Archelon 1.0 Release

We are pleased to announce the 1.0 release of Archelon, the new staff-only administrative interface for content in the UMD Libraries’ Fedora 4 repository. The Fedora 4 repository was released in production last August and Archelon is the first staff interface for content in Fedora 4.

The 1.0 release enables library staff in Special Collections and University Archives, Digital Conversion and Media Reformatting, Digital Programs and Initiatives, and other departments to search, browse, and download content in Fedora 4. In addition, a basic, embedded newspaper and image viewer is included in the 1.0 release. Archelon will be developed in an agile fashion, with many incremental releases over time, and upcoming releases will include more features in the newspaper viewer. Eventually, full content add/update capabilities will be available to users, beginning with version 2.0.

Digital Content in Archelon

The launch of Archelon coincides with the import of the digitized Diamondback student newspapers, which will be the first collection available on the new platform. Batch loading of 130,000 objects is currently underway, representing 3,500 issues spanning 1910 to 1971.  Working closely with stakeholders in Special Collections and University Archives, we have established that it is a priority to load content that is currently not available online, such as Katherine Anne Porter correspondence and Diamondback photos.  We will be working on loading this content through 2017 as well as migrating content from the existing Digital Collections repository.

Archelon’s Technology

Archelon 1.0 is built using Ruby on Rails and the Blacklight discovery interface.  The supporting infrastructure behind Archelon includes the previously released Fedora 4 repository and new additions of a Newspaper batch loader, IIIF image server using Loris, search/index service using Apache Solr 6,  and IIIF manifest server using pcdm-manifests.  The newspaper viewer is built using the Mirador IIIF image viewer.

What’s Up with the Name?

Archelon is named for the ancient genus of giant sea turtles Archelon, whose name means “ruler turtle” in Greek. Archelon lived approximately 80.5 million years ago in the shallow seas that covered most of North America at the time. It is the largest ever recorded species of turtle by size, and second largest by weight.

Acknowledgements

The Fedora 4 repository implementation team would like to thank everyone in Digital Systems and Stewardship and throughout the University Libraries whose technical and administrative support made this effort possible.

Big Ten Academic Alliance: Reciprocal Borrowing

We are pleased to announce that as part of our software services program DSS is building and hosting a Reciprocal Borrowing application on behalf of the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA).  BTAA institutions, plus the University of Chicago, provide reciprocal borrowing privileges to current faculty, emeritus faculty, students, and staff at the other member libraries. Borrowing privileges are governed by the lending library based on local circulation policies established for guest borrowers. To make use of this service, visiting borrowers must present an institutional photo ID, and verify their current affiliation by authenticating through the Reciprocal Borrowing application.  This web application will replace the existing paper based process.

Development work began in November and is expected to be released in production in time for the Spring 2017 semester. The application is built with the Ruby on Rails web framework and Shibboleth federated identity management technologies. Guest borrower attribute release is made possible via common membership in InCommon and registration in the research and scholarship category. The source code is released under an Apache License Version 2.0 and is available from GitHub under umd-lib/reciprocal-borrowing.

Stew of the month: September 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 September the following Maryland newspapers were uploaded to Chronicling America:

Students Kerry Huller completed quality review of the final batches of the second grant, which Liz Caringola submitted to the Library of Congress. Kerry and Sara Horn continued metadata collation for titles selected for the third grant.

African American History and Culture & Digital Humanities

Scott Pennington coordinated with MITH personnel, Jen Eidson (SCUA), and Stephanie Smith (Driskell Center) on selecting content from the AFL-CIO collection and the David C. Driskell papers for the digitization pilot to occur in November/December, and the main digitization project to occur in 2017. He also refined the digitization project plan and timeline.

Other Digitization Activities

Robin Pike coordinated with Joanne Archer, Liz Novara, Vin Novara, Hilary Thompson, and several students to send out four vendor digitization projects during September including, videotape interviews from the Jackson R. Bryer collection (SCPA), Contemporary Music Project audio recordings (SCPA), videotapes from the Carpenters Union archive (SCUA), and microfiche of general collection books frequently requested by patrons. All of these projects were funded through the DIC project proposal process.

Cecilia Franck began collating metadata for the Diamondback newspaper to be digitized in FY18, taking over for SCUA student Jen Wachtel (who completed collation for the FY16, FY17, and some of FY18 project phases).

Kelsey Hughes, Jonathan Lin, and Cecilia Franck completed a 100% quality review of 114 Hebrew and Yiddish books totaling 33,258 pages for batch two of the FY16 Hebraica digitization project, funded through the DIC digitization project proposal process.

Digital  Programs and Initiatives

In collaboration, DPI and SSDR created a batch loading tool for extracting National Digital Newspaper Program data from its native XML serialization and loading it into a Fedora 4 repository according to a locally developed content model conforming to the community standard known as the Portland Common Data Model.

DPI loaded more than 500 new audio and video items supplied by DCMR into digital collections.

Software Development

The initial development work on the Wufoo Connector integration with SysAid is complete and the application is installed in the production server environment. The application is currently serving one form, receiving the DSS Contact Us form and mapping it into the SysAid ticketing system for handling by DSS.  Additional form handling will be added as requested.  The application is built around Apache Camel, a tool we use to handle system integrations and message routing in many of our services.

Hippo CMS

Implementation of the new Libi (Libraries’ Intranet) continues with development work on the Group and News pages.  After researching the options for indexing Hippo documents into Apache Solr we have begun implementation of an Apache Camel based solution, which is also the tool we’ll use to index Box documents into Solr.

Hippo based websites continued to be highly available and performant throughout September due to investments in code debugging, server improvements, and architecture improvements last Spring and Summer.  As both human and automated website traffic continues to increase we will be continually monitoring and reacting to issues as they arise.

 

Digital Collections

We have continued development of the Mirador based Newspaper Viewer and in conjunction with that effort are enhancing our backend services to support the viewer and website needs for full-text search of the scanned newspaper images as well as dynamically generated annotation lists supporting hit-highlighting and article level segmentation.  This work involves integration between the Newspaper Viewer, Fedora 4, the IIIF Image Server, and new support services.

Given that we don’t yet have a Hydra based full administrative interface to Fedora 4 we have been working on a lightweight Blacklight interface to Fedora 4 which will allow basic read-only review of our ingested Diamondback newspapers. This also provides us with Blacklight experience for later use in other applications and in determining whether we are going to implement the Diamondback discovery interface using Blacklight or Hippo CMS.

Administrative Applications

With the arrival of our new Ruby on Rails contract developer, work on the new new Annual Staffing Request application has resumed in collaboration with Budget and Business Services.  The web-based application will replace the current staff budgeting process performed using Excel spreadsheets, with the goal of having the new application in place by mid-November.

We have also met with Human Resources for the kickoff meeting of the project to migrate Online Student Applications out of the current Libi and Drupal based implementation to a standalone Ruby on Rails application.  This application is expected be available by mid-December for students to  begin submitting applications for work in the Spring semester.

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

Support to USMAI

The CLAS team responded to 102 Aleph Rx submissions and 21 e-resource requests from across the consortium’s libraries in September.

Loyola Notre Dame Library

Work continued on migrating Loyola Notre Dame Library (LNDL) from Voyager ILS to USMAI’s Aleph instance as part of their membership within USMAI. LNDL staff were give access to a development environment for early testing and training activities. CLAS and LNDL have been in communication about configuration decisions in Aleph. The first half of LNDL’s Voyager data was delivered by Ex Libris in late September and is currently being analyzed for mapping and loading to Aleph. The current window for migrating LNDL to Aleph is January 3rd to 17th.

Communication and Collaboration Platform Analysis

Four focus groups with staff at USMAI libraries were held in September to learn more about consortium members’ use of available systems for communication and collaboration. Heidi Hanson and Joseph Koivisto facilitated the sessions. The results of the focus groups along with information obtained from interviews and surveys will be analyzed to inform a list of system requirements that will guide the future direction of our collaboration tools. Thank you to all who participated in the focus groups!

MDsoarLOGO

MD-SOAR

The group began plans to evaluate the two-year MD-SOAR pilot. DSS will review evaluation information from MD-SOAR partners in order to put together scenarios/proposals for continuing the service beyond the pilot.

MD-SOAR partners reviewed the results of user testing performed by the USMAI User Experience Subgroup. Joseph Koivisto created prototype mock-ups of proposed changes for the partners to consider.

Staffing

Shiyun Chen, Kelsey Hughes, Becca Mena, and Suzy Wilson, all first year graduate students in the iSchool, began working as Student Digitization Assistants in DCMR.

Conferences, workshops and professional development

Josh Westgard attended the DC Fedora Users Group meeting at the National Agricultural Library, where he presented on our latest Fedora 4 adoption efforts.  He also attended the Media Digitization and Preservation Initiative update meeting at Indiana University where he learned about IU’s efforts to preserve at risk audio and visual materials, and the infrastructure and collaborations they have developed to support mass digitization.

Robin Pike and Doug McElrath (SCUA) attended the NDNP Awardees Conference at the National Endowment for the Humanities and Library of Congress on September 14-16, 2016. Robin presented on a panel titled “NDNP Work in State Context” where she discussed how UMD is using the expertise gained during the NDNP project on the Diamondback newspaper digitization project and in building the Maryland Newspaper Repository.

Eric Cartier, Kate Dohe, Robin Pike, and several others from SCUA attended “Play/back” a symposium on preserving audiovisual heritage hosted by the National Endowment for the Humanities on September 30, 2016.

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: 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 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 https://wiki.duraspace.org/display/FF/Design+-+API+Extension+Architecture).

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 (towen@umd.edu) if you have any questions.

e-Publishing

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 (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.

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.

MDsoarLOGO

MD-SOAR

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.

Staffing

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.