Hi, I'm Jolene.

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  1. Lightweight digital archives for archaeology

    In the nine years I've been in my current position a lot has changed. I started out with a working title of "Archaeology Inventory Manager," mainly tasked with assigning site numbers and keeping the state's site forms in order. Other associated paper records and physical media were sorted in alphabetical order by county and stored in various locations in the building over time, depending on space and the primary users of the material. Digital files would sometimes come in on disk with bound reports. We would download them and organize by county. Over time we began to require PDF copies …

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  2. Data collection (for all kinds of things) with KoBoToolbox

    I've been dabbling quite a bit with data collection this past year. There are a lot of methods by which to skin this cat, but I've settled in with KoBoToolbox for a lot of reasons expressed below.

    My MSUDAI colleague Ben Carter has done a wonderful job of documenting his experiences with KoBoToolbox for field data collection from the perspective of an archaeologist. He provides some wonderful introductions here and here. Read these first or come back to them.

    KoBoToolbox is a highly versatile, free, open source data collection tool originally designed for humanitarian organizations. Its back-end is similar to …

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  3. Vancouver SAA recap

    As a matter of routine, I usually post my conference papers here. I feel strongly about working in public (even if the work is imperfect). But this year's Society for American Archaeology conference was a bit different for me. I was privileged to be an invited panelist at two fora. Until this conference, I had no idea how much I would love the forum set-up. The conversations were lively and helpful. The speakers in the fora I presented in and attended were so engaging and the conversations were genuine and challenging.

    a gorgeous view of the mountains and the Bay in Vancouver

    Following are my rough answers to the questions posed …

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  4. public sector perspectives

    It was my great privilege to have been invited as a speaker and panelest at Critical Perspectives on the Practice of Digital Archaeology at Harvard University on February 3 and 4, 2017. Here's my paper.

    Title slide: Other People’s Data: Practical Realities and Ethics of Preservation, Reuse, and Dissemination at a State Repository

    Other People’s Data1: Practical Realities and Ethics of Preservation, Reuse, and Dissemination at a State Repository

    I’m Jolene Smith. I work for the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, the State Historic Preservation office (or SHPO). My title is long and new, although I’ve been in this position and another at the agency for about a decade collectively. I’m DHR’s …

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  5. databases, optical codes, databases, databases...

    Since all the Institute action wrapped up in August and September, I'm back to some database projects that have been asking for my attention for a while. Back in May I posted about optical scanning. First order of business now is to take this project back up again and get rolling. Some backstory: I don't directly work with our artifact collections, but we're a very small shop. And since all information is connectable by state site number, it's in my diabolical master plan to get all agency databases talking to each other. And, in what I've come to learn is …

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  6. msudai project launch! Virginia Archaeology for Everyone

    Virginia Archaeology for Everyone: A Public Digital Repository

    Virginia Archaeology for Everyone site banner

    Update! 9/8/2016

    KORA/MATRIX staff resolved the plugin issues, layout is complete, and the project is launched! I have very high hopes to build this proof-of-concept into something permanent for our agency. Thanks to all who helped.

    A Note on Delay:

    Unfortunately, bugs in the WordPress plugin interfered with layout and functionality, so I decided to pause site development after consultation with Ethan Watrall and Catherine Foley pending updates on fixes for the plugin.

    At present, the site landing page displays an update about technical difficulties, although all pages are …

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  7. links!

    While beginning to export a brainfull of Institute thoughts and ideas and wading through 10,000 links, I decided to try to figure out a way to organize them. I'm putting links to tools, tutorials, interesting things, etc. here. Right now I'm using Airtable, but I'd love to find an easy way to do this in the future without relying on a commercial company. But this is cool because I (or you!) can sort by tag, date , or any other variable and search by keyword. I also made an Airtable form that will allow me to very quickly add records …

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  8. #msudai post processing

    This post originally appeared as a project update for the Institute on Digital Archaeology Method and Practice here.

    I’m sitting in the Detroit airport on two hours of sleep (after staying up way too late and waking up way too early) and feeling feelings. Wednesday after we finished our day at the Institute it hit me. We had passed the halfway point for the week. We were closer to the end than to the beginning. And it made me really, really sad.

    I was struggling with some technical issues in my project that were beyond my control and I …

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  9. wireframes

    This post originally appeared as a project update for the Institute on Digital Archaeology Method and Practice here.

    With the help of the wonderful folks at MATRIX, I'm still trying my darnedest (and not succeeding) at getting the KORA WordPress plugin to work. Which means I'm still a little stalled. Since I don't yet know how the plugin behaves and I'm new at significant WordPress fiddling, I don't want to spend a whole lot of time with painstaking selection of a theme that won't work. I'm probably doing something stupid with the plugin install process; for now I'm just waiting …

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  10. copyright, fair use, and the digital repository (part 1)

    This post originally appeared as a project update for the Institute on Digital Archaeology Method and Practice here. See the original posts for images and comments.

    While I wait for the KORA WordPress plugin’s completion to dig into front end development (still reserving the PHP option mentally since the clock is ticking), I’ve been deep into research on copyright and intellectual property implications of this kind of project. I’ve been thinking about this all for a while. As I’ve begun ingesting digital objects, I’ve been confronted with that pesky “rights” field. After my dead-end research …

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