I hope you had a chance to review my first two blog posts. As Project Director, I found it quite satisfying to publish these posts and share basic information about the project as well as the banjo as the "test case."
One of the many challenges this planning period posed was how to structure our work. We wanted to be able to not only capture the perspectives of the Project's Advisory Board, but also those groups that would be interested in "the bigger picture." George Wunderlich and I solved this issue by creating a series of objectives and indicators, which we included in the original NEH proposal. Since the proposal was selected for support, the objectives and indicators became the primary guiding mechanism driving our work throughout the actual planning period.
The purpose of this post is to provide you with the objectives and indicators we used. They are provided below, beneath my signature. I will provide additional information in subsequent posts.
Thank you for your time and ongoing consideration!
Focus of the Planning Period: Objectives and Indicators
The defining event of the planning period was the Two-Day Meeting of the Advisory Board for the Banjo Sightings Database Project, held at the National Museum for Civil War Medicine in Frederick, MD on June 4-5, 2009. The primary focus of the meeting was to outline a work plan and next steps for the Project by addressing a series of predefined objectives and indicators, which were used as a springboard for all discussions.
Objective 1: Establish and Outline Requirements:
Indicator 1.1: Technical Requirements: Identify the most appropriate platform and database software that is open source and scalable to the Project’s data collecting needs, making sure it is interoperable with new media, which can then be aligned to create a strong, interactive web presence. This includes metadata architecture, multimedia requirements, programming outputs, and outlining best practices.
Indicator 1.2: Content Requirements: Map out the types of data to be collected, including measurements, a controlled vocabulary, and multimedia outputs consisting of audio, video, digital photographs, and three-dimensional imaging.
Indicator 1.3: Intellectual Property and Other Legal Considerations and Requirements: Consider the maintenance of intellectual property rights for scholarly analyses and interpretations of database content, copyright issues for images of three-dimensional objects as well as confirming content found in the public domain, and maintaining confidentiality of private collectors’ personal information vs. those materials found in public collections.
Indicator 1.4: Protocol Requirements: Outline a reasonable and professional protocol for approaching public institutions and private collectors with information about the Project and soliciting the inclusion of information about their materials within the database system. This includes contacting individuals or institutions, scheduling appointments, and conducting onsite visits as a representative of the Project.
Objective 2: Creating a Banjo Sightings Database Work Plan: Putting the Project into Perspective
Indicator 2.1: Clarify tasks that will ensure project development. Outline long- and short-term objectives and indicators for a successful Banjo Sightings Database Project.
Indicator 2.2: Produce an action plan that outlines next steps based on long- and short-term objectives (Indicator 2.1) that will result in a formal Banjo Sightings Database Project Work Plan. This includes naming each phase of development and the types of supporting documentation that must be present (e.g., planning checklists, technical requirements for each task, and documentation of planning efforts).
Indicator 2.3: Describe what an NEH Level II Start-Up Grant proposal should look like for the development and production phase of the Banjo Sightings Database Project (see page 12 for current NEH Level II guidelines).
Objective 3: Identifying Stakeholders for Long-Term Maintenance, Sponsorship, Partnership, and Development:
Indicator 3.1: Continue to identify institutions, groups, and individuals interested in contributing to the Project, acting as sponsors, and participating in the future development of the Banjo Sightings Database Project.
Objective 4: Compose a Banjo Sightings Database White Paper
 The Project Objectives and Indicators outlined in this section are slightly modified from the original Project Objectives and Indicators submitted to NEH in October 2008. This is primarily the case with Objective 2: Creating a Banjo Sightings Database Work Plan: Putting the Project into Perspective.