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Stew of the month: October 2015

Welcome to a new issue of Stew of the Month, a monthly blog from Digital Systems and Stewardship (DSS) at the University of Maryland Libraries. This blog provides news and updates from the DSS Division. We welcome comments, feedback and ideas for improving our products and services.

Digitization Activities

Historic Maryland Newspapers Project

Liz Caringola, Robin Pike, and Doug McElrath (SCUA) are writing a grant application to extend NDNP funding for the project through August 2018. The application is due to NEH by mid-January 2016 and a decision should be reached by the end of July.

Other Digitization Activities

Robin Pike worked on the estimates for the FY16 vendor digitization contracts, to digitize the projects funded by the Digitization Initiatives Committee (DIC) project proposal process to include:

  • Approximately 53,000 pages and 460 volumes through the Internet Archive
  • Over 350 volumes of other book digitization
  • Approximately 350 oversize flat maps and posters
  • Approximately 21,000 pages from The Diamondback newspaper (from microfilm and print)
  • Approximately 9,000 photos from The Diamondback photo morgue
  • Diaries and correspondence from three archival collections
  • Over 2,000 audio reels from the School of Music archives and the WAMU radio archives
  • Over 70 U-Matic tapes of interviews with music experts from the Bryer collection
  • 42 deteriorating films

Robin Pike also presented at the Library Assembly meeting on behalf of the DIC to open the project proposal process for FY17 projects.

Digital  Programs and Initiatives

Theses and dissertations from the 2015 summer semester, totaling 261, have been deposited in DRUM bringing the total number of ETDs (electronic theses and dissertations) in the repository to 10,750.  Percentage of embargo requests climbed to 54% for the summer semester; an all-time high since we started tracking requests in 2006.

Terry Owen was invited to speak as part of Catholic University Library’s program on institutional repositories for International Open Access Week, 19-25 October.

Conferences, workshops and professional development

Liz Caringola attended the Fall 2015 MARAC meeting in Roanoke, VA, October 8-10. Liz was co-chair of the conference program committee, which also included several colleagues from SCUA. Many others from SCUA, SCPA, and MITH participated in the conference as workshop instructors, session moderators, and speakers. Former DCMA/DPI GA Alice Prael presented at a student session with current SCUA GA Amy Wickner.


On October 22, Robin Pike and Eric Cartier guest-lectured and provided a tour of the Hornbake Digitization Center for LBSC 784Q, Digital Preservation, regarding digitization and digital preservation activities at the UMD Libraries.

Liz Caringola was a guest speaker in LBSC731: Special Collections on October 26 and spoke about digitization and project management in Special Collections.

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Stew of the month: September 2015

Welcome to a new issue of Stew of the Month, a monthly blog from Digital Systems and Stewardship (DSS) at the University of Maryland Libraries. This blog provides news and updates from the DSS Division. We welcome comments, feedback and ideas for improving our products and services.

Digitization Activities

Historic Maryland Newspapers Project

The first batch of newspapers for the 2014-2016 grant was accepted by Library of Congress and are now available on Chronicling America. The Catoctin Clarion from Mechanicstown (modern-day Thurmont), Maryland, is available from 1871-1919. Additional issues through 1922 will be uploaded in a later batch.

Other Digitization Activities

The sole source for the FY16 digitization vendor was approved. Robin Pike will contact collection managers to begin digitization after additional steps are completed (negotiating technical specifications, receiving quotes for estimates, sending signed quotes back, scheduling projects).

Robin worked with Vin Novara (SCPA) to submit a Letter of Inquiry to the Grammy Grant Foundation to apply for an Archiving and Preservation Projects grant to digitize the audio recordings in the Contemporary Music Project Archives.

Eric Cartier worked with Josh Westgard and Bria Parker (MSD) to make 98 digitized videos from the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange Archives (SCPA) and 39 digitized audio recordings from the Thirteen/WNET Arthur Godfrey Collection (SCUA) available in UMD Digital Collections. Both projects were digitized as part of the FY15 Digitization Initiatives Committee project proposal process.

Eric and assistant Cecilia Franck performed quality assurance on 137 digitized football films from the University Archives collections, which will be ingested into Digital Collections. Cecilia also performed sampled quality assurance on 590 digitized historic dissertations that will be ingested into DRUM.

Software Development

During internal testing of the new Hippo CMS  version 7.9 upgrade process we discovered some holes in our upgrade procedure and have been working on filling out the missing code and re-testing.  Unfortunately, progress on this issue was interrupted by instability problems in the production Hippo system which we tracked down to a conflict between several of our batch content loaders (Database Finder, Staff Directory) and a Hippo system architecture change we put into place in August.  As an interim step the instability problem has been fixed by disabling the batch loaders.  We are working with Hippo support staff to determine the root cause of the problem.

We are now in full implementation mode for the new Responsive Web Design template for the website.  This has involved some rapid design and decision making, as well as training for four developers new to Hippo CMS.  Once we complete our first draft of the core templates we will begin a process to promote the templates to the staging site for Libraries staff to get their first look their existing content rendered in the new site.  This will help them to make an assessment on how much work will be involved when it comes time to begin updating their content for the new site.

User and System Support

This summer, the Libraries embarked on a project to renovate the technology in classrooms 6103 and 6107 in Mckeldin Library. User Systems and Support (USS) and Teaching and Learning Services (TLS) worked together on the project to find a new way to use current technology along with different teaching methods in the classrooms so the rooms would be more dynamic and flexible. USS and TLS chose to try to have everything mobile. Since the furniture, Mac desktops, projector screens, and projector wouldn’t be able to support this new mobile initiative, they were all removed. Power outlets in the room were rearranged to go from supporting a static room to a more dynamic room.

USS evaluated and designed the technology, suggested furniture, and determined power outlet locations. To replace the projector, four 60 inch Sony Aqous TVs were purchased. sitting on mobile Peerless AV stands. The TVs weren’t installed on walls, but were installed on Peerless AV stands so the TVs can be rolled anywhere in the room (or outside the room). The main instructor laptop has an ActionTech wireless HD Video Transmitter installed on it. The transmitted video will go to an ActionTech wireless HD Video Receiver on each cart. This will allow an instructor the ability to show the same content to all the TV carts at the same time. The idea is to allow the students to be able to crowd around any TV so everyone can clearly see what the instructor is presenting, instead of the people close to the back of the room straining their eyes.   However, another purpose is to allow the students to split off in groups, each screen displaying different content so students can collaborate the assignments they are given. Each TV also has multiple inputs so students can connect and display what’s on the screen of their laptops, iPads, tablets, and other devices.

A special thanks goes to those in USS involved in getting the new room configurations and technology changed and installed — Alex Guzman, Brandon Eldred, Chamisa Carson, Francis Ifeacho, Grace Derbyshire, Pancratius Chuba, Preston Tobery, Sandra Ayensu, Stephanie Karunwi, Victoria Quartey. Also, thanks goes out to Rachel Gammons and the rest of Teaching and Learning Services for working with us to successfully renovate and add new technology in classrooms 6103 and 6107.


USMAI (University System of Maryland and Affiliated Institutions) Library Consortium

The CLAS team responded to 92 Aleph Rx submissions and 23 e-resource requests from across the consortium’s libraries in September.


CLAS Notes

In an effort to keep consortium members informed about important information and procedures, the CLAS team has started a weekly publication called CLAS Notes. Weekly notes are targeted at specific audiences (as determined by mailing list membership), but you can always view all the notes on the USMAI Staff Site at http://usmai.umd.edu/category/news-categories/clas-notes.


David Steelman moved from a System Analyst position to a Software Developer position. David received his Bachelor of Science, Comprehensive, from Villanova University and his Master of Science, Computer Science, from the University of Maryland, College Park.  Before coming to work at College Park, he worked at Raytheon Solipsys Corporation where he worked as a Senior Software Engineer, working on projects such as the Tactical Display Framework (TDF), a Java-based object-oriented Command and Control Battle Management package.

Conferences, workshops and professional development

Liz Caringola and Robin Pike attended the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP) annual meeting in Washington, D.C. September 16-18. Liz gave a lightning talk on the Gateway to Digitized Maryland Newspapers, a database using Hippo/Solr that will allow users to easily identify sources for digitized Maryland newspapers. The gateway should be online after the next Hippo upgrade. Look for an announcement and additional information at that time.

Robin also attended the one-day Digital Maryland AV Conference held at the University of Baltimore on September 25.

Chronicling America surpasses 10 million pages!

The University of Maryland Libraries joins the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities in celebrating a major milestone for Chronicling America, a free, searchable database of historic U.S. newspapers. The Library of Congress announced on October 7 that more than 10 million pages have been posted to the site. This number includes 117,082 pages of Maryland newspapers digitized by the Historic Maryland Newspapers Project and its content partners, the Maryland State Archives and Maryland Historical Society, from the following titles:

Titles are added on a rolling basis, so check back often, or subscribe to Chronicling America’s RSS feed to receive alerts when new titles are added.

For more information about the Historic Maryland Newspapers Project, please visit our website: http://ter.ps/newspapers.

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Stew of the month: August 2015

Welcome to a new issue of Stew of the Month, a monthly blog from Digital Systems and Stewardship (DSS) at the University of Maryland Libraries. This blog provides news and updates from the DSS Division. We welcome comments, feedback and ideas for improving our products and services.

Digitization Activities

Robin Pike continued to make progress on the preparatory work for the FY16 mass-digitization vendor contracts, including adding new projects to the FY16 list since donors have approached collection managers with new sources of funds for time-sensitive projects.

DCMR staff worked on quality assurance, archiving, and ingest preparation of several FY15 projects digitized through the DIC project proposal process:

  • Eric Cartier and assistants performed QA on dissertations, monographs and serials from the Hebraica project, and finished QA on the Diamondback photos.
  • Digitization assistants inspected 228 UMD Schedules of Classes that a vendor digitized from microfilm, and Eric uploaded the files to the Internet Archive. With the recent addition of born-digital schedules, the collection spans 1919-2015.

This month the Historic Maryland Newspapers Project sent the first two batches (containing about 10,000 pages of newsprint each) of the 2014-2016 grant cycle to the Library of Congress (LC). Quality review is underway for the third batch, and microfilm for the fourth batch was sent to the digitization vendor. The project is on track to meet the grant milestone of 25% of the required 100,000 pages of digitized newsprint submitted to LC by September 30. In July and August, student assistant/C1 Melissa Foge also created several Wikipedia articles related to Maryland newspapers that were digitized by the project.

Digitization assistants scanned 127 historical French pamphlets, which Eric Cartier uploaded to the growing collection on the Internet Archive.

Alice Prael completed her final progress report and recommendations on the born-digital workflows. The work will continue in DPI and SCUA.

Digital Programs and Initiatives

Joshua Westgard, along with staff from SSDR, USS, and Metadata Services, as well as interested colleagues from neighboring institutions, organized and hosted a meeting of the regional Code4Lib group for the greater Maryland, DC, and Virginia area in UMD Libraries’ special events room on August 11-12. The meeting also received sponsorship support from the USMAI consortium of libraries.  Nearly 50 people were in attendance for two days of formal presentations, workshops, and unconference sessions on a variety of topics related to technology in libraries.

Josh Westgard also participated in Fedora 4 development work, acting as a community stakeholder for the Web Access Control (WebAC) feature development effort, as well as participating in the initial discussions for the Fedora API Extension Architecture (API-X).

Josh Westgard and Terry Owen assisted with the MD-SOAR project, developing documentation, carrying out testing and loading of legacy content, and advising the staff from partner institutions on the use of this new DSpace-based institutional repository.

Software Development

The bulk of the development work for the upgrade to Hippo CMS  version 7.9 has been completed.  Work is now underway to promote the new code into the staging site for user testing with promotion to production planned for the end of September.

User testing for the Online Student Application improvements were completed. These improvement were promoted to production following additional fixes based on user feedback.

Peter Eichman completed a second development sprint with the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) working on a new Integrated Discovery Platform for automating the ingest and cataloging of socio-environmental data.

Along with the Fedora 4 user community the Libraries have decided that we need to develop a Fedora 4 authorization module based on the emerging Web Access Control (WebAC) standard for  RDF based Access Control.  Peter Eichman and Mohamed Mohideen Abdul Rasheed participated in the first of two planned development sprints.

Research and Learning Librarians have been piloting the Guide on the Side application from the University of Arizona Libraries and decided to put the service into production.  We worked with them to setup a new production server and to add basic Libraries branding to the site which is now available at http://tutorials.lib.umd.edu/.

USMAI (University System of Maryland and Affiliated Institutions) Library Consortium

Support to USMAI

The CLAS team responded to 90 Aleph Rx submissions and 41 e-resource requests from across the consortium’s libraries in August.

The team contributed to several reports related to the consortium’s discussions about library management systems. In collaboration with the USMAI Shared Platforms & Applications subgroup, a report was produced to summarize and prioritize Aleph enhancement requests that were submitted by individuals in the consortium. CLAS also participated in conference calls with current customers of “next generation” library management systems.

With the approval of CLD, Google Analytics was configured for the consortium’s shared platforms, including Aleph OPAC, Research Port, SFX, and the USMAI Staff Site. Access to analytics has been distributed to co-chairs of the Reporting & Analytics Subgroup and will be made available to individual USMAI libraries in the coming weeks.

Kuali OLE

Working with the consortium’s testing group, CLAS helped develop a report about OLE’s current fit for the consortium’s needs as identified in the previously-created Next Gen ILS RFI document. The report was shared with CLD as an information piece for discussion at their September meeting. CLAS continued to attend weekly implementation meetings with other Kuali OLE adopters.


The Maryland Shared Open Access Repository (MD-SOAR) now boasts a collection of 45 items and growing! DSS developers configured the DSpace search and browse indexes according to the repository partners’ specifications, creating additional limiters like “Description” and “Language” to facilitate advanced searching. Several partners are beginning to introduce the repository to their faculty. If you work for a USMAI library, consider creating an account and adding your publications to MD-SOAR.


SSDR is pleased to welcome three new Graduate Assistants.  Aditya Gadgil (Smith School of Business, Marketing Analytics) and Ramesh Balasekaran (iSchool, Information Management) are performing general Software Development while Xiaoyu Tai (iSchool, Human-Computer Interaction) is filling our brand new position of Front End Developer.  All three will be spending this Fall learning Hippo CMS and participating in building the new Reponsive Web Design site.

DCMR and DPI are pleased to welcome their new shared Graduate Assistant, David Durden (iSchool, MLS). His fall projects will explore and compare researcher profile applications, compiling digitization grants, and analyzing digital collections usage statistics.

DCMR and DPI said farewell to Graduate Assistant Alice Prael, who graduated on August 22. She is moving to Boston, MA for the National Digital Stewardship Residency at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. Congratulations Alice!

DCMR Quality Assurance Assistant Quinn Smith also graduated in August, earning her MLS. and is seeking permanent employment. She will continue as a C1 through the fall semester, training a new student on quality assurance procedures. We wish you the best, Quinn!

Historic Maryland Newspapers Project student assistant/C1-for-the-summer Melissa Foge’s last day was August 25. Melissa earned her MLS this past spring and is seeking employment as a librarian, ideally in a music library or working with music collections. We wish you the best, Melissa!

Conferences, workshops and professional development

Eric Cartier, Robin Pike, and Alice Prael attended the Society of American Archivists (SAA) Annual Meeting in Cleveland, OH from August 17-22.

Robin co-lectured the SAA pre-conference workshop “Managing Audiovisual Digitization Projects” with George Blood (George Blood Audio Video and Film) and Joshua Ranger (AVPreserve) on August 17. She ended her term as the Chair of the Recorded Sound Roundtable and began her term as a Steering Committee member of the same roundtable, a nationally-elected position.

Eric presented the poster “Establishing the In-house Internet Archive Digitization Workflow” at the Research Forum on August 18, and began his term as the Vice Chair/Chair-Elect of the Recorded Sound Roundtable, a two-year, nationally-elected position.

Alice Prael and Amy Wickner (SCUA) presented their poster “Getting to Know FRED: Introducing Workflows for Born-Digital Content” about their work on the developing born-digital workflows at the graduate student poster sessions on August 20-21.


Special Collections staff members from the Maryland State Archives met with Liz Caringola, Robin Pike, Judi Kidd, and Doug McElrath (SCUA) on August 13 to continue discussions of the future of the Historic Maryland Newspapers Project, including funding options, required features for a Maryland newspapers digital repository, and what was learned from the digital initiative meetings organized around the state by Digital Maryland this summer.

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Reusing Newspaper Data from Chronicling America

The National Digital Newspaper Program’s (NDNP) goal in digitizing U.S. newspapers from microfilm isn’t to simply create digital copies of the film—it’s to make the content of the digitized newspapers more usable and reusable. This is made possible through the creation of different kinds of metadata during digitization. (You can read my post from 2013 for the nitty gritty details of NDNP metadata, or go straight to the source.) The addition of robust metadata means that the Library of Congress’ Chronicling America website isn’t just a digital collection of newspapers—it’s a rich data set—and our project’s contributions to Chronicling America represent Maryland in this data.

Newspaper data is being used in exciting ways by scholars, students, and software developers. Here are a few of my favorite examples:

Data Visualization: Journalism’s Journey West
Bill Lane Center for the American West, Stanford University

This visualization plots the 140,000+ newspapers that are included in Chronicling America’s U.S. Newspaper Directory. Read about the history of newspaper publication in the U.S., and watch as newspapers spread across the country from 1690 through the present.

An Epidemiology of Information: Data Mining the 1918 Influenza Pandemic
Virginia Tech

Excerpt from newspaper reads

The 1918 influenza pandemic, or Spanish flu, killed 675,000 in the U.S. and 50 million worldwide. An Epidemiology of Information used two text-mining methods to examine patterns in how the disease was reported in newspapers and the tone of the reports (e.g., alarmist, warning, reassuring, explanatory). Visit the project website for more information, or read the project’s January 2014 article in Perspectives on History.

Image from http://www.flu1918.lib.vt.edu/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/NLM-Presentation-Ewing-30April2013.pdf

The Cultural Observatory, Harvard University

Bookworm is a tool that allows you to “visualize trends in repositories of digitized texts,” including Chronicling America. In the graph above, Tom Ewing of the aforementioned Epidemiology of Information project used Bookworm to visualize instances of the word “influenza” in the New York Tribune between 1911 and 1921. You can create your own visualizations of Chronicling America data using this tool.

Viral Texts: Mapping Networks of Reprinting in 19th-Century Newspapers and Magazines
NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks, Northeastern University

In the 19th century, the content published in newspapers was not protected by copyright as it is today. As a result, newspaper editors often “borrowed” and reprinted content from other papers. This project seeks to uncover why particular news stories, works of fiction, and poetry “went viral” using the Optical Character Recognition (OCR) text of the newspapers in Chronicling America and magazines in Cornell University Library’s Making of America.

Everyone is welcome to use Chronicling America as a dataset for their research. There’s no special key or password needed. Information about the Chronicling America API can be found here. For additional projects and tools that use Chronicling America data, see this list compiled by the Library of Congress.

If you reuse Chronicling America data, especially from Maryland newspapers, in your research, please leave a comment or drop us a line. We’d love to hear from you!

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Stew of the month: July 2015

Welcome to a new issue of Stew of the Month, a monthly blog from Digital Systems and Stewardship (DSS) at the University of Maryland Libraries. This blog provides news and updates from the DSS Division. We welcome comments, feedback and ideas for improving our products and services.

Digitization Activities

Robin Pike submitted a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Humanities Collections and Reference Resources Foundations grant proposal to hire a consultant company to perform an assessment survey of all the audiovisual materials in the Libraries. Dan Mack (CSS), Gary White (PSD), Steve Henry (MSPAL), Laura Schnitker (SCUA), and Trevor Munoz contributed to the narrative and final application. Tonita Smith Brooks provided much assistance in preparing the application for submission through the Office of Research Administration. The results of the audiovisual assessment survey will assist us in prioritizing monetary and financial resources in planning future digitization projects. We will find out if we received the grant in March 2016.

DCMR staff performed quality assurance on the remaining vendor projects funded through the DIC project proposal process: Hebraica (300 Hebrew and Yiddish volumes) and the Diamondback Photo Morgue. They hope to complete the work in August.

Digitization assistants Rachel Dook and Caroline Hayden digitized the Victor E. Delnore Papers, a manuscript collection within the Gordon W. Prange Collection. Prange staff and DCMR undertook the project to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, where Lt. Colonel Delnore oversaw rebuilding efforts as a commander of the U.S. Occupational Forces. 

Digitization assistant Audrey Lengel digitized materials for Associate Professor of English and Associate Director of MITH Dr. Matthew Kirschenbaum’s upcoming book Track Changes: The Literary History of Word Processing. Kirschenbaum used some of the images in his plenary session at the Archival Education and Research Institute.

The Historic Maryland Newspapers Project staff began quality review of the newspaper titles sent to the digitization vendor earlier this year. They continued to add content to the Pinterest boards.

Alice Prael reviewed usage statistics on UMD Digital Collections gathered through Google Analytics with the goal of using the data to make informed decisions about the prioritization of digital projects and promoting our holdings; a report is forthcoming.

Digital  Programs and Initiatives

New DRUM Interface

Thanks to everyone in Software Systems Development and Research, DRUM has been upgraded and now has a new interface: http://drum.lib.umd.edu/.  Frequent users of DRUM have access to the same features as before but in a different layout.  All of the navigation appears in the right column and the structure for individual records has been totally revamped.  Take it for a test drive and we hope you enjoy the new layout.

Spring 2015 ETDs Now Available in DRUM
All of the electronic theses and dissertations from the spring 2015 semester have been loaded in DRUM. Researchers now have access to 10,460 UMD theses and dissertations dating back to 2003. Of the 405 documents deposited in DRUM from the spring semester, 196 students or 48% requested either a 1-year or 6-year embargo; an all-time high since we started tracking embargo requests in 2006. On average, 39% of UMD students have requested an embargo since 2006. Subject librarians can contact Terry Owen (towen@umd.edu) for a breakdown of embargo requests for their departments.

Gemstone Projects
Eleven Gemstone projects from the spring 2015 semester have recently been added to DRUM bringing the total to 84. Many of our subject librarians provided support to the Gemstone teams throughout the 4-year project. More information about the Gemstone program is available here. Check out some of their current research:
Evaluating the Feasibility of Implementing a Green Roof Retrofit on Pitched Residential Roofs
A Kinect Based Indoor Navigation System for the Blind
Fabrication of Poly (D,L-Lactic-Co-Glycolic Acid) microparticles for Improved Human Papillomavirus Vaccine Delivery

Open Access Fund
The UMD Libraries Open Access Publishing Fund closed out another successful year in June. We funded 31 articles with an average cost of $1,240 per article. A majority of the 2014-2015 applicants were faculty and all disciplines were represented. Most of the applicants were from either the School of Public Health or the College of Computer, Mathematical & Natural Sciences. Depending on the availability of funds for 2015-2016, we anticipate that the fund will reopen in September.

CRMS Project Update
Last year the University of Maryland Libraries joined a prestigious group of institutions to assist in making copyright determinations for books in HathiTrust. Using the Copyright Review Management System (CRMS) developed at the University of Michigan, UMD has determined the copyright status for more than 1,850 books since January 2015. We would like to thank the library staff that volunteered to participate in the program: Paul Bushmiller, Leigh Ann DePope, Donna King, Yeo-Hee Koh, Audrey Lengel, Terry Owen, and Loretta Tatum. And special thanks to Tonita Brooks for processing monthly reports for the grant.

Software Development

The Database Finder feature in the Libraries’ Website has been updated to include database categories.  The categories are for now only visible on the database detail page and can be used as search terms.  Future enhancements are planned to use the categories for improved discovery: a) faceted browse by category and sub-category; and b) context sensitive linking to Subject Specialists.

The migration to the new XMLUI/Mirage2 theme for DRUM was completed and has been installed in production.  This theme provides a Responsive Web Design which allows all device sizes to view and use DRUM.  It also allows us to more easily add newer DSpace features which were unavailable in the old interface implementation.

We’ve made progress in upgrading Hippo CMS  to version 7.9 and plan to begin user testing and promotion to production in August.  The major new features for users are a much improved HTML Editor and a new Channel Manager feature for previewing your pages in desktop, tablet, and phone sizes, which will be important as we implement the new Responsive Web Design Libraries’ website this Fall.

Improvements have been completed for the Online Student Application system, based on initial staff feedback.  User testing and promotion to production will take place in August.

User and System Support

User and Systems Support (USS) participated in several 3D printing events. On July 20, 2015 and July 30, 2015, the Discovering Engineering Summer Program visited the John & Stella Graves Makerspace. USS demonstrated the different equipment that’s available in the Makerspace. The two groups were a mixture of rising 11th and 12th grade students who attended a week-long program to learn more about the University of Maryland and the Clark School of Engineering. A total of 60 students attended two events. They all had a strong interest in the field. Some have even been involved in engineering-related coursework, research and extracurricular activities. Each group that came through had lots of really great questions about 3D printing and seemed to thoroughly enjoy learning about the equipment.

On July 28, 2015, USS participated in the “LKA’s Teens in Technology Workshop Series” program. This program was organized by LKA Computer Consultants and was held at LKA’s office. The program was limited to 15 teens with the goal to expose the teens to the world of C++ Programming, Cyber Security, Web Development, and Project Management. In addition, they also provided the teens with desktop fabrication (3D printing). Sandra, Victoria, and Preston took three 3D printers and a hand help 3D scanner to the workshop. . The students were shown how 3D scanning works by scanning one of the teen students in real time. They were also guided through the creation of their very own 3D nametag model using an online program called TinkerCad. From start to finish, the students were very engaged in creating their nametag model.  Soon after, they were split into small groups and started 3D printing small models on the provided printers. Victoria’s group strategically picked small shurikens where each group member would be able to get one. Preston’s group printed the batman symbol. And Sandra’s group printed a red and black Porshe. The two 3D prints from Preston and Sandra’s groups were raffled to a teen in their respective groups.  The students were clearly excited to see the entire process from a 3D model on a computer to it being printed and able to hold in their hands in very little time. At the end of the event, the teens were left inspired and grateful for the opportunity to learn and create 3D prints that they were also able leave with.

USMAI (University System of Maryland and Affiliated Institutions) Library Consortium

Support to USMAI

The CLAS team responded to 122 Aleph Rx submissions and 43 e-resource requests from across the consortium’s libraries in July. Who said summer was slow?

The consortium began subscribing to two new resources this fiscal year: Academic Search Complete and ProQuest Dissertations & Theses. CLAS configured EZproxy, ResearchPort, and SFX to work with both of these collections.

The team has also been reviewing the submitted responses for the Aleph enhancements initiative and will be meeting with the USMAI Shared Platforms & Applications subgroup in early August to discuss the list and develop recommendations for the Council of Library Directors.

Kuali OLE

CLAS is finishing its work with the consortium’s testing group. The combined groups have started working on a report for the Council of Library Directors about their testing experiences. While that work develops, CLAS has also continued to attend weekly imlementation meetings with other Kuali OLE adopters.


Partners in the Maryland Shared Open Access Repository were given the “green light” this month to begin loading content into the shared repository. Each institution has the flexibility to establish their own implementation timeline. Many campuses have set up their repository structure and begun loading materials. MD-SOAR is a 2-year pilot funded by the consortium. DSS is the service provider for the repository, making use of our DRUM experience and DSpace expertise to help the consortium build out their vision for a shared institutional repository.


Alice Prael leaves in August; her last day in the office is August 13th. She will be leaving for Boston to join the National Digital Stewardship Residency at the JFK Presidential Library.

Conferences, workshops and professional development

Robin Pike attended the International Council on Archives-Section on University Archives (ICA-SUV) conference from July 13-15 in Chapel Hill, NC with Bria Parker (MSD) and Vin Novara (SCPA); they presented a paper titled “‘Is This Enough?’ Digitizing Liz Lerman Dance Exchange Archives Media.”

Robin gave a guest-lecture for The Catholic University of America’s CLSC 747 “Special Collections” on July 20 titled “Management of Digital Programs in Special Collections.”

Eric Cartier attended the seventh annual Archival Education and Research Institute (AERI) from July 13-17, an international conference held at the UMD Libraries.

Robin and Eric wrote articles for the Society of American Archivists Recorded Sound Roundtable newsletter Recorded Sound

The Historic Maryland Newspapers Project team visited colleagues around the state to speak about the project at regional meetings organized by Digital Maryland. Attendees at these meetings were from a variety of institutions that hold cultural heritage materials, including public libraries, local historical societies, museums, and churches. The goal of the meetings was to share information about digital initiatives across the state and to hear what the priorities and needs are for making collections available digitally. Liz Caringola attended meetings in Ellicott City and Hagerstown, and Doug McElrath (SCUA) attended the meeting in Easton. Two additional meetings in Aberdeen and Prince Frederick are scheduled in August.


Eric Cartier gave three tours of the Hornbake Digitization Center to 20 attendees during the Archival Education and Research Institute (AERI).

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FRED Update: Facing Challenges with Born-Digital Media

Last September, Graduate Assistants, Amy Wickner from SCUA and myself from DSS, began working with the Forensic Recovery of Evidence Device (FRED), with the goal of creating a workflow for processing born-digital media. Since born-digital material is still fairly new to libraries there is no widely accepted ‘way of doing things’ and there are few case studies on how libraries and archives have handled the issue. Ours was a process of trial and error, informed by the literature and online forums. We kept a daily log, which featured the word ‘failed’ regularly, but we have continued to make progress despite these challenges.

Our first question – which disk imaging program is most effective; BitCurator or Forensic Toolkit (FTK) Imager? BitCurator is an open source Linux-based environment for creating and analyzing forensic disk images, which are bit-by-bit copies of digital media. FTK Imager creates both forensic images and logical images (only containing the logical volume, excluding deleted and orphan files) and is the free imaging component of the larger proprietary FTK.

We began with a small flash drive containing 6 files, including many file types (jpg, xls, doc, pdf). Since the item was so small there was little difference in imaging time, but BitCurator won by 14 seconds. Next we imaged a much larger item, a hard drive containing a terabyte of data. This is where we faced our first major hurdle, one we continue to struggle with: mapping the local area network (LAN). Since this hard drive was too large to image directly to FRED, we needed the LAN to store the disk image. Since FRED is partitioned to include Linux and Windows we needed to connect both sides to the LAN. This Windows partition connected fairly easily, however the Linux partition requires the user to connect via the terminal. Since neither of us are Linux experts we relied on a script provided by the original Born-Digital Working Group. Although this script was unsuccessful, it was a good starting point and after a self-led crash course in Linux and Bash scripting we were able to connect BitCurator to the LAN and we began disk imaging. Surprisingly, FTK was faster in imaging the larger volume; 2- 4 hours faster depending on if the image was forensic or a logical image.

The next step was in analyzing the images. Although FTK can provide some information about the image, BitCurator has a more robust reporting tool which scans for Personally Identifying Information (PII), reports on file types, and shows paths for deleted files. The first report matched what we already knew about the original media. When we ran the reporting tool a second time on the same disk image we discovered inconsistencies with the previous report. We are currently in communication with the BitCurator team, but this problem has not yet been resolved. Until we have consistent reports we cannot rely on this tool for analyzing disk images.

After the most recent update to BitCurator we had to re-connect the Linux partition of FRED to the LAN. Although we thoroughly documented our previous work with the issue, this new attempt was more problematic and we ultimately failed in fixing the problem ourselves. We are currently working with User Systems and Support to resolve the problem, but in the meantime we cannot access disk images stored on the LAN for analysis in BitCurator.

These challenges show how much the success of one project relies on a network of experts both internal to UMD Libraries and external groups like the BitCurator team and other users who posted their experiences online. All of these groups have been vital to continuing our work. Although there were challenges, many of which are still problematic, we continue to make progress and hope to have a revised workflow complete by the end of the summer.


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