Archive for the 'Digital Archives and Special Collections' Category

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.

University of Florida Has Digitized 1.7 Million Pages, over 100,000 in Last Month Alone

Posted in Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digital Repositories, Digitization on April 23rd, 2008

The University of Florida Digital Library Center has announced that it has digitized over 1.7 million pages, with about 100,000 pages being added in the last month alone. Their digitization statistics are available online. (Thanks to Open Access News.)

Read more about it "100,000 Pages a Month."

Iowa Digital Library Adds Its 100,000th Item

Posted in Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digital Libraries, Digitization on April 17th, 2008

A digitized page from the mid-13th century by William de Brailes has become the 100,000th item in the Iowa Digital Library.

Read more about it at "Iowa Digital Library Hits 100,000 Items."

Omeka 0.9.1 Released: Recommended Bug Fix Upgrade for Digital Collection/Exhibition Software

Posted in Digital Archives and Special Collections, Museums, Open Source Software, Social Media/Web 2.0 on April 4th, 2008

Omeka 0.9.1 has been released. This recommended upgrade fixes over 20 bugs. (See "Omeka 0.9.0 Released: Software for Digital Collections and Exhibits" for a description of Omeka.)

Read more about it at "Omeka 0.9.1 Is Available."

Ball State University Libraries Move Ahead with Ambitious Digital Initiative Program

Posted in Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digital Libraries, Digital Media, Digital Presses, Digital Repositories, Digitization, Institutional Repositories on March 31st, 2008

The Ball State Libraries have nurtured an ambitious digital initatives program that has established an institutional repository, a CONTENTdm system for managing digital assets, a Digital Media Repository with over 102,000 digital objects, a Digitization Center and Mobile Digitization Unit, an e-Archives for university records, and a virtual press (among other initiatives). Future goals are equally ambitious.

Read more about it at "Goals for Ball State University Libraries' Digital Initiative."

Sound Directions Project Releases FACET, Preservation Analysis Tool for Audio Works

Posted in Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digital Curation & Digital Preservation on March 24th, 2008

The Sound Directions: Digital Preservation and Access for Global Audio Heritage Project of Indiana University and Harvard University has released FACET (Field Audio Collection Evaluation Tool), an open-source tool for evaluating preservation issues related to audio works.

Here's an excerpt from the FACET web page:

The Field Audio Collection Evaluation Tool (FACET) is a point-based, open-source software tool that ranks audio field collections based on preservation condition, including the level of deterioration they exhibit and the degree of risk they carry. It assesses the characteristics, preservation problems, and modes of deterioration associated with the following formats: open reel tape (polyester, acetate, paper and PVC bases), analog audio cassettes, DAT (Digital Audio Tape), lacquer discs, aluminum discs, and wire recordings. This tool helps collection managers construct a prioritized list of audio collections by condition and risk, enabling informed selection for preservation. Using FACET provides strong justification for preservation dollars.

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