Lesley Kadish

active 5 years, 11 months ago



Lesley Kadish

Twitter handle


Short Bio

I am a curator at the Minnesota Historical Society (MHS). Currently, though, I'm a Fulbright Scholar in Helsinki, Finland (2012-13) working with the Espoo City Museum and the Helsinki Department of Geography. My background is in GIS, and I dream up/ manage most of MHS' spatial projects, from geotagging the archival photograph collection, to modeling lost historic landscapes spaces. My Fulbright project is to help develop a mapping interface that utilizes Finland's spatially enabled, open cultural heritage data.

Interest in LODLAM

I come to the table as a person committed to the Access part of 'Preservation and Access'. But to me, access doesn't just mean putting a picture on the web and exposing its metadata. Up till now, I envisioned this meant totally re-envisioning collections management system interfaces. (and i still think this is needed) But, I am interested in seeing how LODLAM can make archives both more findable and more meaningful. Is it possible to make the whole process more fun, in the meantime?
While I am versed in digital curation and vehement about open access, I am new to the lexicon and practice of Open Linked Data. For museum curators like me who are grant writers and decision makers, it is essential we get educated (and fast!). I will engage questions about how LODLAM can respond to the 'making archives databases' meaningful issue, and I bring several large geospatial datasets and the IMLS visualization grant as a testing ground. I'm super interested in how our archives can integrate with HistoryPin, too.


Library, Archive, Museum, Humanities, Government (incl National and State libraries and archives)

Linked Open Data Projects

I have not been involved in Linked Open Data projects. Yet. I am on the edge of this precipice. As a museum curator, I have been involved in several large scale projects that created open, web-published, cultural heritage data (with individual URLs). These include: creating a comprehensive Fort Snelling digital archive, where each object's metadata contains links to other objects, people, and place records. I also oversaw a project that spatialized our Collections Management System's database. And this fiscal year, I'm directing an IMLS Sparks! funded grant that will test data visualization as a way to make our online archives more accessible (read, meaningful). The project partners with Jake Porway and DataKind (http://datakind.org/) to help us in this pursuit.
This September I gave a talk at the Open Knowledge Festival (http://okfestival.org/) called, "In The Space Between Curation and Free Archives."
Here in Finland, I am currently investigating open linked data projects like Linked Data Finland, a national research project that is supported and funded by a large multi-disciplinary consortium of 23 organizations– of which my museum, Espoo City Museum, is one. I will also be working with the Finnish National Archives, who have a massive open digital collection. I am at the beginning of my research here and will know far more by Montreal.


Espoo City Museum and the Minnesota Historical Society