DCD Labs – 20 Highlights of 2020

1. DCD Labs launched, July 2020

Over a third of our community joined us for the launch of DCD Labs. (A two-year development program to connect users with the Dance Canada Danse [DCD] archive.)

‘We never start with code. We ask what people want first.’ The approach is ‘Less technology, and more focused on contact.’ 

DCD is for you, designed by you. 

The use-led design of the project means that each stage will be ‘test[ed] iteratively over 18 months’ by you. 

Hello World Webinar blog

2. 150+ dance, digital and archive enthusiasts signed up to DCD Labs

This is fabulous. Thank you so much for joining us. We would like more to join us. It would be great if you could pass on the details of how to to get involved to others who you think would be interested. This project is for:

  • Indigenous peoples
  • General public
  • Artists
  • Educators
  • Researchers
  • Academics
  • Students
  • Canadians
  • Archives
  • Dance-related organisations 
  • Dance professionals
  • Journalists
  • Art lovers

Click here to join

3. 10 Live Labs

DCD Labs is based on the process of Build, Engage, Iterate. The Live Labs are one way that we engage with you and you can engage with us. The first three Live Labs discussed what stops people from engaging with archives and archive materials. We examined accessibility, gatekeeping and searchability. You commented that:

  • Accessibility to archives is ‘super important’


  • You want the ‘ability to research freely’

The most recent Live Labs have been your opportunity to experiment and play with what we’ve developed so far and for you to build what you want. The Live Labs have included time for you to have a go and get involved! 

Experimentation is encouraged. 

Your experimentation has led to some interesting additions to the site 

We encourage you to head over to DCD Discover and try it out.

4. 9 blogs published

Subjects range from Digital Sustainability to Machine Learning. The blogs also cover areas including blockers to engagement with archives and our work with other cultural heritage institutions. 

Click here to view all the blogs

5. You shared 5 Stories with us

We asked you to share your stories around using archives and you replied. 

Your Stories – What you want from a digital archive

Your Stories – Experiences using an archive

6. 10 newsletters sent

7. Development updates added

You can now follow our weekly developments to DCD Discover on our Development Diary

8. Started a DCD WhatsApp Group

Join WhatsApp Chat

9. Launched #DCDChallenge

Every week you had the opportunity to take the #DCDChallenge. To share your pictures of recitals, dance shoes, or, in this case, costumes.

10. Added all of the CIDD database items onto DCD Discover

That’s 4300 items that went on, including auto-tagging and auto-description, in just 3.5 hours.

11. Added 3574 images from Flickr from the DCD Collection onto DCD Discover including auto-tagging and auto-description

In less than 5 hours!

13. Enabled you to add sound recordings to DCD Discover

12. Development work was featured on the British Museum’s Museum Futures  site

Museum Futures blog

14 to 16.  You gave us some really great ideas

We asked you what you wanted us to build. From this we have created a Wishlst. It includes:

14. To add multiple images instead of one at a time. Done

15. A “lightbox” feature which allows users to develop/curate their own “collections”. In development

16. DCD Discover becomes the central repository for performance archives and includes non-dance archives such as cirque and theatre. Being discussed

16 to 19 . You made some really great comments

16. “Holy crud” – made when the AI was demonstrated

17. “Amazing auto-description”

18. “This is amazing”

19. “This is so great”

20. Happy New Year 🎆🎇🎆

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