Archive for the 'Digital Archives and Special Collections' Category

Special Collections in ARL Libraries: A Discussion Report from the ARL Working Group on Special Collections

Posted in ARL Libraries, Digital Archives and Special Collections on April 6th, 2009

The Association of Research Libraries has released Special Collections in ARL Libraries: A Discussion Report from the ARL Working Group on Special Collections.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Working Group on Special Collections, formed in 2007, has released a discussion report that identifies key issues in the management and exposure of special collections material in the 21st century. . . .

The report includes overviews of and recommendations in three areas:

  1. Collecting Carefully, with Regard to Costs, and Ethical and Legal Concerns
  2. Ensuring Discovery and Access
  3. The Challenge of Born-Digital Collections

It highlights the need for research library leadership to support actions that will increase the visibility and use of special collections and promote both existing and developing best practices in the stewardship of special collections.

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    World Digital Library to Launch on April 21, 2009

    Posted in Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digital Libraries on April 2nd, 2009

    The World Digital Library will launch on April 21, 2009.

    Here's an excerpt from the press release:

    UNESCO and 32 partner institutions will launch the World Digital Library, a web site that features unique cultural materials from libraries and archives from around the world, at UNESCO Headquarters on 21 April. The site will include manuscripts, maps, rare books, films, sound recordings, and prints and photographs. It will provide unrestricted public access, free of charge, to this material.

    The launch will take place at a reception co-hosted by UNESCO Director-General, Koïchiro Matsuura, and U.S. Librarian of Congress, James H. Billington. Directors of the partner institutions will also be on hand to present the project to ambassadors, ministers, delegates, and special guests attending the semi-annual meeting of UNESCO’s Executive Board.

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      Carolina Digital Library and Archives Fall-Winter 08/09 Newsletter

      Posted in ARL Libraries, Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digitization on March 30th, 2009

      The Carolina Digital Library and Archives at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library has sent its Carolina Digital Library and Archives Fall-Winter 08/09 Newsletter out as an e-mail message on the DIGLIB list. It is not possible to directly link to this message; however, you can access the DIGLIB archive, and, after clicking the "I am not a spammer button," find the message "CDLA's Fall-Winter 08/09 Newsletter announcement."

      Here's an excerpt:


      Carolina Digital Library and Archives ( is the UNC Library's major new department established to improve Web access to the Library's rich collections and to help faculty with new digital projects, services, and tools, with the common goal of advancing scholarship. Among major highlights of our first year are establishment of three new units—the Digital Publishing Group, which includes the award-winning digital publishing program Documenting the American South (DocSouth); the Digital Production Center; and the Research and Development Group–as well as investigation of opportunities in large-scale digitization and implementation of the Scribe program. Most importantly, from our perspective, is that the initial organizational and technological infrastructure was built which now provides increasing digital support to UNC faculty, the Library, and other cultural institutions in North Carolina. We plan to keep friends informed about new digital collections, services, and opportunities through this newsletter, our renovated Web site (coming this spring), and other channels.

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        Digital Collections/Exhibitions Software: Omeka 1.0 Alpha Released

        Posted in Digital Archives and Special Collections, Museums, Open Source Software, Social Media/Web 2.0 on March 11th, 2009

        Omeka 1.0 alpha has been released.

        Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

        This version of Omeka includes:

        • New helper functions and updates current helper function;
        • Enhancements and fixes bugs throughout the admin panel;
        • An autocompleter to the tags field for items;
        • Filtering for the users list in the admin;
        • An upgrade notification to admin dashboard if you're version of Omeka is older than the latest stable release.
        • A "Remember Me" checkbox to the login.
        • A global view page and helpers for file metadata, which will allow you to edit file metadata and display it in public themes.
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          Max Planck Institute Releases Best Practices for Access to Images: Recommendations for Scholarly Use and Publishing

          Posted in Copyright, Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digitization, Open Access on January 26th, 2009

          The Max Planck Institute for the History of Science has released Best Practices for Access to Images: Recommendations for Scholarly Use and Publishing.

          Here's an excerpt from the press release:

          The recommendations were prompted by the barriers encountered by those who wish to use and publish images of cultural heritage objects. High licence fees and complicated access regulations make it increasingly difficult for scholars in the humanities to work with digital images. It is true that the digitization of image collections has acted as a catalyst for scholarly research. However, archives, collections and libraries differ greatly with respect to the question of how, where and on what basis images may be used for scholarly purposes. Moreover, their policies in this regard are becoming increasingly restrictive, especially when it comes to new forms of e-publishing.

          The MPIWG drew up its recommendations for facilitating the scholarly use of digital images following consultations with international experts which took place in January 2008. The recommendations call on curators and scholars to develop a mutually binding network of trust. The aim of the initiative is to encourage stakeholders jointly to address the current and future challenges raised by the digital age. The document urges curators to refrain from restricting the public domain arbitrarily and calls on them to accommodate the needs of scholars for reasonably-priced or freely-accessible high-resolution digital images—both for print publications and new Web-based forms of scholarly publishing. It exhorts scholars to recognise museums, libraries and collections as owners and custodians of physical objects of cultural heritage and to acknowledge their efforts in making digital images available. Moreover, it urges them to take their role as guarantors of authenticity and accurate attribution extremely seriously.

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            Archival Management Software: A Report for the Council on Library and Information Resources

            Posted in Digital Archives and Special Collections, Open Source Software on January 22nd, 2009

            The Council on Library and Information Resources has published Archival Management Software: A Report for the Council on Library and Information Resources by Lisa Spiro, Director of the Digital Media Center at Rice University.

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

            With generous support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Council on Library and Information Resources has launched a multiyear program that addresses the challenge of cataloging hidden collections—those materials held in special collections, archives, and other restricted or relatively inaccessible settings. The program has two major dimensions: first, to identify hidden collections of potential value to scholars; and second, to address the thorny issue of cataloging such materials efficiently, effectively, and in such a way that the catalog records are available to scholars through the Web. In this paper, Lisa Spiro describes and analyzes some of the major technologies that are available to librarians, curators, and archivists and the implications of deploying these systems for existing workflows.

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              Folger Shakespeare Library Provides Free Access to 20,000+ Images

              Posted in Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digitization on January 18th, 2009

              The Folger Shakespeare Library is now providing free access to over 20,000 images.

              Here's an excerpt from the press release:

              The digital image collection includes books, theater memorabilia, manuscripts, art, and 218 of the Folger’s pre-1640 quarto editions of the works of William Shakespeare. Users can now examine these collection items in detail while accessing the Folger’s rare materials from desktops anywhere in the world. . . .

              The Folger’s digital image collection provides resources for users to view multiple images side by side, save their search results, create permanent links to images, and perform other tasks through a free software program, Luna Insight.

              The Folger is also collaborating with the University of Oxford to digitize 75 quarto editions of Shakespeare’s plays and create the Shakespeare Quartos Archive, which will provide free online access to interactive, high-resolution images of the plays. The Shakespeare Quartos Archive is funded by a new Transatlantic Digitization Collaboration Grant awarded jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Joint Information Systems Committee. In addition, Picturing Shakespeare will make 100,000 images from the Folger collection—including prints, unique drawings, and photography relating to Shakespeare—available to teachers, scholars, and the general public in 2010 through an initiative from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Both projects join a fast-growing body of podcasts, videos, and other online content produced by the library.

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                Library of Congress to Scan 25,000th Book in Digitizing American Imprints Program

                Posted in Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Digitization, Mass Digitizaton on January 14th, 2009

                The Library of Congress will scan the 25,000th brittle book in its Digitizing American Imprints Program, which is supported by a $2 million grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

                Here's an excerpt from the press release:

                The Library, which has contracted with the Internet Archive for digitization services, is combining its efforts with other libraries as part of the open content movement. The movement, which includes over 100 libraries, universities and cultural institutions, aims to digitize and make freely available public-domain books in a wide variety of subject areas.

                Books scanned in this pilot project come primarily from the Library’s local history and genealogy sections of the General Collections. For many of these titles, only a few copies exist anywhere in the world, and a reader would need to travel to Washington to view the Library’s copy. . . .

                All scanning operations are housed in the Library’s John Adams Building on Capitol Hill. Internet Archive staff work two shifts each day on 10 "Scribe" scanning stations. The operation can digitize up to 1,000 volumes each week. Shortly after scanning is complete, the books are available online at Books can be read online or downloaded for more intensive study. The Library of Congress is actively working with the Internet Archive on the development of a full-featured, open-source page turner. A beta version, called the Flip Book, is currently available on the Internet Archive site.

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                  Digital Scholarship

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