Goodbye, Center for Jewish History!

Friday 14th March 2008 was my last day as Director of the Gruss Lipper Digital Lab at the Center for Jewish History in New York.

I like to think that I accomplished a great deal since I took the newly-created position in April 2005, just under 3 years ago. When I started, the “Digital Lab” was just an empty, gray-walled room in the basement of the Center for Jewish History on 16th Street in Manhattan, and a chunk of grant money from the Gruss Lipper Family Foundation. Today, the Digital Lab is a fully-operational in-house digitization service, with all the policies, procedures, standards, technology and staff required to sustain a high-quality digital collection building program.

In addition to setting up the Lab, I was also responsible for implementing a trusted digital repository in which to securely store all the digital assets created by the Center community, and a vehicle by which to make most of them freely available to researchers and the public:

CJH Digital Collections

I am proud of what we built at the Center for Jewish History (I use “we” because of course such an endeavour can only succeed as a team effort), and am happy that I have left the Lab in very good hands — Andrea Buchner, who I hired last year as the Lab’s Quality Assurance & Metadata Librarian, took over as Acting Director upon my departure.

Finally, many thanks to all my team members past and present, and my boss, Bob Sink, for helping to make the Digital Lab both a success, and an enjoyable and rewarding place to work for the last 3 years. I’ll miss you all!

Some of the Digital Lab’s staff, past and present, at my leaving party at the Belmont Lounge on Friday. From left to right: Gloria Machnowski; Stan Pejsa; Tony Gill; Amit Primor; Hyla Skopitz; Andrea Buchner.

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