My name is Carin Yavorcik, and I recently graduated with my Master's from the University of Texas at Austin School of Information, where I concentrated my studies in archives and digital collections. Prior to graduate school, I worked in journalism and communications. My primary interest in the field of information science is the meeting point of my previous experience and education -- promoting access to and use of archives and special collections, particularly through digital technologies. See below for a general summary of my work, or use the links above for more details about my projects and writing.
During graduate school, I served as Archivist for the University Interscholastic League, a 100-year-old organization that provides academic, athletic, and music competitions for public high schools in Texas. While I surveyed and appraised a variety of the organization's historic materials, I focused primarily on its photographic collection, not only implementing basic preservation measures but also creating a thorough inventory so that the staff could find materials more easily.
Additionally, I wrote finding aids and encoded them into EAD at the Austin History Center and in archival coursework at the University of Texas; implemented a digital preservation project to reformat a non-standardized museum catalog into DSpace for the Goodwill Computer Museum; and ingested images to a digital asset management system at the Smithsonian’s National Anthropological Archives.
In addition to the practical skills I learned working in archives, I also have experience promoting the work of archivists through my tenure as President of the Society of American Archivists - University of Texas Student chapter from February 2011 to February 2012. Here I managed an 11-person board, directing a variety of activities. These included organizing a repository visit to NARA Southwest, developing an “Austin in Archival History” trading card to distribute at the SAA 2011 Annual Meeting, and putting together a program of events for American Archives Month.
Much of my work has been focused on using digital tools and technologies to make otherwise unavailable information more accessible to users. A recent project I worked on in collaboration with the University of Virginia Scholars’ Lab updated a plugin for displaying TEI XML documents in Omeka, an open-source digital collections tool. Another, as mentioned briefly above, involved working as part of a team to build the digital infrastructure for the catalog of the Goodwill Computer Museum. The original database was built in Fedora Commons, and our project involved recreating that environment, mapping the original non-standard metadata into Dublin Core, and migrating it to a more standardized and user-friendly DSpace environment. I’ve also created online exhibits and collections for both textual and audio/visual materials, designed a MySQL relational database, and helped maintain the Web site and social media activities of a national nonprofit.
In addition to my direct work building tools to help people access information, I also have a variety of experience with digitization. As Archivist for the University Interscholastic League (UIL), one of my projects was digitizing the organization’s newspaper, The Leaguer. I was largely self-directed in this project, which included assessing the material, recommending a scanner to purchase, researching best practices and designing workflows. I also completed a digitization project for the Austin History Center (AHC) as part of my Survey of Digitization graduate school class. The AHC has a large collection of photographs documenting Austin streets through the years. Photographs of one of the main streets, Congress Avenue, receive a lot of use, and I analyzed and selected a portion of them to digitize. I scanned the images in accordance with the AHC’s specifications, processed them for quality control, created access derivatives, and inputed descriptive metadata.
Prior to graduate school, I worked as both a newspaper journalist and a public relations officer, so I have extensive experience communicating orally and in writing. Both jobs required the ability to write clearly in order to get a message across to a specific audience, often in a hectic environment and under tight deadlines. Doing public relations work for the Autism Society national headquarters, I also frequently interviewed with both broadcast and print reporters to promote the mission and activities of the organization. Not only did this hone my communication skills, but it also demonstrates my commitment to quality service – it was vital to be available and provide quality information to the many reporters who contacted us looking for answers to their questions about a complex disability.