This is the fourth, and last post, in our series covering the reunion of the William Lovell Finley and Herman T. Bohlman photograph and manuscript collections held by OSU and OHS. This interview was conducted with Erin Clark, who has been a Library Technician at the Valley Library since February 2014. Before OSU, she worked as a Project Archivist arranging and describing collections for the Siletz Tribal Cultural Collections.
Have you ever worked on a project of this type/scale before? How did the Finley Bohlman project from others you have worked on in the past?
I worked on the Century Farm and Ranch Program project, which was another large scale project in collaboration with OHS. The Finley Bohlman project contained a greater variety of materials than previous collections I have worked on.
What was it like to collaborate with the Oregon Historical Society on this project?
It was enjoyable to work on another project with OHS and learn about additional aspects of the project, including planning for the OHS exhibit and outreach efforts.
You specifically focused on the metadata of the project. Can you explain what metadata means for those who do not know? What did processing the metadata for this project entail? Was it different from other projects you have worked on in the past?
Effective metadatamakes items easier to be discovered and more accessible for a variety of users, including researchers and the general public. The process included creating a data dictionary for our metadata intern at OSU, reviewing and creating spreadsheets for materials that would be bulk ingested into Oregon Digital, and researching scientific names for images of animals. The project’s focus on nature was different than most of the projects I currently work on.
What do you see as the largest the success of the project? The largest challenge? Why?
The main success of the project is the amount of materials now available to the public describing Finley and Bohlman’s careers and observations. The largest challenge was describing and uploading all of the materials before the project deadline.
What was your favorite aspect of the project? Did you have a favorite item?
My favorite part of the project was researching and learning more about specific bird species in the Pacific Northwest. The set of barn owl images are my favorite items in the collection.
What is the LSTA and what did it mean to you for the project to win this award?
The grant from LSTA funded the work on the Finley Bohlman project. It was exciting to hear the Finley Bohlman collection won the award, recognizing the work everyone contributed to the project.