Today is Family Day here in British Columbia, so we thought it only fitting to talk about new members of the FSTS family. Okay, it’s a stretch, but we’ll take any excuse we can get!
We recently held a general meeting where everyone involved with From Stone to Screen sat down and presented the progress and successes of the project so far and, as From Stone to Screen nears its third birthday (!), we also discussed our upcoming goals and future directions for the project. One of the aspects we have struggled with since the beginning is the growing need for volunteer commitment – we would be nowhere near as successful as we are without the hard-work and long hours put in by our volunteers. However, since this project is in every sense a labour of love (did we mention that this is no one’s thesis or dissertation topic!?), it can sometimes be a struggle for graduate students to balance their own schoolwork and other commitments with the ever-growing needs of From Stone to Screen (Fundraising! Applying for grants! Conference presentations! Metadata! Blog posts! Maintaining the artifact collection! Research! Creating Teaching Collections! Scanning! Uploading! The list goes on and on…)
For the entire life of the project we have prided ourselves on being ‘graduate-student-run’. We are incredibly proud of all of the work we have done to-date, but are happy to announce that we are officially opening up project participation not only to undergraduates and faculty members here at UBC, but to students and researchers at other institutions, and the wider public as well! Basically, anyone who wants to help, to participate, or to collaborate can now do so, in any capacity. We are looking forward to being a more agglutinative project with the best volunteers possible, and we don’t care where they come from!
This inspiration for this decision really came from a surprise email we received back in January. An old friend of mine and UBC alum, Nicholas Kraus, came across the FSTS website. He noticed that we had a cuneiform tablet and that the translation of our little tablet was missing some info…so Nick (now doing his PhD in Assyriology at Yale University) took it upon himself to provide us with an updated transcription and translation of this 4000-year-old artifact. Then we realized that this was exactly what we wanted From Stone to Screen to do! Provide and disseminate knowledge FROM everyone FOR everyone FROM everywhere! Nick’s initial email was wonderful, and he had great things to say about the project: “It [the FSTS website] looks great, a really incredible achievement and I am glad to see you have a cuneiform tablet up on the site! This looks like an exciting project, kudos to you all for your hard work!”
Since this initial contact we have snapped Nick up and recruited him for future collaborations and all things cuneiform-tablet-related. I asked him to summarize his experience with us over the last couple of weeks, and he had this to say:
“I discovered From Stone to Screen quite by accident. I was perusing the website of my alma mater department at UBC, when I came across the link to this project that some of the graduate students had started. To my surprise I saw a cuneiform tablet on the website! I realized that I could help with the translation of the tablet, so I wrote to Chelsea with an updated translation and it took off from there. I am very excited to be involved in future collaboration with the project.” – Nick Kraus
We are thrilled that Nick is joining us, and since our general meeting we have added five undergraduates to our ever-expanding team, who are working on various aspects of the project from classroom implementation, to researching the Athenian Tribute Lists, to cataloguing artifacts. Stay tuned for future posts about these new members and their contributions! Oh, and if you are reading this and want to get involved, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
We’d love to hear from you and we look forward to welcoming you to the family 😉