Unit D Lab/Building Block

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Note: To earn an A or B in the course, undergrads need FOUR labs/building blocks; grads need FIVE for an A and 4 for a B. If you already have 3 at a Satisfactory level (check mark in Canvas), you can skip one or two depending. There will be six offered throughout the semester.

You have two choices for this Lab/Building block:


1. Pick a project in the Mukurtu showcase (except the Passamaquoddy People site) and write a short review (either on your website or the private class blog).  Your review should include the following sections:

  • Project information (Project, Directors, URL, sponsoring/hosting organization(s))
  • Overview: a summary in your own words (no more than one paragraph) of the project
  • Heritage Communities and Protocols: in your own words describes the communities the project works with and how, paying attention to how they use the Mukurtu Communities feature and Protocols tags (1-2 paragraphs)
  • Conclusion: In your own words explain the value or contributions of the project to cultural heritage knowledge and whether/how Mukurtu as a system contributes to the project’s goals (1 paragraph). (If it makes sense you can compare to Omeka.)

You can see some reviews of projects at Reviews in Digital Humanities, especially these in First Nations & Indigenous Studies

Submit the link to your review in Canvas in the Lab D Assignment

Edited to add: this year one of the discussion posts on the blog asked you to describe a project. If you did something other than the Passamaquoddy People site, you can revise your response there and post it. But it will need to be substantively revised to be sure you hit ALL the bullet points above.


2. Imagine you are an intern at Imaginary Natural History Museum. Your supervisor is excited you’ve taken this course and tells you they want you to help digitize the collection. They gesture over at the Native American collection and tell you to pick something as your first item to put online with information and a 2d photograph of the object.  Having taken this class, you tell your supervisor that you will need to collaborate with the communities of origin for any object, and that you will want to use Mukurtu.  Yours supervisor says great — go to it, do whatever you need to do. Please write up a report about your plan for your first object before you install Mukurtu on the server.

For this assignment, you will imagine you are an intern and write the report; for the purposes of the assignment we are going to imagine that the following items are at Imaginary Natural History Museum. You’ll pick one *item* from any of these pages:

You may need to refer to the Mukurtu Support page.

For the report:

  • Pick an object and describe it briefly
  • What people or communities do you want/need to collaborate with to include this object in a digital archive? 
  • Sketch out metadata you would include, such as the following (taken from the list on Mukurtu’s site here: https://mukurtu.org/support/digital-heritage-metadata-fields-2-1/):
    • Title
    • Summary (may be the same as your initial description)
    • Media Assets
    • Communities (part of Communities and Protocols)
    • Creator
    • Original Date
    • Original Date Description
    • Description
    • Key Words
    • Publisher
    • Source
    • (you can add others from the Mukurtu list if you want to)
  • For other metadata you will need to coordinate with the community(s) of origin; to prepare for these conversations, write up preliminary ideas, considerations, or *questions* about the following issues. Create your questions and considerations based on what you learned from the readings about digitizing and working with Native American and Indigenous Cultural Heritage. You may not have a lot of information right now — how do you get that information? What do you need to discuss with the heritage community to be able to put this into a Mukurtu digital exhibit? If it makes sense you can also say how/why it’s important to use Mukurtu instead of Omeka but that’s optional. This section of the report can be a paragraph holistically discussing the relevant issues/questions for the following metadata fields, or it can be a list of fields with comments/questions/considerations.
    • Cultural Protocols
    • Item sharing (who should have access? Do you have thoughts or do you have questions you want to pose in order to come to a decision?)
    • Rights (who has rights?)
    • Traditional Knowledge labels

Post your report to the *private class blog* not your own website please. Be sure to link back to whatever item you are writing about.

Submit the link to your report in Canvas in the Lab D Assignment

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