Archive for the 'Digital Archives and Special Collections' Category

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."

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    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."

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      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."

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        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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          NEH Awards $474,474 in Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants

          Posted in Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Digital Humanities, Digital Media, Open Source Software, P2P File Sharing, Social Media/Web 2.0 on March 11th, 2008

          The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded $474,474 to Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants recipients.

          Here's an excerpt from the press release:

          Note: The We the People program encourages and strengthens the teaching, study, and understanding of American history and culture. Grants bearing this designation have been recognized for advancing the goals of this program.

          ALASKA

          Fairbanks

          University of Alaska, Fairbanks $50,000
          Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
          Project Director: Siri Tuttle
          We the People Project Title: Minto Songs Project Description: The collection, digitization, organization, and archival storage, as well as dissemination among the Minto Athabascan community, of recorded performances of Alaskan Athabascan songs.

          ARIZONA

          Tucson

          University of Arizona $25,000
          Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
          Project Director: Douglas Gann
          Project Title: Virtual Vault
          Project Description: Electronic access to the world's largest collection of whole pottery vessels from the American Southwest through digital renderings of Arizona State University's Pottery Vault and relevant prehistoric archaeological sites as well as interviews with anthropologists, conservators, and Native American potters.

          ILLINOIS

          Lake Forest

          Lake Forest College $25,000
          Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
          Project Director: Davis Schneiderman
          We the People Project Title: Virtual Burnham Initiative
          Project Description: The development of the Virtual Burnham Initiative (VBI), a multimedia project that would examine the history and legacy of Daniel H. Burnham's and Edward H. Bennett's Plan of Chicago (1909).

          MARYLAND

          College Park

          University of Maryland, College Park $11,708
          Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
          Project Director: Matthew Kirschenbaum
          Project Title: Approaches to Managing and Collecting Born-Digital Literary Materials for Scholarly Use
          Project Description: A series of planning meetings and site visits aimed at developing archival tools and best practices for preserving born-digital documents produced by contemporary authors.

          MASSACHUSETTS

          Boston

          University of Massachusetts, Boston $24,748
          Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
          Project Director: Joanne Riley
          We the People Project Title: Online Social Networking for the Humanities: the Massachusetts Studies Network Prototype
          Project Description: The development and evaluation of a social networking platform for the members of the statewide Massachusetts Studies Project.

          Norton

          Wheaton College $41,950
          Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
          Project Director: Mark LeBlanc
          Project Title: Pattern Recognition through Computational Stylistics: Old English and Beyond
          Project Description: Development of a prototypical suite of computational tools and statistical analyses to explore the corpus of Old English literature using the genomic approach of tracing information-rich patterns of letters as well as that of literary analysis and interpretation.

          MISSISSIPPI

          Mississippi State

          Mississippi State University $50,000
          Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
          Project Director: Paul Jacobs
          Project Title: Distributed Archives Transaction System
          Project Description: Development of open source web tools for accessing online digitized collections in the humanities via a system that communicates with multiple database types while protecting the integrity of the original data sets.

          NEW YORK

          Brooklyn

          Unaffiliated Independent Scholar $23,750
          Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
          Project Director: Daniel Visel
          Project Title: Sophie Search Gateway
          Project Description: The development of an interoperable portal within the Web authoring program, "Sophie," for locating and incorporating multi-media sources from the Internet Archive.

          Hempstead

          Hofstra University $23,591
          Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
          Project Director: John Bryant
          We the People Project Title: Melville, Revision, and Collaborative Editing: Toward a Critical Archive
          Project Description: The development of the TextLab scholarly editing tool to allow for analysis of texts that exist in multiple versions or editions, beginning with the Melville Electronic Library.

          New York City

          New York University $49,657
          Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
          Project Director: Brian Hoffman
          Project Title: MediaCommons: Social Networking Tools for Digital Scholarly Communication
          Project Description: Development of a set of networking software tools to support a "peer-to-peer" review structure for MediaCommons, a scholarly publishing network in the digital humanities.

          RHODE ISLAND

          Providence

          Brown University $49,992
          Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
          Project Director: Julia Flanders
          Project Title: Encoding Names for Contextual Exploration in Digital Thematic Research Collections
          Project Description: The advancement of humanities text encoding and research by refining and expanding the automated representation of personal names and their contexts.

          TEXAS

          Austin

          University of Texas, Austin $49,251
          Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
          Project Director: Samuel Baker
          Project Title: The eCommentary Machine Project
          Project Description: Development of a web-based collaborative commentary and annotation tool.

          VIRGINIA

          Charlottesville

          University of Virginia $49,827
          Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
          Project Director: Scot French
          We the People Project Title: Jefferson's Travels: A Digital Journey Using the HistoryBrowser
          Project Description: Development of an interactive web-based tool to integrate primary documents, dynamic maps, and related information in the study of history, with the prototype to be focused on Thomas Jefferson's trip to England in 1786.

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            Approaches to Managing and Collecting Born-Digital Literary Materials for Scholarly Use Grant Awarded

            Posted in ARL Libraries, Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digital Humanities, Research Libraries on March 9th, 2008

            The Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities, the Emory University Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, and the Harry Ransom Center have been awarded a NEH Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant for studying "Approaches to Managing and Collecting Born-Digital Literary Materials for Scholarly Use."

            Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

            The project, directed by Matthew Kirschenbaum, Associate Professor of English at the University of Maryland, will involve a series of site visits and planning meetings among personnel working with the born-digital components of three significant collections of literary material: the Salman Rushdie Papers at Emory University’s Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library (which includes Rushdie’s laptops), the Michael Joyce Papers at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin, and the Deena Larsen Collection at the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) at the University of Maryland. The meetings and site visits will facilitate the preparation of a larger collaborative grant proposal among the three institutions aimed at developing archival tools and best practices for preserving and curating the born-digital documents and records of contemporary literary authorship.

            According to Kirschenbaum, "Today nearly all literature is born-digital in the sense that before it is ever printed as a book the text is composed with a word processor, saved on a hard drive or other electronic storage media, and accessed as part of a computer operating system. This new technological fact about writing means that an author working today will not and cannot be studied in the future in the same way as writers of the past, since the basic material evidence of their creative activity—manuscripts and drafts, working notes, correspondence, journals—is, like all textual production, increasingly migrating to the electronic realm. We look forward to the process of examining how to best meet these challenges, balancing the needs of both scholarship and archives in the new textual environment."

            Stephen Enniss, Director of the Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library at Emory, notes "The born-digital archive not only contains enormous data, it also contains enormous potential for literary scholars to pose new questions of the archive not even contemplated in the past." Thomas F. Staley, Director of the Ransom Center, comments "The Ransom Center is very pleased to be part of this vitally important project to explore how we can best preserve and make accessible the map of an author’s creative process in the digital age. This collaborative effort between the Ransom Center, MITH, and Emory will help lead the way in the preservation of born-digital materials and ensure that these materials are available to students and scholars for generations to come." Neil Fraistat, Director of MITH, adds "This project will deepen MITH’s focus on the preservation and analysis of born digital literary artifacts, which is already well established in its work with the Electronic Literature Organization and on an NDIIPP funded project on the preservation of virtual worlds."

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              Omeka 0.9.0 Released: Software for Digital Collections and Exhibits

              Posted in Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digital Libraries, Museums, Open Source Software, Social Media/Web 2.0 on February 21st, 2008

              Version 0.9.0 of Omeka has been released.

              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.

              Omeka will come loaded with the following features:

              • Dublin Core metadata structure and standards-based design that is fully accessible and interoperable
              • Professional-looking exhibit sites that showcase collections without hiring outside designers
              • Theme-switching for changing the look and feel of an exhibit in a few clicks
              • Plug-ins for geolocation, bi-lingual sites, and a host of other possibilities
              • Web 2.0 Technologies, including:
                • Tagging: Allow users to add keywords to items in a collection or exhibit
                • Blogging: Keep in touch with users through timely postings about collections and events
                • Syndicating: Update your users about your content with RSS feeds

              Read more about it at "Introducing Omeka" and "New Tool for Online Collections."

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                Full Scholarships Available for Online Graduate Digital Information Management Certificate Program

                Posted in Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Digital Libraries, Digitization, Information Schools on February 5th, 2008

                Full scholarships are available for students interested in obtaining a graduate certificate in Digital Information Management from the University of Arizona's School of Information Resources and Library Science. Recently, the Library of Congress honored Richard Pearce-Moses, one of the key figures in the development of the program, by naming him as a digital preservation pioneer.

                Here's the announcement:

                The University of Arizona School of Information Resources and Library Science is pleased to announce that a number of full scholarships are still available in the school's graduate certificate program in Digital Information Management. The program is scheduled to begin a new series of courses starting this summer. Prospects have until April 1, 2008 to apply for one of the openings and available financial aid.

                DigIn, as the program is known, provides hands-on experience and focused instruction supporting careers in libraries and archives, cultural heritage institutions and digital collections, information repositories in government and the private sector and similar institutions. The certificate is comprised of six courses covering diverse topics including digital collections, applied technology, technology planning and leadership, policy and ethics, digital preservation and curation, and other subjects relevant to today's digital information environments.

                For people just starting in the field or considering career changes, the DigIn certificate program offers an alternative path to graduate studies that helps prepare students for success in traditional graduate programs or the workplace. The certificate also provides a means for working professionals and those who already have advanced graduate degrees in the library and information sciences to broaden their knowledge and skills in today's rapidly evolving digital information landscape.

                The program is delivered in a 100% virtual environment and has no residency requirements. Students may choose to complete the certificate in fifteen or twenty-seven months.

                The certificate program has been developed in cooperation with the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records and the University of Arizona Office of Continuing Education and Academic Outreach. Major funding for program development comes from the federal government's Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), which has also provided funding for a number of scholarships.

                Additional details on the program including course descriptions, admissions requirements and application forms may be found on the program website at http://sir.arizona.edu/digin. Or, contact the UA School of Information Resources and Library Science by phone at 520-621-3565 or email at sirls@email.arizona.edu.

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                  Midosa Editor for XML-Standards (MEX): EAD, EAC and METS Support for Digital Finding Aids

                  Posted in Digital Archives and Special Collections, Metadata on February 5th, 2008

                  The ‹daofind+› project has released enhancements, including a new Macintosh version, to MEX (Midosa Editor for XML-Standards), a finding aid tool set that supports EAD, EAC, and METS.

                  Here's an excerpt from an announcement of an upcoming meeting about MEX:

                  The MEX tool set (MidosaEditor for XML standards) is available at SourceForge in English and German for Windows and MAC. It was developed by the two projects ‹daofind› and ‹daofind+› with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, New York. MEX can be used for capturing and editing EAD, EAC and METS files and for producing complete integrated HTML presentations of online finding aids with digitised records in one step.

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                    The Library of Congress Makes Images Available on Flickr

                    Posted in ARL Libraries, Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digitization, Research Libraries, Social Media/Web 2.0 on January 16th, 2008

                    The Library of Congress has put two collections of digital images on Flickr: 1,600 images from the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information and around 1,500 images from the George Grantham Bain News Service. The images can be found at The Library of Congress' Photos.

                    Regarding copyright, LC says:

                    Although the Library of Congress does not grant or deny permission to use photos, the Library knows of no copyright restrictions on the publication, distribution, or re-use of these photos. Privacy rights may apply.

                    See the FAQ for more details.

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                      Archivists' Toolkit Version 1.1 Released

                      Posted in Digital Archives and Special Collections, Open Source Software on January 15th, 2008

                      The project team from the Five Colleges, Inc., New York University Libraries, and the UCSD Libraries have released Version 1.1 of the Archivists' Toolkit.

                      Here's an excerpt from the project's home page that describes the new features of the release:

                      • Batch import of EAD files: target a directory containing the EAD files to be imported and import all EAD files in the directory
                      • Batch export of EAD and MARCXML records: from the resource browse screen select two or more resources that you want to export as either EAD files or MARCXML records
                      • Import of XML encoded accession data: Import of multiple names using the XML import method.  Use the accessionsImport.xsd file to map your accession data and to create an accessions import file
                      • EAD schema: replaces the EAD DTD for importing / exporting EAD files
                      • Extended accession record: includes new fields, including many user definable
                      • Extended repository record: includes new fields for recording repository statistics, per recommendations of Archival Metrics Project
                      • Support for other database backends. In addition to the open source database backend MySQL, the application can be run using either Oracle or MS SQL server as a backend
                      • Updated documentation. User manual and additional documentation have been updated to reflect new features
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                        Digital Asset Management Database Released: DAM Built on FileMaker Pro

                        Posted in Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digital Asset Management Systems, Metadata, Museums, OAI-PMH on January 9th, 2008

                        Museums and the Online Archive of California (MOAC) has released the IMLS-funded Digital Asset Management Database (DAMD), a digital asset management system.

                        Here's an excerpt from the MOAC homepage:

                        Building on previous successful work in the areas of standards and online collections access, the new MOAC software tool, the Digital Asset Management Database (DAMD), has been developed as both a utilitarian tool and as a test case for exploring more general issues of content sharing and community tool development. This tool has two primary functions that can be used together or separately: it provides basic digital asset management for simple to complex media objects and it easily transforms collections information into an extensible variety of standards-based XML formats, such as METS and OAI, to allow even small organizations without technical staff to share their collections broadly and participate in building a national network of culture. DAMD was developed as an "open solution," built on FileMaker Pro software (8.5 or above) because of the broad base of installed users of FileMaker in the museum and arts communities. DAMD is available for free to cultural organizations. The tool, and its unique export/transform functions (detailed in the documentation), are open-ended, allowing organizations to customize the tool for themselves or the community to improve the tool for all.

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