It was good to give myself a break over the weekend even if it means I’m thinking about trivial things like day numbering…
Having chosen this topic, it was easier for me to tidy up the most immediate stuff around my desk, making a “Tony” box and putting everything else away. But that did also remind me of the sheer amount of stuff that I’m giving myself to work through.
That’s good, it’s a stage in the project, it’s working out the actual scope of something doable in the next four weeks rather than trying to fool myself into thinking I can do the most perfect, most complete job and never have to ever think about any of this again.
One way to come at this is to ask “What would be a good end product, something that you’d feel good about sharing, that was beyond the most basic, but still had room for extension in other projects? What would that end product look like? What elements would it have?” That reminds me that there are roughly three high-level processes to go through, which I will call “Cataloguing”, “Digitizing” and “Presenting Online” – ie a first product would be a complete catalogue of all the things I have, some description or whatever metadata is appropriate and where it is. This is a first round of organisation, going from vaguely-known chaos to some initial structure and some boundary around what’s in and what’s out. It also gives some pointers to where to start with digitisation and how much effort there may be involved. Going through the digitisation not only give us something that looks more like the end product, it helps to refine the catalogue or index and to improve the metadata. Then thinking about how to present it online, how to talk about the stuff, how to link it together into a collection of stories and actually writing those stories.
Having written all of that down, I’m now better informed about the size of the whole thing and the likelihood of completing all that in 28 days is pretty low. So I’ll have more of a think about what I’d be satisfied with before starting to make some lists.
The picture is from a family trip to Oxford in the mid seventies. My brother’s age is probably the best indicator – he was born at the end of 1970 and he could easily be five or six here but probably not seven, so I’d say summer of ’77 (because you know what the British Summer of ’76 was like and it wasn’t wet like this!)