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.

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.