Stew of the month: March/April 2016

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

In March the following Maryland newspapers were uploaded to Chronicling America:

We’re also excited to announce that we’ll be co-hosting a Wikipedia edit-a-thon at the Maryland State Archives on May 2, 2016. For more details and registration information, please visit the event page:

Other Digitization Activities

DCMR staff continued to review files for the William Kapell collection, Football films, Library Media Services films, and Djuna Barnes microfilm. They began the review of the Jackson Bryer videos.

The Digitization Initiatives Committee, chaired by Robin Pike, presented its FY17 budget to the Resources Group for approval on March 21. Pike contacted project managers whose projects were approved, modified, or rejected (due to the amount of proposals received), and will be presenting this information to the Libraries in the coming months. She will also be working with collection managers on project planning meetings.

Graduate Assistant David Durden completed his analysis of UMD Digital Collections usage statistics from 2013-2015 and has compiled annual reports of his findings. David has also begun an analysis of targeted LAN locations for SCUA and SCPA to begin to analyze what files are saved on the LAN that should be described and moved into UMD Digital Collections for access and preservation.

Digitization Assistant Brin digitally transferred a specially curated box set of compact discs. The University of Maryland Symphonic Wind Ensemble’s “Live Performance Project, Wakefield Years 1983-2005” was compiled by Professor John E. Wakefield with the assistance of University Archivist Anne Turkos and Curator of Special Collections in Performing Arts Vin Novara. Metadata Librarian Bria Parker described the music at track level. The streaming files will soon be available in Digital Collections.

Robin, Eric, Digitization Assistants David Durden, Caroline Hayden, Brin Winterbottom and iSchool students Amanda Brent, Monique Libby, and Maya Riser-Kositsky digitized Filipino family documents and photographs as part of the 2016 Maryland Day community archives digitization event for the “Preserving Your Family Treasures & D.C. Filipino Americans Before the Beltway” event. Digitized items will be added to UMD Digital Collections through the end of May and will be a part of the Filipino American Community Archives collection in SCUA.

Digital  Programs and Initiatives

UMD Libraries Supports Open Library of Humanities

We are pleased to announce that the UMD Libraries has recently joined the Open Library of Humanities (OLH) as a supporting institution.  OLH is dedicated to support and extend open access to humanities scholarship and provides an alternative for humanities researchers who are interested in making their research widely available.  UMD authors can submit an unlimited number of articles for publication each year without any article processing charges.  Submissions are accepted for a wide range of humanities subject areas and undergo a double-blind peer-review process. OLH’s editorial policies are available online if you are interested in learning more.  Also read the complete UMD press release.

DRUM Upgrade

DRUM was recently upgraded to DSpace version 5.4, bringing it in line with the same version running on MD-SOAR.  No major differences are visible to users but we were able to consolidate the DRUM statistics with this upgrade.  Prior to the upgrade we were gathering two sets of DRUM statistics and we decided it would be more efficient to use one system moving forward.  With the upgrade, which was just completed 28 March, we moved over to a newer statistics system that has been running on DRUM since June 2014.  What this means is that you might have noticed a drastic drop in the number of downloads currently displayed for records.  The number currently displayed only reflects downloads from June 2014 onward.  But no need to panic, we plan to add the number of downloads from the older system, so no numbers will be lost.  Thanks to SSDR, we hope to have this completed by the end of April. The upgrade also sets the stage to explore new features like ORCID integration, which is timely given the new University of Maryland ORCID premium membership brokered through the Committee on Institutional Cooperation.

Digital Collections

DPI’s work on a new digital collections repository based on Fedora 4 continues, with various components of the system slated to go into production service later in 2016.  Toward that end, at the 2016 Code4Lib conference in Philadelphia, Josh Westgard took part in two pre-conference Hydra training workshops, and also helped to organize a post-conference “birds of a feather” session on Fedora. He also represented the University of Maryland Libraries at the DuraSpace Summit in Washington, DC.  He is a regular participant in the community effort to develop an API extension architecture for Fedora 4 (API-X, see

OA Publishing Fund Update

The UMD Libraries Open Access Publishing Fund closed out the fiscal year 12 April.  With additional funds from the Office of the Provost and many of the deans, 32 applications were processed for a total of $48,000; an average of $1500 per article.  Here’s breakdown of the number of applications from each college/school:
3 – A. James Clark School of Engineering
3 – College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
1 – College of Arts & Humanities
7 – College of Behavioral & Social Sciences
10 – College of Computer, Mathematical & Natural Sciences
2 – College of Education
1 – College of Information Studies
5 – School of Public Health
We anticipate applications will open up again in early fall for the next fiscal year.  Contact Terry Owen ( if you have any questions.


DPI staff have been working behind the scenes on several forthcoming e-Publishing projects. One such project is The Early Americas Digital Archive, a collection of open-access primary materials written in or about the Americas between 1492 and 1820, which has been relaunched as a project of the Libraries’ e-Publishing Initiative. Originally developed at MITH in the early 2000s, the EADA site has been entirely redesigned and updated by the application owners for this relaunch. One often-mentioned critique of open digital scholarly publications is that they lack the durability and longevity of traditional print publications.  One goal of our e-Publishing initiative is to combat technical obsolescence and neglect and to ensure the continued viability and availability of legacy digital projects as they mature.

Backfile Theses and Dissertations

April also saw the release of a backfile of electronic versions of some 600 dissertations from the early to mid-20th century through DRUM.  A custom metadata extraction and batch-loading workflow was created to handle the records supplied by the digitization vendor.

Software Development

We have selected Ruby on Rails as a new core tool for use in creating web applications. Ruby on Rails is gaining wide spread adoption in the Academic Libraries community and there are a number of existing applications and toolkits we are interested in supporting (eg, Hydra, ArchivesSpaceAvalon).  Ruby on Rails also will make it much easier to build certain types of web applications from scratch and rapidly prototype new applications.  Three of our developers have completed four weeks of training and are beginning work on migrating some of our existing applications.  We will also be hiring a Contingent-I Ruby on Rails developer to assist in this effort.

SSDR developers have been learning about the Apache Camel tool for implementation of enterprise integration patterns, which we first learned of from the Fedora Commons Repository development community, for use in message passing from the repository to various indexing tools. Implementation of the replacement for our Wufoo to SysAid connector is underway as well as investigation into integrations between our selected document store ( or Google Drive) and Apache Solr for use in the new Hippo CMS based staff intranet.

The Web Advisory Committee has worked with SSDR to complete the wireframes and mockups for improvements to the Staff Directory and Subject Specialists pages on the Libraries’ Website.  The pages will receive visual improvements and more consistent presentation of contact information.  We will also add the capability for photographs and profiles for each staff member, to be initially populated for Subject Specialists.  Development work will begin in May.

User and System Support

Last year, the University of Maryland took notice of the 13 separate email and calendar systems in use across the campus. Maintaining all 13 systems is costing the university a lot of money. As a big cost savings, the university decided it was best for the university to consolidate to one email, calendar and collaboration platform across campus. Last fall, a committee composed of IT leaders from across campus was formed to evaluate and recommend a common email solution. The committee worked diligently for five months and recommended to the IT Council that the university should move forward with Google Apps for Education (GAFE). The GAFE suite of core services are Gmail, Calendar, Classroom, Contacts, Drive, Docs, Forms, Groups, Sheets, Sites, Slides, Talk/Hangouts and Vault. The IT Council reviewed this recommendation and decided to move forward. Those departments that were using the Division of IT supported Exchange email and calendar system would be the first to be moved to GAFE.

In preparation of the Libraries move to GAFE, the User and System Support (USS) team became early adopters in January of this year. As an early adopter, USS was able to experience the migration process and use GAFE so that they could provide local help to staff when the rest of the Libraries migrated. USS planned and provided two “Google Migration Show and Tell” sessions, as well as sent multiple emails to staff in order to provide as much information to make the migration as painless as possible.

Division of IT planned to migrate the Libraries between April 1, 2016 – April 4, 2016. On Monday, April 4, USS staff visited departments and library branches across campus to provide any assistance that may have been needed from staff. The migration proved mostly successful, with most staff being migrated without incident. Unfortunately, as with any large and complex technical change, small problems cropped up that needed to be addressed.

Library staff can use any of the 13 core services in GAFE. Although the Libraries currently uses Microsoft Lync for chat services, library staff can also use Google Talk/Hangouts. A determination will be made in the future regarding the decommissioning of Lync in favor of Google Talk/Hangouts.

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

Support to USMAI

The CLAS team responded to 120 Aleph Rx submissions and 16 e-resource requests from across the consortium’s libraries in March.

SFX Database Upgrade

Ex Libris ended SFX support for MySQL, requiring a migration to MariaDB. Hans Breitenlohner performed the migration on March 18th.

Aleph Upgrade

As noted in the February 2016 Digistew post, CLAS is upgrading Aleph from version 20 to version 22. Version 22 has been installed in a development environment and is currently being tested by team members. Once initial testing is complete, Aleph TEST will be upgraded and made available for testing by USMAI constituencies. The upgrade is planned for completion prior to the Fall semester.

Kuali OLE

David Dahl participated in weekly meetings of the OLE Technical Council. The group’s last meeting was March 24th and has been disbanded as the project transitions to a new governance model. A regularly-occurring “community forum” is currently being developed as a mechanism to gather input from project partners. David will continue to monitor the project for USMAI as it starts its new phase of development.



Joseph Koivisto explored Google Tag Manager (GTM) as a mechanism to deploy Google Analytics to the Maryland Shared Open Access Repository (MD-SOAR) and collect more detailed usage data from the repository. GTM will be added to MD-SOAR in the May upgrade release. An option for users to add a Creative Commons license to their repository submissions will also be included in the upgrade.


Kate Dohe started as the Digital Programs & Initiatives Manager on March 21st. She comes to UMD Libraries from Georgetown University, where she was the Digital Services Librarian in the main campus library for nearly three years. Prior to working at Georgetown, she was the digital librarian for an academic publishing company in California. She earned her MLISc. from the University of Hawai’i, and also holds a BSEd. in Speech and Theater from Missouri State University, and still considers herself a debate coach at heart.

Conferences, workshops and professional development

In late April, Josh Westgard attended the DC area Fedora Users Group meeting at the National Library of Medicine, where he, together with Ben Wallberg and Peter Eichman, presented on the Libraries’ progress in implementing a Fedora-4-based repository system.

Liz Caringola, Eric Cartier, and Robin Pike attended the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference from April 14-16. On April 15, Eric moderated a debate in a panel session with the topic “Should Archivists Be Required to Take Continuing Education Courses?” Also on April 15, Robin presented in the session “Archival Impact: Increasing Connections to Collections through Digitization,” discussing how UMD Libraries prioritizes digitization projects.

On April 28th, Kate Dohe presented with Laura Leichum, Georgetown University, to the Digital Initiatives Symposium in San Diego, CA on library support models for student publishing initiatives.

On May 6th, Kate Dohe co-presented a workshop on using improv techniques in library collaborations to LOEX in Pittsburgh, PA with Erin Pappas, Georgetown University.

Stew of the month: February 2016

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

Issues of Der Deutsche Correspondent (Baltimore) from 1914, 1915 (Jan. – March), 1916, and 1917 (Jan. – Sept.) are now available on Chronicling America: These issues were digitized in partnership with the Maryland Historical Society and expand upon the years digitized during our first National Digital Newspaper Project grant, 1858-1913. Remaining issues will be digitized before the end of the current grant to complete the newspaper’s run, which ceased publication in 1918.

Other Digitization Activities

DCMR staff performed quality assurance on the second batch of books and serials digitized by the Internet Archive, which came from the general collections, William Kapell diaries, microfilmed correspondence from the Djuna Barnes papers, AFL-CIO News, and vinegar syndrome films from the Library Media Services collections, and finished QA on the School of Music audio recordings. All of these project were funded through the DIC project proposal process.

The following digitization projects were sent to vendors in February: Diamondback photos (shipment 1), Diamondback microfilm, Kapell photos, Kapell programs, Bryer videotapes, and an additional batch of SCUA publications to the Internet Archive.

Robin Pike met with Nevenka Zdravkovska, Josh Westgard, and Ben Wallberg to discuss moving the Plant Patent Database from a pilot project to production. EPSL staff will continue to scan the color images and Josh Westgard will continue to update the database.

Eric Cartier worked with DCMR students and Jen Eidson, Labor Collections Archivist, to digitize photos, documents, physical artifacts, and audio recordings for the 60th Anniversary of the AFL-CIO Merger exhibit.

David Durden worked with Josh Westgard to adapt a web-scraper script to pull and analyze usage statistics from UMD’s collection in the Internet Archive. David also continued to work on analyzing usage statistics from UMD Digital Collections between 2013-2015. This work may be used to inform future digitization priorities.

Software Development

We experienced problems with website performance and stability during January and February for a number of reasons, some of them related to outstanding technical issues with the server environment and some to new bugs in the code.  We’ve been working to upgrade the server infrastructure and eliminate those bugs, resulting in some improvements with additional work continuing through March.  These improvements will not only resolve the current problems but prepare for continued growth of website traffic.

We have started work on upgrading DRUM from DSpace version 4.1 to 5.4.  The basic benefits are to keep up-to-date with fixes and improvements.  In addition the upgrade sets the stage to explore new features like ORCID integration, report Google Analytics from admin UI, and SHERPA/RoMEO lookup during submission.

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

Support to USMAI

The CLAS team responded to 111 Aleph Rx submissions and 34 e-resource requests from across the consortium’s libraries in February.

Service Evaluation

As part of the CLAS team’s effort to make sure we’re meeting the consortium’s needs satisfactorily, we began soliciting feedback on your service requests starting in October 2015. Thank you to all who have responded to these requests for feedback! Responses have been overwhelmingly positive to date, and your comments are helpful in ensuring that we continue doing what you value and look for opportunities in other areas.

Aleph Upgrade

As part of the CLAS’ work plan for 2016, the team began planning for upgrading the consortium’s Aleph instance from version 20 to version 22. Team members reviewed release notes for versions 21 and 22 in order to assess the work involved in upgrading. Project details can be found on the USMAI Staff Site Version 21 & 22 Update page and will be updated as the project progresses.

CLAS Notes

Wondering how to reply to an Aleph Rx so that your response gets recorded, how to use Research Port URLs to link to databases, how Aleph fines are configured and calculated, or what to do if you find a problem with another USMAI campus’ record in Aleph? Lucky for you, these are all covered in the team’s CLAS Notes series, which you can find on the USMAI Staff Site.

Site Visits

Joseph Koivisto made visits to St. Mary’s, UMD Center for Environmental Science, and College Park to learn more about their needs and workflows related to library acquisitions. A few more visits are in the works in the coming months.

David Dahl, along with Chuck Thomas, visited with library staff at Frostburg.



The Maryland Shared Open Access Repository was upgraded to version 5.4 of DSpace in February. The repository has seen over 1300 sessions from 800+ viewers with an average session duration of more than 25 minutes and over 8300 items downloaded. Users find the repository in a number of ways, including Google, Google Scholar, and direct links from MD-SOAR partners’ library websites (even a few via social media posts!). We have some work in progress to help MD-SOAR partners gain even more insights about the repository’s use; we hope to share more about that soon!


David Durden expanded his service to DCMR by accepting an hourly position in the Hornbake Digitization Center.

Stew of the month: June 2015

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 and Conversion Activities

The following outsourced projects were digitized during FY15 (not including smaller patron requests); these projects were funded through the DIC project proposal process:

Internet Archive (SCUA, SPCA, McKeldin): 820 volumes, 123,365 pages, $18,619

Includes the following serial titles or genres of works, plus additional works: Mason and Root tunebooks, French pamphlets, Swing, NBC Chimes, Radio Stars, Radio Digest, Radio Doings, The Keynoter, Mid-Atlantic Archivist, Mid-Atlantic Archivist Conference programs, Biennial Reports (Maryland Agriculture College), Maryland Agriculture Experiment Station Annual Reports, UMD Media Guides, AFL-CIO Proceedings, The Lather, miscellaneous university publications, Werk, Notizie degli scavi di antichità, US Department of the Treasury publications, Reliable Poultry Journal, The Union Signal, Izvi︠e︡stīi︠a︡ Imperatorskago russkago geograficheskago obshchestva.

AFL-CIO News (oversize, bound) (SCUA): 12,874 pages, $7,080.70

Schedule of Classes (oversize, bound) (SCUA): 3,251 pages, $1,788.05

Schedule of Classes (microfilm) (SCUA): 15,282 pages, $3,265.40

Hebraica (books and serials) (McKeldin): 75,859 pages, $14,379.39

WAMU (1/4″ open audio reels), Godfrey (wire recordings)(SCUA): 154 reels, 39 wires, $12,179.87

Liz Lerman Dance Exchange Archives (VHS tapes) (SCPA): 98 tapes, $8,279.29

Library Media Services deteriorating films (16mm film) (LMS): 40,070 feet, 42 films, $16,028

Diamondback Photo Morgue (SCUA): 7,532 photos, $5,646

Tentative FY15 Totals: 230,631 pages, 7,532 photos, 154 reels, 39 wires, 98 VHS tapes, 42 films=$87,265.70

On June 11 Babak Hamidzadeh, Robin Pike, Liz Caringola, Judi Kidd, and Doug McElrath (SCUA) met with Linda Tompkins-Baldwin of Digital Maryland to share information about our respective projects and to discuss future collaboration. As a result of that meeting, Liz, Robin, and Doug will be speaking about the newspapers project at a series of regional meetings this summer to discuss cultural heritage issues, state initiatives, and opportunities for collaboration.

Judi Kidd and Eric arranged for the setup of sturdy new shelving in Hornbake 4210V, the purpose of which is to hold audiovisual equipment. Eric and digitization assistants Rachel Dook and Caroline Hayden arranged carts, boxes, and equipment. Work on this project will continue this summer, with the goal of creating an inventory of audiovisual equipment that may be used in digitization activities on campus.

Alice Prael is reviewing analytics data on our Digital Collections to determine the most popular holdings and how our patrons are finding them. This research will help inform future decisions on digital projects and how we can best promote them.

Software Development

In partnership with WAC and the Discovery group, the website search tabs have been modified to begin submitting searches to the WorldCat Discovery interface.

The Persian Digital Humanities website, implemented using our Hippo CMS based Exhibit template, is now available.  The UMD Libraries are hosting the website on behalf of the Roshan Institute for Persian Studies.  We are also exploring, along with MITH, additional collaborations with the Roshan Institute in the areas of digitization, text mining, and social media and web archiving.

Initial development of the new online student application submission form and supervisor database is completed and the application has been put into production. Student submissions are already being received and Human Resources and student supervisors are providing feedback for requested changes which we will review and install before the Fall semester.

As part of standing up a DSpace instance for the Maryland Shared Open Access Repository (MD-SOAR) we created a GitHub based code repository forked from the core DSpace code repository.  The production instance came online using DSpace version 5.1 with customizations to the XMLUI/Mirage2 interface for the MD-SOAR theme and for institutional branding based on each top-level community per participating institution.

DSS has entered into a partnership with the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) with DSS providing software development services and open data expertise in support of their mission to accelerate scientific discovery at the interface of human and ecological systems.  Development is underway on a new Integrated Discovery Platform for automating the ingest and cataloging of socio-environmental data.

User and System Support

On May 29, 2015, User and Systems Support migrated the Windows infrastructure from the Libraries’ LIBLAN active directory to DivIT’s AD.UMD.EDU active directory. The migration was successful and only had few a problems, which we were expecting. When changing a complete infrastructure that’s been in place for approximately 15 years, there will be hidden problems. User and Systems Support quickly resolved all problems.

The migration to DivIT’s AD.UMD.EDU active directory solved a few issues.  First, by migrating to the new active directory, staff no longer have to keep two passwords. The password used for email, timesheets, VPN, and other university resources is now the same password used for logging into the Windows workstations. Secondly, the LIBLAN domain was only created because of a need of the Libraries that DivIT didn’t provide at that time. Now, DivIT has their own stable active directory which contains accounts every librarian, staff, and student that’s on campus. And, their active directory security policies have been reviewed by IT auditors. There is no longer a need for the Libraries to create duplicate accounts or spend time copying the same security polices as DivIT.

Along with the change of passwords, there were other changes that were a result of the migration.  All network staff printers were renamed, and all printers were installed on every computer so staff now sees every network staff printer in their printer list. The new naming convention for the staff printers changed from department/unit name to BLDG_FL_PR# (Building_Floor number_Printer number). All the printers were labeled to match the same names as the printers shown on the staff workstations printer list. This change to the network printers allows for greater flexibility. Staff no longer need to contact the DSS Helpdesk to have a network printer installed. Printers do not need to be renamed if a department’s name changes. And it allows staff that float around the ability to print no matter where they are.

Also, because of the new security policies, staff can no longer have admin rights to their workstation. Anything that requires admin rights in ordered to be installed, now must be installed by User and System Support. Likewise, because of audited securitiy policies, DivIT does not create generic accounts in their active directory. So, departments can no longer have a generic account for their students to share. Each student must have their own username and password to be able to log into the workstations.

The entire domain migration took part in 3 major steps using scripts—premigration, ADmigration, and postmigration.  These scripts made it possible for USS to automate the process as much as possible, eliminating the need to touch all staff Windows desktop computers. The scripts didn’t run automatically on Windows laptops because most would either be away from campus, using wireless (which has its own problems), or simply turned off.  And also, the method of removing and adding Mac desktops and laptops to the new domain used an entirely different process.

The goal of the premigration script was to copy user data to try to make the migration as painless as possible. Since some of the user data could only be accessed when staff were logged in, this script had to be initiated by the staff before the migration. When initiated, the script copied over Firefox configurations, Internet Explorer Favorites, and Chrome configurations to a server. It also copied over the Microsoft Outlook configurations and data from a few specialized applications.

On Friday, May 29, 2015, DSS remotely pushed the ADmigration script to every staff Windows desktop that was powered on and had network connectivity. The script kicked off a 3 step process that rebooted the computers after each step was completed. These steps automatically removed the computers off the LIBLAN domain, renamed the computers to meet DivIT naming conventions, and added the computers to the AD.UMD.EDU domain, ready for the staff to login on Monday. It took weeks of planning, testing, and work to do these 3 steps without any human intervention at all. Each and every USS staff and student employee contributed in some way on this project.

The postmigration script was automatically ran when the staff logged into the computer for the first time. This script copied all the user data that was copied from the premigration script, and placed them in their correct locations on the computer. However, as with any process that involves so many computers, not all the scripts or steps ran successfully on every computer. Some staff didn’t have the opportunity to run the premigration script, and some desktops were able to run all 3 steps of the ADmigration scriptes. These machines had to be migrated individually by USS staff. The week following the migration was used to individually migrate all Windows laptops and Mac laptops/desktops.

The Library staff cooperated wonderfully throughout the migration.  By them doing the premigration steps, the number of potential problems were significantly reduced. And the staff that did have problems, they were patient and gave User and Systems Support staff the necessary time to resolve the issue. If not for the cooperation of the staff, the migration could have been unsuccessful with many frustrated staff.

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

Support to USMAI

The CLAS team responded to 75 Aleph Rx submission and 28 e-resource requests from across the consortium’s libraries in June. This included projects like configuring EZproxy for UM HS/HSL’s investigation of Callisto and modifying loan rules for SU’s iPad checkout service.

Fiscal Year End Closeout

June brings the end of one fiscal year and the beginning of the next. The CLAS team assisted USMAI campuses with the fiscal year transition, closing out FY2015 budgets, creating FY2016 budgets, and rolling encumbered orders from the old budget to the new budget.

New User Request Forms

In an effort to make the submission of Aleph user creation/deletion requests as simple and accurate as possible, the CLAS team has streamlined the input of information on the four user request forms (Circulation, Cataloging, Acquisitions, and Cross-Functional) and migrated the forms to a new survey platform (Wufoo). The new forms offer a number of hints when the requester hovers over corresponding fields. These hints along with the display of condition-specific fields should help guide requests.

Kuali OLE

CLAS continued work on OLE, meeting with USMAI testers to facilitate the consortium’s evaluation of OLE. The team also implemented an authentication method on their development server in order to test loading real data (i.e. patrons, financial, etc.) in OLE.



The Maryland Shared Open Access Repository moved into production status on June 15th. The repository is available and ready for participating campuses to begin loading repository items and collections.


Student assistant turned C1 Jordan Lee’s last day was June 30. Jordan accepted a full-time position with the UMD College of Behavioral and Social Sciences (BSOS) Undergraduate Advising Office, where she worked as graduate administrative coordinator while earning her MLS. Congrats, Jordan!

Conferences, workshops and professional development

Heidi Hanson attended ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco as Chair of LITA’s Christian Larew Scholarship Committee.

Liz Caringola was accepted into the 2015-2016 cohort for the Advancing Professional Track Faculty Program sponsored by the ADVANCE Program for Inclusive Excellence and the Office of Faculty Affairs. This program provides access to knowledge regarding policies governing professional track faculty; offers knowledge through concrete examples and models; and expands participants’ on-campus peer networks.

On June 4, Liz Caringola moderated the session “Wikipedia: Helping Us Reach Users and Build Partnerships” at the Research and Innovation Forum. The panelists included Laura Cleary, Felicity Brown, Jen Eidson, Steve Henry, and Jessica Abbazio. Robin Pike presented “Managing Audiovisual Digitization,” Josh Westgard presented “CSV Validation for Metadata Wrangling,” Karl Nilsen presented “Comparing Data Production in Social Sciences, Area Studies, and Humanities Fields Using Terminology in Literature,” and Eric Cartier presented a poster titled “Establishing the In-House Internet Archive Digitization Workflow” at the UMD Libraries Research and Innovative Practice Forum on Thursday, June 4. Eric’s poster was also accepted for the Society of American Archivists Research Forum, part of the Annual Meeting in Cleveland, OH.

Liz Caringola and Josh Westgard from DSS and Amanda Hawk from SCUA judged projects for the National History Day competition held on campus June 15-16.

Eric and Dr. Laura Schnitker attended the Cultural Heritage Information Management Forum at The Catholic University of America on Friday, June 5, and delivered the presentation, “Saving College Radio,” during the morning session.


Robin Pike, Eric Cartier, and student assistants Audrey Lengel, Caroline Hayden, and Cecilia Franck visited the National Public Radio headquarters in Washington, DC on Thursday, June 11 to deliver files digitized over the past two years from the NPR Archives. Hannah Sommers, Director of the Research, Archives, and Data Strategy group provided a tour of the facility and operations.

Eric met with Jaime Mears, a recent iSchool graduate currently working as a National Digital Stewardship Residency resident for the DC Public Libraries, on Wednesday, June 24. Jaime’s task is to develop a personal digital archiving workstation for the public, so she and Eric spoke about all of the procedures, processes, and workflows that are the foundation of Hornbake Digitization Center (HDC) digitization operations and how they may translate to a public library setting.

Stew of the month: May 2015

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 and Conversion Activities

The Historic Maryland Newspapers Project sent two additional batches (approximately 10,000 newspaper pages each) to the digitization vendor in May. In those batches were pages from Der Deutsche Correspondent, the St. Mary’s Beacon, and the St. Mary’s Gazette, as well as the remaining pages of the Catoctin Clarion. Digitization of Der Deutsche Correspondent, a German-language newspaper published in Baltimore from 1841-1918, began during our first grant cycle for the years 1858-1913. In collaboration with the Maryland Historical Society, the remainder of the run through 1918 will be completed during this grant.  The combined runs of the St. Mary’s Beacon and Gazette (Leonardtown, MD) will span 1852-1922.

Liz Caringola and the HMNP students continue to add to the Historic Maryland Newspapers Project on Pinterest. Please follow us if you’re on Pinterest!

Digitization assistants digitized 130 UMD sports media guides and 125 more historical French pamphlets, which Eric Cartier batch-uploaded to the Internet Archive.

Eric Cartier and digitization assistants Ryan Jester and Massimo Petrozzi completed quality assurance inspections of 190 WAMU audio files and 39 Arthur Godfrey sound recordings, received in April and May, accordingly. Both projects were funded through the Digitization Initiatives Committee project proposal process. 

Digitization assistants Brin Winterbottom and Rachel Dook explored CD-ripping software and developed procedures for capturing born-digital audio content on optical discs in-house. They converted 200 CD-Rs from the WMUC Collection containing in-studio, live Third Rail Radio shows.

GAs Alice Prael and Amy Wickner (SCUA) have begun a case study to test the workflow using a one terabyte hard drive containing born-digital records of the National Labor College obtained from the George Meany Memorial AFL-CIO Archive. Although the disk imaging process moved smoothly, they now face challenges accessing the disk image. This is due to an issue connecting network drives in the BitCurator environment.  They hope to resolve the problem soon.

Digital  Programs and Initiatives

In addition to routine file preservation activities, Josh Westgard has been focused on the launch of additional instances of the single-table Solr-backed Hippo database system previously piloted with the SCPA Scores Database. Two additional databases using this system will lauch in June. Josh is also assisting with the MD-SOAR shared institutional repository by handling batch loads of existing content into the new system, and has been involved in a number of recent exploratory meetings regarding new collections and future projects, including an exciting collaboration with members of the Digital Humanities team from the Roshan Institute for Persian Studies on the creation of a TEI-encoded corpus of Persian texts. Stay tuned for more on this and other new intitiatives in future postings!

Karl Nilsen and the Research Data Services team began working with Ann Wylie, professor of geology, to curate and preserve a variety of data related to the identification of asbestos. Accurate identification of asbestos is not only a matter of basic research, but also an important factor in industrial regulation, health policy, and legal proceedings. The team is reviewing the structure and formatting of Dr. Wylie’s data files, examining publications related to these data for information that will aid curation, and creating data documentation files. To support long-term access, the team will create CSV versions of the original Excel spreadsheets. These data will be uploaded to DRUM as open data and contribute to public and private research on asbestos.

Software Development

Design and planning for the Responsive Web Design project continued with several rounds of feedback and improvements for  Static HTML Mockups between DSS and the Web Advisory Committee.  Coding for the new templates in Hippo is scheduled to begin over the summer, with the home page and subsite pages implemented first.

The improved Exhibit website templates have been completed and installed into production.  Dependencies between the existing Beyond the Battle: Bladensburg Rediscovered content, the new Hippo Exhibit code, and the new Unify 1.7 bootstrap template turned out to be more complex than anticipated but with some extra effort the new template has come together.  Content for the new exhibits is still under construction so look for these coming soon: from the Roshan Institute for Persian Studies the Persian Digital Humanities website and from Special Collections the Library of American Broadcasting Foundation website and new exhibit Alice 150 Years and Counting…The Legacy of Lewis Carroll.

Development of the new online student application submission form and supervisor database is nearing completion. In June we will be working with Human Resources and student supervisors to test the application, fix bugs, tweak the features, and release into production.

As part of standing up a DSpace instance for the Maryland Shared Open Access Repository (MD-SOAR) we created a GitHub based code repository forked form the core DSpace code repository.  The production instance will come online using DSpace version 5.1 with customizations to the XMLUI/Mirage2 interface for the MD-SOAR theme and for a institutional branding based on each top-level community per participating institution.

The Wufoo Connector enterprise integration tool for submitting WuFoo forms into SysAid and AlephRx has proven buggy in the production environment.  Given very light demand for the application and alternatives for existing forms we have deferred working on a bug fix and have the removed application from production use.  Since beginning work on the Wufoo Connector we have become aware of  existing tools for enterprise messaging, such as Apache Camel, so rather than fixing the bug we may abandon this custom code for an established framework.

DSS has entered into a partnership with the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) with DSS providing software development services and open data expertise in support of their mission to accelerate scientific discovery at the interface of human and ecological systems.  Development is underway on a new Integrated Discovery Platform for automating the ingest and cataloging of socio-environmental data.

User and System Support

On Tuesday, June 2nd, at the iSchool Alumni Chapter Annual Meeting,  USS staff gave demonstrations about the equipment in the John & Stella Grave’s Makerspace.Sandra Ayensu, Victoria Quartey and Preston Tobery were asked to provide demos on 3D printing, 3D scanning, Google Glass and the One Button Studio. They demonstrated the equipment for about 2 hours. Everyone in attendance was thrilled to see what the Libraries has to offer. Uche Enwesi was asked to be one of the panelists in the meeting. He spoke about libraries and how they are using Makerspaces to transform learning and impact education.

The John & Stella Grave’s Makerspace room was flooded the night before from heavy rain. Fortunately, none of the equipment was damage. Because of the flood, the demonstrations had to happen outside the John & Stella Grave’s Makerspace room. Victoria did the demonstration for 3D printing. Attendees were amazed by the way the printers worked and liked being able to hold some of the printed models in their hands to get a closer look. Preston offered a closer look at handheld 3D scanning with the Sense 3D scanner. Preston hooked up a large screen TV to show how the scanner works in real time while he scanned a few people. They were amazed that the scan could be completed in minutes and made available for 3D printing even quicker. Sandra displayed the Google Glass; attendees naturally gravitated towards this swanky eye wear and immediately asked questions. Questions asked were: can they be worn over glasses, are they still in production, and are there any hazards such as overheating? Many attendees tried on the Google Glass but had a hard time focusing on the screen. Once they adjusted, they were ready to roll! Some played games while others recorded videos and took pictures. Our staff explained that many students and faculty of the University borrow them for up to three days.  The most common question was, why is the Google Glass in the Libraries?  Our staff was able to respond that,“The Libraries in the twenty-first century are defying the odds by rebranding the stereotype of a typical Library to a haven where limitless possibilities of innovation occur.”

Uche, Victoria, Preston, and Sandra enjoyed the meeting. They were able to learn about other Makerspaces in the area. It was nice to hear the different experiences panelists went through with their Makerspace. They also learned that Makerspace aren’t limited to educational campuses but are being opened up in general public areas too. One notable experience came from an elementary school librarian. She mentioned that 3D printers did not mesh well for her environment because kids lacked patience to wait for 3D printjobs to finish. She had to create a new curriculum that was not centered on 3D printing, but still fun for the children.

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

Support to USMAI

The CLAS team responded to 84 Aleph Rx submissions and 25 e-resource requests from across the consortium’s libraries in May. These requests include interesting campus projects like restricting access to a specific Docutek e-reserve course at TU (using EZproxy) in support of a shared syllabus collection that is being built and helping integrate EZproxy with the product Callisto for HS/HSL. The team is also working on coordinating the transitioning of USMAI libraries’ budgets into the new fiscal year – an annual process known as “Fiscal Year End Closeout“.

Metalib migration

The migration of Metalib (the application behind ResearchPort) was completed on May 7th. This was a complicated move, which CLAS Systems Analyst Hans Breitenlohner successfully executed with minimal downtime to users. The suite of applications is now thriving in its new home!

Kuali OLE

The team continues to work with consortium members on their testing of OLE. Version 1.6 of OLE was officially released in late May. CLAS Systems Analyst David Steelman has updated the “OLE Sandbox” environment to this new version for testing.

As a possible complement to OLE, the team has been looking at a utility called the Business Intelligence Reporting Tool (“BIRT” for short), as a potential reporting tool to use alongside OLE. Keeping with the spirit of OLE, BIRT is an open source product.



The Maryland Shared Open Access Repository (MD-SOAR) continues to move closer to production. Work on theming and configuring the application will be complete in June and is still on schedule to hand over to individual institutions on June 15th for their use.


The following DCMR students graduated this semester: Melissa Foge, Jordan Lee, Marlin Oliver, and Massimo Petrozzi. Melissa, Jordan, and Massimo will be working as C1s this summer. Marlin was recently hired by Sirius XM Satellite Radio.

SSDR says farewell to our Graduate Assistants Sakshi Jain and Rohit Arora.  Sakshi  has obtained her Masters in Information Management from the iSchool and Rohit his M.S. in Telecommunications Engineering from the ENTS program.

Conferences, workshops and professional development

David Steelman attended the Ex Libris Technical Seminar in Minneapolis on May 4th. He attended training on the Patron Directory Services (PDS) module, which is a key component of the authentication framework for USMAI libraries.

Heidi Hanson attended the ELUNA Conference from May 6th through 8th in Minneapolis.

David Dahl attended the Maryland/Delaware Library Associations 2015 Conference in Ocean City, MD from May 6th through 8th. He co-presented a poster entitled “That’s Not Relevant! Comparisons of Perceived Results Relevancy in Discovery Service Products”.


Graduate Assistants Alice Prael and Amy Wickner (SCUA) have written an article on their recent work with born digital workflows. “Getting to Know FRED: Introducing Workflows for Born Digital Content” was published in Practical Technology for Archives this month. They will also be presenting this paper at the semi-annual meeting of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference in Roanoke, VA in October.

Where is all of our digital stuff?

I like to think that we, at the University of Maryland, are not unlike other university libraries, in that we have a lot of digital content, and, just like with books, we have it in a lot of different places.    Unfortunately, unlike our dependable analog collections, keeping track of all of this digitized content can sometimes be unwieldy.   One of my big goals is to reach the point where an inventory of these digital collections can provide me with the equivalent of a “Shelf location” and statistics at the push of a button.  One project I have been working on has involved documenting and locating all of the UMD Libraries’ digital content, in a first step towards this goal.  I am focusing right now on things that we create or that we own outright, vs. content that comes to us in the form of a subscription database, which is a whole issue in itself. We don’t have one repository to rule them all in a physical sense. Rather, I like to think of our “repository” at present as an “ecosystem.” Here are some parts of our digital repository ecosystem.

DRUM (DSpace)

Stats: Close to 14,000 records.  Approximately 8,800 of these are University of Maryland theses and dissertations.

DRUM is the Digital Repository at the University of Maryland. Currently, there are three types of materials in the collections: faculty-deposited documents, a Library-managed collection of UMD theses and dissertations, and collections of technical reports.  As a digital repository, files are maintained in DRUM for the long term. Descriptive information on the deposited works is distributed freely to search engines. Unlike the Web, where pages come and go and addresses to resources can change overnight, repository items have a permanent URL and the UMD Libraries committed to maintaining the service into the future.  In general, DRUM is format-agnostic, and strives to preserve only the bitstreams submitted to it in a file system and the metadata in a Postgres database.  DSpace requires the maintenance of a Bitstream Format Registry, but this serves merely as a method to specify allowable file formats for upload; it does not guarantee things like display, viewers, or emulation.  DSpace does provide some conversion services, for example, conversion of Postscript format to PDF.  DRUM metadata may be OAI-PMH harvested, and portions of it are sent to OCLC via the Digital Collections Gateway. A workflow exists to place thesis and dissertation metadata into OCLC. Most of DRUM is accessible via Google Scholar.

Digital Collections (Fedora)

Stats: 21,000 bibliographic units representing over 220,000 discrete digital objects.

Digital Collections is the portal to digitized materials from the collections of the University of Maryland Libraries.  It is composed primarily of content digitized from our analog holdings in Special Collections and other departments. The University of Maryland’s Digital Collections support the teaching and research mission of the University by facilitating access to digital collections, information, and knowledge.  Content is presently limited to image files (TIFF/JPG), TEI, EAD, and streaming audio and video.  Fedora manages the descriptive metadata, technical metadata, and the access derivative file.   While Fedora can be developed to accept any format, our implementation currently only easily accepts TIFF and JPG images, and TEI-encoded/EAD-encoded XML documents. We are not currently using Fedora to inventory/keep track of our preservation TIFF masters.  Audiovisual records are basically metadata pointers to an external streaming system.  Fedora metadata may be OAI-PMH harvested, and portions of it are sent to OCLC via the Digital Collections Gateway.  Google does crawl the site and many resources are available via a Google search.

Chronicling America (Library of Congress)

Stats: We have currently submitted approximately 25,000 newspaper pages to the Library of Congress, and anticipate a total of 100,000 pages by August 2014.

Chronicling America is the website that provides access to the files created and submitted as part of the National Digital Newspaper Project (NDNP) grants.  We submit all files (TIFF, JP2, PDF, ALTO XML) to the Library of Congress, and they archive a copy.  We are currently archiving a copy locally, in addition to the copies archived by LoC.  One complete copy of each batch is sent to UMD’s Division of IT for archiving. In addition, Digital Systems and Stewardship saves a copy of each batch to local tape backup, and retains the original batch hard drive in the server room in McKeldin Library.


Stats: Nothing yet! Plan to begin submitting content in 2014

HathiTrust provides long-term preservation and access services to member institutions.  For institutions with content to deposit, participation enables immediate preservation and access services, including bibliographic and full-text searching of the materials within the larger HathiTrust corpus, reading and download of content where available, and the ability to build public or private collections of materials. HathiTrust accepts TIFF images and OCR files in either ALTO XML or hOCR.  They provide conversion tools to convert TIFF masters into JPEG 2000 for access purposes.

Internet Archive

Stats: Almost 4,000 books, with over 840,000 pages

The Internet Archive is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that was founded to build an Internet library. Its purposes include offering permanent access for researchers, historians, scholars, people with disabilities, and the general public to historical collections that exist in digital format. The UMD Libraries contribute content to the Internet Archive in two ways.  First, we submit material to be digitized at a subsidized rate as part of the Lyrasis Mass Digitization Collaborative.  The material must be relatively sturdy, and either not be in copyright, or we should be able to prove that we have permission from the copyright holder.  We have also been adding content digitized in-house (usually rare or fragile), and upload the access (PDF) files and metadata to the Internet Archives ourselves.  The Internet Archive produces JPEG2000 and PDF files at the time of digitization.  They produce both cropped and uncropped JPEG2000 files for each volume. The UMD Libraries saves locally and archives to the UMD Division of IT the cropped JPEG2000 files and the PDFs.


I am already aware of other types of digital content that we will have to track.  Born-Digital records and personal files from our Special Collections and University Archives.  eBooks in PDF and other formats that we purchase for the collection and have to determine how to serve to the public.  Publications, such as journals, websites, and databases.  Research data.  I hope to return to this post in 2020 and smile at how confused, naive, and inexperienced we all were at all of this.  Until then, I will keep working to pull everything together as best I can.

Fedora Commons With Apache Hadoop: A Research Study

Mohamed Mohideen Abdul Rasheed, a software developer in Software Systems Development and Research, worked for about six months at the beginning of 2013 on a special project to evaluate Apache Hadoop for use as a backend storage solution both for applications we already use, such as Fedora Commons and DSpace, and for future Research Data services. The outcome of the research is that while Hadoop shows much promise in this area, several issues preclude moving forward with implementation just yet, most notably the lack of a clear disaster recovery plan.

I am pleased to announce that Mohamed Mohideen has published his research findings in an article entitled Fedora Commons With Apache Hadoop: A Research Study in the October 14, 2013 (Issue 22)  edition of the Code4Lib Journal.