Stew of the month: March 2017

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

A sample batch was officially submitted to Library of Congress this month, and the first progress report of NDNP grant cycle 3 was submitted to NEH shortly thereafter. Once the sample is accepted, work will proceed on digitizing our first official batch of microfilm, which includes publications from Greenbelt, Frostburg, and Baltimore.
The Maryland Suffrage News, a Baltimore title dating back to 1912, has been added to this grant cycle. The microfilm is incomplete, with only a handful of issues of the weekly publication recorded between 1912 and 1920, but the opportunity to digitize such an important record of Maryland, and women’s, history could not be passed up.

Other Digitization Activities

Robin Pike and Vin Novara (SCPA) submitted a grant through the CLIR Recording at Risk program to digitize a pilot project from the Robert Sherman Collection, a portion of the “Woody’s Children” radio program.
Rebecca Wack worked with Novara on a Preservation Access Program application from the Bay Area Video Coalition to digitize a small pilot of the Laban/Bartineff Movement Studies Institute at a discounted rate.
Quality assurance continued on the FY17 Hebraica project, funded through the DIC project proposal process.
Eric Cartier worked with Don Manildi, IPAM curator, to digitize four open reel audio tapes on loan from a well-known American composer, who may donate her papers and collection to the UMD Libraries. The tapes were affected by severe sticky shed syndrome and could not be digitized on site so they were delivered to a vendor for assessment, treatment, and digitization.
Cartier worked with an audio equipment repair vendor to calibrate and maintain the Hornbake Digitization Center’s audio hardware including reel-to-reel decks, audiocassette decks, and digital audio tape (DAT) decks.

Digital  Programs and Initiatives

New Open Access Journal Launched

We’re pleased to announce that the International Journal of Information, Diversity, & Inclusion has recently launched. Published by the Information Policy & Access Center (iPAC) at the University of Maryland and hosted on the Libraries’ OJS instance, the journal presents wide-ranging and multidisciplinary perspectives on the intersection of equity, social justice, and information. Check out the recent articles here.

Software Development

Fedora Content Repository – We are working on the content and indexing model to support OCR text, initially for Student Newspapers, based the Web Annotation Protocol. Once complete we will be able to search full text of newspaper articles in Archelon and the UMD Student Newspapers public interface.  This feature could also support crowd-sourced transcriptions in the future.

Annual Staffing Request – Work continued on version 1.2 which features fiscal year rollover, allowing for all current requests to be archived for later viewing and reporting (read-only), and clearing out the tables of new requests for the next fiscal year.

Hippo – Continued development of the new Libi / Box / Solr integration; continued development of changes to Database Finder for maintaining databases directly in Hippo and for Subject reconciliation with Guides and the Subject Specialist directory; began implementation of the UMD Student Newspapers public interface.

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

Support to USMAI

The CLAS team responded to 127 Aleph Rx submissions and 26 e-resource requests from across the consortium’s libraries in March.

EBSCO Discovery Service URLs Modifications

EBSCO completed their modifications of the display of Aleph data in EDS. URLs from Aleph now only display if the item is available to a particular campus, and the proxy string is appended to all URLs that require it for off-campus access. This solution has been implemented for all USMAI libraries and will improve the user experience in EDS.

Sustainable Collection Services (SCS)

CLAS is working with USMAI on the implementation of OCLC’s Sustainable Collection Services, which will help USMAI libraries evaluate their collections within the context of the rest of USMAI and other peer institutions. CLAS helped SCS staff with an initial catalog data questionnaire and will be working to extract Aleph data for each USMAI library over the coming months.

New Bibliographic Loaders

CLAS developed a new loader to load new law collections for University of Maryland Law Library and University of Baltimore Law Library. Test loads are now being reviewed and will be implemented in production following acceptance.


Kerry Huller, long-time assistant on the Historic Maryland Newspaper Project left the project for a new full-time job with the Library of Congress. Congratulations Kerry!

Welcome to Samir Lalvani and Akash Udani, who joined as Graduate Assistant software developers.

Conferences, workshops and professional development

Ingrid Alie attended the Computers in Libraries conference from March 28th to 30th.

David Dahl attended the ACRL 2017 Conference in Baltimore, MD from March 23rd to 25th.

Joseph Koivisto attended the ACRL 2017 Conference in Baltimore, MD from March 23rd to 25th.


On March 3, Cartier spoke with the Associate University Archivist at the University of California Berkeley about the UMD Libraries digitization operations: hardware, software, workflows, processes, and procedures. UCBerkeley Libraries’ staff are consulting digital librarians across the U.S. to learn more about best practices and how to improve their own institution’s digitization operations.

On March 9, Cartier guest-lectured at an audiovisual production event that fellow librarian Lealin Queen led in Library Media Services. There were few attendees, but the group conversation and computer demonstrations were beneficial.

On March 15, Pike and Laura Schnitker (SCUA) guest-lectured LBSC786 Library and Archives Preservation on the topic of the preservation of audiovisual media and broadcast collections.