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Category Archives: Internships
Students at the University of Washington iSchool are always up to neat things! Read about second year student Dana Deseck-Piazzon’s experiences as an intern in the library at Perkins Coie LLP:
And as always, let us know if you are doing anything neat you want to share!
Digital Archives Assistant at the UW Library Media Center
by Rachel Price
It’s bitterly cold across the country this fine January so I have decided to reminisce on memories of my summer just a little bit more. My last post discussed the internship I did at Sub Pop Records, so this time around I’ll discuss one of the other fun jobs I had this summer, as a digital archives assistant at the UW Libraries Media Center.
I spent part of my summer doing all sorts of activities around the Kearney Barton Collection, which is a collection of thousands of analog recordings engineered by local Seattle audio recording legend Kearney Barton. Together with Light in the Attic Records, the media center has been sorting through boxes upon boxes of analog recordings, digitizing them, researching the bands who were recorded (which range from local garage bands to the Beatles), and working towards making them accessible through the library. This is a fascinating collection that really provides a window into the heart and soul of the Pacific Northwest’s music scene from the 50’s through the 80’s. It’s been said that Kearney Barton is responsible for shaping the “Seattle Sound” and paving the way for Seattle’s thriving music scene.
As part of my duties, I worked with John Vallier on a variety of tasks around the collection. I learned how to digitize analog recordings from their original tapes to MP3’s and WAV files using special equipment and audio programs. I also did a lot of sleuthing on the bands represented on the recordings and even contacted any band members I could find to let them know we had their recordings! There were a few happy emails back and forth from band members who did not think their recordings even existed anymore. Finally, I worked on designing LibGuide pages for the Kearney Barton collection and getting samples from the collection up on the media center’s SoundCloud page. For this particular aspect of the project I designed standards for the media center’s SoundCloud metadata practices, which was a great experience! Working within such a system designed for commercial use, it was a challenge to try to incorporate useful archival metadata within SoundCloud, but designing best practices was a great first step in making sure that as we utilize more and more tools that allow access, we retain the level of information necessary to make the collections truly useful to users.
Working in the media center gave me unique insight into the ins-and-outs of working with unique media collections, from metadata concerns to archiving practices, licensing issues to access rights quandaries. I loved my time at the media center and got a lot out of it, and recommend it if you are curious about media or unique collections!
DAM Rock Musicians!!:
Being a digital asset management and archives intern at Sub Pop Records
Rachel Price, co-vice chairperson, SLA-UW
2nd year residential MLIS
I spent my summer doing a lot of learning…at one point I was juggling 5 jobs concurrently just to cover all my interests! This sounds terrifying, but it was actually insanely fun and I learned a lot. Today I will discuss one of the five hats I wore this summer, as an intern at Sub Pop Records.
The job title: Digital Asset Management and Archives Intern
The company: Sub Pop Records, an independent record label based in Seattle, Washington. Notably, one of the cooler places I have ever gotten the chance to work.
The status: 8 hours per week, unpaid. Rewarded with concert tickets, music, and t-shirts.
The nitty gritty: I came in one day per week and worked under Meghan Madonna, an iSchool MLIS alum. I spent my time split pretty evenly between three categories:
I updated the archival records (using Microsoft Access) with new album releases and physically archived new releases for preservation. This was a great chance to learn about developing archival best practices for a unique organization like Sub Pop, as they are still working out the details of how they want to go about preserving albums – such as where to store things, how many copies to preserve, and what parts of the packaging should be preserved.
Digital asset management:
Basically, this entailed looking at file structuring and storage and making sure it makes sense for our intended usage of the files. This involved a lot of renaming files, uploading huge file batches for digital content platforms, and working with file-naming best practices and implementing them. I also got my hands dirty entering metadata for audio files (like licensing codes, ISO country codes, rights-holders, and more).
Content management and strategy:
This was closely tied into the batch file transfers we were doing as a partnership with a digital music licensing platform. Essentially, we were using a content management system to create band pages to go along with audio tracks that we were uploading to the system, so I got to come up with a layout and content strategy to incorporate within each band page, then actually enter all the information (taking band bios and basic information from the Sub Pop documentation and putting it in this third party content management system). This entailed all the normal stuff – what is the necessary content, and what is the necessary metadata that goes along with this content (title, description, picture alt-tags, associated names to dedupe band names with different spellings, etc.)
There you have it! Life as an intern at Sub Pop was pretty cool, so if you ever get the chance to apply, I definitely recommend it! Internships are a great way to dabble in fields to better understand if it is something you think you might enjoy as a career when you’re done with your degree. The wider the variety of internships you can land, the better!