One of the highlights of 2021 was that we held our first quarterly Manifold Community Meetup. Something we love about building Manifold is seeing all of the amazing projects and initiatives that Manifold makes possible across the different groups and institutions who use it. At the same time, we found that publishers using Manifold often asked us for a means through which to discover what other Manifold instances are up to and how they have solved common challenges and obstacles. And so we inaugurated Manifold Community Meetups: a quarterly virtual meetup for Manifold community members to share practices, discuss strategies, ask questions, troubleshoot difficulties, and learn from each other.
Our first meetup was held on November 17 from 3-4 pm and featured short presentations on two wonderful projects: The Greater Chaco Landscape from University Press of Colorado, and Race &/in America at Brown University. Both projects bring together a variety of media in an exciting hybrid publication.
Darrin Pratt, director of UP Colorado, discussed the creation of The Greater Chaco Landscape, a book of essays based on a seminar held at Crow Canyon Archaeological Center in August 2017 that addressed the conflict between Native communities and energy development in the Chaco Canyon. The open access version of this work on UP Colorado's Manifold instance hosts video footage of the individual seminars that served as the underpinnings of each chapter as well as interviews with Native elders and scholars that explain the importance of the Chaco Canyon to their culture and society. We also got to hear from two members of the core development team for Race &/in America: Allison Levy, Digital Scholarship Editor for the Brown University Library’s Digital Publications Initiative, and Crystal Busch, Brown Univeersity’s Designer for Online Publications. Similar to The Greater Chaco Landscape, Race &/in America began as a live event - a panel discussion series held by the Centre for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America at Brown University that investigated the long legacy of anti-Black racism in America. Race &/in America is an eight-part open access series that contains videos of the original panel discussions alongside expanded content and resources. Darrin, Allison, and Crystal shared their experiences organizing and supporting these amazing projects. We then had time to break into discussion groups for press, teaching, and library users, where we got to talk about what has worked and what has been a challenge in developing Manifold projects, sustaining a Manifold instance, and training users. We also discussed what topics people would like us to cover in future meetups.
We are looking forward to the second Manifold Meetup, which will be held on Tuesday, February 15 at 11 am EST, and will focus on making the best use of reading groups on your Manifold instance.