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Stew of the month: July 2016

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

Elizabeth Caringola and student assistant Kerry Huller continued to review batches of digitized Maryland newspapers and submitted the files to the Library of Congress. No new Maryland titles were made public on Chronicling America during July.

Other Digitization Activities

Robin Pike and Vin Novara submitted a 53-page grant application to the National Endowment for the Humanities, Humanities Collections and Reference Resources grant to describe and digitize the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange collection held by Special Collections in Performing Arts.
Robin continued to work on setting up vendor contracts and the digitization sole source for FY17 digitization projects and completed the projects’ plans. She will continue to work with collection managers in doing preparatory work for the digitization projects that will start in the fall.
C1 Digitization Assistant Caroline Hayden completed a 100% quality review inspection of 105 Hebrew and Yiddish books totaling 29,298 pages, the first of three batches for this FY16 project, funded through the DIC digitization project proposal process.
Student Assistant Cecilia Franck began to review over 28,000 digitized newspaper pages and metadata of The Diamondback. This project was funded through the DIC digitization project proposal process, through a UMD Launch crowd-funding campaign lead by Anne Turkos, and by a mini-grant from the Anacostia Trails Heritage Area.
Jenna Cuza-Barteau digitized 56 photos and 1 pamphlet for a UMD faculty member under Digital Data Services.
Eric Cartier, Caroline Hayden, and Shane James completed an audiovisual equipment inventory documenting legacy hardware which includes reel-to-reel decks, turntables, cassette decks, VCRs, U-matic players, and Betamax players, stored on the fourth floor of Hornbake Library. The team identified, labeled, organized, and shelved the equipment, which can be used as replacement machines or spare parts.

Digital  Programs and Initiatives

Fedora 4 Updates

DPI, on behalf of DSS, is pleased to announce that our Fedora 4 repository initiative has passed a major milestone, and is now ready to accept content. Check out this post for detailed information about our Fedora initiative.

Josh Westgard has been working on a batch loading tool for newspaper content in Fedora 4.  The Python-based tool extracts metadata from a variety of input formats, converts the metadata to RDF triples, adds additional content modeling triples to connect individual resources, and posts the RDF and binary assets to Fedora 4 via its RESTful API.

MARAC Presentations Deposited in DRUM

Twenty-nine presentations from past MARAC Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conferences (http://hdl.handle.net/1903/12510) dating back to 2011 have recently been deposited in DRUM, bringing the total to 98.
The semi-annual conference began in 1972 and represents a regional consortium of archivists who live and work in the states of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia, and in the District of Columbia.

Other Activities

GA David Durden explored creating a self-serve dashboard in Google Analytics to assist curators and collection managers in accessing usage statistics for digital collections. He  concluded his internship at MITH and has started a research project to investigate digital preservation systems and provide a comparison of their features and functions.

Software Development

Hippo CMS

The Equipment Availability and Computer Availability information on the website each pull their information from external systems using backend feeds.  Each of their Hippo implementations were difficult to maintain and modify, so they both received behind the scenes updates to their code.  While we were at it we also added minor theme updates for responsive web design.

Based on user and staff requests we have added a new Libraries Hours Weekly page, in addition to the existing Daily Hours page, for easier viewing of a week at a glance for a particular branch.

Set up of the new Libi (Libraries’ Intranet) infrastructure in Hippo is complete, with work underway on the Home Page implementation, Single Sign On using the DivIT CAS authentication service, and Solr indexing of Box documents.

Digital Collections

The Loris IIIF Image Server has been selected as a preferred platform for serving images through our website and work is underway to integrate with our Fedora 4 repository.

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

Support to USMAI

The CLAS team responded to 82 Aleph Rx submissions and 35 e-resource requests from across the consortium’s libraries in June.

Aleph Upgrade

Preparations for the upgrade from Aleph version 20 to version 22 neared completion in July. The upgrade is scheduled for the evening of August 6th.

A new Aleph desktop client was released for all campuses along with installation instructions. Instructions, download links, and other upgrade information is available on the USMAI Staff Site.

Loyola Notre Dame Library

The CLAS team met with Loyola Notre Dame Library (LNDL) staff on July 15th to kickoff the project to move LNDL to USMAI shared systems. Overviews of systems used by USMAI were given and details of the project, including communications, risks, and project priorities, were discussed. The bulk of the transition will be moving LNDL data and processes from their current Voyager ILS to USMAI’s Aleph instance.

Two of four scheduled follow-up meetings to discuss distinctions between LNDL’s and USMAI’s business processes were held in July with the final two scheduled for August. These meetings will help identify any significant differences between LNDL and USMAI operations and initiate the process to configure Aleph for LNDL.

The migration to Aleph has a completion window from January 3rd to 17th.

Communication and Collaboration Platform Analysis

As part of an anlysis of the consortium’s platforms for facilitating communication and collaboration, a survey was launched on USMAI.org and the USMAI Staff Site to gather feedback about the level of effort required by users to accomplish their objectives on the sites. The survey is built around a metric called the Net Easy Score.

Interviews, focus groups, and documented observations will also be used to gather data. The analysis is expected to identify consortial requirements in order to guide future direction of our collaboration tools.


DCMR welcomed Scott Pennington, the Project Manager for the digitization portion of the “Synergies Among African American History and Culture and Digital Humanities initiative” Mellon Foundation Grant, a partnership with the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) and the College of Arts and Humanities.

DCMR also welcomed Shivika Khare, Jenna Cuza-Barteau, Shane James, and Jonathan Lin who began work as Student Digitization Assistants. Shivika will be working on a large Digital Data Services project, scanning the office records of a campus office over the next few months.

Conferences, workshops and professional development

Robin was a panel presenter for a Lyrasis webinar “Unblurring the Lines Between Archives, Libraries, and Museums,” part of their Second Friday series, on July 8. Robin also guest-lectured on the management of digitization in special collections for the “Special Collections” course at The Catholic University of America’s MLS program on July 18.

Robin Pike and Kate Dohe had their separate presentations accepted to the Digital Library Federation Forum, which will be held in November 2016.

Kate Dohe was accepted into the ADVANCE Program for Inclusive Excellence‘s 2016-2017 “Keeping Our Faculties” cohort.

Kate Dohe has been accepted as a presenter at the 2016 Charleston Conference this November.

Joshua Westgard presented “The Transmission of Bede’s Scientific Works” at the 6th International Conference on the Science of Computus in the Middle Ages in Galway, Ireland, 8-10 July 2016.

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Fedora 4 Update

On behalf of DSS, I’m pleased to announce that we have passed a major milestone with our digital repository upgrades: Fedora 4, our next-generation repository, is now officially “in production,” meaning we can begin adding digital resources to it for management. DPI is already working on a plan for adding materials to the new repository, and individual stakeholders will hear more soon about their collections.
What does Fedora 4 mean for UMD Libraries?
To end users, this upgrade is essentially invisible. Fedora 4’s release is an architectural improvement–essentially, it is the new foundation on which we can build first-class digital collections and efficient workflows for asset management and preservation. Implementing Fedora 4 gives us:
  • Flexible, standardized data modeling. We will be able to handle a wider array of simple and complex content types, as well as a greater range of file formats.
  • Scalability. We’re not far away from thinking of our digital assets in terms of petabytes of data; Fedora 4 will enable us to manage those assets responsibly.
  • The potential for increased automation. Fedora 4’s application “hooks” and workflow triggers give us the ability to develop new automation scripts and integrations.
  • New technology options to eventually improve the experience of both internal library users and repository visitors. Two exciting next steps with Fedora 4 include selecting and evaluating a new administrative interface for staff, and implementing a new image viewer for newspaper content (based on IIIF, a framework for speedy, flexible image delivery backed by a number of high-profile libraries).
  • Increased participation in a robust, open community of institutions using Fedora. Rather than creating our own special, customized installation (which would become difficult to maintain over time), our team contributed code enhancements and feedback to the Fedora project, taking an active role in shaping the software platform.
What’s next?
DSS is already working on a few key repository projects:
  • Preparing the repository for the Diamondback ingest. This will be the first substantial collection loaded into Fedora 4, and to prepare for it, we are working on methods for batch loading, as well as implementing a new and improved image viewer.
  • Selecting, testing, and implementing an administrative interface for staff. We are researching our options for a new staff interface for Fedora 4 items, and will have more to share in the fall.
  • Planning for scaling our storage to meet our needs. A small task force will evaluate options and costs for high-capacity storage this fall, and we should begin implementing recommended improvements in 2017.
  • Organizing the backlog of materials for ingest, planning for digital preservation, public user interface research and migration of assets from our old Fedora repository–this work will continue throughout 2016 and into 2017.
Finally, please join me in thanking the many team members involved in this release from DSS. In particular, Josh Westgard, Mohamad Abdul Rasheed, Peter Eichman, and Ben Wallberg spent an untold amount of hours sweating the details, squashing bugs, questioning assumptions, and drawing on whiteboards to get UMD Libraries to this point, and they all deserve a hearty congrats.
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Stew of the month: June 2016

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

In June the following Maryland newspapers were uploaded to Chronicling America:

Other Digitization Activities

Robin Pike presented at the June 21 Library Assembly to present the vendor digitization projects approved for FY17. She met with collection managers across the Libraries in preparing FY17 vendor digitization projects for the vendor contracts. She also worked with collection managers to refine rejected FY17 proposals for the FY18 proposal call.

Robin began working with Vin Novara to write a National Endowment for the Humanities, Humanities Collections and Reference Resources grant to describe and digitize the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange collection held by Special Collections in Performing Arts. The application is due July 19.

Digital  Programs and Initiatives

New Additions to DRUM

2016 Gemstone Projects Deposited in DRUM

Twelve projects from the Gemstone Honors Program were recently uploaded to DRUM, bringing the total to 96.  Along with the assistance from their faculty advisors and librarians, research from these students is always impressive.  Check out some of the titles from the 2016 teams:

You can browse DRUM for all of the Gemstone research from 2009 to the present at http://hdl.handle.net/1903/9070.

Spring 2016 Theses & Dissertations

More than 350 theses and dissertations from the spring 2016 semester were added to DRUM in June bringing the total to 11,930.  Requests for embargoes are still hovering around 40% on average with a slight increase in requests over the past few semesters.  Subject librarians interested in receiving a list of embargoes from their departments can contact Terry Owen (towen@umd.edu).

Digital Repository Initiatives

DPI is focusing efforts on supporting the forthcoming release of Fedora 4, the next-generation digital repository. This repository represents a major milestone in UMD Libraries digital initiatives, and will expand the Libraries’ capabilities for digital asset retrieval, delivery, and preservation. As part of this process, Josh Westgard has been coordinating with members of the Software Development and MITH teams to set up and test a new image server, which uses the International Image Interoperability Framework (known as IIIF). This open, community driven framework is designed to be easy to install, interoperable with many different platforms and image viewers, and deliver a fast, responsive user experience for visitors working with digital image content like books, manuscripts, photographs, and newspapers.


Plant Patents Image Database

The Plant Patents Image Database has been updated, adding 4000 images to the collection and bringing the total to 5000 images. This update also introduces new features, such as keeping search facets collapsed by default.

International Children’s Digital Library

Work is currently underway to migrate the International Children’s Digital Library (ICDL) to UMD Libraries servers.

VIVO Pilot Project

David Durden examined future compatibility between VIVO and DRUM (DSpace) concerning the harvest of bibliographic citations DRUM for ingest into VIVO. He also researched the citation coverage of UMD’s engineering faculty within Scopus and looked into API services from Elsevier for VIVO.

Software Development

The Staff Directory and Subject Specialists pages on the Libraries’ Website received visual improvements and more consistent presentation of contact information.  We also added support for photographs and profiles for each staff member, with work underway to populate that content for Subject Specialists as the initial target population.

User and System Support

3D Presentation and Demonstration

On June 1, 2016, the User and System support team (Preston Tobery and Victoria Quartey) working in the John & Stella Graves (J&SG) Makerspace hosted a 3D printing workshop for 20 Beijing University of Post and Telecommunications faculty. The Beijing University faculty are in the United States a 4-month long training program on teaching excellence.

The faculty asked the Libraries for hands-on learning and training. During the training, the faculty were interested in knowing how the Libraries makes the J&SG Makerspace accessible for all students, faculty and staff, no matter what discipline they seek.

The workshop was scheduled for 2+ hours. The first hour covered the history, processes and procedures, and equipment that are available in the J&SG Makerspace. The second hour consisted of a hands-on workshop with an introduction to 3D printing. The workshop showed the faculty how to create a 3D model of a rook chess piece using Autodesk’s 123D Design software.

The Beijing University faculty did not have experience with 3D models or 3D printing, and they found the workshop very informative and exciting. They were happy to be able to see the entire process from creating the 3D model to printing one.


Examining a 3D print to get a better understanding of the printing process.


Preston Tobery explaining how 3D printing works.


Preston demonstrating how the 3D software works.


Victoria Quartey shows a visitor how to use the 3D printing software


Preston giving a detailed look at the 3D printing


The group examines the Henson statue, which was scanned with a cell phone using 123Dcatch.


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

Support to USMAI

The CLAS team responded to 129 Aleph Rx submissions and 39 e-resource requests from across the consortium’s libraries in June.

Fiscal Year End Closeout

The fiscal year end rollover process was completed for all USMAI libraries. Congrats to Joseph Koivisto on fearlessly (and successfully) leading the consortium through this process in his first try!

Sustainable Collection Services Data Extract for Towson

Linda Seguin produced an extract of Aleph data for use by an OCLC collection assessment service called Sustainable Collection Services (SCS). The data was loaded into SCS’ GreenGlass application and will help Towson University make data-driven collection management decisions.

Aleph Upgrade

Work on the upgrade of Aleph to version 22 continued in June. Aleph TEST was upgraded the week of June 11th, and testing by select USMAI members began on June 18th. A new TEST client for version 22 is now available on the USMAI Staff Site for any individuals interested in trying it out. The version 22 TEST OPAC can be previewed at http://alephtest.umd.edu.

A list of new features is available on the USMAI Staff Site. Timing of the upgrade of our production Aleph environment will be announced in mid-July.



Our exploration of utilizing Google Tag Manager to collect Google Analytics data in MD-SOAR continues, as we attempt to get expanded metadata for item downloads originating from outside of the repository (i.e. Google Scholar, etc.). The repository welcomed over 1200 visitors in June.


New Senior Software Developer Jeremy Gottwig joined SSDR on Monday, June 27. Jeremy received his dual Bachelor’s degree in German and English Literature from the University of Montana, Missoula and a dual Masters of Library and Information Science from Indiana University, Bloomington, where he focused on information management, systems design, and website programming.  He is coming to us from ReqEquity where he built websites first as a Senior Developer and then as Director of Backend Development.  Previously, Jeremy worked as a Librarian and Web Developer at NASA Goddard Library where his work included building the Goddard Library Repository using Drupal and Fedora Commons Repository.

Liz Caringola left DSS and started her new position in SCUA as the Archival Metadata Librarian on June 27. Liz worked as the Historic Maryland Newspapers Librarian, managing Maryland’s National Digital Newspaper Program grant project for three-and-a-half years. In this position, she was able to lead UMD Libraries in integrating national standards for newspaper digitization projects and apply these standards to the digitization of The Diamondback. She was also recently awarded the 2016 Outstanding Librarian Award. Congratulations on your new position, Liz!

Conferences, workshops and professional development

Robin Pike, Eric Cartier, Liz Caringola, and David Durden presented at the 2016 Libraries Research and Innovative Practice Forum. Robin and Eric gave separate presentations on their work on using data, namely Google Analytics statistics to prioritize work, and personal research on the Madrigals Singers, accordingly. Liz presented her poster on the Historic Maryland Newspapers Project progress, and David presented his methodology and findings using Google Analytics to analyze UMD Digital Collections.

Joseph Koivisto presented a poster at the 2016 Libraries Research and Innovative Practice Forum on the benefits of implementing Google Analytics using Google Tag Manager. The Maryland Shared Open Access Repository (MD-SOAR) was used as an example of this type of implementation.

Heidi Hanson attended the ALA Annual Conference in Orlando, FL from June 23rd to 28th.

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Digitization and Digital Projects Grants

In the fall 2015 semester, DCMR/DPI Graduate Assistant David Durden compiled a list of national and state grants that could be used for digitization or other types of digital projects. Many of these grants also allow for processing or description work in preparation of digitization. Though this list is not exhaustive, and does include some Maryland-specific or UMD Libraries collection-specific grants, we have used it to identify a grant that we will apply to in mid-July to describe and digitize the audiovisual portion of a theater performance collection.

We would like to share this resource so that others may benefit from our research: link to Google spreadsheet.

Please comment on this blog post if you would like us to add any grants or awards to the list.

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Stew of the month: May 2016

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

On May 2, the Historic Maryland Newspapers Project held a newspaper-themed edit-a-thon in partnership with the Maryland State Archives in Annapolis. The edit-a-thon also featured a behind the scenes tour of the State Archives and their extensive collection of Maryland newspapers. Attendees received a tutorial on how to edit Wikipedia and how to use Chronicling America, and then got down to editing. Fifteen articles were improved by attendees in just a couple of hours. For more information about the event, see our meet up page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Meetup/MD/UMD_MSA_Newspapers

Thanks to Amy Wicker for organizing this event as part of her iSchool Field Study, Kerry Huller for her assistance—not to mention driving us to Annapolis—and Allison Rein and Maria Day at the Maryland State Archives for hosting us and pulling wonderful examples of Maryland newsprint for the attendees to admire!

Digitization efforts continue as Phase 2 of the project comes to a close on August 31. Additional titles should be available in Chronicling America in June. A decision regarding a third NEH grant, which would extend the project through August 2018, is expected in late July.

Other Digitization Activities

Pedro Gonzalez-Fernandez completed his iSchool field study in the Performing Arts Audio Digitization Studio. Working with the Tanglewood Symposium music educators collection, he made an inventory of the open reel tapes and digitized more than four dozen of them. They will be available in UMD Digital Collections later this summer.

DCMR assistant Cecilia Franck completed the quality inspection of 9,258 Diamondback photos; 240 recordings from WAMU primarily featuring Bluegrass and folk music; 82 video interviews of prominent American theatre figures from the Jackson Bryer Collection; 45 oversize historic Maryland maps; 10 oversize bound volumes from the general circulating collections; and began the review of 164 volumes send to the Internet Archive. Cecilia and David Durden inspected 15 pre-revolution Persian textbooks, and completed the review of diaries, concert programs, and photographs from the William Kapell collection in IPAM. These projects were funded through the DIC project proposal process.

Robin Pike and Kate Dohe began meeting with collection managers planning the approved FY17 digitization projects. Meetings will continue through the beginning of June.

Robin has also held meetings with Kate Dohe, Eric Cartier, Uche Enwesi, and other members of USS to begin refining digitization production and staging processes and workflows.

Other Projects

GA David Durden completed an analysis of the SCPA, SCUA, and DCR Local Area Network drives to identify files to be ingested into digital collections or deleted. This is part of a larger effort to reduce drive space usage in preparation for future migrations and for digital preservation. David, Kate Dohe, and Robin Pike met with collection managers to discuss the results of the reports and to advise which folders and file types to target.

Digital  Programs and Initiatives

GA David Durden continued work on the VIVO pilot, in preparation for the pilot going live this summer.

Josh Westgard has contributed to the community-source Fedora Commons Repository project by working on a script to restore repository from backups previously serialized to disk. This work will be useful in our own implementation of a Fedora repository, but will also benefit the wider community.

The UMD Libraries Open Access Publishing Fund closed out 2015-2016 in early June.  Thirty-two applications were processed for a total $48,000 – an average of $1,500 per article.  This summer we will be reevaluating the program and modifying the criteria for accepting and processing applications.  We will start accepting applications for 2016-2017 in the fall.

Software Development

Development of the new Annual Staffing Request application has gotten underway in collaboration with Administrative Services.  The web-based application will replace the current staff budgeting process performed using Excel spreadsheets, with the goal of having the new application in place for use this Fall.  The application is using our newly adopted Ruby on Rails technology with development continuing once we have hired a new Contingent-I Ruby on Rails developer.

Implementation of the improvements to the Staff Directory and Subject Specialists pages on the Libraries’ website is nearly complete.  Look for them in the website in June.

User and System Support

In early February, Uche Enwesi met with are a student group called Terrapin Development and Consulting, or TerpDAC.  TerpDAC is an organization that enables UMD students to give back to the University of Maryland community through technology development and consulting. The organization offers services exclusively to the University of Maryland community – this includes university departments (such as the Libraries), student organizations, and other organizations affiliated with UMD. TerpDAC consults with an organization to determine their challenges, suggests solutions, and follows through by implementing technical solutions – from software to hardware. TerpDAC members include both under-graduate and graduate students from various disciplines for example, engineering, computer science and finance.

TerpDAC met with User Systems and Support staff in March to discuss potential projects and ideas.  They proposed creating a technical solution to show their fellow students where there is overcrowding in McKeldin Library so students don’t waste their time trying to find a space to study.  As one of the student put it, “One day, I spent an hour looking for an open space. But if we have an app that will inform you of where there are open spaces, I will just go there”.

One of the goals is to try and reduce traffic through a visual display of crowd levels displayed to library patrons. The crowd levels would be determined from various sources of data. Currently, TerpDAC is developing a microphone sensing device to use ambient noise as a way of potentially measuring crowd levels in the library. Using various prototyping boards and sensors, as well as McKeldin’s 3D printing technology, TerpDAC was able to build an initial prototype for the idea.

At the end of the semester, TerpDAC tested the prototype to determine if it could reliably sense sound levels. They are now working with Preston Tobery, the USS Makerspace lead, to continue improving their prototype.


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

Support to USMAI

The CLAS team responded to 86 Aleph Rx submissions and 20 e-resource requests from across the consortium’s libraries in May.

Fiscal Year End Closeout

The end of June brings the end of the fiscal year, which means that budgets for USMAI libraries need to be transitioned into the new fiscal year. Joseph has reached out to campuses to begin collecting necessary information and scheduling the rollover for each campus. Details about the Fiscal Year End Closeout Process can be found on the USMAI Staff Site.

Aleph Upgrade

Progress on the project to upgrade Aleph to version 22 continued in May. Testing and issue resolution were performed. The next steps in the process are to rerun the upgrade in the team’s development environment and then upgrade Aleph TEST. This will require some downtime for Aleph TEST and will mean that Aleph TEST and LIVE will be running different Aleph versions until the upgrade is complete. The downtime is scheduled to begin June 11th and estimated to be complete by June 17th. The team will be reaching out to select USMAI members to perform initial testing on Aleph TEST.

Loyola Notre Dame Library to Join USMAI

The team is excited to welcome Loyola Notre Dame Library (LNDL) as the newest member of USMAI. In anticipation of their membership beginning July 1, the team has developed an internal project schedule for moving LNDL to the consortium’s shared systems (e.g. Aleph, etc.). The project will begin in earnest on July 1, 2016 with the CLAS team visiting LNDL on July 15th for an official project kickoff.



The MD-SOAR work to add Creative Commons licensing options and Google Tag Manager for Google Analytics integration was released this month. The repository received over 2,000 visits in May. The second year of the 2-year pilot will begin June 15th.


Amy Wicker’s last day as a Student Assistant/Field Study Student for the Historic Maryland Newspapers Project was May 19. In addition to organizing the aforementioned edit-a-thon, since January Amy has completed Wikipedia training (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Training/For_students) and determined priorities for creating and enhancing articles related to Maryland newspapers—creating 4 pages and improving 12 herself. Amy also created documentation that can be added to and reused by other National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP) projects, including a user page template and getting started guide. Thank you, Amy, for your hard work this semester!

Digitization assistants Caroline Hayden and Brin Winterbottom graduated with their Masters in Library Science from the College of Information Studies. Caroline will remain as a C1 employee at the Libraries this summer, while Brin accepted a full time position with National Public Radio’s Research, Archives, and Data Strategy department.

Karina Hagelin, a student in the iSchool Masters of Library Science program, joined DCMR as a digitization assistant. Welcome Karina!

Conferences, workshops and professional development

In May, Liz Caringola completed the 2015-2016 ADVANCE Program for Professional Track Faculty. The cohort met once a month throughout the academic year to discuss topics such as gracious self-promotion, time management, life-work integration, strategies to identify and address ranks, and getting to know your college policies for promotion. ADVANCE is currently accepting applications for the 2016-2017 cohort on a rolling basis through July 1. For more information, see the call: http://www.advance.umd.edu/sites/default/files/2016%20Advancing%20Professional%20Track%20Fac%20Call.docx

Eric attended the 50th annual Association for Recorded Sound Collections conference in Bloomington, Indiana from May 11-14. As a member of the Membership Committee, he assisted with the production of digital video interviews intended to attract more collectors and archivists to the organization.

Joseph Koivisto attended Ex Libris’ ELUNA Conference and Technical Seminar in Oklahoma City from May 2-6.

David Dahl attended the 2016 Maryland/Delaware Library Associations Joint Annual Conference in Ocean City, MD from May 4-6 where he led a workshop on Google Analytics.

Heidi Hanson and David Dahl, along with several other USMAI libraries staff, attend EBSCO’s first EDS User Group meeting in Boston from May 10-11.

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Stew of the month: March/April 2016

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

In March the following Maryland newspapers were uploaded to Chronicling America:

We’re also excited to announce that we’ll be co-hosting a Wikipedia edit-a-thon at the Maryland State Archives on May 2, 2016. For more details and registration information, please visit the event page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Meetup/MD/UMD_MSA_Newspapers

Other Digitization Activities

DCMR staff continued to review files for the William Kapell collection, Football films, Library Media Services films, and Djuna Barnes microfilm. They began the review of the Jackson Bryer videos.

The Digitization Initiatives Committee, chaired by Robin Pike, presented its FY17 budget to the Resources Group for approval on March 21. Pike contacted project managers whose projects were approved, modified, or rejected (due to the amount of proposals received), and will be presenting this information to the Libraries in the coming months. She will also be working with collection managers on project planning meetings.

Graduate Assistant David Durden completed his analysis of UMD Digital Collections usage statistics from 2013-2015 and has compiled annual reports of his findings. David has also begun an analysis of targeted LAN locations for SCUA and SCPA to begin to analyze what files are saved on the LAN that should be described and moved into UMD Digital Collections for access and preservation.

Digitization Assistant Brin digitally transferred a specially curated box set of compact discs. The University of Maryland Symphonic Wind Ensemble’s “Live Performance Project, Wakefield Years 1983-2005” was compiled by Professor John E. Wakefield with the assistance of University Archivist Anne Turkos and Curator of Special Collections in Performing Arts Vin Novara. Metadata Librarian Bria Parker described the music at track level. The streaming files will soon be available in Digital Collections.

Robin, Eric, Digitization Assistants David Durden, Caroline Hayden, Brin Winterbottom and iSchool students Amanda Brent, Monique Libby, and Maya Riser-Kositsky digitized Filipino family documents and photographs as part of the 2016 Maryland Day community archives digitization event for the “Preserving Your Family Treasures & D.C. Filipino Americans Before the Beltway” event. Digitized items will be added to UMD Digital Collections through the end of May and will be a part of the Filipino American Community Archives collection in SCUA.

Digital  Programs and Initiatives

UMD Libraries Supports Open Library of Humanities

We are pleased to announce that the UMD Libraries has recently joined the Open Library of Humanities (OLH) as a supporting institution.  OLH is dedicated to support and extend open access to humanities scholarship and provides an alternative for humanities researchers who are interested in making their research widely available.  UMD authors can submit an unlimited number of articles for publication each year without any article processing charges.  Submissions are accepted for a wide range of humanities subject areas and undergo a double-blind peer-review process. OLH’s editorial policies are available online if you are interested in learning more.  Also read the complete UMD press release.

DRUM Upgrade

DRUM was recently upgraded to DSpace version 5.4, bringing it in line with the same version running on MD-SOAR.  No major differences are visible to users but we were able to consolidate the DRUM statistics with this upgrade.  Prior to the upgrade we were gathering two sets of DRUM statistics and we decided it would be more efficient to use one system moving forward.  With the upgrade, which was just completed 28 March, we moved over to a newer statistics system that has been running on DRUM since June 2014.  What this means is that you might have noticed a drastic drop in the number of downloads currently displayed for records.  The number currently displayed only reflects downloads from June 2014 onward.  But no need to panic, we plan to add the number of downloads from the older system, so no numbers will be lost.  Thanks to SSDR, we hope to have this completed by the end of April. The upgrade also sets the stage to explore new features like ORCID integration, which is timely given the new University of Maryland ORCID premium membership brokered through the Committee on Institutional Cooperation.

Digital Collections

DPI’s work on a new digital collections repository based on Fedora 4 continues, with various components of the system slated to go into production service later in 2016.  Toward that end, at the 2016 Code4Lib conference in Philadelphia, Josh Westgard took part in two pre-conference Hydra training workshops, and also helped to organize a post-conference “birds of a feather” session on Fedora. He also represented the University of Maryland Libraries at the DuraSpace Summit in Washington, DC.  He is a regular participant in the community effort to develop an API extension architecture for Fedora 4 (API-X, see https://wiki.duraspace.org/display/FF/Design+-+API+Extension+Architecture).

OA Publishing Fund Update

The UMD Libraries Open Access Publishing Fund closed out the fiscal year 12 April.  With additional funds from the Office of the Provost and many of the deans, 32 applications were processed for a total of $48,000; an average of $1500 per article.  Here’s breakdown of the number of applications from each college/school:
3 – A. James Clark School of Engineering
3 – College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
1 – College of Arts & Humanities
7 – College of Behavioral & Social Sciences
10 – College of Computer, Mathematical & Natural Sciences
2 – College of Education
1 – College of Information Studies
5 – School of Public Health
We anticipate applications will open up again in early fall for the next fiscal year.  Contact Terry Owen (towen@umd.edu) if you have any questions.


DPI staff have been working behind the scenes on several forthcoming e-Publishing projects. One such project is The Early Americas Digital Archive, a collection of open-access primary materials written in or about the Americas between 1492 and 1820, which has been relaunched as a project of the Libraries’ e-Publishing Initiative. Originally developed at MITH in the early 2000s, the EADA site has been entirely redesigned and updated by the application owners for this relaunch. One often-mentioned critique of open digital scholarly publications is that they lack the durability and longevity of traditional print publications.  One goal of our e-Publishing initiative is to combat technical obsolescence and neglect and to ensure the continued viability and availability of legacy digital projects as they mature.

Backfile Theses and Dissertations

April also saw the release of a backfile of electronic versions of some 600 dissertations from the early to mid-20th century through DRUM.  A custom metadata extraction and batch-loading workflow was created to handle the records supplied by the digitization vendor.

Software Development

We have selected Ruby on Rails as a new core tool for use in creating web applications. Ruby on Rails is gaining wide spread adoption in the Academic Libraries community and there are a number of existing applications and toolkits we are interested in supporting (eg, Hydra, ArchivesSpaceAvalon).  Ruby on Rails also will make it much easier to build certain types of web applications from scratch and rapidly prototype new applications.  Three of our developers have completed four weeks of training and are beginning work on migrating some of our existing applications.  We will also be hiring a Contingent-I Ruby on Rails developer to assist in this effort.

SSDR developers have been learning about the Apache Camel tool for implementation of enterprise integration patterns, which we first learned of from the Fedora Commons Repository development community, for use in message passing from the repository to various indexing tools. Implementation of the replacement for our Wufoo to SysAid connector is underway as well as investigation into integrations between our selected document store (Box.com or Google Drive) and Apache Solr for use in the new Hippo CMS based staff intranet.

The Web Advisory Committee has worked with SSDR to complete the wireframes and mockups for improvements to the Staff Directory and Subject Specialists pages on the Libraries’ Website.  The pages will receive visual improvements and more consistent presentation of contact information.  We will also add the capability for photographs and profiles for each staff member, to be initially populated for Subject Specialists.  Development work will begin in May.

User and System Support

Last year, the University of Maryland took notice of the 13 separate email and calendar systems in use across the campus. Maintaining all 13 systems is costing the university a lot of money. As a big cost savings, the university decided it was best for the university to consolidate to one email, calendar and collaboration platform across campus. Last fall, a committee composed of IT leaders from across campus was formed to evaluate and recommend a common email solution. The committee worked diligently for five months and recommended to the IT Council that the university should move forward with Google Apps for Education (GAFE). The GAFE suite of core services are Gmail, Calendar, Classroom, Contacts, Drive, Docs, Forms, Groups, Sheets, Sites, Slides, Talk/Hangouts and Vault. The IT Council reviewed this recommendation and decided to move forward. Those departments that were using the Division of IT supported Exchange email and calendar system would be the first to be moved to GAFE.

In preparation of the Libraries move to GAFE, the User and System Support (USS) team became early adopters in January of this year. As an early adopter, USS was able to experience the migration process and use GAFE so that they could provide local help to staff when the rest of the Libraries migrated. USS planned and provided two “Google Migration Show and Tell” sessions, as well as sent multiple emails to staff in order to provide as much information to make the migration as painless as possible.

Division of IT planned to migrate the Libraries between April 1, 2016 – April 4, 2016. On Monday, April 4, USS staff visited departments and library branches across campus to provide any assistance that may have been needed from staff. The migration proved mostly successful, with most staff being migrated without incident. Unfortunately, as with any large and complex technical change, small problems cropped up that needed to be addressed.

Library staff can use any of the 13 core services in GAFE. Although the Libraries currently uses Microsoft Lync for chat services, library staff can also use Google Talk/Hangouts. A determination will be made in the future regarding the decommissioning of Lync in favor of Google Talk/Hangouts.

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

Support to USMAI

The CLAS team responded to 120 Aleph Rx submissions and 16 e-resource requests from across the consortium’s libraries in March.

SFX Database Upgrade

Ex Libris ended SFX support for MySQL, requiring a migration to MariaDB. Hans Breitenlohner performed the migration on March 18th.

Aleph Upgrade

As noted in the February 2016 Digistew post, CLAS is upgrading Aleph from version 20 to version 22. Version 22 has been installed in a development environment and is currently being tested by team members. Once initial testing is complete, Aleph TEST will be upgraded and made available for testing by USMAI constituencies. The upgrade is planned for completion prior to the Fall semester.

Kuali OLE

David Dahl participated in weekly meetings of the OLE Technical Council. The group’s last meeting was March 24th and has been disbanded as the project transitions to a new governance model. A regularly-occurring “community forum” is currently being developed as a mechanism to gather input from project partners. David will continue to monitor the project for USMAI as it starts its new phase of development.



Joseph Koivisto explored Google Tag Manager (GTM) as a mechanism to deploy Google Analytics to the Maryland Shared Open Access Repository (MD-SOAR) and collect more detailed usage data from the repository. GTM will be added to MD-SOAR in the May upgrade release. An option for users to add a Creative Commons license to their repository submissions will also be included in the upgrade.


Kate Dohe started as the Digital Programs & Initiatives Manager on March 21st. She comes to UMD Libraries from Georgetown University, where she was the Digital Services Librarian in the main campus library for nearly three years. Prior to working at Georgetown, she was the digital librarian for an academic publishing company in California. She earned her MLISc. from the University of Hawai’i, and also holds a BSEd. in Speech and Theater from Missouri State University, and still considers herself a debate coach at heart.

Conferences, workshops and professional development

In late April, Josh Westgard attended the DC area Fedora Users Group meeting at the National Library of Medicine, where he, together with Ben Wallberg and Peter Eichman, presented on the Libraries’ progress in implementing a Fedora-4-based repository system.  http://umd-lib.github.io/dcfug2016/

Liz Caringola, Eric Cartier, and Robin Pike attended the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference from April 14-16. On April 15, Eric moderated a debate in a panel session with the topic “Should Archivists Be Required to Take Continuing Education Courses?” Also on April 15, Robin presented in the session “Archival Impact: Increasing Connections to Collections through Digitization,” discussing how UMD Libraries prioritizes digitization projects.

On April 28th, Kate Dohe presented with Laura Leichum, Georgetown University, to the Digital Initiatives Symposium in San Diego, CA on library support models for student publishing initiatives.

On May 6th, Kate Dohe co-presented a workshop on using improv techniques in library collaborations to LOEX in Pittsburgh, PA with Erin Pappas, Georgetown University.

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You’re Invited to the Historic Maryland Newspapers Wikipedia Edit-a-thon on May 2!

Today’s post is by Amy Wickner, student assistant and iSchool field study for the Historic Maryland Newspapers Project.

As part of an ongoing initiative to connect digital collections with Wikipedia, the Historic Maryland Newspapers Project (HMNP) will co-host a  Wikipedia Edit-a-thon (May 2, 1-4pm) focusing on Maryland newspapers. We’ve set up an event page and advance registration form (strongly recommended) with all the details.

Photo from HMNP’s last edit-a-thon on August 18, 2014, at UMD Libraries.

Liz Caringola and I are working with special collections staff at the Maryland State Archives in Annapolis, who have been kind enough to provide space, computers, and guided tours of their collections. Maria Day and Allison Rein from MSA will highlight historic newspapers in their collections, while Liz will introduce edit-a-thon participants to Chronicling America and HMNP’s ongoing work. I’ll give short tutorials on editing Wikipedia and adding images to Wikimedia Commons. We’re hoping to draw participants from across the state and DC / Baltimore metro areas. All are welcome, and word-of-mouth promotion would be much appreciated.

Many edit-a-thon pages have a Goals section, conventionally a list of articles needing to be drafted, added, or improved. Our page has such a list, but we’d also like to help participants depart with at least some impulse to continue editing Wikipedia. (We’ll have a day-of participant survey of some kind to get at what brings people to our event.) Sparking a lifelong passion for editing Wikipedia using archival material as evidence would of course be fire, but growing sustainable participation more realistically involves a lot of small steps. Which is why it’s exciting to see that this is just one of many DC-area Wikipedia events this spring, with themes ranging from accessibility to labor to #ColorOurHistory.


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