Greenhouse Studios at the University of Connecticut, in partnership with the Northeastern University Library, is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a one-year planning grant in the amount of $120,000 from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support the continued development of Sourcery, a mobile application for sharing scans of archival materials.
Launched in December 2019 by Greenhouse Studios, Sourcery is an open source, community-based mobile application that expands access to non-digitized archival sources. With the Sourcery app installed on a phone or laptop, a researcher seeking a document can simply type in the citation information, and the app will notify Sourcery-registered researchers currently working in and around the repository where the document sits. One of these remote researchers claims the job, calls the document from the archive, takes a picture of it from within the Sourcery application, and sends it directly to the requesting researcher. A custom, enterprise version of Sourcery, for use by archivists – especially during COVID-19-related library closures – will launch in late-summer 2020. This enterprise version will offer special functionality for institutional users, such as a dedicated institutional account, customized pricing, and eventual integration with collection management systems and online catalogues. In addition to providing archives with a streamlined workflow and additional revenue stream, the enterprise version of Sourcery will provide patrons with a single interface for placing document requests across multiple repositories, even during a time when social distancing measures limit in-person access to collections and the ability to travel.
Funding from The Mellon Foundation will allow the Sourcery team to expand the geographical reach of the app, improve its user interface, and work with partners in libraries and archives to support the development of the enterprise version of the software. As a part of this effort, Northeastern University Library will host a virtual workshop series for institutional stakeholders in the fall of 2020, during which the team will solicit feedback and advice from stakeholders in the library and archives community. In addition, working in partnership with the Corporation for Digital Scholarship (CDS), which provides the legal and financial infrastructure for Sourcery, the grant will support develop plans for making Sourcery interoperable with CDS-supported projects, including Zotero, Omeka, and Tropy.