The demands of the digital workforce in the professional fields are higher than ever. From digital storytelling to virtual reality (VR) to augmented reality (AR) to data analytics to artificial intelligence (AI), those who lead the skillsets and management experiences in the domains can be at the forefront of the competition. We are living in an experiential and participatory media environment. Prosumers are prevalent in the digital platform saturated world. Users not only interact with others in the virtual world but also transact both tangible and intangible commodities.

The Digital Initiatives (DI) in the College of Liberal and Fine Arts (COLFA) in affiliation with the Institute of Texan Cultures (ITC) and the John Peace Library (JPL) creates an initiative of digital curation in which COLFA students and those from other colleges transform existing archives into digital forms through multiple projects. The goals of digital curation include, but not limited to, 1) providing COLFA and other college students with mastering opportunities of digital skills via projects, 2) offering students experiential learning opportunities that support digital fluency, cultural inclusivity, design thinking, and entrepreneurship in their disciplines, 3) building professional careers during their time at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), and 4) developing students’ digital, design and management competencies in the professional fields after graduation. The digital curation initiatives (DCI) will open the Digital Curation Lab, implement multiple projects, and contribute to the digital transformation of UTSA. Specific plans for the initiatives are as follows.

1. Partners

  • College of Liberal and Fine Arts
  • ITC
  • UTSA Libraries
  • Academic Innovation
  • Najim Center for Innovation and Career Advancement
  • Office of Academic Affairs

2. Collections

  • ITC Collections
  • UTSA Libraries Special Collections
  • UTSA Art Collection
  • Center for Archeological Research Collections

3. Digital Curation Lab

  • The lab will house computers installed with Adobe Creative Cloud, video cameras, VR cameras, VR headsets, soundproof audio studio for podcasting, video studio, and conference room.
  • The lab will officially open in Fall 2022.
  • UTSA will hire a Director of the Digital Curation Lab.
  • The Director position is a staff position funded and administered by the Libraries and ITC.
  • The lab will be staffed by the Director and students in the program
  • The lab will be used for pre-, production, and post-production of digital outcomes.

4. Student Cohort

  • Each semester, the initiative will recruit a student cohort with a project. The cohort will work on the project in multiple locations until the Digital Curation Lab is available in AY2022-23. The Digital Curation Lab will be the hub for the cohorts.
  • The initiative will compensate the cohort in the form of work study awards or stipends. The ITC will dedicate $30,000 for student wages annually to the DCI. More details will be released as the reward program is in shape.
  • The cohort will consist of students on all levels (from freshmen to seniors) and from all COLFA majors. Students at other colleges are also welcomed to contribute their expertise to the team. The cohort will run in a student mentorship format. Juniors and seniors will be mentors of freshmen and sophomores in learning and completing projects.

5. Digital Skills for Students

  • Digital storytelling/digital exhibitions/digital publishing
  • Video production (cameras, 360-degree cameras, still-image cameras)
  • Adobe Creative Cloud (Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, After Effects)
  • Podcasting/audio production
  • Geospatial data/digital mapping
  • Design thinking
  • Project planning/management
  • Data visualization
  • Digitization/Imaging
  • Data curation/management
  • Metadata creation/Discovery
  • Digital marketing

6. Upcoming Projects for Fall 2021

  • Digital archiving of JPL and ITC collections
  • Music and artwork for artifacts
  • Podcasts for JPL and ITC collections