Stew of the month: August 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

The National Endowment of Humanities awarded University of Maryland $250,000 for the third phase of the National Digital Newspaper Program grant. Robin met virtually with the two state content partners for this grant phase–the Maryland State Archives, a partner from grant phase 2, and Frostburg State University Library, a new partner.

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.

Student assistant Sara Horn began reviewing and collating microfilm for the third NDNP grant.

Other Digitization Activities

Working with campus Procurement and vendors, Robin Pike finalized FY17 vendor quotes and the Lyrasis digitization sole source agreement. She began planning the FY18 Digitization Initiatives Committee timeline and meetings. Pike also investigated vendor conversion services for born-digital media, also through the Lyrasis Digitization Collaborative.

Digitization Assistant Caroline Hayden completed quality assurance work on batch one of three for the FY16 Hebraica project, and Assistant Cecilia Franck worked to review the first of three annual batches of the Diamondback newspaper digitization project, both of which extend from the previous fiscal year.

Digitization Assistants Caroline and Jonathan Lin transferred open reel audio tapes and scanned QSL cards, which are cards verifying the one-way reception of an AM, FM, television, or short-wave radio signal by a listener, for a forthcoming Library of American Broadcasting Foundation web exhibit.

Eric Cartier and the University Archivist Anne Turkos worked to create a digital version of the analog 2002 Maryland Room exhibit “From Vision to Reality: The Life and Career of Harry Clifton Byrd”. Caroline scanned and digitally photographed certificates, correspondence, photographs, and memorabilia.

Digitization Assistant Dave Durden organized, updated, and enhanced DCMR Digitization Center Procedures documentation in Confluence, a wiki, for the purpose of training current and future assistants.

Digital  Programs and Initiatives

Summer 2016 ETDs Added to DRUM

More than 300 theses and dissertations were recently deposited in DRUM from the summer 2016 semester.  Check out the latest research from UMD graduates at

OA Fund Update

The UMD Libraries’ Open Access Publishing Fund ( is now accepting applications 2016-2017.  For this fiscal year we are funding 50% of the article processing charges for each application.  Once an application has been accepted, we will be encouraging authors to reach out to their deans/department heads or use grant funding to make up the difference.  If you have any questions about the fund, contact Terry Owen (

Digital Repository Update

With the launch of a production Fedora 4 repository, focus has now shifted from planning to the loading of initial content into the repository.  Because Fedora 4 is an implementation of the W3C’s Linked Data Platform recommendation, ingesting content into the repository is not as simple as exporting it from existing systems and importing it to the new one, but rather involves developing profiles for both modeling content and expressing key metadata elements in the language of the Semantic Web, the Resource Description Framework (RDF).  In August we began this migration process in earnest, focussing first on PDF files from the Plant Patents Digitization Project and images from the Diamondback digitization project that will soon arrive from the digitization vendor.

Save the Date – Future of the Research Library Speaker Series

As part of our Speaker Series (, Nicole Allen, Director of Open Education for SPARC, has been invited to campus on Tuesday 25 October from 10:00 – 11:30 am in the Special Events Room to talk about open education and open educational resources.  Ms. Allen is an internationally recognized expert and leading voice in the movement for open education and her visit coincides with International Open Access Week (

Other Activities

Over the past month David Durden completed an analysis of digital preservation services using the NDSA and Preservica models. He also continued investigating Google Analytics for collections curators and Google Data Studio for sharing usage statistics with the campus community.

Software Development

Hippo CMS

Implementation of the new Libi (Libraries’ Intranet) continues with the addition of the Staff Directory.  We have also started implementation of Group pages, which will serve as the backbone of the Libi information architecture with much improved discoverability of Libraries’ groups including integration with the Staff Directory.

Shortly before start of the Fall semester we installed the final architecture improvements for the Hippo CMS server that have been underway since last Spring.  We are now running multiple Hippo website instances that are load balanced using a front-end proxy server. Early results under the increased workload of the start of semester show much greater performance and availability than in previous semesters.

Digital Collections

The basic Loris IIIF Image Server setup is complete in our development environment.  We have also started work on a front-end Newspaper Viewer based on the open source Mirador viewer for IIIF served images.  This work involves both development of new capabilities in Mirador and new backend Fedora 4 services.

User and System Support

It is the time of the year for User and System Support (USS) to re-image and update operating systems and applications on all our public area computers.  USS staff during this period of refresh also worked with campus Division of Information Technology to pilot System Center Configuration Manager 2012 (SCCM 2012) to manage the Libraries desktop computers. SCCM allows desktop administrators to build customized installations of software, operating system images, and configurations that can be repeated across multiple desktop systems.  This technology is new to us.

For previous refreshes we used Symantec Ghost which we scripted to do everything we needed the computer to do.  Imaging a machine using Symantec ghost was a two-step process and after two to three hours the computer was ready for the user.  The downtime using SCCM is approximately 45 minutes. Trying to replicate the same process as Symantec Ghost has been very challenging for USS staff because SCCM has a workflow that is very different and the process can be cumbersome.  Imaging over 400 desktops and 100 laptops with the new process was very demanding but also user friendly once we had the process configured. It is working in almost the way as Symantec Ghost.

During the operating system and application refresh, USS staff also upgraded the memory on over 400 desktop computers from 4GB to 12GB.  Upgrading the memory helped with the speed of massive applications such as SPSS, GIS, Adobe creative cloud software and others.

Conferences, workshops and professional development

Josh Westgard traveled to Philadelphia for the meeting of the Schoenberg Database of Manuscripts Advisory Board, of which he is a member. The board provides guidance for a major redesign of the Schoenberg Database, which is one of the premiere digital resources for the study of medieval manuscripts and their provenance, especially those held in private collections.

Sandra, Victoria and Uche taught technology bootcamp session for two days for the Diversity immersion institutes. The class introduced the young men to technology and how technology is important to our everyday life.

Preston Tobery attended the STEM Bootcamp for Educators in Suffolk, Virginia. This was a crash course in 3D printing, CNC machining, laser cutting and 3D model design using Solidworks software all in one singular lesson plan for the classroom.