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Stew of the month: November 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

On November 13, Robin Pike and Liz Caringola visited Frostburg State University to discuss the digitization of the Frostburg Mining Journal and other Frostburg newspapers held in print by their Special Collections. Digitization of these important Western Maryland newspapers will move forward contingent on the award of a third NDNP grant, which would begin on September 1, 2016.

Other Digitization Activities

The vendor digitization projects went out including: over 10,000 pages to the Internet Archive from SCUA collection materials and diaries from the William Kapell collection in IPAM. These projects were funded by the DIC project proposal process.

Eric Cartier worked with Cindy Frank, Director of the Visual Resources Collection in the School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, to arrange a Digital Data Services digitization request with an architecture professor. Digitization assistants are scanning more than 100 color slides featuring images of buildings across the French countryside.

GA David Durden completed a reference spreadsheet of the most prominent grants that support digitization and digital projects. Robin will use this resource as she meets with librarians and staff to discuss funding sources for future digitization projects.

Digital  Programs and Initiatives

Over the course of the fall, DPI carried out a pilot to test the technical feasibility of hosting the International Children’s Digital Library on DSS servers. ICDL is a free and open repository of Children’s Literature in various languages that was developed by faculty in the iSchool. The pilot was a success, so with Collections Strategies and Services having expressed their interest in supporting this important collection, the Libraries are now moving ahead to provide web hosting services for the ICDL. For more information on the ICDL, see http://childrenslibrary.org.

Transcribe Maryland is a pilot project to test the workflows and procedures for crowdsourced transcription of Digital Collections materials. In November, Josh Westgard carried out the migration of more than 17,000 images making up over 800 documents from our digital collections repository to a platform to support public transcriptions of those documents. The pilot project will take place in the spring semester 2016 in support of a course being offered in the English Department.

DPI, with help from DSS colleagues, is about to launch REDCap an open source web application created by Vanderbilt University for building and managing online surveys and databases. REDCap will be offered as a part of Research Data Services and available to UMD faculty and researchers. Please contact lib-research-data@umd.edu for more information.

Software Development

Hippo CMS  has been successfully upgraded to version 7.9.  The primary improvements for content creators are the new CKEditor for making HTML content changes and the channel manager options to preview pages on various device screen sizes.  Also, automatic updates for database finder and the staff directory have been restored.

The project to move the website to a Responsive Web Design template is now entering its final phases.  The majority of the template development work has been completed and being prepared for promotion to production.  We are also working with the Web Advisory Committee to test the new template and create training opportunities for staff on how to update their content in preparation for the January 18 release date.

Initial development of the Fedora 4 authorization module based on the emerging Web Access Control (WebAC) standard for RDF based Access Control has been completed.  This new feature is being incorporated into the design for our Fedora 4 repository instance and the new Digital Collections administrative interface based on Hydra.

Staffing

Barbara Percival joined DCMR in November. A first-year iSchool student, she is currently producing digital files, and she’ll take over quality assurance inspections in 2016.

Conferences, workshops and professional development

Liz Caringola was appointed to the MARAC Web Editing Team, effective January 1, 2016, for a two-year term.

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