, which took place online November 9-10, 2020.

Government Records Transparency & Accountability Interest Group
Speakers: Brandon Locke, Shari Laster, Justin Schell

This presentation is a short introduction to DLF’s Government Records Transparency & Accountability Interest Group. It was created as part of the 2020 DLF Forum, which took place online November 9-10, 2020.

Metadata Support Group
Speakers: Julie Hardesty, Liz Woolcott, Anna Neatrour, Bria Parker

This presentation is a short introduction to DLF’s Metadata Support Group. It was created as part of the 2020 DLF Forum, which took place online November 9-10, 2020.

Project Managers Group
Speakers: Robin Pike, Krystal Thomas, Todd Digby

This presentation is a short introduction to DLF’s Project Managers Group. It was created as part of the 2020 DLF Forum, which took place online November 9-10, 2020.

Working Group on Labor in Digital Libraries
Speakers: Ruth Tillman, Sandy Rodriguez, Amy Wickner

This presentation is a short introduction to DLF’s Working Group on Labor in Digital Libraries. It was created as part of the 2020 DLF Forum, which took place online November 9-10, 2020.

Working Group on Privacy & Ethics in Technology
Speakers: Scott Young, Michelle Gibeault

This presentation is a short introduction to DLF’s Working Group on Privacy & Ethics in Technology. It was created as part of the 2020 DLF Forum, which took place online November 9-10, 2020.

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