Developing a Digital Asset Management System for the Archival Holdings of the Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site

A $364K partnership with the National Park Service (NPS) to create a cutting-edge Digital Asset Management System to preserve and manage the digital assets of the Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site. These archival holdings represent the institutional holdings of the National Council for Negro Women and their efforts to create a National Archive for Black Women’s History.

A. Project Goals
This project will partner with the National Park Service (NPS) to create a cutting-edge Digital Asset Management System to better preserve and manage the current and future digital assets of the Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site. The archival holdings of the site represent the institutional holdings of the National Council for Negro Women and their efforts to create a National Archive for Black Women’s History. The organization was fundamental to the civil rights efforts of the twentieth century and the holdings are an invaluable resource documenting the accomplishments of black women throughout the nineteenth and twentieth century. 

This project will allow the NPS to better understand their current digital assets related to this site and how they can better manage their digital assets into the future. It will enable increased access to these assets and the stories that they can tell to the public and will allow the NPS to interpret these resources in new and dynamic ways. It will also allow the NPS to better serve the African American community through increased dialogue between the two and will serve to improve the relationship with this important neighbor. The UMD iSchool is a leader in this field with international projects and expertise that will allow the NPS to utilize the benefits of their knowledge into better management of these irreplaceable cultural and historic resources.

B. Project Objectives
The primary objectives of this project are to survey the existing and likely future digital assets of the archival holdings of the Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site; conduct a Digital Asset Management System needs analysis; identify the challenges and opportunities inherent in the site’s digital assets; create a project planning roadmap for future activities related to the Digital Asset Management System; establish standards compliance for incoming digital assets; create a model repository for the assets; determine and enact administrative controls for the system, following federal and NPS regulations governing both data and archival management; and develop means of access both by NPS staff and members of the public, including possible indexing of additional data to connect the assets geographically, thematically, or by individual.

This project will utilize the latest in computer science data management as well as the management of archival material to design a custom system for the site to significantly increase access to the assets by NPS staff and members of the public.

Duration
September 2019 - December 2022
Principal Investigator
Additional UMD-iSchool Investigators
Total Award Amount
$364,000