With our proposal to the Society of American Archivists funded, the lab has begun work to implement ELMS 3.0 to 30 works in The NEXT and test this extended schema for its efficacy.

Our project, entitled “Improving Metadata for Better Accessibility to Scholarly Archives for Disabled and Sensory Sensitive People,” builds on our efforts, begun in 2021, to extend the Metadata Object Description Schema (MODS) so that the metadata for these archives consisting of born-digital works of electronic literature, video games, and net art better reflect their participatory, interactive, and experiential qualities. While ELMS 2.0 includes controlled vocabularies for software dependency(ies), authoring platform(s), hardware dependency(ies), peripheral dependency(ies), computer language(s), digital quality(ies), and sensory modality(ies)––fields not currently addressed by MODS, ELMS 3.0 further describes, in much greater detail, the kind of sensory experience visitors to The NEXT will have with these works.

The methodology we are using is aligned with relaxed performance methodology and disability justice to take a very broad approach to accessibility. A relaxed performance offers a comfortable and welcoming visitor experience that accommodates a wide range of needs. People with disabilities, disorders, or differences are able to participate and enjoy an event as valued patrons (Sensory Friendly Solutions). A common practice for relaxed performances is a guide that lets visitors know in advance what to expect at the performance and how it has been modified to accommodate specific needs. In the context of our project we not only add the controlled vocabularies in the sidebar of an individual work’s exhibition space––which describes the work’s unique, searchable features––but also include a section called “experiencing the work” that provides the kind of detailed information, written in plain and clear language that all visitors need to know before accessing the work

The prototype of ELMS 3.0’s controlled vocabulary was developed at Triangle SCI in October 2022. Over the last two weeks as our two metadata specialists began to implement them to the works selected for our project, we have been able to refine them. In the coming weeks as our Advisory Committee reviews our work, we will continue to improve upon our work. We are also gathering information about how long it takes to apply the new schema to works so that we can produce a budget for a larger grant proposal that would fund the lab to implement ELMS 3.0 to all of the work The NEXT holds.