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About me

My name is Arden Kirkland, and this is my blog.

I am transitioning into Digital Librarianship after many years of work as a costume designer for dance, theatre, and film. In 2002 I began a project to digitize a collection of historic clothing for my students at Vassar College. Once I started working with our visual resource librarians I was hooked, and became determined to have a role in standardizing records for complex artifacts for universal access in digital collections. That started me on an incredible path into the digital humanities community. I’m situated at the exciting intersection of libraries, archives, museums, and education, working to help digital collections bridge the gaps between.

I have my MFA in Costume Design from Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of the Arts, and my BA from Vassar College, in Costume Studies. While pursuing my MLIS degree I will continue to work part-time at Vassar College, where I supervise student work on costumes for all Drama Department shows, and I maintain a research collection of historic clothing. I am also involved in a new project to create HistoricDress.org, a central online collection of historic clothing collections and scholarship. This project is a collaboration with colleagues at Smith College and the 5 Colleges of Massachusetts.

My mission: to create high quality digital collections representing the physicality and context of artifacts, so that educators can take advantage of the rich understanding of cultural history that comes from teaching with material culture.

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