The University of Texas at Austin
Degree: Master of Science in Information Studies
Class: Digital Libraries, INF385S
Type: Group Work, 3 members
Texas After Violence Project (TAVP), a community-based archive, is transitioning its digital collection from the content management system Glifos to Mukurtu. TAVP’s collection consists of oral histories by individuals who have been impacted by state-based violence in Texas. Mukurtu centers user-created information, organization, and digital heritage--an orientation that aligns well with TAVP’s goals to “shift narrative power to marginalized and oppressed communities” (TAVP website). Digital heritage items comprise Mukurtu online collections, each belonging to at least one user/contributing community, cultural protocol that dictates access to that item, and category to organize the item within the Mukurtu site. In the following, we outline specific features of Mukurtu and offer recommendations to TAVP based on these features.These recommendations are built into each section, to more easily facilitate their implementation with regard to specific features. Furthermore, we use these conclusions to inform additional recommendations for TAVP partners, the Inside Books Project (IBP) and the Forced Trajectory Project (FTP).
- How should the Mukurtu platform be set up to support the needs of TAVP and its collections users?
- What is an effective metadata schema to organize TAVP collections in Mukurtu?
- How can collections be migrated to Mukurtu while retaining or creating organizational elements to better accommodate the use of these collections by different communities?
Amberly Russell - UX Manager
I was the user group representative for this project and it took approximately 27.5 hours to complete this work. Over the course of two weeks I conducted interviews with six individuals representing major user groups for Texas After Violence Project (TAVP) in order to evaluate collections including partner collections, Inside Books Project (IBP) archive and the Forced TrajectoryProject (FTP) archive. Interviews were based around Mukurtu's use of categories, communities, and cultural protocols regarding the TAVP collections, IBP archive, and FTP archive.
Initial interview and research
First, I participated in the initial client interview to determine the role I would play in this project. When our client mentioned “user groups” I decided to be their representative in order to make their voices heard while we made important decisions for the foundation of managing the project outcomes. The client meeting held via ZOOM was a huge success with gathering information about the user groups, access levels, and what communities will be created for Mukurtu. We discussed the need for restricted access for certain materials and public access for the three main archives TAVP, FTP, and IVP. Our client broke down some of the subgroups within the three main archives like restricting access to just families members of police violence for materials to be shared only with other families and not to be made public. During that meeting I received a list of seven individuals to contact for an interview and was able to schedule five interviews in the two week window I had planned.
Two Founder interviews, prep, research, and documentation
To prepare for these two 45 min interviews I researched the organization, their founders, and history so I could be prepared for the interview. I made sure that the conversation was easy and organized in a way that facilitated comfort in sharing information. The interviews went really well and provided us many opportunities for recommendations surrounding the Mukurtu’s use of communities, cultural protocols, and categories.
Three community member interviews, prep, documentation
Additionally, our client connected me with three TAVP community member user group representatives. Each interview went really well and involved preparation time, scheduling, the actual interview itself, and documentation of the interviews to inform our Mukurtu recommendations.
Documentation of the interviews and personas were made by me and available in our Mukurtu document. I did the graphic design and video editing for our final research presentation and we all took the lead at different times setting up documents required by this class. I also created the Statement of Work using an agile methodology for each group member.