Stew of the month: December 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

Robin Pike, Rebecca Wack, and Doug McElrath (SCUA) continued to work on a grant application for the HMNP Phase Four project. Titles representing immigrant communities are on the docket for potential digitization, including Czech, Italian, and German-language titles from Baltimore. With new batches of Maryland papers being uploaded to Chronicling America each month, the HMNP now boasts over 40% of Phase Three’s digitized titles published and available to the public. The most recent addition is Snow Hill, Md.’s Democratic Messenger, with issues dating back to 1881.

Synergies Among African American History and Culture (AADHum)

Robin Pike continues to manage assistant Cecilia Franck in performing quality control of the files. Some amount of rework will need to be performed so quality control is taking longer than usual.

Other Digitization Activities

Robin worked with Vin Novara and John Davis (MSPAL/SCPA) to send a large collection of primarily digital videotapes of Clarice performances to an audiovisual digitization vendor. This project was funded as part of the DIC project proposal process.

Robin collaborated with Joanne Archer, Laura Schnitker, and Laura Cleary (all SCUA) to discuss the path forward for the CLIR Recordings at Risk National Federation of Community Broadcasters project, including prepping the materials and contract, and planning future outreach and social media posts about the collection.

Eric Cartier announced he will be leaving at the end of January to pursue other opportunities in Baton Rouge, LA, moving with Amanda Hawk (SCUA). Robin Pike began making preparations for his departure in concluding active in-house digitization projects and implementing new ways to track in-house projects that will allow her to balance managing both vendor and in-house projects for the short-term.

Rebecca Wack and Judi Kidd assisted Robin throughout November and December, managing the Digitization Center, and will continue to do so in January. Cecilia Franck, a recently graduated student assistant, will become a C1 assistant to help Robin manage the daily operations of the Hornbake Digitization Center. Robin and Cecilia will be meeting with stakeholders in January and February to discuss short-term reduced operations and in-house project schedules.

Eric Cartier has been working to conclude quality control of outstanding projects, has been writing documentation about 2017 and 2016 projects, and has updated many procedures for the digitization center.

Digital  Programs and Initiatives

Katherine Anne Porter Collection Progress

DPI prepared a batch load process for the Katherine Anne Porter letters, and tested loading the letters on a development server. Loading the content into a production environment awaits the provisioning of additional storage space in January.

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

The CLAS team responded to 66 Aleph Rx submissions and 20 e-resource requests from across the consortium’s libraries in December.

HTTPS for Aleph OPAC

As part of the trend to move to encrypt all web traffic by enabling/enforcing HTTPS, CLAS has enabled HTTPS across all functions of the Aleph OPAC. Ultimately HTTPS will be enforced in the OPAC, meaning that any HTTP traffic will be redirected to HTTPS. However, a few campus-specific applications need to be modified and tested before this change can be made.

EZproxy upgrade

EZproxy was upgraded to version 6.3.5 for all USMAI libraries that have a USMAI-hosted instance of EZproxy. This upgrade includes important updates to ensure the continued security of the primary access method for libraries’ licensed resources.

Aleph Support to Campuses

Booking functionality for UMBC

David Wilt worked with UMBC to set up booking functionality in Aleph for UMBC’s reserves items. This will allow UMBC’s patrons to schedule in advance the use of reserves materials. Testing was completed and this functionality is now in production.

GOBI shelf-ready loader for LNDL

Joseph Koivisto worked with LNDL to configure Aleph to accommodate LNDL’s use of GOBI’s “shelf-ready” service. This service will automate the provisioning of records in Aleph and reduce the work LNDL needs to do to make resources available to their users. The loader configuration is currently being tested and will be moved to production once testing is successfully completed.

Label printing for UMD

Linda Seguin has been working with library staff at UMD to determine if the BIAF label printing program will work for their label printing needs. UMD has been using a homegrown application for a number of years.


DSpace Version Upgrade

The upgrade to DSpace version 6 continued in December. Work was completed on the release branch for version 6.2 and promoted it to the MD-SOAR development environment for internal testing. DSS will review internally in early January after which the release will be promoted to the MD-SOAR sandbox/stage environment for review by MD-SOAR partners.

Conferences, workshops and professional development

Joseph Koivisto attended “Advancing Postsecondary Student Success Through OER”, a day-long summit sponsored by the University System of Maryland and other partners, on December 8th.

Stew of the month: August 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 has submitted its third batch of deliverables to Library of Congress, marking 30% completion of Grant Cycle 3. Outreach efforts are ongoing, and Project Manager Rebecca Wack travelled to Baltimore last month to promote ChronAm use to an audience of Baltimore City Public Schools teachers and librarians.

Synergies Among African American History and Culture (AADHum)

Project Manager Scott Pennington continued to review the files received from batch 1 and worked with MITH Graduate Assistant Will Thomas on drafting a summary of content selected for AADHum researchers and to feature as a future DigiStew blog post.

Other Digitization Activities

DCMR Manager Robin Pike worked with collection managers to prepare FY18 DIC-funded September shipments to digitization vendors and with Preservation and Conservation on scheduling preparatory work required for digitization project shipping throughout FY18.
Pike collaborated with Joanne Archer, Mary Dulaney, and Rebecca Wack on creating a future grants writing workshop for library faculty and staff, date to be announced soon.
Wack worked with Vin Novara (SCPA) on a Grammy Museum Foundation Preservation Implementation grant letter of intent and Pike worked with Liz Novara and Joanne Archer on a potential grant draft budget and work plan to process and preserve the Association of Intercollegiate Women’s Athletics collection.
Student Digitization Assistant Shiyun Chen worked with Eric Cartier and Ben Blake, the Special Collection Librarian for Labor Studies, to make final rush request scans for the new exhibit “For Liberty, Justice, and Equality: Unions Making History in America,” which opened in Hornbake Library on September 1. The future digital exhibit will feature digitized materials that Digitization Assistants Shiyun, Karina Hagelin, Becca Mena, Suzy Wilson, and Brahm Persaud produced.
Student Digitization Assistant Sydney Schneider completed scanning the Jules Bassin albums, which are promised donations to the Gordon W. Prange Collection.

Digital  Programs and Initiatives

Gemstone Projects Added to DRUM

Twelve new projects from the Gemstone Honors Program have recently been added to DRUM.

Now in it’s seventeenth year, Gemstone is a unique multidisciplinary four-year research program for selected undergraduate honors students of all majors. Guided by faculty mentors, along with the support of subject librarians, teams of students design, direct and conduct significant research. Check out the recent submissions in the collection.

OA Fund Now Accepting Applications

The UMD Libraries’ Open Access Publishing Fund is now accepting applications for 2017-2018. As in previous years, the Libraries only pays 50% of the article processing charges. If researchers have any questions regarding details of the program, or whether specific journals qualify for funding, they can contact Terry Owen.

Software Development

Fedora Content Repository

During loading of the new OCR annotations for the Student Newspaper collection we discovered another bug which caused the repository to crash when we there were too many rolled back transactions. After modifying our load procedures we were successful in loading the 596,715 new annotations to support full text search and display for newspapers.  We are now working with the fedora community to test and release a fix for this problem.  Full annotation functionality is available in the newly released Archelon 1.1 and coming to the UMD Student Newspapers public interface in September. (Though not formally announced you, the faithful reader, can get a sneak peek of the new interface).


Deployed ArchivesSpace 2.0 in production and began work on the 2.1 release which contains the overhauled Public User Interface which will eventually replace the ArchivesUM interface to our finding aids. Version 2.1 is expected to be deployed in September.


Released version 10.2.5-4 in support of the  switch over to use HTTPS for, which encrypts traffic between the website server and the browser.  This brings the websites into standard practice for providing patron privacy and improved security for the user and the server.  ArchivesUM and The Jim Henson Works were successfully migrated, but unfortunately the Digital Collections and Treasury of World’s Fair Art & Architecture websites had to be rolled back due to problems delivering images via the old flash based viewer.  This problem has bumped up our timeline to convert from the old flash viewer to a newer IIIF solution using Mirador, which will allow us to roll out HTTPS and also cleanup the infrastructure on our older Fedora backend server. We will begin this project at the beginning of October.

We have continued to investigate and plan for the upgrade to Hippo version 11, which we are now confident will present minimal end user disruption and can be rolled out in an October/November timeframe.

Broadcast Content Management

Stood up a version of the Avalon Media System for use in our pilot project to manage broadcast audio content.  Avalon 5 is part of the Fedora Content Repository and Samvera ecosystem of open source, community developed applications.

Reciprocal Borrowing

Released Reciprocal Borrowing 1.1.0 for use by the Big Ten Academic Alliance reciprocal borrowing program between member institutions.  This release includes 1) the ability to select and log the lending institution for statistical purposes; and 2) additional checks for user eligibility for borrowing.

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

The CLAS team responded to 138 Aleph Rx submissions and 38 e-resource requests from across the consortium’s libraries in June.

OCLC Control Number reaches 1 billion!

On August 8th, OCLC announced the one billionth OCLC control number (OCN). CLAS had been largely prepared for this momentous occasion for several years. At the risk of jinxing things, only one correction had to be made after the one billionth number. All seems well now. USMAI libraries should let CLAS know, though, if they encounter any problems.

WorldCat Discovery Availability Issues

In early August, CLAS became aware of increasing issues with the retrieval of availability information from Aleph in WorldCat Discovery/Local. Some expert log analysis by Hans Breitenlohner helped CLAS work with OCLC to identify the root cause of the issue. OCLC has planned several system updates that are expected to result in significant improvements to the retrieval of availability information in early to mid September.


Work continued on the development and implementation of autosuggest functionality in the MD-SOAR submission form. This is expected to be available for MD-SOAR partners to review in mid-September. The autosuggest functionality will help improve the consistency of metadata in MD-SOAR.

Joseph Koivisto has worked with Salisbury to prepare a number of batch loads for MD-SOAR. Several of these collections have been loaded, with the remainders expected to be completed in September. The new collections can be viewed in Salisbury’s repository.


Digital Programs & Initiatives is happy to welcome Fiona Jardine as the new ePublishing Graduate Assistant. Fiona is a PhD candidate at the University of Maryland’s iSchool, having graduated with a Master of Library Science with a specialization in Information and Diverse Populations in 2014. Her research focuses on the experiences and information behavior of those who exclusively pump breast milk. In addition to her position in DPI, she is the Graduate Assistant for Faculty Writing with the iSchool’s Research Support Team, and has been a Graduate Writing Fellow at the Graduate School Writing Center since 2014. As ePublishing GA, Fiona is responsible for supporting the Ada journal’s technical operations. Welcome, Fiona!

Maggie McCready, a first semester College of Information Studies student, joined DCMR as a Student Digitization Assistant.
Becca Mena left DCMR to accept a Graduate Assistant position with the Division of Information Technology.
Digitization Assistants Brahm Persaud, Kelsey Hughes, and Marisa Gilman returned to DCMR after working summer jobs. Brahm worked as a teacher for privately-owned science and technology summer camp Club Scikidz. He taught three classes with 10-15 students between the ages of 9-12 on basic coding for kids using MIT’s Scratch, using Java to create Minecraft worlds, and 3D printing. Kelsey was a Junior Fellow in the Educational Outreach department at the Library of Congress, helping the team execute their Summer Teacher Institutes, five week-long conferences where teachers learn strategies for incorporating primary sources into the classroom; designing an activity book that guides students through analyzing the symbolism of the bald eagle; and collaborating on STEM/maker projects with the Library’s Young Readers Center.

Conferences, workshops and professional development

Terry Owen attended ETD2017, the 20th international symposium on electronic theses and dissertations, in Washington, D.C. on August 7-9. Terry served on the Local Organizing Committee for this conference, with over 225 participants.

David Durden attended REDCapCon 2017 in New York City from August 13-16.

Kate Dohe, Joseph Koivisto, Dinesh Mendhe, Mohamed Mohideen Abdul Rasheed, Terry Owen, and Ben Wallberg attended the North American DSpace User Meeting at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. on August 22-23. Kate Dohe and Ben Wallberg presented a lightning talk about Digital Data Services, and led a discussion about repository strategy and cost-benefit analysis of supporting multiple platforms or investing in a monolithic solution.

Stew of the month: July 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

Project manager Rebecca Wack delivered the Historic Maryland Newspaper Project’s phase three first batch to Library of Congress. The batch contains approximately 10,000 high-resolution images and metadata of newsprint from the Frostburg Mining Journal and the Greenbelt Cooperator, with contents spanning 7 decades of Maryland news.

In other Greenbelt news, Rebecca and student assistant Sydney Schneider held a metadata collation workshop at the offices of the Greenbelt News Review. Five volunteers, each assigned their own decade of Greenbelt papers to index, learned the ins and outs of LCCNs (Library of Congress Control Number, a newspaper title identifier), date verification, and physical condition reporting, as they generated the data necessary for Greenbelt’s eventual participation in the forthcoming Maryland Newspaper Repository.

Synergies Among African American History and Culture (AADHum)

The AADHum team finalized document selections for the second large shipment. Coordinating with the Driskell Center, SCUA, and MITH’s team for selection and metadata creation, that shipment of just over 25,000 pages was delivered to the vendor in mid-July. The team continues to collaborate with MITH on their upcoming Incubator sessions and is preparing for the return, QA, and ingest of the first shipment. Project manager Scott Pennington is preparing the final shipment for the AADHum grant–a selection of speeches and oral histories on audio cassette from the Driskell Center.

Other Digitization Activities

Robin Pike continued to meet with collection managers, establishing firm timelines for tasks involved with FY18 vendor digitization projects, funded through the Digitization Initiatives Committee, and liaised with vendors to receive project quotes.

Robin worked with Vincent Novara (SCPA) to rewrite and resubmit a grant application to the National Endowment for the Humanities Humanities Collections and Reference Resources program to digitize over 2,000 video recordings of rehearsals and performances and programs documenting the performances of The Dance Exchange Company, under the direction of renowned choreographer and educator Liz Lerman.

Robin worked with Laura Schnitker, Joanne Archer, and Graduate Assistant Caitlin Rizzo (all SCUA) to submit a Council on Library and Information Resources Recordings at Risk grant application to digitize 600 open reel audiotapes from the National Federation of Community Broadcasters collection. The 600 tapes selected for the project focus on programs that feature voices of underrepresented communities in the U.S. and music cultures around the globe and will be invaluable to international researchers from a wide range of disciplines including ethnomusicology, anthropology, media studies, sociology, political science, African-American history, and women’s studies. Digitizing the 600 tapes, approximately a tenth of the collection, will serve as a pilot for a large grant or fundraising initiative.

Robin and Rebecca began preliminary work on two processing and digitization grants (from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission and the Grammy Foundation) due in the fall with collection managers Joanne Archer, Elizabeth Novara, and Vincent Novara.

Eric worked with Dr. Laura Schnitker, Curator of Mass Media and Culture, to deliver a digitized file from the WMUC Collection to a production company creating a documentary about Don McLean’s American Pie for the BBC. The documentary is scheduled to air in fall 2017.

Digitization assistants Karina Hagelin and Shiyun Chen continued to prioritize and digitize materials for modules in the forthcoming Labor in America exhibit.

In June, Robin and Liz Novara worked with an art digital photography company to digitize the oversize “Riversdale Demesnes and Rossburg Farm Situated in Prince George’s County (1853)” map in the Maryland Room. In July, Shiyun and Eric inspected and approved the digital files. After Liz supplied the appropriate metadata, the final image was ingested into UMD Digital Collections and is now publicly available.

Digital  Programs and Initiatives

Announcing the Ada Journal at UMD

Digital Programs and Initiatives is adding Ada: A Journal of Gender, New Media, & Technology to its e-Publishing program. Originally published with support from the University of Oregon, Ada is an open-access peer reviewed journal featuring scholarship on gender, new media and technology. The journal is particularly interested in contributions that exemplify Ada’s commitments to politically engaged, intersectional approaches to feminist media scholarship. In collaboration with Dr. Carol Stabile, Chair of the Women’s Studies Department, DPI will provide support of the technical infrastructure required for the journal.

Fedora API Specification Contributions

Joshua Westgard is a contributor to the draft Fedora API Specification, released on June 30. The specification “refines the semantics and interaction patterns of LDP [Linked Data Platform] in order to better serve the specific needs of those interested in implementing repositories for durable access to digital data.” The Fedora API is a foundational component of the Libraries’ digital asset management and digital preservation strategies, and provides the framework under which the software systems supporting our digital asset workflows are being constructed. An outgrowth of a design originally developed at Cornell University and described in a 1998 article, the Fedora project is today supported primarily by monetary contributions and in-kind development support from academic research libraries, and is shepherded by the DuraSpace organization.

Software Development

Fedora Content Repository – During load testing of the new OCR annotations for the Diamondback Newspaper collection we discovered a bug which caused the repository to crash.  After debugging and working with the community we discovered that a fix was included in version 4.7.4 of the repository and have included the upgrade along with the new OCR features.

Hippo – Released version 10.2.5-3 containing a few bug fixes and the switch over to use HTTPS for and, which encrypts traffic between the website server and the browser.  This brings these websites into standard practice for providing patron privacy and improved security for the user and the server. We have also begun investigating and planning for the upgrade to Hippo version 11.

Annual Staffing Request – After a break in work for ArchivesSpace development, we 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.

User and System Support

Windows 10

The deployment of Windows 10 to staff computers has been going successfully. We still have some machines to do, as well as laptops. As we work on other projects, getting ready for the fall semester, we will continue to upgrade the rest of the small group of computers and laptops that needs to be upgraded.

Windows 10 for the public computers have been a little trickier, especially with the amount of time it was taking for the students to log into the workstations. But, fortunately, after many hours and tests, we have the login time down from 40 secs to 15 secs. We will be pushing out this new image of Windows 10 to all public areas starting this week.

Canon MFP

All Canon multifunction printers (MFP) in the public and staff areas have been replaced. The new printers are updated versions of the previous MFPs, so the interface and function of the staff MFPs should be very close to the old MFPs. The public MFPs interface is also similar with updated graphics and a slight name change of the Pharos plugin. The replacement of the MFPs was very quick and successful. To see new features available on the MFPs, click here.


The Digital Programs & Initiatives department is pleased to welcome two new Graduate Assistants, Carlos Alvarado and Anne Kendrick. Carlos is an incoming student in the History and Library Science dual-degree program, with a focus on Archives and Digital Curation, and will be serving as the new DPI Graduate Assistant. Anne is pursuing her MLIS with an interest in Human-Computer Interaction, and is the new Collections & Digital Scholarship GA. Please help us welcome both of them to our basement lair!

Software Systems Development and Research is pleased to welcome Siddharth Bhagwan, new Graduate Assistant Front End Developer.  Siddharth is a second year student pursuing his Masters in Human Computer Interaction.  His first project will be to learn and begin improving our Newspaper Viewer based on Mirador IIIF client.

Conferences, workshops and professional development

Kate Dohe, Ben Wallberg, Joshua Westgard, Peter Eichman, and Jeremy Gottwig attended the local Code4Lib MD/DC/VA meetup on July 13 at George Washington University.  One major topic for the day was planning for the Code4Lib conference to be held in DC around February of 2018.  We also shared information on our Digital Data Services program as well as our IIIF Services for digital collections and had an informative discussion of the future plans for Samvera and Fedora.

Eric Cartier attended the Society of American Archivists conference in Portland, Oregon from July 26-29. As Chair of the Recorded Sound Section, Eric led its annual meeting, which featured a special presentation from copyright expert Peter Hirtle who discussed the use of copyrighted audiovisual materials in libraries and archives.

Kate Dohe, David Durden, and Joseph Koivisto attended the “Collections as Data: IMPACT” event at the Library of Congress on July 25th.

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.

Stew of the month: May 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 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.

For the upcoming Irmgard Bartenieff/Institute of Movement Studies exhibit in Special Collections in Performing Arts, digitization assistant Becca Mena digitized oversize charcoal sketches, which had been flattened and stabilized by Preservation and Conservation staff, and digitization assistants Jonathan Lin and Shiyun transferred 36 reel-to-reel audio tapes.
All digitization assistants continued to digitize high-resolution scanning of photographs and posters for the upcoming Labor in America exhibit for Special Collections and University Archives.

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.

Software Development

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.

Stew of the month: April 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

On April 18, the Historic Maryland Newspaper Project participated in UMD’s first annual Social Justice Day. Presenting a poster titled “‘Women of Today’ An Overview of Women in Historic Maryland Newspapers,” project manager Rebecca Wack and student assistant Alex Carolan spoke with conference attendants about the HMNP, Chronicling America, and the value of viewing history through the eyes of those who lived it.

Synergies Among African American History and Culture (AADHum)

The AADHum project’s first large shipment is off to the vendor. Scott Pennington, Justin Hosbey, and Will Thomas from MITH coordinated with Stephanie Smith from Driskell to get almost 13,000 pages out the door. These materials will return and be available for MITH DH Incubators in the Fall. Some of the interesting highlights from the shipped materials include documentation of Black Trade Union Conferences from the late 1960s and early 1970s, and the AFL-CIO National Urban Coalition’s materials around riots in the late 1960s.

Other Digitization Activities

In a partnership with MSPAL and the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies (LIMS), DCMR has been awarded a Bay Area Video Coalition Preservation Access grant for the digitization of VHS and BETA tapes from the LIMS collection. The tapes have been in storage for years and cover a wide range of materials, everything from movement choirs to lectures. Digitization of the tapes will afford researchers a unique look into the history of the Laban/Bartenieff Institute.

Robin Pike began meeting with collection managers to plan the FY18 vendor-based digitization projects funded through the DIC project proposal process. The DIC funded 17 projects, and Pike will present on them at a future Library Assembly meeting.

Student digitization assistant Marisa Gilman inspected the quality of 1,002 digitization handwritten items from the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) research and education center. The sensitive material documented terrorist activities around the world throughout the 1980s. Eric Cartier uploaded 19 volumes of the CIO News periodical, spanning the late 1930s through the early 1950s, to the Internet Archive. Student digitization assistants Becca Mena and Marisa Gilman inspected the quality of 237 foreign maps from the general maps collection in McKeldin. Student digitization assistant Cecilia Franck inspected the quality of 23 videos and films that will be included in the upcoming Labor in America exhibit in Hornbake Library, and began inspection of the first of four batches of FY17 Diamondback newspapers. All of these projects were funded through the DIC project proposal process.

Digital  Programs and Initiatives

Terps Publish


On April 11, UMD Libraries hosted the inaugural Terps Publish event.

The student publisher roundtable, moderated by student leaders of The Left Bench, was attended by students from The Diamondback, MitzpehPowerlines, and The International Journal of Information, Diversity, & Inclusion, as well as individual students interested in founding a publication, and staff from UMD Libraries, the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, and University Marketing and Communications.

IMG_5263Many more students and staff attended the publications fair on the Portico, which took place immediately after the student roundtable.

Terps Publish, modeled on similar initiatives at Georgetown University, Ohio University, and Dartmouth, is a collaboration between DPI, University Archives, and Libraries Communications.

GA Update

GA David Durden continued working on the internal Libraries contracts inventory, and volunteered at the University Libraries tent for Maryland Day.

Software Development

ArchivesSpace – We are pleased to announce that ArchivesSpace, an archives information management system, has moved from being a hosted application to a core application with full development support available.  As part of this process the ArchivesSpace VM received some maintenance support and improvements.  We are also working on implementing new features requested by Special Collections and University Archives.

Hippo – Released version 10.2.4-0 which contains a number of minor fixes as well as a several vendor provided security updates for the CMS. Continued development of the new Libi; completed majority of the feature development for Database Finder for the UMD Student Newspapers public interface, which are both scheduled for release on June 5.

User and System Support

Windows 10

USS thanks everyone that was brave enough to volunteer to be early testers of Windows 10. When deploying a new OS, there will certainly be issues with the various applications staff use for their work. Getting the opportunity to see and resolve these issues has help us greatly for when we begin to deploy to the rest of the staff. Speaking about the deployment of Windows 10, we will begin the deployment to all staff tentatively starting the middle of May.  We will send an email to staff as soon as we know when we will begin. Also, we will send out emails with instructions that need to be done by staff, before the migration to Windows 10, to help the migration go as quick and painless as possible. Keep a lookout for more information to come from the Helpdesk.


The MakerSpace was open to the public on Maryland Day. Preston and Yitzy was there to host about 450 people between 10am-1pm. They had 3D printing and Oculus Rift demonstrations, as well as brief explanations about the mission of the Makerspace. They also handed out the very popular mini Testudo statue 3D prints.  After closing at 1pm, Preston noticed a young girl and her friend trying to look inside. The local 11th grade high school student was visually impaired. Preston spent 30 minutes with her in a 1-on-1 demonstration of the Makerspace. She was excited to have such an experience and was also thrilled to notice that the Makerspace has accessibility items. She was impressed with the large format keyboards and the touch screen PC!

Google Docs Phishing Scam

On May 3, 2017, the world was infected by a Google Docs phishing attack. The attack took control of user’s Gmail accounts to send out the spam link to user’s address books. Google was able to remove the weakness in Google Apps to stop the phishing attack within one hour of it starting. However, within that one hour, millions of accounts were compromised across the world.

Google believes the only thing accessed was users contact information, no other data was exposed. For those that clicked the approval to authorize “Google Docs” to read, send, and delete emails, there may be a fake Google Docs app in your account. If you haven’t already checked and deleted the fake app, please follow these instructions:

  1. Go to and look to see if there is an application called “Google Docs”. That is not a legitimate application, and you should remove the application.
  2. To remove the application, click the application name “Google Docs” and then the “REMOVE” button”
  3.  DivIT working to remove the application automatically for all users.
  4.  As this time we do not believe your password has been compromised, but if you are concerned you can change your password at

Please note,  If you are unsure as to the credibility of a message you receive, contact the sender by phone to verify.

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

Support to USMAI

The CLAS team responded to 87 Aleph Rx submissions and 27 e-resource requests from across the consortium’s libraries in April.

LNDL EZproxy/Shibboleth Transition

CLAS has been working with Loyola Notre Dame Library (LNDL) to move them to a USMAI-provided instance of EZproxy and also implement Shibboleth authentication for EZproxy and login to the Aleph OPAC. Shibboleth authentication work requires working with both campuses to authenticate EZproxy and PDS (the Ex Libris service that manages OPAC authentication) against their Shibboleth Identity Providers. For EZproxy, members of the CLAS team are reviewing LNDL’s existing EZproxy configuration and copying configurations (including stanzas for all of LNDL’s licensed e-resources) into the new EZproxy instance. The switchover is scheduled for May 25th. LNDL’s patrons will benefit from being able to use their campus logins for e-resource access and OPAC features rather than their library barcode.

USMAI Events

CLAS team members were kept busy with several USMAI events in April. David Wilt attended the Annual Circ Meeting on April 28th and updated attendees on CLAS activities. Linda Seguin attended the Metadata Subgroup Forum on April 17th and presented on Aleph’s bibliographic loaders. Joseph Koivisto attended the Reporting & Analytics Subgroup’s Google Analytics training on April 27th and gave a lightning talk on the use of Google Tag Manager to assist in tracking additional metadata on bitstream downloads in MD-SOAR.


Conferences, workshops and professional development

Terry Owen and Robin Pike presented at the Spring 2017 Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC) in Newark, NJ on April 21. Many MARAC presentations from previous conferences are available in DRUM.

Pike’s article “Funding a Future for Digital Collections at University of Maryland Libraries” was accepted for publication in the Journal of Digital Media Management. Pike also collaborated with Doug McElrath (SCUA) and Anna Kephart (Coordinator, Southern Maryland Studies Center, College of Southern Maryland) on a chapter submitted to the book Librarianship and Genealogy, pending publication in 2017.

Endangered Data Week

During the week of April 17-21, members of DSS, MITH, and the iSchool held events in conjunction with Endangered Data Week, an international event dedicated to raising discourse on threats to data security and preservation. These events included a interdisciplinary panel on the complex topic of endangered data for researchers, archivists, and conservators; a hands-on workshop dedicated to personal data archiving practices; and a hosted webinar on accessibility of government data and public accountability.

In a hands-on workshop about digital preservation tools and techniques, David Durden and Joshua Westgard, together with Joseph Koivisto and colleagues from MITH and the iSchool, introduced participants to the key concepts and strategies for ensuring the integrity of digital assets, techniques that are equally useful for institutions and individuals who have important digital content to protect from loss.

Event organizers, conveners, and contributors include Kate Dohe, David Durden, Joseph Koivisto, Adam Kriesberg, Purdom Lindblad, Trevor Muñoz, Kelley O’Neal, Josh Westgard, and Amy Wickner.

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.