On Museum and Library Discovery
This episode is a little different from what we usually do, in that the focus isn’t one person’s work but rather a new tool designed to enhance knowledge access for everyone. It’s called Marble, and it’s a collaboration between Notre Dame’s Hesburgh Libraries and Snite Museum of Art developed with a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Marble is an online portal that lets users all over the world view and learn about materials from the Snite Museum, Rare Books & Special Collections, and the University Archives in a way that is so cool it made us want to do a show literally about a website.
And to cover everything that makes Marble special, we tried something else different: Not one but two interviews, with two people who have played distinct roles in its creation.
First you’ll hear from Mikala Narlock, digital collections librarian at the Hesburgh Libraries, who analyzed how content would be uploaded to Marble. Mikala and host Ted Fox talked on a windy day outside the library about the user experience—the types of artifacts available in the platform, what shows up on your screen when you run a search, why this is different than what existed before, and importantly, how anyone can use it, regardless of whether they have an affiliation with Notre Dame.
After Mikala, it’s Erika Hosselkus, a special collections curator and Latin American studies librarian at the Hesburgh Libraries who led the content team for the Marble project. Erika and Ted met up in Rare Books and Special Collections at the library, where they talked about how the materials Marble gives people access to can inform teaching, research, and just our collective consciousness, not to mention how digital discovery can actually serve as an important gateway to the physical collections themselves.