Welcome to The Sustainability Sandbox blog series! The Alexandria Archive Institute and Open Context advocate for data sharing, data literacy, open access, and community collaborations. In this series, we share the story of our journey to identify and develop digital data management, public engagement, and data literacy projects with potential partner institutions.
As I’ve discussed in a previous post, one of the programs around data literacy that we’re in the process of building at The Alexandria Archive Institute/Open Context (AAI/OC) is a suite of professional development services aimed at professional archaeologists, museum professionals, graduate students, teachers, and researchers in cultural heritage related disciplines. In order to do this, we’ve partnered with a number of institutions to develop pilot projects that will enable us to create, workshop, and refine our offerings. And in this post, I’d like to highlight one of these partnerships: our ongoing work with The American Society of Overseas Research (ASOR).
Initial meetings about a potential collaboration with representatives from ASOR began this past spring. These discussions enabled us to share our vision for both our Data Literacy Program and our Sustainability, Collaboration, and Network Building Project with stakeholders that we hoped were going to be eager to help us achieve our goals (and they were!). These discussions also taught us about the needs of the ASOR community so that we could brainstorm how we might support those needs. Moreover, through these conversations, we began to understand how data literacy fit more generally with ASOR’s Strategic Plan.
Out of all the ideas that came out of those initial meetings, two of them seemed like they would give us the best opportunity to grow and assess our program. The first involves finding a way to showcase the potential for open, data-driven, digital projects, and the forthcoming publications in ASOR’s Archaeological Reports Series may provide a perfect test case for just that. Our goal through this work is to co-create a model for how publishers and authors can work with us to produce robust digital content: books that are actually read, data that are actually reused, and pedagogical tools that are actually adopted in classrooms. Although this collaboration is still in its very early stages, we’re grateful to Bill Caraher for his support and enthusiasm. I’m really excited to see what we can build!
The second involves finding a way to communicate what data literacy really means for archaeologists, and the co-chair of ASOR’s Early Career Scholars Committee, Tiffany Earley-Spadoni, thought the members of her group could really benefit from our expertise in this area. With Tiffany’s support, we’ve just launched the Digging Up Data Workshop Series, a program that is designed especially for early career researchers and graduate students. The launching of this series has already encouraged us to think about all the complex topics—from universal unique identifiers to data-driven storytelling—that go into a discussion of data literacy, and we’re presently developing a comprehensive curriculum around those topics. Moreover, feedback from participants has already and will continue to allow us to revise our content for future offerings. We’ve got some great programing in store as part of this series, including an opportunity for participants to work more closely with members of the AAI/OC team in the spring to develop their own public-facing, data-driven projects. If you’re interested in learning more, don’t hesitate to register for our upcoming sessions in this series!
On the whole, we’re thrilled to be collaborating with partners at ASOR to develop services that reflect the needs of their community, and we’re excited to use what we build with them as a springboard for future programs. And, about those future programs, we want to hear from you! Do you have ideas for workshops or models you’d like to see us launch? We’re all ears!
We’re looking to build relationships with libraries, museums, educational organizations, and other cultural heritage groups. If you’d like to connect and discuss a potential collaboration, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you!