Summer Institutes - The EVIA Digital Archive Project

Summer Institutes

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EVIA Project Director Alan Burdette explains the Annotator's Workbench software to Summer Institute participant Andrea Emberly. Bloomington, Indiana, 2008. Image © Clara Henderson.

The EVIA Digital Archive Project Summer Institutes, held at Indiana University Bloomington, provide the principal channel for individuals depositing ethnographic materials in the Archive. Summer Institutes are designed to support scholars in the annotation process by setting aside a two-week period exclusively devoted to annotating their video collection. Each day of the Summer Institute depositors use the EVIA Project's unique video annotation tool, the Annotator's Workbench, to write descriptive and analytical annotations time-coded to their ten hours of digital video. Online interactive training workshops are held prior to the Institute so that depositors will have some familiarity with the Annotator's Workbench by the time the institute begins.

Depositors use the Annotator's Workbench to annotate at multiple levels of analysis, from the general to the specific, segmenting their collection into events, scenes, and actions. In addition, they create bibliographies and glossary entries, insert citations, assign controlled vocabulary, block access to sensitive material, create links between segments of their collections, and provide text transcriptions and translations.

Throughout the Institute depositors are given the opportunity to share their research, consult one another, and exchange ideas for organizing, segmenting, and annotating their collections. During the middle weekend of the Institute depositors and EVIA Project staff travel to a country retreat where depositors continue annotating and working with the Annotator's Workbench in a fieldwork-comparable setting.

In addition to their daily routine of intensive annotation sessions, depositors and EVIA Project staff engage in interdisciplinary conversations and feedback sessions related to intellectual property, annotating techniques, controlled vocabulary, and digital archiving. Organized dinners also include discussions focused on broader topics such as cross-disciplinary collaborations, the audiences and uses of the archive, ethical issues, preservation concerns, access controls, end-user interfaces, legal issues, pedagogy, digital publishing, and the role of peer-reviewed digital collections in tenure and promotion.

Upon completion of annotations, collections are peer-reviewed and copy-edited before online publication. As a scholarly online publication, the EVIA Project has provided a number of its depositors with review DVDs specifically created for tenure and promotion committees.

To date, the EVIA Digital Archive Project has held Summer Institutes in 2004, 2006, 2008, and 2009.

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