Stew of the month: June 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

The Historic Maryland Newspapers Project was presented to librarians, archivists, and educators, at the June 14 Maryland Newspapers Conference, held in June at Goucher College. Robin Pike, Rebecca Wack, and Doug McElrath (SCUA) represented UMD Libraries. Robin Pike and Rebecca Wack spoke at length about using Chronicling America as a research tool, digitizing newspapers from microfilm, and creating a freely available and fully searchable Maryland Newspaper Repository. The conference yielded fresh partnership opportunities for the project and provided statewide exposure for HMNP’s efforts.

Rebecca coordinated with the digitization vendor and shipped three more batches (belair, cumberland, delmar). She received batch annapolis, the first batch, back from the vendor and has begun QR with the students.

Synergies Among African American History and Culture (AADHum)

Scott Pennington continued to work with MITH fellows to select materials for digitization, to be shipped to the vendor in July; they have selected over 13,000 pages from the AFL-CIO records in SCUA. In coordination with Stephanie Smith at the David C. Driskell Center, the project has also selected interviews and lectures on audio tape.

Other Digitization Activities

Robin Pike began working with Vin Novara (SCPA) on a National Endowment for the Humanities Humanities Collections and Reference Resources grant application to digitize videotapes from the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange collection, a collection documenting a regional dance group. She also began working with Laura Schnitker (SCUA) on a Council on Library and Information Resources Recordings at Risk grant application to digitize audiotapes from the National Federation of Community Broadcaster’s collection, a collection of radio programming from non-commercial stations across the country.

Robin submitted estimates and project details to vendors to receive digitization quotes for the FY18 Digitization Initiatives Committee funded projects. She also solidified details of the selected projects and completed the project plans.

Eric Cartier and digitization assistant Jonathan Lin collaborated with a PhD student and a Communications Department professor to digitize a rare three-inch open reel audio tape from the Arab American National Museum collection. The PhD student is collecting speeches for her work on the Recovering Democracy Archives project. The three-inch reel was notable not only for its size, but because the content didn’t match the descriptive metadata, and there were separate recordings on both the left and the right channel. See the student’s tweet for an action shot.

Digitization assistant Brahm Persaud transferred two open reel audio tapes for a researcher who is producing a documentary about the year 1968 in the United States. The documentary is set to air on Netflix in 2018.

Numerous digitization assistants, including Becca Mena, Shiyun Chen, and Karina Hagelin, continue to digitize materials for modules in the forthcoming Labor in America exhibit.

Digital  Programs and Initiatives

New Additions to DRUM

More than 300 theses and dissertations from the spring 2017 semester have recently been deposited in DRUM bringing the total to 12,766. Fifty percent of the students requested embargoes for an overall average of 41% for all theses and dissertations since 2006. Subject librarians interested in receiving a breakdown of embargoes for their departments can contact Terry Owen.

Software Development

ArchivesSpace – Began preparing for the upgrade to ArchivesSpace 2.0 in anticipation of the 2.1 release which contains the overhauled Public User Interface which will eventually replace the ArchivesUM interface to our finding aids.

Fedora Content Repository – We completed our design for the content and indexing model to support OCR text, based the Web Annotation Protocol, which will provide full text search and display of newspapers and more.  We have started the loading, testing, and promotion process and anticipate releasing it to Archelon and to the UMD Student Newspapers public interface in August.

Hippo – Released version 10.2.5-2 containing: 1) New search/browse interface for the Top Textbooks program with real-time lookup of textbooks available on reserve in Aleph; and 2) Context sensitive linking from Database Finder to Subject Specialists; when browsing Subjects or viewing a database detail page, we add the Subject Specialists matching the current Subjects, for example see Aerospace Engineering.

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

The CLAS team responded to 126 Aleph Rx submissions and 40 e-resource requests from across the consortium’s libraries in June.

Sustainable Collection Services (SCS)

Linda Seguin completed the SCS extracts for all 17 USMAI libraries. The extracts will now be processed by the SCS ETL (Extract, Transform, and Load) team for loading into their GreenGlass application. This will be made easier due to the quality and consistency of the extracts. Said the ETL Team, “I’d like to pass on a thank you and kudos for whoever made the exports for each USMAI library. Each file was pristine, predictably named, and easy to work with.”

Aleph Annual Maintenance Activities

On an annual basis, CLAS performs two maintenance activities to keep the Aleph database neat and tidy. The first, is the process of transitioning Aleph budgets to the new fiscal year – known around here as “Fiscal Year End Closeout“. Joseph Koivisto completed this process for all USMAI libraries during the last week of June, saving each library from needing to manually close out last year’s budgets and create new budgets for this year. The second activity is our annual “patron purge“, which removes patron records and corresponding transactions that have been expired for at least three years. This process began in June and will be completed in early July.

Making Life Easier

Several activities were undertaken for specific campuses to automate processes. Bowie State’s lost and fine notifications were configured so that they would be emailed automatically to patrons. Work is underway to receive regular loads of Morgan State patrons, removing the need for their library staff to enter new patrons manually. The ordering process was streamlined for Bowie State by setting up a YBP Gobi loader for them.


David Durden began work as the Data Services Librarian in DPI on June 26. David received his Masters of Library and Information Science from the University of Maryland in 2017 and a Masters of Arts in Musicology from Brandeis University in 2014. He was previously the graduate assistant for DPI and DCMR where he took on key data management roles as research lead for the Libraries’ VIVO pilot and administrative duties for REDCap. Welcome back, David!

Sydney Schneider, an undergraduate English major, and Rayanne Weigel, pursuing a dual major in English and Journalism, began working on the HMNP project in June. With digitization efforts well underway, the HMNP is lucky to have such enthusiastic new members to the team.

Sydney Schneider also began working as a digitization assistant in the Hornbake Digitization Center.

Conferences, workshops and professional development

Eric Cartier, Kate Dohe, and Joseph Koivisto helped to coordinate the third annual Libraries Research and Innovative Practice Forum, held in McKeldin Library on June 8. Many members of DSS delivered presentations including Eric Cartier, David Dahl, Kate Dohe, Peter Eichman, Heidi Hanson, Joseph Koivisto, Terry Owen, Robin Pike, Rebecca Wack, Ben Wallberg, Joshua Westgard. Many of these presentations are available in DRUM.

Kate Dohe attended the CLIR/EDUCAUSE Leading Change Institute in Washington, DC from June 11-17. A successor to the highly regarded Frye Leadership Institute, LCI brings together librarians, information technologists, and others who seek to further develop their skills for the benefit of higher education.