EU Advocate General Issues Opinion on Library Digitization

The European Union's Advocate General has issued an opinion on library digitization.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

Here's an excerpt:

Next, the Advocate General considers that the directive does not prevent Member States from granting libraries the right to digitise the books from their collections, if their being made available to the public by dedicated terminals requires it. That may be the case where it is necessary to protect original works which, although still covered by copyright, are old, fragile or rare. That may also be the case where the work in question is consulted by a large number of students and its photocopying might result in disproportionate wear.

However, Mr Jääskinen makes clear that the directive permits not the digitisation of a collection in its entirety, but only the digitisation of individual works. It is particularly important not to opt to use dedicated terminals where the sole purpose of doing so is to avoid the purchase of a sufficient number of physical copies of the work.

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AV Digitisation and Digital Preservation TechWatch Report #01

The PrestoCentre has released the AV Digitisation and Digital Preservation TechWatch Report #01.

Here's an excerpt:

This first TechWatch Report has been written by members of PrestoCentre involved in the Presto4U project and was compiled through meetings they had with specialist technology vendors and researchers late 2013.

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"Unix Commands and Batch Processing for the Reluctant Librarian or Archivist"

Anthony Cocciolo has published "Unix Commands and Batch Processing for the Reluctant Librarian or Archivist" in the Code4Lib Journal.

Here's an excerpt:

The Unix environment offers librarians and archivists high-quality tools for quickly transforming born-digital and digitized assets, such as resizing videos, creating access copies of digitized photos, and making fair-use reproductions of audio recordings. These tools, such as ffmpeg, lame, sox, and ImageMagick, can apply one or more manipulations to digital assets without the need to manually process individual items, which can be error prone, time consuming, and tedious. This article will provide information on getting started in using the Unix environment to take advantage of these tools for batch processing.

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Digitizing Video for Long-Term Preservation: An RFP Guide and Template

The PrestoCentre Foundation has released Digitizing Video for Long-Term Preservation: An RFP Guide and Template.

Here's an excerpt:

Digitizing Video for Long-Term Preservation: An RFP Guide and Template is intended to take an institution step-by-step through the process of drafting a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the transfer of analog video formats to digital carriers for preservation. This template can be used by libraries, archives, and other cultural heritage institutions and submitted to qualified transfer vendors.

Funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Digitizing Video for Long-Term Preservation publication is part of the Video at Risk project undertaken by New York University and two partner institutions, Loyola University New Orleans and the University of California, Berkeley. The authors of this publication set out to create a template that would identify the key elements integral to the transfer of the video and audio signal from Standard Definition VHS to a preservation-quality digital file.

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"Laying the Groundwork for Newspaper Preservation through Collaboration and Communication: The Texas Digital Newspaper Program"

Ana Krahmer and Mark Phillips have self-archived "Laying the Groundwork for Newspaper Preservation through Collaboration and Communication: The Texas Digital Newspaper Program" in the UNT Digital Library.

Here's an excerpt:

University of North Texas Libraries established the Texas Digital Newspaper Program (TDNP) to digitize any Texas newspaper title, of any date, and to digitally preserve and make them available via The Portal to Texas History. Through site visits to multiple Texas libraries and personal interviews with librarians, genealogists, educators, students, and historians, UNT Libraries prioritized newspaper digitization within the content scope for The Portal to Texas History and determined processes for acquiring and ingesting multiple formats of newspapers, including from physical papers, microfilm, and born-digital PDF print masters. . . .

This presentation will elaborate on the financial, communicational, and technological processes involved in building the Texas Digital Newspaper Program. UNT Libraries digitally preserves and makes freely available, via The Portal to Texas History, over 1 million pages of Texas newspapers, spanning from 1829 to the present. The Texas Digital Newspaper Program is a case study in digital preservation and open access to digitized newspapers and is utilized by multiple communities of users, including genealogists, academic and lay historians, and K-12 and university researchers.

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"Trends in Image Use by Historians and the Implications for Librarians and Archivists"

Valerie Harris and Peter Hepburn have published "Trends in Image Use by Historians and the Implications for Librarians and Archivists" in the latest issue of College & Research Libraries.

Here's an excerpt:

For years, libraries have offered reproduction services to users, with historians being the core audience. More recently, archives and special collections have developed digitization programs to make primary sources widely available through the Internet. The authors tracked image use from 2000 through 2009 in journals from the discipline of history to discover whether use of images has increased with the growing availability of digital images through libraries, or from social media sites such as Flickr. The study discusses the results, which show no increase in the inclusion of images in the literature, and the implications for librarians and archivists.

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"Fair Use & Mass Digitization: The Future of Copy-Dependent Technologies after Authors Guild v. Hathitrust"

Angel Siegfried Diaz has self-archived "Fair Use & Mass Digitization: The Future of Copy-Dependent Technologies after Authors Guild v. Hathitrust" in SSRN.

Here's an excerpt from:

This note discusses the future of digital libraries and other products reliant on mass digitization in the wake of the Hathitrust decision. First, this note presents an overview of U.S. copyright protection and the ways in which its goal of incentivizing authors has consistently been balanced by efforts to protect preservation, access, and fair use. . . .

Second, this note discusses the trial court opinion in Authors Guild v. Hathitrust and the court's fair use finding regarding the full-text search index and copies for the print disabled. . . .

Third, this note discusses the Hathitrust decision's effect on the future of the Google Books case and argues that the fair use ruling paves the road for a similar finding while also giving Google leverage in its ongoing settlement negotiations. . . .

Fourth, after exploring the judicial efforts to protect useful technologies as a matter of public policy, this note explores legislative solutions that would better advance copyright's goals of promoting education, research, preservation, and access.

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Archives and Copyright: Risk and Reform

CREATe has released Archives and Copyright: Risk and Reform.

Here's an excerpt:

This paper considers the place of the archive sector within the copyright regime, and how copyright impacts upon the preservation, access to, and use of archival holdings. It will begin with a critical assessment of the current parameters of the UK copyright regime as it applies to the work of archivists, including recommendations for reform that have followed in the wake of the Gowers Review of Intellectual Property (2006-2010), the Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property and Growth (2010-2011), the recent Consultation on Copyright (2011-12), as well as the government's response thereto: Modernising Copyright (2012). It considers the various problems the copyright regime presents for archives undertaking mass digitisation projects as well as recent European and UK initiatives in this domain.

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Appraising our Digital Investment: Sustainability of Digitized Special Collections in ARL Libraries

ARL and Ithaka S+R have released Appraising our Digital Investment: Sustainability of Digitized Special Collections in ARL Libraries .

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

The research reveals that understanding the continuing costs for sustaining digital collections is a challenge across libraries. Responsibility is frequently dispersed among departments, and staff time and other costs are rarely allocated expressly to these activities or accounted for project-by-project. Almost universally, libraries are funding this activity out of their base budgets, suggesting that they will continue to need to shift funds from other things in order to support this as a priority.

While libraries are supporting these collections within their operations, the study's findings also reflect concern over sustainability, with librarians citing lack of funding and staff capacity as major challenges to sufficient investment in their digital collections. . . .

The three-part survey, designed with input from the ARL community, was sent to all ARL member libraries in the US and Canada and completed by 89 library directors, a response rate of 70%. In addition to the institutional perspective provided by library directors, library staff responded to other sections to offer insight into activities and costs for all of their institution's digitized collections, and questions about individual projects.

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National Archives Announces Grant Awards for Historical Records Digitization Projects

The National Archives has announced its grant awards for historical records projects, including those for digitization and electronic records management and preservation.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Digitizing historical records grants, totaling $420,000, went to four projects: the University of Florida will digitize and make available more than 36,000 pages of diaries and manuscripts from the end of the Colonial period to the beginnings of the modern state; Princeton University will digitize more than 400,000 pages of six Cold War-related manuscript collections; Harvard University will digitize 189,074 pages, covering four generations of the Blackwell Family from 1784 to 1981, that cover abolition, temperance, women's suffrage, and education; and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation in Springfield, Illinois, will digitize the records of Richard Yates, Sr., governor of Illinois 1861-1865.

Three Electronic Records grants, totaling $235,000, went to: the Council of State Archivists for a two-year project to strengthen the capacity of states and territories to manage and preserve electronic records; an electronic records start-up project at the Guggenheim Museum in New York; and a planning grant for the Missouri Office of the Secretary of State to establish an electronic records archives.

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"Digitization of Cultural Heritage—Standards, Institutions, Initiatives"

Kalina Sotirova, Juliana Peneva, Stanislav Ivanov, Rositza Doneva, and Milena Dobreva have self-archived "Digitization of Cultural Heritage—Standards, Institutions, Initiatives" in the NBU Scholar Electronic Repository.

Here's an excerpt:

The first chapter "Digitization of Cultural Heritage—Standards, Institutions, Initiatives" provides an introduction to the area of digitisation. The main pillars of process of creating, preserving and accessing of cultural heritage in digital space are observed. The importance of metadata in the process of accessing to information is outlined. The metadata schemas and standards used in cultural heritage are discussed. In order to reach digital objects in virtual space they are organized in digital libraries. Contemporary digital libraries are trying to deliver richer and better functionality, which usually is user oriented and depending on current IT trend. Additionally, the chapter is focused on some initiatives on world and European level that during the years enforce the process of digitization and organizing digital objects in the cultural heritage domain. In recent years, the main focus in the creation of digital resources shifts from "system-centred" to "user-centred" since most of the issues around this content are related to making it accessible and usable for the real users. So, the user studies and involving the users on early stages of design and planning the functionality of the product which is being developed stands on leading position.

| Digital Curation Bibliography: Preservation and Stewardship of Scholarly Works | Digital Scholarship |

Minimum Digitization Capture Recommendations (Draft)

The Association for Library Collections and Technical Services Preservation and Reformatting Section has released a draft of its Minimum Digitization Capture Recommendations. The comment period ends on 12/31/2012.

Here's an excerpt:

This document was created as a guideline for libraries digitizing content with the objective of producing a product that will not be re-digitized at a later point. Institutions can feel secure that if an item has been digitized at, or above, these specifications, they can depend on it to continue to be viable in the future. These guidelines only speak to the technical specifications of the digitized content itself and not to the larger issue of digitally preserving said content. In some cases, institutions may want to request a digital copy to preserve themselves further safeguarding materials by preserving them in multiple locations.

| Digital Curation Resource Guide | Digital Scholarship |

Survey Report on Digitisation in European Cultural Heritage Institutions 2012

The ENUMERATE project has released Survey Report on Digitisation in European Cultural Heritage Institutions 2012.

Here's an excerpt:

The ENUMERATE Survey Report on Digitisation in Cultural Heritage Institutions 2012 represents the first major study into the current state of digitisation in Europe. It is the result of a survey carried out by the ENUMERATE Thematic Network, with the help of national coordinators, in 29 European countries. About 2000 institutions answered the open call to participate between January and March 2012.

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"How Fair Use Can Help Solve the Orphan Works Problem"

Jennifer M. Urban has self-archived "How Fair Use Can Help Solve the Orphan Works Problem" in SSRN.

Here's an excerpt:

This Article argues that legislation is not necessary to enable some uses of orphan works by nonprofit libraries and archives. Instead, the fair use doctrine in United States copyright law provides a partial solution. The Article addresses three basic questions: first, does fair use provide a viable basis on which libraries might digitize orphans? Second, does fair use provide a viable basis on which to make these orphans available to patrons or the public? Third, more generally, can or should fair use do any additional work in infringement analysis where the copyrighted work in question is an orphan?

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"Copyright Risk Management: Principles and Strategies for Large-Scale Digitization Projects in Special Collections"

The Association of Research Libraries has released a pre-publication version of "Copyright Risk Management: Principles and Strategies for Large-Scale Digitization Projects in Special Collections."

Here's an excerpt:

Copyright law often seems unmanageably complex, leading librarians to focus too much on a single aspect of a project and, when that aspect proves inapplicable, to give up the proposed digitization. But the multifaceted nature of the law, especially its variety of limitations and exceptions, should really be seen as an invitation to a holistic evaluation that focuses on risk and considers how each facet can contribute to a risk reduction strategy. If this is done consistently as digitization projects are undertaken, the risk of infringement litigation will usually be seen to be much more manageable, and a great deal of unnecessary self-censorship will be avoided.

See also the pre-publication version of "Digitization of Special Collections and Archives: Legal and Contractual Issues."

| Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography 2010 | Digital Scholarship |

NEH Humanities Collections and Reference Resources Grants

The National Endowment for the Humanities is accepting grant proposals for its Humanities Collections and Reference Resources program.

Here's an excerpt from the program guidelines:

Applications may be submitted for projects that address one or more of the following activities:

  • arranging and describing archival and manuscript collections;
  • cataloging collections of printed works, photographs, recorded sound, moving images, art, and material culture;
  • providing conservation treatment (including deacidification) for collections, leading to enhanced access;
  • digitizing collections;
  • preserving and improving access to born-digital sources;
  • developing databases, virtual collections, or other electronic resources to codify information on a subject or to provide integrated access to selected humanities materials; . . . .
  • developing tools for spatial analysis and representation of humanities data, such as atlases and geographic information systems (GIS); and
  • designing digital tools to facilitate use of humanities resources.

| Digital Curation and Preservation Bibliography 2010 | Digital Scholarship |

"’As We May Digitize’—Institutions and Documents Reconfigured"

Mats Dahlström, Joacim Hansson, and Ulrika Kjellman have published "'As We May Digitize'—Institutions and Documents Reconfigured" in the latest issue of LIBER Quarterly: The Journal of European Research Libraries.

Here's an excerpt:

This article frames digitization as a knowledge organization practice in libraries and museums. The primarily discriminatory practices of museums are compared with the non-discriminatory practices of libraries when managing their respective cultural heritage collections. . . . Two poles along a digitization strategy scale, mass digitization and critical digitization, are distinguished in the article. As memory institutions are redefined in their development of digitized document collections, e.g., by increasingly emphasizing a common trans-national rather than national cultural heritage, mass digitization and critical digitization represent alternative avenues. . . . The article re-contextualizes current digitization discourse: a) historically, by suggesting that digitization brings ancient practices back to life rather than invents entirely new ones from scratch; b) conceptually, by presenting a new label (critical digitization) for a digitization strategy that has hitherto been downplayed in digitization discourse; and c) theoretically, by exploring the relations between the values of different digitization strategies, the reconfiguration of collections as they are digitized, and the redefinition of MLA institutions through those processes.

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"Building the Ecology of Libraries—An Interview with Brewster Kahle"

The Open Knowlege Foundation Blog has published "Building the Ecology of Libraries—An Interview with Brewster Kahle."

Here's an excerpt:

What are the challenges faced by the Internet Archive regarding the digitization of books?

There are two big problems: there is going and building a digital collection, either by digitizing materials or buying electronic books. And the other is: how do you make this available, especially the in-copyright works? For digitizing books, it costs about 10 cents a page to do a beautiful rendition of a book. So, for approximately 30 dollars a book for 300 pages you can do a gorgeous job. Google does it much more quickly and it costs only about 5 dollars for each book. So it really is much less expensive in less quality, but they are able to do things at scale. We digitize about 1000 books every day in 23 scanning centers in six countries. We will set up scanning centers anywhere, or, if there are people that would like to staff the scanners themselves, we provide the scanners and all of the backend processing for free, until we run out of scanners and we've got a bunch of them. So we're looking either for people that want to scan their own collections by providing there own labour or they can employ us to do it and all told it is 10 cent a page to complete.

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"Putting 600,000 Books Online: the Large-Scale Digitisation Partnership between the Austrian National Library and Google"

Max Kaiser has published "Putting 600,000 Books Online: the Large-Scale Digitisation Partnership between the Austrian National Library and Google" in the latest issue of LIBER Quarterly.

Here's an excerpt:

In a public-private partnership with Google, the Austrian National Library is digitising its historical book holdings. Some 600,000 volumes from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries will be digitised and made available free of charge. The project demonstrates that public-private partnerships can be successful in enabling our heritage institutions to provide large-scale access to their holdings, provided that such partnerships are not exclusive and free access is ensured. The article outlines the preparatory phase and work flows established in the project.

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"Notes from the DPLA Audience & Participation Workshop"

The Digital Public Library of America has released "Notes from the DPLA Audience & Participation Workshop."

Here's an excerpt:

As of January 2012, approximately 80 volunteers—Steering Committee members, workstream co-chairs, and workstream conveners—have committed to working on the project over the next two years, and $5 million has already been raised. Plenary meetings, the first of which was held in October 2011 in Washington, DC, will be held at six-month intervals in order to present and showcase the project's collected progress.

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"From Stacks to the Web: The Transformation of Academic Library Collecting"

College & Research Libraries has released a preprint of "From Stacks to the Web: The Transformation of Academic Library Collecting" by David W. Lewis.

Here's an excerpt:

The existence of a ubiquitous and cheap worldwide communication’s network that increasingly makes documents easily and freely available will require a transformation of academic library collecting practice. It will be driven by a number of specific developments including: the digitization of content; the development of print repositories; the development of e-readers and print-on-demand publishing; the growth of open access; challenges to establish academic publishing organizations; and the growth of new forms of scholarship based on openness and social productivity. If academic libraries are to be successful, they will need to: deconstruct legacy print collections; move from item-by-item book selection to purchase-on-demand and subscriptions; manage the transition to open access journals; focus on curating unique items; and develop new mechanisms for funding national infrastructure.

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Scan and Deliver Webinar Recordings and Documents Released

OCLC Research has released digital recordings and documents from its Scan and Deliver: Creative User-initiated Digitization in Special Collections and Archives Webinar.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

Changes in technology and the increased visibility of special collections have resulted in a deluge of requests for digital copies of special collections materials. A steady stream of digitization requests for one item here, two pages there can be labor-intensive, and policies for user requests vary widely across institutions.

To address these issues, OCLC Research and the OCLC Research Library Partnership's Working Group on Streamlining Photography and Scanning sought methods for reducing cumbersome digitization-on-demand workflows and policy obstacles. The result—a flexible, tiered approach to delivering digitized materials that acknowledges differences in user needs, collections, institutions, and resources—is detailed in the report, Scan and Deliver: Managing User-initiated Digitization in Special Collections and Archives.

In this webinar, members of the working group shared their creative experiments aimed at scanning and delivering user-requested digital copies of special collections materials. San Diego State University offers self-serve scanning in their reading room. At the University of Chicago, special collections and interlibrary loan (ILL) colleagues are working together to use existing infrastructure and expertise. The Getty Research Institute developed a tiered approach to capture and post digital files created by fulfilling user requests. The presenters discussed workflows-in-progress, lessons learned, and how they learned to stop worrying and love digital copy requests.

| New: Institutional Repository and ETD Bibliography 2011 | Digital Scholarship |

European Commission Issues "Recommendation on the Digitisation and Online Accessibility of Cultural Material and Digital Preservation"

The European Commission has issued a "Recommendation on the Digitisation and Online Accessibility of Cultural Material and Digital Preservation."

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

In particular, the Recommendation invites Member States to:

  • put in place solid plans for their investments in digitisation and foster public-private partnerships to share the gigantic cost of digitisation (recently estimated at 100 billion EUR). The Recommendation spells out key principles to ensure that such partnerships are fair and balanced.
  • make available through Europeana 30 million objects by 2015, including all Europe's masterpieces which are no longer protected by copyright, and all material digitised with public funding.
  • get more in-copyright material online, by, for example, creating the legal framework conditions enabling large-scale digitisation and cross-border accessibility of out-of-commerce works.
  • reinforce their strategies and adapt their legislation to ensure long-term preservation of digital material, by, for example, ensuring the material deposited is not protected by technical measures that impede librarians from preserving it.

| Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography 2010 | Digital Scholarship |

Digital Public Library of America and Europeana to Collaborate

The Digital Public Library of America and Europeana have agreed to collaborate to make their systems interoperable, to share source code, and to engage in cooperative collection building.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Robert Darnton, a DPLA Steering Committee member and University Librarian at Harvard, said, "The association between the DPLA and Europeana means that users everywhere will eventually have access to the combined riches of the two systems at a single click. The aggregated databases will include many millions of books, pamphlets, newspapers, manuscripts, images, recordings, videos, and other materials in many formats."

Jill Cousins, Executive Director of Europeana, welcomed the agreement, saying that "Europeana was designed to be open and interoperable, and to be able to collaborate with the DPLA is a validation of that aim. By this combined effort on two continents, Europeana and the DPLA hope to promote the creation of a global network with partners from around the world."

Another outcome of this collaboration will be a virtual exhibition about the migration of Europeans to America. The DPLA and Europeana will demonstrate the potential of their combined collections by digitizing and making freely available material about the journey from the Old World to the New. This pilot project will include text and images about the experience of the uprooted as they abandoned their homes to seek a new life thousands of miles across a treacherous ocean. Letters, photographs, and official records open up unfamiliar views into the harsh world inhabited by Europeans from the shtetl communities of Russia to the peasant villages of Ireland. And equally vivid testimonies illustrate the culture shock and hard lot of the immigrants after their arrival. Everyone in the United States, including Amerindians, descends from immigrants, and nearly everyone in Europe has some connection with migration, either within Europe itself or across the ocean. All will be invited to stroll digitally through this rich exhibition.

| New: E-science and Academic Libraries Bibliography | Digital Scholarship |