The Library of Congress Makes Images Available on Flickr

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.

Archivists' Toolkit Version 1.1 Released

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

Rice University Releases Travelers in the Middle East Archive

Rice University has released the Travelers in the Middle East Archive under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic License.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

IMEA provides access to:

  • Nearly 1,000 images, including stereocards, postcards and book illustrations
  • More than 150 historical maps representing the Middle East as it was in the 19th and early 20th centuries
  • Interactive geographical information systems (GIS) maps that serve as an interface to the collection and present detailed information about features such as waterways, elevation and populated places
  • Successive editions of classic travel guides and major museum collection catalogues
  • Convenient educational modules that set materials from the collection in historical and geographic context and explore the research process

TIMEA is able to offer seamless access for researchers by providing a common user interface to digital objects housed in three repositories. Texts, historical maps and images reside in DSpace, an open-source digital repository system. Educational research modules are presented within Connexions, an open-content commons and publishing platform for educational materials. TIMEA also uses Google Maps and ESRI’s ArcIMS map server.

New York Public Library Makes 600,000 Digital Images Available to Kaltura Users

The New York Public Library has made its collection of 600,000 digital images available for use by Kaltura users. Kaltura is a free, online collaborative video production site.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

The New York Public Library and Kaltura, Inc., a pioneer in Collaborative Media, announced today that the organizations have joined forces to further enhance online rich-media collaboration. The New York Public Library's treasure trove of 600,000 digital images can now be incorporated easily into Kaltura's group video projects. The library's digital collection includes a wide range of rare and unique images drawn from its research collections. These range from Civil War photographs and illuminated Medieval manuscripts to historic views of New York City, Yiddish theatre placards and 19th Century restaurant menus. Users can search, preview and add these library images directly from the Kaltura web site (To try it, go to http://www.kaltura.com, click 'start a kaltura').

"Kaltura is a good fit for The New York Public Library as we work to take advantage of the latest technologies and approaches to make our collection freely and widely accessible," said Joshua M. Greenberg, Director of Digital Strategy and Scholarship at The New York Public Library. "We are excited to enable the use of our extensive Digital Gallery of historical images in Kaltura's cutting-edge and innovative application. Working with Kaltura was a natural step in enabling the creative use of these rich materials in the broader online world."

Kaltura enables groups of users to collaborate in the creation of videos and slideshows, similar to the way in which Wiki platforms allow users to collaborate with text. When creating a Kaltura video, users can upload their own videos, photos, audio and animation, can import their previously uploaded material from MySpace, Photobucket or YouTube, or they can access and import rich-media from various public-domain and CreativeCommons sources such as Flickr, CCMixter, Jamendo, and now The New York Public Library. Kaltura aims to team with additional databases and digital resource partners in order to both provide users with the widest array of rich-media, and to provide its resource partners with access to Kaltura's Global Network of users, content, and services that allows unprecedented collaboration around rich-media creation, remixing and distribution.

"We strive to provide users with the most comprehensive, enjoyable and user-friendly experience possible when creating their collaborative Kalturas in a fun, safe, and legal environment; The New York Public Library database is a huge addition to resources that we offer, both in terms of its size and the great value that it brings," said Ron Yekutiel, Chairman and CEO of Kaltura.

"Kaltura was built around the principles of openness and sharing with the mission to enhance collaboration and to lower the barriers of participation—it is through partners with a similar vision, like The New York Public Library, that we can achieve our goal of delivering the world's first open platform for peer production of rich media, with the broadest access to rich-media materials, resources and databases," Yekutiel added. "We are truly honored by this collaboration."

University of Maryland Libraries Digital Collections Launched

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.

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

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.

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

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.”

Digital Lives Research Project

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.

Michael Keller Appointed CLIR Senior Presidential Fellow

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.

Australian Framework and Action Plan for Digital Heritage Collections

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.

British Library Licenses Turning the Pages Toolkit

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."

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

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.

Emory Will Use Kirtas Scanner to Digitize Rare Books

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.

Archivists’ Toolkit Beta 1.1 Released

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