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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.