Category Archives: Scalar


Tags for your Media

Using Tags in Scalar helps identify  relationships between content posted, whether a page or media, and works non-linearly (unlike Paths). This will help us see the commonalities between everyone’s final projects and tie in those relationships. We need to think of cohesive keywords we can use as Tags.

Please tag your media which will be beneficial to tie in those commonalities. Also, make sure you identify what type of media you used (photo, sound, video). Use the following tags:

  • Photo
  • Sound
  • Video
  • Media Studies
  • The New School
  • The New School Archives
  • Course Catalogs
  • Center for Understanding Media
  • John Culkin
  • Deirdre Boyle
  • Peter Haratonik
  • Kit Laybourne
  • Melissa Friedling
  • Oral History

Also note, some of these tags to do not exist in our project yet, so if it doesn’t create a new Page and nest your Media under this Tag Page.

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Scalar tutorial

Since we will be using Scalar as the platform to create our online exhibits, I introduced some of the basic functions of Scalar during lab today.

The main components of a Scalar project includes: Pages, Media, Paths, Tags, and Annotations. Pages holds your text (like creating a Post in WordPress) but Pages also holds Media, Paths, Tags, and Annotations. Each of these components has its own URL. Media can be embedded from  importing files from their affiliated archives (Internet Archive, Critical Commons, and more), other archives (which they refer to Prezi, Soundcloud, Vimeo, and Youtube), internet files, local media files. Paths are an order series of Pages. This is how you want your reader to experience the exhibit. Once more content is created in our overall Scalar project for we can intersecting paths between everyone’s exhibits. Tags are nonlinear markers/categorization, which will be useful to create Visualizations of the overall Scalar project to tie in and connect the main themes in each Page/everyone’s projects. Annotations is the ability to comment the media objects imported/embedded: video, images, audio, and text. Paths, Tags, and Annotations help create relationships that will connect the archival issues in everyone’s project.

We each signed up for Scalar accounts and I added everyone to my book project: “TNS Media Archives Test.” We added Pages and some Media and I created one Path to connect all the Pages we made:

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Visualization of Media and their relationship:

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Media cannot be directly imported from TNS Digital Archives since it is not an affiliated archives and also because it will look like this:
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We will have to upload our own photos through Media, such as this one. This is what we will have to do for the photos you take from the Archives. Georgia asked if we can hyperlink to another URL on the photos we do upload. We can use html to do that function. The html code is: <a href=”URL”><img src=”URL IMAGE”/></a> This can be done when adding new content, a Page, and using HTML instead of Visual in the body where you plugin your text.

Adding Citation/Metadata
When creating a new page or media/editing  page or media: Click on “Metadata” on the bottom of the page

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Then Click on “Add Additional Metadata.” This popup are terms used in Dublin Core [DCTERMS] & Artstor [Art]. For the purpose of the class its only necessary to include “source” under DCTERMS which Liza pointed out to us refers to the location of the original archival material found in TNS Archives. Please include this citation in whatever media/document/photo you will be using in your project. The Archives have asked if you are using an unprocessed media studies resources, please use this format under “source”:

[identification of item -- you can determine this, or take it from the
folder title], [date], School of Media Studies records, NS020501, [Box
Number], The New School Archives and Special Collections, The New
School, New York, NY.

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I will be going more in depth with Scalar and its customization later in the semester and updating this post. If you have any questions please email me! Please review Scalar User’s Guide and this basic guided tour of Scalar:

There are upcoming webinars starting this Thursday for the next couple of weeks if you are interested:
Introduction to Scalar: April 10, 10am-12pm (PST)
Intermediate Scalar: April 24, 10am-12pm (PST)
Advanced Scalar: May 8, 10am-12pm (PST)

To register, you can do that here.  If you want to watch past webinars you can view them here.

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Platforms Overview


Omeka used by the digital humanities and are smaller projects (“the WordPress of digital archiving platforms”). If you don’t have your own server you can use and the basic free plan includes 500 MB of storage space. Omeka uses Dublin Core as their metadata standards, however through there are somewhere between 4-6 metadata standards which through plugins (such as VRA Core 4). You can search for Plugins (such as Neatline). If you want to try out Omeka, you can try it out in their Sandbox demo.


Heroes and Villains (an site)

100 Years: The Rockefeller Foundation

Battersea Arts Centre Digital Archive

Digital Dos Passos

Building an archive in

Building exhibits in


Scalar is used mostly for publishing e-books and digital born scholarship. I think this is the most promising platform. You can create paths and tags that work nonlinearly throughout your project. You can import files from their affiliated archives (Internet Archive, Critical Commons, and more), other archives (which they refer to Prezi, Soundcloud, Vimeo, and Youtube), internet files, local media files, and other Scalar books.

It is also possible to host Scalar to your ownserver!!! From their Github: “If you are technically inclined and decide to host your own version of Scalar, you’re free to customize and modify it in any way, but it’s up to you to download, install and troubleshoot updates as they become available.” However keep in mind, “the version of Scalar that is hosted on our servers guarantees that you are working on the most up-to-date version of the software.”


Performing Archive: Curtis + “the vanishing race”

Virtual Asian American Art Museum Project Pilot Lab

Scalar User’s Guide

Scalar Platform – Guided Tour :


Things to note about the differences between WordPress: Using storage space is 500MB; is 3000MB (or ~ 3GB) however, you cannot upload audio files unless you have a space upgrade. relies on your own server and is more flexible in customizing your site. There are tons of WordPress tutorials online that you can search for. ***If anyone finds a good online exhibit that is hosted through WordPress, please feel free to share it with the class.***

Another resources that were mentioned in class today:

Harvard’s Wiki on Collection and Exhibition Platforms 

Viewshare –  “a free platform created by the Library of Congress for generating and customizing views (interactive maps, timelines, facets, tag clouds) that allow users to experience your digital collections.”

Timeline JS – “is an open-source tool that enables you to build visually-rich interactive timelines and is available in 40 languages.”

 Mediathread - “connects to a variety of image and video collections (such as YouTube, Flickr, library databases, and course libraries), enabling users to lift items out of these collections and into an analysis environment. In Mediathread, items can then be clipped, annotated, organized, and embedded into essays and other written analysis.”