Stew of the month: October 2018

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

Metadata collation continues with the Historic Maryland Newspaper Project, with physical copies of the Greenbelt Cooperator on-site for review. The paper archives of the Cooperator, published out of Greenbelt, Md., and stewarded by the Greenbelt News Review, are being reviewed by Greenbelt volunteers, ordered by date, and boxed for transport to campus before scanning for the National Digital Newspaper Program. Students have nearly finished the collation of Non-English titles. The HMNP Advisory Board will select the final English-language titles to be included in the fourth grant.

Other Digitization Activities

Digitization began on 50 reels of microfilmed records from the  Works Progress Administration collection, funded as part of the Digitization Initiatives Committee project proposal process, the first project to begin of the FY19 cycle.

Digital Projects Assistant Cecilia Franck worked with collection managers and Discovery and Metadata Services staff to prepare several audiovisual projects and requests for ingest into Digital Collections; this work will continue through 2018.

Pike and Wack also worked with Liz Novara, Eric Stoykovich, Joanne Archer, and Laura Cleary (SCUA) to kick-off a Council on Library and Information Resources Recordings at Risk grant to digitize 559 recordings from the Spiro Agnew collection, focusing on his speeches, office recordings, and constituent recordings from his time as Vice President.

In the Hornbake Digitization Center, “athletics” seemed to be front of mind in October. University Archives athletics materials dominated the scanning queue for in-house digitization, with requests from the Maryland Men’s basketball Collection taking the lead. In addition to fulfilling ongoing requests, Digitization Center assistants were hard at work re-scanning the John Jacob Omenhausser sketchbook, a fully illustrated and annotated accounting of prison camp life in Point Lookout, Maryland, from June 1864 to June 1865. Original digitization of the sketchbook, conducted early on in the Library’s digitization program, failed to capture blank pages, book covers, and other important visuals from the book, and so rescans are taking place to create a more complete copy for digital access.

Digital  Programs and Initiatives

Digital Collections

DPI has been working to migrate a dataset currently held in EPrints over to DRUM. This has involved building an export tool to extract the data from the EPrints server and arrange in in the format that can be understood by the DSpace batch loading utility.

Josh Westgard, in collaboration with DCMR and USS, has completed inventorying and archiving more than 16 TB of FY2018 digitized content, bringing the total body of assets under management through this particular archiving workflow to more than 94 TB.

Research Data Management

Beginning in the summer, David convened and led a hot team for assessing current data resources workflows. The team has concluded their work and presented a final report of their findings to the Dean of Libraries in early November.

David Durden presented a workshop to the Digital Design and Culture Honors Students on October 15. This workshop presented strategies for locating academic resources for data-based projects. On October 16, David led a Research Commons workshop on Research Data Management.

UMD Libraries Joins DataCite

Since 2014 we have been using EZID to assign DOIs (Digital Object Identifiers) to records in DRUM and MD-SOAR. Earlier this year the California Digital Library and Purdue announced that they would discontinue providing DOIs via EZID. Over the past several months DPI has been been working with EZID to migrate DOI assignment to DataCite, and we’re pleased to announce that our DataCite membership application has been accepted and approved. Working with SSDR, we anticipate that the assignment of DOIs will be migrated to DataCite before the end of the year.

Software Development

Digital Collections

As discussed in last month’s blog post, we provided two developers to the Fedora 5 API Alignment Sprint 2, in preparation for the Fedora 5.0 Release Candidate.

In the Fedora 2 environment we have begun improving security and performance by implementing HTTPS for our backend services and by continuing a long stalled migration off of our custom Lucene search and indexing services to Solr.  We are also began work on updating the Admin Tools application to use CAS for authentication and Grouper for authorization.

Website / Hippo CMS

Thanks to a lot of prep work by the developer team the upgrade to Hippo version 12 occurred smoothly.  This version contains significant changes to the backend storage system but not many user facing updates. One improvement for application administrators is the new URL Rewrite module which improves our ability to create and track rewrites for URLs which have changed.  This in turn improves discovery of content over time.  We are now working on enabling the new Projects feature which provides improvements to the publishing workflow for collaboration and review.


We have completed making final customizations to the Aeon plugin for ArchivesSpace, fully enabling the ability to request materials through the Aeon Special Collections Account.

Under Development

  • Libi production release
  • Bento style cross search of information resources
  • Bento style cross search for Special and Digital Collections
  • Annual Staffing Requests 2.1 features for FY20 request cycle

Conferences, workshops and professional development

David Durden attended the annual Midwest Data Librarian Symposium hosted this year at Iowa State University in Ames, IA on October 8-9. The symposium featured networking events and instructional programming on data management, research technology, and data curation.

David also represented the University Libraries this year at the HathiTrust Member Meeting in Chicago, IL on October 29.

Kate Dohe taught a workshop titled “The Argument Clinic: Elements of Persuasion for Librarians, Archivists, and Library Technologists” at the Learn@DLF pre-conference at DLF 2018 in Las Vegas, NV on October 14.

Robin Pike co-taught the workshop “Teaching the DLF Project Managers Toolkit” with other members of the DLF Project Managers Steering Committee at the Learn@DLF pre-conference at DLF on October 14. She also attended the rest of the conference from October 15-17.


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