Chronicling America surpasses 10 million pages!

The University of Maryland Libraries joins the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities in celebrating a major milestone for Chronicling America, a free, searchable database of historic U.S. newspapers. The Library of Congress announced on October 7 that more than 10 million pages have been posted to the site. This number includes 117,082 pages of Maryland newspapers digitized by the Historic Maryland Newspapers Project and its content partners, the Maryland State Archives and Maryland Historical Society, from the following titles:

Titles are added on a rolling basis, so check back often, or subscribe to Chronicling America’s RSS feed to receive alerts when new titles are added.

For more information about the Historic Maryland Newspapers Project, please visit our website:

Stew of the Month: February 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 Activities

Robin Pike received back from digitization vendors 98 digitized video recordings from the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange collection in from Special Collections in the Performing Arts (SCPA), and 25 volumes of AFL-CIO News and 29 volumes of the Schedule of Classes, both held in Special Collections in University Archives (SCUA). Eric Cartier will perform and manage quality assurance and ingest processes on these shipments over the next few months.

Eric Cartier and Josh Westgard collaborated to make more than 140 Madrigal Singers sound recordings available in UMD Digital Collections, digitized by a vendor in 2014. The Madrigal Singers collection is held in SCPA, and contains recordings from the UMD musical group who performed “vocal and instrumental music dating from the pre-Renaissance period to twentieth-century America” between 1958-1983.

Rachel digitizing_AliceinWonderland
Digitization Assistant Rachel Dook scanning books.
Rachel_cropping_quality checking_AinW
Rachel Dook rotating and cropping scans, and then doing a quality control inspection.

Digitization assistants began scanning covers, title pages, inscriptions, and selected illustrations for the upcoming Hornbake Library exhibit Alice 150 and Counting…The Legacy of Lewis Carroll – Selections from the Collection of August and Clare Imholtz.

Digital  Programs and Initiatives

Graduate Assistants Alice Prael (Digital Programs and Initiatives) and Amy Wickner (SCUA) presented at the Emerging Technologies Discussion Group (ETDG) February meeting about their work with born digital workflows.  They have been testing the forensic workstation (FRED) and tools including BitCurator and the Forensic Toolkit Imager to determine the best process for handling born digital content. The attendees posed questions and incited a compelling conversation on legacy media and the challenges in working with born digital media.

A DRUM Roll Please! With the addition of 247 electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) from the fall 2014 semester, there are now more 10,000 ETDs in DRUM dating back to 2003. Check out some of the most recent research by UMD graduates here. Also, the Archive of Immigrant Voices from the Center for the New History of the New America has recently been added to DRUM. The Archive currently contains eleven recordings and transcripts of immigrant oral histories with many more scheduled to be added in the new future.

Software Development

WuFoo Connector enterprise integration tool for submitting WuFoo forms into SysAid and AlephRx was completed and released to production.

Hippo CMS 7.8.8-1 was released to production with several bug fixes and performance improvements, along with a slight refresh for the Digital Collections home page.

We have embarked on a year long effort to overhaul the Libraries’ Website, consolidated with the Libraries’ Website, Mobile, to provide a new Responsive Web Design based interface.  This new interface will allow for access to all website content on any device (desktop, tablet, and mobile) with navigation and display optimized for the particular screen size on each device.  Working with the Web Advisory Committee we established high level objectives for the project and major milestones.  Look for the new interface in January, 2016.

User and System Support

Since September 2014, The John and Stella Graves Makerspace has garnered a lot of interest and offers for events and demonstrations.  Recently, we were contacted by Professor Kari Kraus, an associate professor in the iSchool (College of Information Studies) and the Department of English.

Professor Kraus was interested in incorporating 3D printing into both her graduate and undergraduate classes. She is teaching ENGL 467: Computer and Text, an undergraduate English course with twenty-five students. She is also teaching INST 644: Introduction to Digital Humanities, an iSchool graduate course with eleven students. Both classes are reading a short story, written by Philip K. Dick’s, Pay for the Printer. The science fiction short story is based in a war-ravaged future, humanity has come to depend on an alien species known as the Biltongs, possessed of the ability to replicate items identically – although the copies only last for a short time. When the Biltongs become decrepit, the humans are forced to rediscover the skill of building. She wanted her classes to recreate some objects from the story using modeling software with a warping tool on our 3D printers.

Sandra and Preston demonstrating the 3D printer.
Sandra and Preston demonstrating the 3D printer.

On March 3rd and March 11th, 2015, Preston and Sandra gave an introductory course on 3D printing and scanning to both her undergraduate and graduate courses. They spoke about the different tools and devices on the Makerbot Replicator 2 3D printer, introduced Makerbot Desktop software, and other fundamentals teachings of 3D printing. Although, most of the students did not have any experience with 3D printing, they were engaged and eager for more knowledge. At every mention of different websites such as thingiverse, tinkercad, and mesh mixer, students followed along on their laptops. Even though Preston and Sandra talked about new-age technology, one student continued to use good ole’ paper and pen to write her notes. Preston and Sandra gave numerous opportunities to ask questions, re-explain a concept, or even become interactive with the printer by unloading and reloading the filament. There was a little bit of hesitation at first but students eventually warmed up and soon everyone wanted a turn. There was a slight issue with the printer which inhibited a student from doing one of the exercises. However, the problem was resolved and it became a teachable moment. Most students were amazed about the real-world applications of 3D printing such as producing prosthetic limbs. Sandra spoke about a certified user of the John and Stella Graves Makerspace, Luke, and his ability to print prosthetic hands for children who do not have them. A certified user is a patron who has proven their proficiency through a skill test.

Let me take a closer look at this 3D printed car. What can I do with the 3D printer?
Let me take a closer look at this 3D printed car. What can I do with the 3D printer?
Come to me 3D printed elephant, let me take a closer look...
Come to me 3D printed elephant, let me take a closer look…

For those who sat in on the class as an observer, most thought it was a very approachable learning experience. The content was deep but they were impressed to see their ability to stay in the moment to get the students to understand the concept of 3D printing.

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

The CLAS team responded to 94 Aleph Rx submissions (including keeping track of all those weather-related closings!) and 32 e-resource requests. Of note, David Wilt has been working with University of Baltimore to improve the process of getting fines and fees information out of Aleph and into their bursar’s financial system. Hans Breitenlohner has been working with Salisbury University to implement single sign-on (SSO) using Shibboleth.

Testing of Kuali OLE continues and February marked an important time as College Park’s implementation group got their first look at the “sandbox” OLE environment set up by CLAS. The sandbox environment is currently running version 1.5.6 and the team is looking forward to the release of version 1.6 soon. Team members participate in weekly implementation meetings where they learn from and help out other institutions working towards the implementation of OLE.

The migration of the Metalib application to a new virtual machine environment continues and is still on schedule for a production cut-over at the end of March.


Nathan Putnam has now taken on the role of Acting Manager of Digital Programs and Initiatives (DPI) in the DSS Division; he will continue to be the manager of MSD in the CSS Division.

Conferences, workshops and professional development

Robin Pike attended The Library Collective Conference in Knoxville, TN February 19-20, and presented on the panel “Finding a Way: Negotiation Tips and Tactics” about working with digitization vendors.


Graduate Assistant Alice Prael co-proposed a paper with SCUA GA Amy Wickner on their recent work with born digital media and workflows, which was recently accepted to the Practical Technology for Archives journal.


Pam Mitchem and her team from Appalachian State University Libraries, Boone, NC, are planning a digital scholarship center.  They identified the University of Maryland’s digital programs and initiatives as a model to investigate and visited College Park on a fact-finding expedition. Trevor Muñoz, Terry Owen and Josh Westgard met with the ASU team for a productive exchange.

Four members of the technology team at Archbishop Curley High School in Baltimore arranged a visit to us; they are planning to develop their traditional library into a Digital Media Resource Center. They were due to meet with Robin Pike, Eric Cartier, Carleton Jackson and Uche Enwesi on Friday 6th March but our Snow Day intervened and the visit was canceled. Perhaps they’ll be able to visit another day.

Historic Maryland Newspapers Project receives funding for Phase 2

It’s our pleasure to announce that the Historic Maryland Newspapers Project at the University of Maryland Libraries has received funding for Phase 2 and will continue through August 2016 thanks to a generous $290,000 National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP) grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The Historic Maryland Newspapers Project was first awarded an NDNP grant in 2012 to digitize 100,000 pages of newsprint published between 1836 and 1922. To date, approximately 107,375 pages of Maryland newspapers have been digitized and nearly 86,000 are available on the Library of Congress database Chronicling America. The bulk of these pages is from the prominent German-language Baltimore paper Der Deutsche Correspondent. The time frame of the digitized Correspondent spans 1858 to 1913.The following titles were also digitized during Phase 1 of the project:


  • The American Republican and Baltimore Daily Clipper, 1844-1846
  • The Baltimore Commercial Journal, and Lyford’s Price-Current, 1847-1849
  • Baltimore Daily Commercial, 1865-1866
  • The Daily Exchange, 1858-1861
  • The Pilot and Transcript, 1840-1841

Western Maryland

  • Civilian and Telegraph (Cumberland), 1859-1865
  • The Maryland Free Press (Hagerstown), 1862-1868

During Phase 2, we will complete digitization of Der Deutsche Correspondent (1914-1918) and will digitize a variety of English papers that reflect the regional diversity of Maryland. We look forward to collaborating with our colleagues at the Maryland State Archives during the second phase of the project.

See the press release from NEH:

Experimenting with 3D Printing

The University of Maryland’s student newspaper, the Diamondback, recently reported that the UMD Libraries have installed a 3D printer in the Terrapin Learning Commons.  Before new tools like this are installed, User and Systems Support (USS) conducts extensive research and testing. In this case, USS obtained a MakerBot 3D Printer.  The relatively small piece of desktop equipment is one of the most exciting we have seen in years.   A 3D printer works by feeding a 3D design into a computer program, which then sends the information to the printer. The printer builds the object from the bottom up, depositing a plastic (PLA) filament in horizontal layers onto a build platform, and resulting in an actual object that can be used however intended.

Libraries are increasingly making 3D printers available to patrons – they are excellent ways to create models or other products necessary for school work and design.  While USS staff have been having their own fun, they have also been experimenting with useful designs and thinking about ways to use the 3D printer to produce supplies, such as cable organizers:

Will and his purple mug
Will and his purple mug, created with the MakerBot 3D printer
Uche wih a nameplate and a UMD terrapin!
Uche wih a nameplate and a UMD terrapin, printed using the MakerBot 3D printer!