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
In March, Robin Pike, Pam McClanahan, and Doug McElrath (SCUA), finalized plans for the Historic Maryland Newspaper Project (HMNP) Advisory Board meeting where our advisory board members and other partners will join us on campus for a project update and brainstorming future plans and outreach.
Robin Pike, Doug McElrath (SCUA), and Pam McClanahan hosted the Historic Maryland Newspapers Project (HMNP) Advisory Board Meeting in McKeldin Library on April 18. Attendees included librarians, archivists, historians, and educators that make up the HMNP Advisory Board, as well as other stakeholders and representatives from some of our content partners. Dan Mack (CSS) welcomed our guests and Robin, Doug, and Pam gave background on the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP) and Chronicling America, an update on the NDNP Awardees Conference that occurred in September 2018 and an update on Phase 4, as well as brainstormed the possibility of a Phase 5 and a Maryland digitized newspaper repository. We heard case studies from some of our board members on how they use Chronicling America and that led to some great discussion on possible outreach and programming to occur during Phase 4. Pam will be following up with board members and other attendees to develop an outreach plan and prepare for a possible Phase 5 NDNP grant application.
In March, Pam met with our content partners at the Greenbelt News Review to transfer the remaining issues of the Greenbelt Cooperator for digitization this round. Bobbi Mallet and Kathy Glennan (both Collection Services) are working to prepare the CONSER records and submit requests for the needed MARC organization codes for the project. Student Assistants Jane Sonneman and Sydney Schneider continued collation of the Telegraf on second generation master microfilm.
Also in March, Pam attended the Maryland Day lecture at the Maryland State Archives (MSA) and met with MSA staff, Maria Day and Megan Cranyon, to discuss ways UMD and MSA can partner through the HMNP. She also reached out to many of our other HMNP advisory board members and content partners to begin discussing outreach and finalizing material loans. Additionally, Pam served as a regional history day judge at the Frederick County competition on March 2 judging junior individual documentaries.
Other Digitization Projects
Robin Pike and Vin Novara (SCPA), Co-Principal Investigators, received $313,753 from the National Endowment for the Humanities for their project “Preserving and Presenting the Past, Present, and Future of Dance History: Digitizing the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange Archives.” This project will describe, digitize 1,329 videotapes and 211 paper programs from performances, and make them available to the public over the next two years. This will be the largest video digitization project UMD Libraries has undertaken so far and will help us set new workflows for working with this number of large video files. This project will run from May 2019 to April 2021. In April, Robin led the Dance Exchange grant kickoff meeting including Vin Novara (SCPA), Mary Dulaney (Development Office), and Pam, in which to review the project timeline and deliverables, and to begin the preliminary preparatory steps of the project.
Christie Scully, Digitization Projects Assistant completed quality control work on the FY19 Student Newspapers, FY19 AFL-CIO Records Transfer Inventory forms, and Dooley discs from a patron request. The first two projects were funded by the Digitization Initiatives Committee project proposal process. Robin also worked with Linda Sarigol (LMS) and the vendor on clarifying issues such as fading and color shift, frame jitteriness, and audio track quality with the FY19 LMS Vinegar Films project; issues were found to be evidence of degradation and wear, stressing the importance of digitizing this collection before additional damage occurs.
In her position as Lead Project Advisory, Robin assisted The Phillips Collection with a position and implementation of part of their IMLS grant, awarded this past fall.
Robin also worked with the Greenbelt Archive Project staff and ingested 314 issues from 1964-1969 to the Internet Archive, as part of the partnership. This milestone was celebrated at a picnic with the volunteers of the project, members of the Greenbelt community who have been selecting, collating, rehousing, and otherwise preparing the newspaper issues for digitization.
She also consulted with Cindy Frank and GA Ellen Kortesoja on selecting materials for a small Visual Resources Association grant (up to $3000), helped them write the methodology/workflow section of the proposal, received the vendor proposal for the budget, and helped strengthen the application, due May 10.
Also in March and April, the files for the first two batches of the Internet Archive shipments were received and passed review. These made available serials from the Mass Media and Culture collection, university publications, and Spanish pamphlets.
Hornbake Digitization Center
True crime requests have been trending in the Hornbake Digitization Lab. Digitization orders for negatives, photographs, and audiotapes have been pouring in from podcasts, television shows, and documentaries, all sharing one common theme: true crime. While we can’t be certain of the final product, we’re excited to see if and when our content makes it into the big time.
In a rather packed meeting, Hornbake Student Digitization Assistants met with Bria Parker and Adam Gray, Discovery and Metadata Services, and Kate Dohe, Carlos Alvarado, and Anne Hendrick, Digital Programs and Initiatives, to discuss issues concerning digital collections. DPI has been working with stakeholders to scope the future of our repositories, and the Hornbake assistants were eager to offer feedback on the current Admin interface. Many jelly beans were consumed, many concerns were voiced, and all parties walked away with the satisfaction of having contributed something valuable to the conversation.
Work continues digitizing items for the upcoming MPT exhibit. A variety of television awards and other ephemeral objects have made their way into the Hornbake Digitization Lab for photography, having received a nice cleaning a polish from Preservation.
Rebecca continued to meet with curators and plan new in-house projects for 2019.
Digital Programs and Initiatives
DPI is churning away on a number of projects in progress, like the previously-announced CodeOcean Pilot, Avalon Pilot, and ORCID@UMD projects.
The Continuing Ballad of Open Journal Systems
DPI has brought up an instance of OJS 3 for user testing and journal setup, in anticipation of migrating our production service to the new version in the summer. New potential publishers are evaluating this system for their purposes, while we work with our existing users to coordinate across editorial schedules. DPI anticipates the migration will be completed by the start of the fall term, and we hope saying so doesn’t jinx anything for us.
Digital Collections Updates
Bento Search – restart work on the Alpha release and usability testing. Added an Ebsco Discovery Services (EDS) implementation for A/B testing against WorldCat Local.
Libi – implementing navigation improvements, based on mockups and usability testing
DRUM – developing some custom features to support migration of the Minority Health and Health Equity Archive into DRUM
Bloomreach CMS / Website – updates for improved permissions and maintenance as well as additional content editing features in the Channel Manager; Proof of Concept for a Research Guides template and content maintenance in the CMS
Fedora 2 architecture improvements: migrating Relationships Behavior, Handle Service, and OAI-PMH Server from a custom Lucene search app to Solr
Archelon – implementing usability improvements based on usability testing
Treasury of World’s Fair Art and Architecture – began implementing a new exhibit theme based website to replace the existing interface
Proof of Concept for a Common Search interface with new theme and Solr backend to replace the current theme for Digital Collections (backed by Fedora 2)
ORCID@UMD application for sign-up and permission-granting process
Avalon Pilot – worked on several bug fixes and enhancements to support the pilot
USMAI (University System of Maryland and Affiliated Institutions) Library Consortium
The CLAS team responded to 168 Aleph Rx submissions and 33 e-resource requests from across the consortium’s libraries in March and April.
March brought the end of the first quarter and an opportunity to review and revise the team’s work plan. We were able to make significant progress on USMAI’s highest priority initiatives and knock out a couple quick wins that will make our work easier the rest of the year. Of course, not everything goes as planned, and we have updated our work plan accordingly.
Data Warehouse Phase-1
Our first full initial load of data has been completed. This was a “draft” load with much refining to take place afterward. Systems librarians are now able to work with a mostly complete set of data in Jaspersoft, and we are working to coordinate a Beta User Group to help us refine and document the Jaspersoft reporting environment. Development of the ETL program to handle daily loads of new/changed data continued.
Web Platform Migration
CLAS kicked off the project to move USMAI to a new online communication and collaboration platform in April. The new platform will utilize the application Confluence. We have a development site set up to start working on site configuration and structure. In parallel, we’re conducting an audit of current content on both usmai.umd.edu and usmai.org.
Aleph-ILLiad NCIP Integration
NCIP integration work continued. All three pilot libraries now have ILL collections and item statuses created in Aleph TEST for working with borrowed ILL items.
Conferences, workshops and professional development
David Durden earned his official Data Carpentry Instructor Certificate. All instructors must complete an Instructor Training program, which teaches instructional pedagogy as well as the practicalities of teaching a Carpentries workshop. David can now teach Data Carpentry workshops locally on the UMD campus, or travel to other institutions to run workshops. Congratulations, David!
Robin Pike, Rebecca Wack, and Laura Schnitker (SCUA) guest-lectured for Beatriz Haspo’s class LBSC786 Library and Archives Preservation about the preservation of audio and video collections on March 26.
Josh Westgard presented an update on UMD’s Fedora activities at the DC Fedora User Group meeting at the National Library of Medicine on May 7-8th.
Kate Dohe guest lectured for Lindsay Carpenter’s class on April 16, LBSC734 “Seminar in the Academic Library.” She spoke on digital repositories, intersectional feminism, and veggie wraps in the academic library.
Robin and Pam volunteered at Maryland Day in the UMD Libraries tent in front of McKeldin. NDNP promotional materials were handed out to Maryland Day attendees. Also, Pam is serving as the intern for the Society of American Archivist’s Digital Archives Specialist (DAS) Subcommittee to the Committee on Education for 2018-2019 and presented part one of her survey analysis results at their April 15 meeting. She helped develop a DAS student survey, which had been distributed earlier this year and will provide additional analysis at their next meeting in May.