Cynthia Tobar is a cross-disciplinary metadata specialist/archivist experienced in digital project planning and implementation, including the development of metadata best practices, controlled vocabularies and taxonomies aimed at improving and maximizing information retrieval for digital content. Cynthia is adept at bringing together specialists in humanities, digital technologies, library science, and archival science to engage as a team in the planning and designing of open source, publicly accessible digital humanities teaching and learning tool prototypes.
Cynthia is the Library Archivist at the Center for Puerto Rican Studies (Centro) at Hunter College, where she is managing the 100 Puerto Ricans Oral History Project, which aims to collect the memories of those whose legacy have made an impact to the stateside Puerto Rican community. She is also working to preserve Centro’s existing oral history collections and make this content available to researchers with the creation of digital humanities initiatives and collaborations. Prior to Centro, Cynthia has shared her extensive knowledge as an archivist, librarian, educator and oral historian at esteemed cultural heritage and higher education institutions such as the City University of New York, the New York Public Library, the Museum of the City of New York, the Brooklyn Historical Society, the Vera Institute of Justice and Pratt Institute.
Cynthia is the founder of the WRI Oral History Project, which is documenting the Welfare Rights Initiative (WRI), a grassroots student activist and community leadership training organization located at Hunter College. She has also collaborated with the Occupy Wall Street Archives Working Group, where she conducted life history interviews with OWS occupiers. Cynthia received her Master’s degree in Political Science from New School University and her Master’s degree in Library and Information Science, with a certificate in Archival Management, from Pratt Institute.
Research interests include:
- Communication of Memory in Archives, Libraries, and Museums
- Digital Archives
- Metadata standards’ evolving role in the Semantic Web environment
- Community-Based Oral History
- Documenting Social Movements and Student Activism.
For more on Cynthia’s varied professional pursuits and interests, feel free to connect via LinkedIn