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Outreach in 140 characters

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Academic & Special Libraries Section Annual Conference 201612 February 2016Karolina Badzmierowska, Prof Susan Schreibman

Goal and Vision

The Letters of 1916 project is the first public humanities project in Ireland.It is creating a crowd-sourced digital collection of letters written around the time of the Easter Rising (1 November 1915 31 October 1916).

This online collection, co-created by cultural institutions and the public is adding a new perspective to the events of the period of the Rising, a confidential and intimate glimpse into early 20th Century life in Ireland, as well as how Irish politics was viewed internationally.

Letters are on a range of topics, including the Easter Rising, literature and art, the Great War, politics, business, official documents of government, and ordinary life.

Through these letters we are bringing to life the written words, the last words, the unspoken words, and the forgotten words.

Speak to us later about collaborating



Susan Schreibman - Project Director and Editor in Chief

Karolina Badzmierowska - ResearcherRoman Bleier - ResearcherEmma Clarke - ResearcherVinayak Das Gupta - ResearcherRichard Hadden - ResearcherHannah Healy - ResearcherShane McGarry - Software EngineerNeale Rooney - ResearcherLinda Spinazz - Researcher


LETTERS OF 1916 in numbers

Allen Library | American Irish Historical Society | Cloyne Diocesan Archives | Conradh na Gaeilge | Cork City and County Archives | Cork Public Museum | Irish Capuchin Provincial Archives | Limerick Diocesan Archives | Irish Jesuit Archives | Maynooth University Library | Medical Missionaries of Mary | Military Archives of Ireland | New York Public Library | National Archives of Ireland | National Library of Ireland | National Museum of Ireland | Public Record Office of Northern Ireland | St. Patricks College Maynooth | The National Archives, UK | Trinity College Dublin | University College Cork | University College Dublin | Waterford County Archive 23 collaborating institutionsLaunched: 27 September 2013Correspondence documents uploaded: 2312Uploaded items from 45 private collections and 23 collaborating institutionsRegistered users: 1270Transcribed characters: 2570498






Private CollectionsFeatured profiles and postsProgress updateUpload eventsSFI DISCOVER Community Engagement eventsTeachers WorkshopTalks & lectures


SOCIAL MEDIATwitter, Facebook, Storify


Letters of 1916 project on Twitter:

September 2013 = 0 followersSeptember 2014 =1170 followers (+1170 in the first year)September 2015= 3476 followers (+2306 in the second year)February 2016 = 4134 followers (+658 in 5 months)

Letters 1916 project was launched in September 2013. Its Twitter account was created a few days before the launch. After 1 year we had 1170 followers, the following year, 2015 3476 (almost 200% increase). In February 2016 we have 4134 followers (increase of almost 20% since September 2013). While the number of followers is still growing, it has slowed down in the past 5 months. Most of the people interested in the project, or in the Easter Rising topic, have followed us on Twitter in the first two years.


different strategies

different messages

different impact

general publicresearch communityeducation communitiesmedia outletscultural institutionsother


It is important to identify your audiences. Most of cultural institutions, as well as digital projects and collections, target more than just one audience. They differ in size, character, even tone of communication. We reach to different audiences for different reasons, but these may overlap too. 8


engage: re-tweet, tweet back, like, respond to DM be careful about trolling take action!one of the best and FREE marketing tools:WORD OF MOUTHgreat way to network & brainstormhugely rewarding

You should always respond to individuals on Twitter regardless if relevant or not to your outreach goals. Engage & interact by re-tweeting and liking relevant tweets, tweet back, answer private messages via DM. Be careful with so-called trolling be polite, but take an action. Remember about your institution / project and its communication style and manners. If needed, block or report. General public is a great audience to spread the word, both good and bad. Keep that in mind. This audience might help you to discover new connections, work on new ideas, evaluate your some elements of your work. This audience is hugely rewarding there is nothing better than a genuine support for your project from individuals. 9


identify and connect with the best matches, e.g. universities, departments, conferences, publications, scholarsuse relevant hashtags, e.g. #CONF, #CFP share your research and acknowledge your researchersgreat potential for future collaborations (and recruitment!)

Its important to know what research communities are the most relevant for your institution / project. Identify the some hashtags that are commonly used by this group. Share your research and acknowledge your researchers, this is not only a great way to get feedback, spread the work about your work, utilize your research, but it is also a nice thing to do for your staff. The engagement with research communities might lead to collaborations in future acknowledge the current ones too! You might find the best fit, potential new staff. 10


to educate through engagement vs. to engage with educatorsuse relevant hashtags, e.g. #EDUCHATIE, #EDUCHAT, #EDUCATION, #TEACH1916great potential for future collaborations

Education is a broad community, so think who do you need/want to engage with? Teachers? Students? Summer schools? Courses? Identify and use relevant hashtags. Do you want others to use your material in education? Do you want to help educators to learn how to use your material? Do you want students to give you feedback about your resources? Think about those and other questions relevant to your institution / project. Also, this is another way that might help you to find collaborators in future. 11


identify and follow all relevant media platforms (local/national/international)make it easy to share your content, e.g. links, images, complete informationuse relevant hashtags, also mainstream ones e.g. #IRELAND, #DUBLIN, #NEWSget attention from the media get your news out there

Its important to know your media and engage with them. Keep reminding the media about you. Make your news and content easily shareable: link to a full news piece / article / page / programme, add title / credit / copyright information to your pics, keep tweets short and informative. Look for commonly used hashtags in mainstream media, event specific hashtags, trending hashtags as long as they are relevant! Get your news out there journalists use Twitter a lot, you never know who is going to pick up your news item!



make friendsacknowledge collaborations, link to relevant content, #FF be part of the communityuse relevant hashtags, e.g. #LIBRARIES, #LIBRARIANS, #asl2016 have fun, e.g. #LIBRARYLIFE, #LIBRARYSELFIE, #LIBRARIANPROBLEMSgreat potential for future collaborations

Make friends with similar institutions / projects to yours. Twitter is more about support than unhealthy competitions. Share to be shared by others. Use #FF (Follow Friday) to get the friends together! Use industry specific hashtags. Create and spread the word about your hashtags. Have fun and get new followers and supporters. Show the human side of your institution. Any cats in the collection? There are many hashtags that unite institutions sharing the everyday joys and struggles (general public likes it a lot!). Another great way to foster collaborations.13

What to tweet?

general public, e.g. engaging, interestingresearch community, e.g. conferences, publicationseducation communities, e.g. resources, workshopsmedia outlets, e.g. news, events, milestonescultural institutions, e.g. common topics, support

and more

What to tweet? Whatever you think is worth sharing with the public and you can fit into 140 characters. There are some audience specific favourites, but they overlap a lot.


What to tweet?

links to new blog posts, news, updates, eventslinks to your resources and collections to discoverimages very important!light-hearted commentary on trending eventsreminders about events, CFP, conferencesrelevant acknowledgementsrecommendationsmemory lane type; anniversaries

and more

Its important to maintain the connection between all your online platforms (unless platform specific), e.g. website, Twitter, Facebook. The more you link between them the better (up to date, coherence, online traffic). Show off your resources and collections, give a teaser, but link to the full record. Images are very important, they always help your tweets to stand out in the feed. Participate in trending events, but keep is positive, polite, light-hearted, safe. Send reminders about dates and deadlines. Acknowledge any collaborators, participants, etc. currently working or those from the past too. Recommend relevant sources, articles, books, etc. Walk down memory lane tweet about anniversaries or milestone events from the past. 15

What to tweet?

#OnThisDay a way to share items from your collections from specific days #AskLetters1916 Twitter chat; a monitored chat on Twitter for anyone to join in Tell people you are on Facebook, YouTube,