Archive for the 'Digital Archives and Special Collections' Category

Digital Collections/Exhibitions Software: Omeka Package from OKAPI Released

Posted in Digital Archives and Special Collections, Museums, Open Source Software, Social Media/Web 2.0 on November 5th, 2008

The Open Knowledge and the Public Interest has created an Omeka package that "bundles together their custom theme, plugin modifications and additions to the 0.9.2 version."

Here's an excerpt from the Omeka announcement:

The Okapi theme enables Omeka users without expert web design skills to create polished multimedia exhibits and collections. The home page features a cinematic 980×500 pixel main image and up to four featured exhibits. Exhibit pages include new layouts for articles, themed collections and embedded multimedia. The bundled Multimedia Links plugin enables embedding of HTML code, flash video (flv), and many other formats supported by the included JWplayer. The theme displays accessible Flash-based typography and is W3C CSS and XHTML compliant.


Beyond the Silos of the LAMs: Collaboration Among Libraries, Archives and Museums

Posted in Digital Archives and Special Collections, Museums, OCLC, Research Libraries on September 30th, 2008

OCLC Programs and Research has published Beyond the Silos of the LAMs: Collaboration Among Libraries, Archives and Museums.

Here's an excerpt:

The project that forms the basis of this report began in 2007, when RLG Programs initiated work on the program, Library, Archive and Museum Collaboration. The goal of the program was threefold: to explore the nature of library, archive and museum (LAM) collaborations, to help LAMs collaborate on common services and thus yield greater productivity within their institutions, and to assist them in creating research environments better aligned with user expectations—or, to reference this report’s title, to move beyond the often-mentioned silos of LAM resources which divide content into piecemeal offerings.

At the heart of the program was a series of workshops designed to be both exploratory and outcome-oriented. Workshop participants were asked to identify motivations and obstacles in the collaborative process and plan new collaborative projects and programs that addressed needs at their own institutions.

Five RLG Programs partner sites were selected to participate in the workshops: the University of Edinburgh, Princeton University, the Smithsonian Institution, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and Yale University.


Omeka 0.10 Alpha Released

Posted in Digital Archives and Special Collections, Museums, Open Source Software, Social Media/Web 2.0 on September 26th, 2008

The Center for History and New Media at George Mason University has released Omeka 0.10 Alpha. Omeka is used to provide access to digital collections and exhibitions (see the About page).

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

In this version we’ve updated to a powerful new data model based on an unqualified Dubin Core standard. We’ve also improved the theme and plugin APIs to work with that data model and make it easier for plugin and theme creators to work with Omeka.


JISC Digital Repositories and Archives Inventory Project Catalogs 3,707 Free Digital Collections

Posted in Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digital Repositories, Open Access on September 1st, 2008

With the completion of phase two of the project, the JISC Digital Repositories and Archives Inventory project has cataloged 3,707 free digital collections. The phase two records will be added to the JISC Information Environment Service Registry (IESR), which already contains the phase one records.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

The brief of the inventory was to identify all the repositories and achives in the UK that are relevant to UK higher education and are free at point of use. For the purposes of this project a very loose definition of repositories and archives was used. The only sites that were excluded were those that restricted access and those with little or no structure.

Phase 1 of the project discovered 1,924 resources and phase 2 discovered 1,783. The records from phase 1 are already in the IESR and records from phase 2 will be added soon.

Phase 2 also enriched the metadata collected about all the resources and contacted resource owners to approve or extend the data collected about their resources. This produced a very positive response with approximately 800 resource owners providing extra information about their collections.

The project has released its final report, JISC Final Report—Digital Repositories and Archives Inventory Project.


Five TexTreasures Digitization Grants Awarded

Posted in Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digitization, Grants on August 15th, 2008

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission has awarded digitization grants to five TexShare member libraries.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

TSLAC received 28 TexTreasures grant proposals. The exciting projects that have been funded are:

  1. "Houston Oral History Project" ($17,474)—The Houston Public Library is partnering with Mayor Bill White to preserve and make the video-recordings of significant Houstonians available on the web.
  2. "Early Texas Newspapers: 1829-1861" ($24,637)—The University of North Texas Libraries and the Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin will partner to microfilm, digitize, and provide free public access to the earliest Texas newspapers held by the Center for American History.
  3. "The Witliff Collections" ($20,000)—The project creates an online exhibit accessing the primary source materials of researcher Dick J. Reavis held by the Southwestern Writers Collection at the Wittliff Collections at Texas State University about the siege of the Branch Davidians at Mount Carmel outside of Waco in 1993.
  4. "Austin History Center Glass Plate Negatives" ($12,889)—The Austin History Center, a division of the Austin Public Library, will digitize the complete Hubert Jones collection of 471 glass plate negatives containing subjects local to Austin and Texas.
  5. "Tejano Voices Project" ($20,000)—The University of Texas at Arlington Library will digitize and describe 60 of the 174 oral history interviews with notable Tejanos and Tejanas from across Texas conducted in 1992-2003 by Dr. Jose Angel Gutierrez, associate professor of political science at UT Arlington.

OpenCollection Version 0.54-3 Released

Posted in Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digital Asset Management Systems, Museums, Open Source Software on August 8th, 2008

OpenCollection version 0.54-3 has been released.

Here's an excerpt from the Overview page:

OpenCollection is a full-featured collections management and online access application for museums, archives and digital collections. It is designed to handle large, heterogeneous collections that have complex cataloguing requirements and require support for a variety of metadata standards and media formats. Unlike most other collections management applications, OpenCollection is completely web-based. All cataloging, search and administrative functions are accessed using common web-browser software, untying users from specific operating systems and making cataloguing by distributed teams and online access to collections information simple, efficient and inexpensive.

See the Features page for more details about this open source software.


The Impact of Digitizing Special Collections on Teaching and Scholarship: Reflections on a Symposium about Digitization and the Humanities

Posted in Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digital Humanities, Digitization on August 5th, 2008

OCLC Programs & Research has released The Impact of Digitizing Special Collections on Teaching and Scholarship: Reflections on a Symposium about Digitization and the Humanities.

Here's an excerpt:

University faculty and scholars demonstrated their uses of rare books and archives—in both digital and physical forms—to an audience of RLG Programs partners at a symposium in Philadelphia on June 4, 2008. Tony Grafton's recent article in The New Yorker provoked the theme of the symposium: we'll be travelling both the wide smooth road through the screen and the narrow difficult road of books and archives for a long time to come.

The audience of librarians, archivists, museum professionals and senior managers discussed administrative issues and opportunities for the use of digitized special collections. The academic speakers, however, spoke to us directly about their expectations of special collections and proposals for collaboration with scholars. These scholars emphasized the critical roles rare books, archives and other materials play in both teaching and research, and called for specific directions for libraries and archives to take in the near future. The primary users of primary resources presented clear imperatives for collections and custodians: work with faculty to understand current research methods and materials; go outside the library or archive to build collections and work with faculty; and continue to build digital and material collections for both teaching and research.


Oxford Releases Report on Digital Repository Services for Research Data Management

Posted in Data Curation, Open Data, and Research Data Management, Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digital Repositories, Institutional Repositories on July 28th, 2008

The Oxford University Office of the Director of IT has released Findings of the Scoping Study Interviews and the Research Data Management Workshop: Scoping Digital Repository Services for Research Data Management.

Here's an excerpt from the report's Web page:

The scoping study interviews aimed to document data management practices from Oxford researchers as well as to capture their requirements for services to help them manage their data more effectively. In order to do this, 37 face-to-face interviews were conducted between May and June with researchers from 27 colleges, departments and faculties. In addition to this, the Research Data Management Workshop was organised to complement the findings of the scoping study interviews.


Critique of the National Archives' The Founders Online Report

Posted in Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digital Presses, Digitization, Open Access on June 30th, 2008

Peter Hirtle has posted a sharp critique of the National Archives' The Founders Online report on the LibraryLaw Blog that, among other points, questions whether the digitized works that result from the project will be free of copyright and access restrictions.

Here's an excerpt:

5. Perhaps the most problematic issues in the report surround its use of the term "open access." For some, open access means "digital, online, and free of charge." The report, while saying it wants to provide open access to the material, appears to recommend that all material be given to UVA's Rotunda system for delivery. Rotunda follows a subscription model—not open access—that is remarkably expensive considering that citizens have already paid for all of the editorial work on these volumes. How could this be open access? Apparently Rotunda might be willing to give up its subscription approach if a foundation were willing to pay for all of its costs. Unless such a commitment is in place, I find it disingenuous to describe a Rotunda delivery option as "open access." There is no discussion of other, free, delivery options, such as the willingness expressed by Deanna Marcum of the Library of Congress at the Senate Hearing to make all of the Founding Fathers papers accessible through LC (which already has a good site pointing to currently accessible papers).

6. Others argue that for true open access, information must be accessible outside of specific delivery systems (such as Rotunda) and made available in bulk. Open data and open interfaces allow for all sorts of interesting uses of material. For example, someone might want to mashup George Washington's papers to Google Maps in order to be able to easily visual geographically the spread of information. Others might want to mesh manuscript material with published secondary literature. Rather than anticipating the widespread dispersal and re-use of the Founding Fathers papers, however, and hence the need for harvestable data, open APIs, distributed access, etc., the report calls instead for "a single, unified, and sustainable Web site"—apparently the locked-down Rotunda system.


Omeka Version 0.9.2 Released

Posted in Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digital Asset Management Systems, Social Media/Web 2.0 on June 20th, 2008

Version 0.9.2 of Omeka has been released. This is a bug fix release.

Here's an excerpt from the About page that describes Omeka:

Omeka is a web platform for publishing collections and exhibitions online. Designed for cultural institutions, enthusiasts, and educators, Omeka is easy to install and modify and facilitates community-building around collections and exhibits. It is designed with non-IT specialists in mind, allowing users to focus on content rather than programming.


Digital Library Federation Spring Forum 2008 Presentations

Posted in Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Digital Libraries, Digital Presses, Digital Repositories, DSpace, E-Journal Management and Publishing Systems, Institutional Repositories, Metadata on June 4th, 2008

The Digital Library Federation has released presentations from its Spring Forum 2008.

Here's a selection of the presentations:


Sustainability and Revenue Models for Online Academic Resources: An Ithaka Report Released

Posted in Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digital Presses, Digital Repositories, E-Books, E-Journals, Institutional Repositories, Open Access, Publishing, Scholarly Books, Scholarly Communication, Scholarly Journals on June 3rd, 2008

The Strategic Content Alliance has released Sustainability and Revenue Models for Online Academic Resources: An Ithaka Report.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

This paper was commissioned by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) is the first step in a three-stage process aimed at gaining a more systematic understanding of the mechanisms for pursuing sustainability in not-for-profit projects. It focuses on what we call 'online academic resources' (OARs), which are projects whose primary aim is to make content and scholarly discourse available on the web for research, collaboration, and teaching. This includes scholarly journals and monographs as well as a vast array of new formats that are emerging to disseminate scholarship, such as preprint servers and wikis. It also includes digital collections of primary source materials, datasets, and audio-visual materials that universities, libraries, museums, archives and other cultural and educational institutions are putting online.

This work is being done as part of the planning work for the Strategic Content Alliance (SCA), so it emphasises the development and maintenance of digital content useful in the networked world. In this first stage, we have conducted an initial assessment of the relevant literature focused on not-for-profit sustainability, and have compared the processes pursued in the not-for-profit and education sectors with those pursued by commercial organisations, specifically in the newspaper industry. The primary goal of this initial report is to determine to what extent it would make sense to conduct a more in-depth study of the issues surrounding sustainability.


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Digital Scholarship

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