The Columbia River Basin Ethnic History Archive: A tri-state online history database and learning center
Bond, Trevor James
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Abstract: Purpose – This paper aims to describe the three state digital archive collaboration between the Washington, Oregon, and Idaho state historical societies, and Washington State University, a multi-campus university. Design/methodology/approach – The paper discusses the three major aspects of the IMLS Leadership project: the process of the museum/library collaboration, the technical aspects of the building, the digital archive and the metadata scheme, and the effort to engage the archive user with the past through interactive tutorials. Findings – Building a contextually coherent digital archive from numerous geographically remote collections is possible to do given current meeting technologies and funding for travel. Project staff and partners need to be explicit and forthcoming about institutional and professional interests involved in collaborative projects. User focus groups found the site to be very engaging. Originality/value – The paper describes the collaboration process, technically how the archive was built, and the development of the history tutorials and discussion board.