keskiviikko 4. huhtikuuta 2012

More stuff on databases ahead!

Hello again! Decided to be super-duper creative and grace you all with another swift update. Apparently a particular computer class room in Porthania has become the new location for the course in Digital culture for the time being, but there we met up again for the days lecture on Monday 26th of March.

The topic for the lecture in question was presentations on different databases and their qualities. Me, Tomas and Sabina teamed up for the assignment of delving deeper into a particular database and studying it in order to be able to introduce it to the others in the group. Our database, Stockholmskällan, was a database dedicate to different phenomena and ephemera around the region of Stockholm. It offered topics around many interesting contemporary subjects, such as prostitution, the Olympic Games in the city 1912, the citizens and such.

Basically the database was created by several different museums and units to preserve and digitise material such as photographs, maps, archive documents, fiction and prose, movies e.g. depicting the history of Stockholm and its citizens. Through our arduous search and impeccable team work we found there to be around 25643 different records at the time (it keeps continuously growing, at the moment the amount it up to 26805!). Active since 2006 this database is ever growing and seemed quite sustainable compared to a few other databases introduced by the other small groups, one of them depicting a girl's Master's Thesis on details around the topic of the American Civil War.

Stockholmskällan also gave insight on how practical databases such as it are, even if this one in particular was limited to Stockholm as a region only. Because it was established, monitored and supervised by institutions connected within the Swedish state, its sustainability could be considered good. It also had directions meant for younger children and we concluded that it offered not only a good source for chilren's school projects, but also great potential for more academic and scientific work and research. This, especially because it focused on digitizing material, but also colleting born digital material as well. The quick search as well as the advanced search monitor offered help for people with various intentions.

The most important point of the lesson was to critically survey similar databases in the future, especially if using web pages or other born digital material as resources and references in academic work, because they might vanish at some point. Referring to a we page that doesn't exist when the the actual work is handed in works scarcely as a good and convincing resource. I still consider databases a good phenomenon, especially if backed up by the state and put more effort into.

Well then, the Easter Holiday is knocking at the door, and I'm off to Prague. Have a happy Easter, and enjoy the much needed break it offers!

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