Children's Voices in their Own Books

A young author/illustrator of the collaborative publication Counting with Karen Culture, produced in partnership with Kids' Own Publishing, the City of Greater Bendigo and the Karen community and launched at Bendigo Library in August 2018

Academic

Dr Mary Tomsic
School of Historical and Philosophical Studies

Intern

Alexander Shermon
School of Culture and Communication

Project Description

Books by children and for children are unrecognised in society today. They are a vital means for self-expression; for children to share their ideas with each other; to tell stories children see as important, particularly children from cultural and linguistic backgrounds who are not well represented in commercial literature. Books by children afford them the opportunity to see themselves and other children as creators and for adults to value children's creative expression. The larger research project seeks to develop the first history of books by Australian children. The internship will begin the process of collating bibliographic data about books held in local and national collections, compiling this information into an online database/website available for researchers and the general public, and that can be expanded overtime.

Project Outcome

For my digital studio internship project, I was asked to collate bibliographic data about books by children for children. Then, I had to find a way to display these items on a website for researchers and the general public. I collected the bibliographic data using Zotero’s metadata scraping function on items in Trove. Mary and I then added modifications to the metadata using Zotero’s group library feature. I then exported that metadata into an excel spreadsheet, tidied it up, and imported it into Omeka. Omeka is a web-publishing platform designed for rich digital collections. Once into Omeka, I set about designing the website and adding images (which I had scraped from the internet) to the digital records. During this project, I learnt a lot about how to manage metadata and how to use Omeka to build engaging websites.