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
The Library of Congress has accepted the sample batch for the Historic Maryland Newspaper Project, and the project is marching forward with digitization for the first two full batches–over 20,000 pages of newsprint in progress with the digitization vendor.
Title research for future HMNP representation is underway, with an eye towards representing underserved, minority, and immigrant communities across the state. So far, evidence of papers representing African-American, Polish, German, and Jewish interests have been located, though whether the physical newspapers or microfilm remains intact and accessible for digitization remains has yet to be examined
Synergies Among African American History and Culture (AADHum)
While waiting on the first large shipment to return from the vendor, the AADHum team has been working on selections for the second shipment. Coordinating with SCUA and MITH’s team, we have begun selecting materials for the early July shipment for batch two. Materials proposed for digitization include Labor’s involvement with busing in the early 1970s and school desegregation from areas as diverse as Boston, Massachusetts to Montgomery, Alabama.
Other Digitization Activities
Manager, Robin Pike met with collection managers to begin the FY18 vendor digitization project funded by the Digitization Initiatives Committee (DIC). She presented the project progress and FY18 budget at the May 24 Library Assembly meeting.
Digitization Projects Assistant Cecilia Franck began quality review work of the first batch of the FY17 Diamondback Digitization Project, the second annual project phase. This project is funded by a UMD Launch campaign and the DIC project proposal process.
Digitization assistant Shiyun Chen finished scanning documents related to the writing of the Japanese Constitution, from the Charles L. Kades papers. The documents are now available in the Internet Archive to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the constitution’s enactment. More information about the 70th anniversary can be found on the Prange Collection blog.
Digital Programs and Initiatives
Josh Westgard participated in a Fedora sprint focusing on building import/export functionality for Fedora systems. The tools developed in this sprint provide a way to serialize content from a Fedora repository onto disk, to verify the accuracy and completeness of the serialization, and to import previously serialized content back into Fedora. A particular focus during this sprint was a feature to package exports in BagIt bags, including bags that conform to the profile of Academic Preservation Trust, of which the Libraries are a member. This feature will allow the Libraries to package assets in our Fedora repository in a self-contained way for transmission to off-site preservation storage, and to restore that content losslessly in the future.
ArchivesSpace – Released several new features requested by Special Collections and University Archives, including Single-Sign-On using the campus directory, a new payments module, and improved search results display.
AutoNumber – This small web application is used by digitization staff to assign unique file names and numbers to digitized files. We have migrated this app to Ruby on Rails in this 1.0 release of the new codebase.
Hippo – Released version 10.2.5-0, which contained security and bug fixes, and 10.2.5-1 which contained two major new features: 1) Database Finder has removed the Categories/Sub-Categories for browse/search and added Subjects which are aligned with the Subject Specialists. Also, databases are maintained directly in Hippo CMS and are no longer synchronized from Metalib. 2) UMD Student Newspapers is available as a soft release (staff review only for now) and being prepared for public release by University Archives staff. This interface provides access to digitized issues of the Diamondback (1910-1971).
USMAI (University System of Maryland and Affiliated Institutions) Library Consortium
The CLAS team responded to 123 Aleph Rx submissions and 30 e-resource requests from across the consortium’s libraries in May.
LNDL EZproxy/Shibboleth Transition
The switch to Shibboleth authentication and USMAI-hosted EZproxy for Loyola Notre Dame Library (LNDL) was completed on May 25th. The switch to Shibboleth authentication allows LNDL patrons to login in to e-resources and OPAC services with their campus credentials. The move to USMAI-hosted EZproxy enables LNDL staff to focus on other local priorities.
Sustainable Collection Services
USMAI has selected OCLC’s Sustainable Collection Services (SCS) to analyze and coordinate print collection management. The service uses a web-based application called GreenGlass to facilitate the analysis. This involves extracting data from Aleph to load into GreenGlass. CLAS has been working with OCLC and staff at USMAI libraries to create specifications for the data extract for each USMAI library. The extract process is now underway and scheduled for completion in mid-June.
Report on USMAI Communication and Collaboration Platforms
Following the collection of data through surveys, interviews, and focus groups in the fall of 2016, CLAS has submitted an analysis of USMAI’s communication and collaboration platforms. Proposed actions based on the analysis include (1) consolidating USMAI’s web platforms into a unified web portal, (2) revising the information architecture for public and staff web content, (3) creating new areas of content, including materials for orienting new staff at USMAI libraries, (4) establishing an informal communication channel for the consortium, and (5) identifying recommended tools to facilitate USMAI communication and collaboration. The report has been shared with USMAI library directors. In early FY18, CLAS will begin investigating technical solutions for a unified web portal.
Cecilia Franck, DCMR Digitization Projects Assistant, won the “Outstanding Student Assistant” award, particularly for her phenomenal work on the Diamondback Digitization Project and other vendor digitization projects.
DCMR hired two new student assistants. Rayanne Weigel and Sydney Schneider will be assisting with metadata collation and batch quality review for the HMNP.
DPI graduate assistants David Durden and Caitlin Carter graduated with their Masters in Library Science from the College of Information Studies. We are grateful to both of them for their exceptional contributions to the department over the past two years. Caitlin has accepted a full-time librarian position with another university, and we wish her luck in her future endeavors.
We are pleased to announce that David Durden will (re)join DPI as the Data Services Librarian in June.
Conferences, workshops and professional development
Joseph Koivisto attended the Maryland & Delaware Library Associations Joint Annual Conference on May 11. He co-presented a poster on MD-SOAR with representatives from other MD-SOAR partners. Robin Pike also presented at the conference on May 12, in collaboration with Molly Olney-Zide, the project manager for the Delaware Digital Newspaper Project. They presented a one-hour workshop about the National Digital Newspaper Program, the two statewide projects, and how to use Chronicling America. Kate Dohe co-taught the workshop “Starting with ‘Yes, And…’: Improv Fundamentals for Collaboration in Libraries” with Erin Pappas, Arts and Humanities Librarian at the University of Virginia.
Linda Seguin attended the ELUNA 2017 Conference and Ex Libris Technical Seminar from May 8-12 in Chicago.