CEAUK Digital Content Analyst

I'm Lucy-Jane Walsh, a Digital Content Analyst at UC CEISMIC. My position has been generously funded for 2013 by the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal United Kingdom (CEAUK).The CEAUK was set up following the earthquake in February 2011 by the New Zealand High Commission in London and expatriate New Zealanders living in the United Kingdom. It is a British charity that supports fundraising for Christchurch in the United Kingdom and allocates funds to earthquake recovery initiatives such as UC CEISMIC.

When UC CEISMIC began, one of the University of Canterbury's commitments was to create a repository where earthquake research could be stored in perpetuity. This repository would be filled and organised by people, with metadata entered by people rather than machines. Today, we call this repository UC QuakeStudies. My role involves gathering, analysing, describing and uploading content for UC QuakeStudies, no small task given the impact the earthquakes have had across the Canterbury community.

The material in UC QuakeStudies comes from a variety of sources, and includes research materials, reports, images, interviews, artworks and more. Our UC team works with each content partner to best describe and geolocate the material. Once it is ready for the archive, it is added using an ingestion tool designed by Learning Media specifically for our needs.

This method allows the team to contribute research-quality materials to UC CEISMIC, rich with metadata and contextual information. Without the support of CEAUK, this process would not be possible, as we would have to rely either on less accurate methods for gathering metadata, or focus only on material from bigger organisations that already have metadata practices in place.

One of the most important things that CEAUK has enabled us to do is to engage with the wider community, and to archive material from members of the public in the Community Collection in UC QuakeStudies. This collection houses videos, photographs, sound recordings of the earthquake, and letters from the general public. It will soon also include aerial video and photography, creative writing and research publications. It is one of our fastest growing collections, with new material being donated to us almost every week. This proves not only that there is still plenty of community content to be gathered, but also the strong public interest in sharing earthquake material and preserving it for the future. UC CEISMIC would not be able to offer this service without the generous help of the CEAUK.

Creative Commons License
Photograph by Jennifer Middendorf, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.