Wednesday, February 18, 2009
A&M Record Collection
The presentation of this collection is interesting, because it's still in the middle of being processed! Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss donated the papers and archives of their record label to UCLA in 2006. The collection consists of 187 boxes of album art, personal/business correspondence, and promotional materials from 1962-1989. Currently, the main page presents the visitor with highlights from the collection, organized as a 'timeline' of the record label. Little or no metadata is presented in this portion of the website. If the item being presented is a photograph, for example, the people in it will be listed along with the date (though some are dateless, too), but no information regarding the format of the original image is given.
A finding aid for the collection is also linked from the main page, listing items from the collection that are currently being processed. More detailed metadata is presented here, but this isn't a digital archive... no images! The site doesn't detail exactly what's going to happen with the collection, but I would assume this website is just the first step in a large scale digitization project. As more items are processed and uploaded, maybe a different structure will be set up. The site as it is now could still stand as an introduction to the collection, but the ability to search through individual items (with proper metadata) would make this site more useful to people interested in researching the history of A&M records.
As it stands now, I suppose the purpose of this site is to drum up interest in the project, perhaps to go after more funding (or placate current donors). Rather than being a digital version of the archives, it's more of a chronicling of the process itself, albeit with some historical narrative regarding the label. All in all, it isn't the best example of a digital archive (if it is at all, which is debatable), but it is a unique look at digital archiving.