Archive for the 'Digital Archives and Special Collections' Category

University of Maryland Libraries Digital Collections Launched

Posted in ARL Libraries, Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digital Repositories, Fedora, Research Libraries on November 28th, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The University of Maryland Libraries has launched its Digital Collections repository.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

This release marks two and a half years of work in the creation of a repository that serves the teaching and research mission of the University of Maryland Libraries. Many of the objects are digital versions from Maryland's Special Collections (such as A Treasury of World's Fairs Art and Architecture) or are new virtual collections (The Jim Henson Works). Other collections (such as Films@UM) support the teaching mission of the Libraries. This release also marks the integration of electronically available finding aids, ArchivesUM, into the repository architecture, creating a framework for digital objects to be dynamically discovered from finding aids.

The repository is based on the Fedora platform, uses Lucene for indexing, and Helix for streaming video. The repository features almost 2500 digital objects, with new objects added monthly. Object types currently delivered include full text (both TEI and EAD), video, and images. Objects can be discovered within a collection context or via a search across multiple collections. Cross-collection discovery is achieved through a common metadata scheme and controlled vocabulary. This metadata scheme also provides for individual collections to have more granular domain-specific metadata.

An FAQ for the repository is available.

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Eduserv Releases Study about the Use of Open Content Licenses By UK Heritage Organizations

Posted in Copyright, Creative Commons/Open Licenses, Digital Archives and Special Collections, Museums, Open Access, Scholarly Communication on November 17th, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The Eduserv Foundation has released Snapshot Study on the Use of Open Content Licences in the UK Cultural Heritage Sector (Appendices).

Here's an excerpt from the "Executive Summary":

This study investigates the awareness and use of open content licences in the UK cultural heritage community by way of a survey. Open content licensing generally grants a wide range of permission in copyright for use and re-use of works such as images, sounds, video, and text, whilst retaining a relatively small set of rights: often described as a ‘some rights reserved’ approach to copyright. For those wishing to share content using this model, Creative Archive (CA) and Creative Commons (CC) represent the two main sets of open content licences available for use in the United Kingdom.

The year of this survey, 2007, marks five years from the launch of the Creative Commons licences, two years since the launch of the UK-specific CC licences and two years as well since the launch of the UK-only Creative Archive licence.

This survey targeted UK cultural heritage organisations—primarily museums, libraries, galleries, archives, and those in the media community that conduct heritage activities (such as TV and radio broadcasters and film societies). In particular, this community produces trusted and highly valued content greatly desired by the general public and the research and education sectors. They are therefore a critical source of high-demand content and thus the focus for this project. The key objective has been to get a snapshot of current licensing practices in this area in 2007 for use by the sector and funding bodies wishing to do more work in this area.

Over 100 organisations responded to this web-based survey. Of these respondents:

  • Only 4 respondents out of 107 indicated that they held content but were not making it available online nor had plans to make it available online;
  • Images and text are the two content types most likely to be made available online;
  • Sound appears to be the most held content type not currently available online and with no plans to make it available in the future;
  • Many make some part of their collection available online without having done any formal analysis of the impact this may have;
  • 59 respondents were aware of Creative Archive or Creative Commons;
  • 10 use a CA or CC licence for some of their content; and
  • 12 have plans to use a CA or CC licence in the future.
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Library of Congress and Xerox Team Up to Build Large JPEG 2000 Image Repository

Posted in Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Digital Repositories, Metadata on October 26th, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The Library of Congress and Xerox will work together to build a repository of around 1 million JPEG 2000 images of public domain works.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

The two organizations are studying the potential of using the JPEG 2000 format in large repositories of digital cultural heritage materials such as those held by the Library and other federal agencies. The eventual outcome may be leaner, faster systems that institutions around the country can use to store their riches and to make their collections widely accessible.

The project, designed to help develop guidelines and best practices for digital content, is especially relevant to the Library’s National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program, which has been working with several other federal agencies on digitization standards.

The trial will include up to 1 million digitized, public domain prints, photographs, maps and other content from the Library’s extraordinary collections. Scientists in the Xerox Innovation Group will work with these materials to create an image repository that they will use to develop and test approaches for the management of large image collections.

The images to be used from the Library’s collection are already digitized (primarily in TIFF format), but JPEG 2000, a newer format for representing and compressing images, could make them easier to store, transfer and display. According to Michael Stelmach, manager of Digital Conversion Services in the Library’s Office of Strategic Initiatives, JPEG 2000 holds promise in the areas of visual presentation, simplified file management and decreased storage costs. It offers rich and flexible support for metadata, which can describe the image and provide information on the provenance, intellectual property and technical data relating to the image itself.

Xerox scientists will develop the parameters for converting TIFF files to JPEG 2000 and will build and test the system, then turn over the specifications and best practices to the Library of Congress. The specific outcome will be development of JPEG 2000 profiles, which describe how to use JPEG 2000 most effectively to represent photographic content as well as content digitized from maps. The Library plans to make the results available on a public Web site.

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Over 250 Digital Libraries and Archives Briefly Profiled

Posted in Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digital Libraries on October 18th, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

OEDb has published an annotated list of over 250 digital libraries and archives with brief annotations and links.

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The Lowdown on the MITH/Rice University Our Americas Archive Project

Posted in Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digital Humanities, Digital Libraries, Digital Repositories, Open Access, Rice University, Scholarly Communication, Social Media/Web 2.0, Texas Academic Libraries on October 9th, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities has posted a description of its IMLS-funded Our Americas Archive Project.

Here's an excerpt:

Rice University, in partnership with the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) at the University of Maryland has received a three-year National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) in the amount of $979,578 for the Our Americas Archive Project (OAAP), with an additional $980,613 provided in cost share by the institutions. The project will develop an innovative approach to helping users search, browse, analyze, and share content from distributed online collections. OAAP will incorporate recent Web 2.0 technologies to help users discover and use relevant source materials in languages other than English and will improve users’ ability to find relevant materials using domain-specific vocabulary searches. Two online collections of materials in English and Spanish, The Early Americas Digital Archive (EADA), and a new digital archive of materials to be developed at Rice, will provide an initial corpus for testing the tools. Rice principle investigators, Geneva Henry (Executive Director, Digital Library Initiative) and Caroline Levander (HRC Director), along with MITH co-PI Neil Fraistat are undertaking this innovative digital humanities project with a view to supporting scholarly inquiry into the Americas from a hemispheric perspective. As Geneva Henry says, “our goal is to develop new ways of doing research as well as new objects of study—to create a new, interactive community of scholarly inquiry.”

Two significant online collections of materials in English and Spanish supporting the interdisciplinary field of hemispheric American Studies—Maryland’s Early Americas Digital Archive (EADA) [http://www.mith2.umd.edu/eada/] and a new digital archive of multilingual materials being developed at Rice [http://rudr.rice.edu/handle/1911/9219]—provide an initial corpus for developing and testing these new digital tools. The two multilingual archives illustrate the complex politics and histories that characterize the American hemisphere, but they also provide unique opportunities to further digital research in the humanities. Geographic visualization as well as new social tagging and tag cloud cluster models are just some of the new interface techniques that the Our Americas Archive Partnership will develop with the goal of creating innovative research pathways. As Caroline Levander comments, “we see this as a first step in furthering scholarly dialogue and research across borders by making hemispheric material available open access worldwide. Our goal is to further develop innovative research tools that will help generate a collaborative, transnational research community.” Ralph Bauer, MITH Fellow, general editor of the Early Americas Digital Archive, and collaborator on the project adds, “the added digital materials and tools to navigate seamlessly through these two collections is enabling new forms of scholarship. Because the OAAP makes available materials that are dispersed in different geographic locations, it facilitates collaboration and intellectual exchange among an international audience. The digital medium offers rich opportunities for multicultural exchanges and is therefore uniquely suited for a hemispheric approach to history.”

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Digital Lives Research Project

Posted in Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digital Curation & Digital Preservation on October 4th, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Digital Lives project is investigating personal digital collections.

Here's an excerpt from the About Digital Lives page:

Digital Lives is a major research project focusing on personal digital collections and their relationship with research repositories. It brings together expert curators and practitioners in digital preservation, digital manuscripts, literary collections, web-archiving, history of science, and oral history from within the British Library (one of the world’s leading research libraries) with researchers in the School of Library, Archive and Information Studies at University College London, and The Centre for Information Technology and Law at the University of Bristol.

The Project's proposal provides detailed information about it's research methods.

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Michael Keller Appointed CLIR Senior Presidential Fellow

Posted in Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digital Libraries, Institutional Repositories, People in the News, Scholarly Communication on July 24th, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) has announced the appointment of Michael Keller, Stanford’s University Librarian, as CLIR Senior Presidential Fellow. Keller is also Director of Academic Information Resources, founder and publisher of HighWire Press, and publisher of the Stanford University Press.

Here’s an excerpt from the press release:

During the two-year appointment, which begins August 1, Mr. Keller will undertake a series of studies and reports for CLIR publication. His research will include examining the recommendations of recent cyberinfrastructure reports and exploring how our communities can respond to the complex environment these reports envision, including the role and function of institutional repositories, digital archives, and digital libraries. He will also compose white papers that elucidate new and emerging research methodologies, new models of scholarly publishing, the role of supercomputer
centers in the evolving concept of cyberinfrastructure, and topics specific to rethinking aspects of libraries and academic life. During his tenure as fellow, he will continue to work from Stanford.

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Australian Framework and Action Plan for Digital Heritage Collections

Posted in Copyright, Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Digital Repositories, Digitization, Scholarly Communication on July 12th, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The Collections Council of Australia Ltd. has released Australian Framework and Action Plan for Digital Heritage Collections, Version 0.C3 for comment.

Here's an excerpt from the document:

This is the Collections Council of Australia's plan to prepare an Australian framework for digital heritage collections. It brings together information shared by people working in archives, galleries, libraries and museums at a Summit on Digital Collections held in 2006. It proposes an Action Plan to address issues shared by the Australian collections sector in relation to current and future management of digital heritage collections.

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Archivists’ Toolkit 1.1 Beta (v. 1.0.19) Released

Posted in Digital Archives and Special Collections, Open Source Software on July 8th, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The Archivists’ Toolkit 1.1 Beta (v. 1.0.19) has been released. This version can connect Archivists’ Toolkit clients to MySQL, MS SQLServer, and Oracle database backends.

For more information on the Archivists’ Toolkit, see the "Archivists’ Toolkit Beta 1.1 Released" DigitalKoans posting.

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British Library Licenses Turning the Pages Toolkit

Posted in Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digitization, E-Books, Research Libraries on July 3rd, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The British Library has announced that it is now licensing its Turning the Pages Toolkit to libraries and museums. You can see the software in action at their Turning the Pages Web site.

Here’s an excerpt from the press release:

From today, libraries around the World will be able to license the award-winning Turning the Pages software used by the British Library to bring some of the world’s most rare and valuable books online.

Since its launch in 2004, Turning the Pages has grown to become one of the most popular resources at the British Library, allowing the Library to bring iconic treasures such as the Lindisfarne Gospels, Leonardo da Vinci’s Notebooks and Mercator’s Atlas of Europe online for everyone to see. With the launch of Turning the Pages 2.0, and a completely re-built software platform developed by Armadillo Systems, May 2007 also sees launch of a new "toolkit" that allows other libraries and museums around the World to create their own Turning the Pages gallery. . . .

Michael Stocking, Managing Director of Armadillo Systems and developer of the Turning the Pages software said "As well as making it easy for our customers to create their own collections, we also wanted to enhance the Turning the Pages experience. We have migrated the software to a new platform that places the book in a 3-D environment so, as well as being able to examine the book as a piece of text, users can now also examine it as an object. They can now look at the book from different angles, zoom in and even look at two books, side-by-side."

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The University of Maine and Two Public Libraries Adopt Emory’s Digitization Plan

Posted in Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Digital Presses, Digitization, E-Books, Mass Digitizaton, Open Access, Scholarly Communication on June 21st, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

Library Journal Academic Newswire reports that the University of Maine, the Toronto Public Library, and the Cincinnati Public Library will follow Emory University’s lead and digitize public domain works utilizing Kirtas scanners with print-on-demand copies being made available via BookSurge. (Also see the press release: "BookSurge, an Amazon Group, and Kirtas Collaborate to Preserve and Distribute Historic Archival Books.")

Source: "University of Maine, plus Toronto and Cincinnati Public Libraries Join Emory in Scan Alternative." Library Journal Academic Newswire, 21 June 2007.

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Emory Will Use Kirtas Scanner to Digitize Rare Books

Posted in Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Digital Presses, E-Books, Mass Digitizaton, Research Libraries, Scholarly Communication on June 6th, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

Emory University’s Woodruff Library will use a Kirtas robotic book scanner to digitize rare books and to create PDF files that will be made available on the Internet and sold as print-on-demand books on Amazon.

Here’s an excerpt from the press release:

"We believe that mass digitization and print-on-demand publishing is an important new model for digital scholarship that is going to revolutionize the management of academic materials," said Martin Halbert, director for digital programs and systems at Emory’s Woodruff Library. "Information will no longer be lost in the mists of time when books go out of print. This is a way of opening up the past to the future."

Emory’s Woodruff Library is one of the premier research libraries in the United States, with extensive holdings in the humanities, including many rare and special collections. To increase accessibility to these aging materials, and ensure their preservation, the university purchased a Kirtas robotic book scanner, which can digitize as many as 50 books per day, transforming the pages from each volume into an Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). The PDF files will be uploaded to a Web site where scholars can access them. If a scholar wishes to order a bound, printed copy of a digitized book, they can go to Amazon.com and order the book on line.

Emory will receive compensation from the sale of digitized copies, although Halbert stressed that the print-on-demand feature is not intended to generate a profit, but simply help the library recoup some of its costs in making out-of-print materials available.

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Archivists’ Toolkit Beta 1.1 Released

Posted in Digital Archives and Special Collections, Open Source Software on May 21st, 2007 by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

The Archivists’ Toolkit Beta 1.1 has been released for testing by interested parties.

Here’s a description of the Archivists’ Toolkit from the project’s home page:

Key Features:

  • Integrated support for managing archival materials from acquisition through processing:
  • Recording repository information
  • Tracking sources / donors
  • Recording accessions
  • Basic authority control for names and topical subjects
  • Describing archival resources and digital objects
  • Managing location information
  • Customizable interface:
    • Modify field labels
    • Establish default values for fields and notes where boilerplate text is used
    • Customize searchable fields and record browse lists
  • Ingest of legacy data in multiple formats: EAD 2002, MARC XML, and tab delimited accession data
  • Rapid data entry interface for creating container lists quickly
  • Management of user accounts, with a range of permission levels to control access to data
  • Tracking of database records, including username and date of record creation and most recent edit
  • Generation of over 30 different administrative and descriptive reports, such as acquisition statistics, accession records, shelf lists, subject guides, etc.
  • Export EAD 2002, MARC XML, METS, MODS, and Dublin Core
  • Support for desktop or networked, single- or multi-repository installations
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