Welcome to a new issue of Stew of the Month, a monthly blog from Digital Systems and Stewardship (DSS) at the University of Maryland Libraries. This blog provides news and updates from the DSS Division. We welcome comments, feedback and ideas for improving our products and services.
Historic Maryland Newspapers Project
In March the following Maryland newspapers were uploaded to Chronicling America:
- The Democratic Advocate (Westminster, MD): November 30, 1865 – December 29, 1922
- The Port Tobacco Times, and Charles County Advertiser (Port Tobacco, MD): June 26, 1845 – November 11, 1890
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: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Meetup/MD/UMD_MSA_Newspapers
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 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.
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 https://wiki.duraspace.org/display/FF/Design+-+API+Extension+Architecture).
OA Publishing Fund Update
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.
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, ArchivesSpace, Avalon). 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 (Box.com 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.
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.
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. http://umd-lib.github.io/dcfug2016/
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.