Student Spotlight: Bennett Chapman

Hello, my name is Bennett Chapman. I am close to completing the MSIS program at UNC Chapel Hill where I am pursuing a concentration in archives and records management. I have worked at Campbell University since August 2018; since January 2015, I have worked in Special Collections at NCSU, where I completed my bachelors degree in 2016. I would like to highlight two projects on which I have worked while at Campbell.

letter in L.H. Campbell Papers

Processing, Digitizing and Describing the Leslie Hartwell Campbell Papers

Zeutschel in use

While working at Campbell University since August, I have processed, scanned, and created metadata for the L.H. Campbell Papers. I was hired via a grant from Campbell University to scan the papers of the longest serving president and son of the founder, Leslie Hartwell Campbell. I work in Carrie Rich Hall which, although it is right next to Wiggins Memorial Library, has felt far away from everything else. The setting that I work in is a small room with a large overhead scanner, a Zeutschel 12000 planetary scanner. So far I have been able to scan the contents of three Hollinger boxes worth of correspondence from the 1930s. These records largely relate to the death of James Archibald Campbell, condolences to his son and family, and the subsequent selection of Leslie Hartwell Campbell as president of Campbell College. However, I have also attempted to discern the content of more miscellaneous letters. Metadata is a vital part of a digitization initiative, and from the first day I started to scan materials, I was thinking about what descriptive metadata would be useful for this collection. Often it is a very difficult and time consuming task to skim a letter and attempt to condense its contents into a singular theme. When possible, I have grouped correspondence that has similar subjects, which is often already sorted in such a way, by giving the same subject and general description. While I had prior experience in creating metadata, this project has allowed me to explore several key elements of Dublin Core in much more depth.

The General College Curriculum Requirements Project

This January I was invited to participate in a working group of other librarians who were interested in designing an exhibit for the fall that would highlight general graduation requirements at Campbell over time. I mined course catalogs from 1926-2013 for the general requirements and recorded data on the number of credit hours required for each category of courses. The result was a spreadsheet that I used to explain the history of general educational requirements at Campbell from junior college to university. It has the potential to be used to generate a data visualization of changes over time to the number of hours required for English, history, math, and all other required courses.

Conclusion

I have enjoyed my time here at Campbell University, and I am looking forward to continuing processing, scanning, creating metadata for, and uploading the L.H. Campbell Papers. I feel that by taking on this digitization project--beginning with scanning itself, through creating descriptive metadata, and finishing with uploading files to CONTENTdm--I have been able to see and comprehend the whole picture of what digitization is in the real world. I have also greatly appreciated the opportunity to participate in a collaborative project with other librarians that will result in an exhibit.

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