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Metropolitan Museum of Art Makes 375,000 Images Open Access

Posted by: on February 23, 2017   |Comments (0)|Open Access

This month, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art made 375,000 public domain images available for free use under a Creative Commons Zero license. The development comes as part of the Met’s Open Access initiative, in partnership with Wikimedia Commons, and means that users can access photos of a portion of the Met’s inventory for web viewing and for use with no copyright restriction.

Richard Knipel, president of Wikimedia’s NYC chapter, wrote a blog post detailing the museum’s ongoing open access project, and Thomas P. Campbell, director and CEO of the museum, said in a recent statement that, “Increasing access to the Museum’s collection and scholarship serves the interests and needs of our 21st-century audiences by offering new resources for creativity, knowledge, and ideas. We thank Creative Commons, an international leader in open access and copyright, for being a partner in this effort.”

The museum has partnered with Creative Commons, Wikimedia, Artstor, Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), Art Resource, and Pinterest to publicize the initiative. The collection can be viewed on the Met’s site here, on Wikimedia, or via Creative Commons. (Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4)

This month, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art made 375,000 public domain images available for free use under a Creative... MORE

A New Look for PC’s Digital Commons

Posted by: on February 17, 2017   |Comments (0)|Facilities and Tools

DC Site RedesignProvidence College’s Digital Commons, an open-access repository of faculty and student scholarship, has been redesigned! The new homepage features a gallery of some of the collections that we are digitizing and journals we are publishing, including the archive of PC’s student newspaper, The Cowl and The Providence College Art Journal, which publishes the Art History and Studio Art senior theses along with original student artworks in a variety of media. Check it out at: http://digitalcommons.providence.edu/.

Providence College’s Digital Commons, an open-access repository of faculty and student scholarship, has been redesigned! The new homepage features a... MORE

The Zeutschel overhead scanner is here!

Posted by: on February 10, 2017   |Comments (0)|Uncategorized

Digital Publishing Services is proud to announce a new addition to the DPS Lab! The Zeutschel OS12002 overhead cradle book scanner. This mighty piece of equipment will allow the DPS Lab to work with a variety of print materials, including delicate/ fragile bound books and documents, to larger books, maps and newspapers.  The overhead scanner houses two highly sensitive and intuitive cameras that scan the documents, one of which is a 3D camera, which through the software PerfectBook, can correct the curvature of a book, document, etc.  This scanner was designed specifically to deal with all of the complicated issues many archivists of print material have had to deal with over the years. Digital Publishing Services is excited have this scanner in our possession so we can move forward with many ambitious projects in the future.

Digital Publishing Services is proud to announce a new addition to the DPS Lab! The Zeutschel OS12002 overhead cradle book... MORE

Rosarium is Live

Posted by: on February 3, 2017   |Comments (0)|Digital Humanities

Rosarium has been up and running for a few months, but I don’t think it’s been officially announced anywhere, so: Rosarium is live!

The Rosarium Project is an online collection of nonfiction writing about roses compiled and TEI-encoded by Julia R. Tryon, Assistant Professor and Commons Librarian for Research & Education at PC. It is expected to be of use to garden historians, to gardeners who may be interested in learning about older techniques and cultivars, and to scholars of leisure activity and lifestyles.

Currently the collection contains magazine articles dating from 1894 to 1922, with an eventual goal of expanding its chronological scope backwards to the sixteenth century. It is fully searchable. Results are sortable by date, reverse date, journal, title, or author, and can additionally be filtered by rose variety or other subject, by rose color, and by journal type (literary, women’s, arts, gardening, etc.). The user can add records to a bookbag which can then be emailed, generate citations, and learn more about people and terms mentioned in the articles by reading pop-ups which appear when names are clicked.

  • View Rosarium here.
  • More about Rosarium here.

Here are a few screenshots:

Rosarium has been up and running for a few months, but I don’t think it’s been officially announced anywhere, so:... MORE

SPARC’s Director of Open Education Visits PC

Posted by: on January 30, 2017   |Comments (0)|Open Educational Resources

Providence College was pleased to host SPARC’s Director of Open Education, Nicole Allen, who gave a talk entitled OER and Solving the Textbook Cost Crisis on Monday, January 23rd.  View the slides from the talk here.

Allen described the current state of the textbook market, described how this is hurting students both financially and academically, and outlines some concrete examples of how open textbooks and OER can mitigate the problem.  The talk concluded with some helpful, concrete steps for librarians and faculty interested in setting the default to “open.”  Suggested steps include: when you can share, do share; change the default- consider using OER first for teaching or presentations, and then explore other options; support faculty as they work to adopt, adapt, and create OER; and, make “open” your mission.  Allen’s talk was attended by a mix of librarians, administrator, and faculty.  The event was recorded and a can be viewed here.

In addition to presenting this talk, Allen also attended a meeting of recipients of the OER mini-grants awarded by the Provost’s office.  Faculty grantees come from Education; Chemistry and Biochemistry; Psychology; and Finance.  The library and the Center for Teaching Excellence will work closely with these faculty as they adapt their syllabi to include OER.  More information on the progress of this initiative will be shared as it develops.

Providence College was pleased to host SPARC’s Director of Open Education, Nicole Allen, who gave a talk entitled OER and... MORE

Google’s New PhotoScan App Turns Prints into High-Quality Digital Images

Posted by: on December 10, 2016   |Comments (0)|Facilities and Tools

Ever digitized an old print photo by taking a picture of it with your phone? In a pinch, it’s a quick-and-dirty solution that usually sacrifices image quality. The Google Photos team has responded with their new PhotoScan app, which harnesses the ease of using a phone camera, while also cleaning up the quality issue. A simple interface allows you to quickly scan multiple photos, while also guiding you through scanning different parts of each photo to produce a much higher-quality image that reduces glare and shadow. The app also offers automatic rotation, cropping, and color-correction. Naturally, PhotoScan seamlessly integrates with Google Photos, but you can also save your scans to your camera roll or share them in other apps.

Ever digitized an old print photo by taking a picture of it with your phone? In a pinch, it’s a... MORE

Providence College Joins Open Textbook Initiative

Posted by: on November 30, 2016   |Comments (0)|Open Educational Resources

Providence College has joined the Rhode Island Statewide Open Textbook Initiative.  Launched in September 2016 the goal of the initiative is to reduce college costs by saving students $5 million over five years using openly licensed textbooks and open educational resources (OERs).  In addition to PC, current participating institutions include: Rhode Island College, the University of Rhode Island, the Community College of Rhode Island, Brown University, Bryant University, Roger Williams University, and the New England Institute of Technology.

PC textbooks Here at PC work has begun raise awareness of OERs and open textbooks on campus.  Representatives from the Library teamed up with Assistant Professor of Economics, James Campbell, to provide an introduction to open textbooks at the Center for Teaching Excellence on November 1st.  The presentation covered the basics of OER, information on locating open materials, and open licensing with Creative Commons.  Campbell is using an OpenStax textbook to teach several sections of Microeconomics this semester.  His insights on the experience were extremely valuable.  You can view the slides from the talk here.

Through generous support from the Provost’s Office the Center for Teaching Excellence and the Library are collaborating to administer a series of small mini-grants to support course design and revision projects that prioritize open educational resources (OERs).  Awardees will be selected this month.  Over the spring semester mini-grant recipients will work closely with the Library to incorporate open content into their syllabi for adoption in Fall 2017.

A Steering Committee made up of library representatives from participating institutions will be responsible for implementation of RI Open Textbook Initiative.  Members of the Steering Committee will communicate with the Open Textbook Network (URI, RIC, and CCRI are now member organizations), provide training opportunities around OERs for librarians around the state, and develop instruments for documenting and reporting student savings resulting from the initiative.

The Library’s Digital Publishing Services has been engaged with work around OERs for some time.  We are thrilled about these new opportunities to collaborate with PC faculty around OERs.  For further reading on this subject check out some of our previous here, here and here.

Providence College has joined the Rhode Island Statewide Open Textbook Initiative.  Launched in September 2016 the goal of the initiative... MORE

Open Access Monographs Coming to JSTOR

Posted by: on November 20, 2016   |Comments (0)|Open Access

jstor-logo

Recently, JSTOR, a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary sources and part of ITHAKA, a not-for-profit organization that also includes Ithaka S+R and Portico announced a new program to make Open Access monographs available on the JSTOR platform. An initial 63 titles from four academic presses (University of California Press, University of Michigan Press, UCL Press, and Cornell University Press) are currently available.

“The introduction of this Open Access program is part of our ongoing efforts to expand discovery, access, and use of scholarly materials,” noted Frank Smith, Books at JSTOR Director. “We look forward to sharing what we learn with the scholarly communications community.”

Recently, JSTOR, a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary sources and part of ITHAKA, a not-for-profit organization that... MORE

Library of Congress Unveils New Homepage

Posted by: on November 9, 2016   |Comments (0)|Spotlights
The Library of Congress's new homepage (Source)

The Library of Congress’s new homepage (Source)

On Tuesday, November 1st, the Library of Congress unveiled the new redesign of their website homepage. The unveiling comes as part of the larger redesign of their site, currently in the works. The Library’s blog, The Signal, recently published an interview (conducted by Jaime Mears) with Natalie Buda Smith, User (UX) Team supervisor for the Library of Congress, where she discussed user experience (UX) and the importance of design focus in libraries.

Project One is the name of the Library’s redesign initiative, led by Smith. One of Project One’s biggest challenges, says Smith, is that the Library started sharing their (vast amount of) content early on the web, using older technologies, and a substantial amount of “re-work” is necessary to integrate the old content with new technologies. Also challenging has been the task of conceptualizing a framework for the site that is optimized for search; decisions need to be made about which objects need metadata and appropriate metadata needs to be assigned to items. Once that foundation is laid, the team aims to build structures for packaging the content in different ways to appeal to certain audiences.

For more on the design process and to view the interview with Natalie Buda Smith, please visit the post on The Signal‘s site here. To view the Library of Congress’s new homepage, please visit loc.gov.

On Tuesday, November 1st, the Library of Congress unveiled the new redesign of their website homepage. The unveiling comes as... MORE

1666 London on Two Video Game Maps

Posted by: on November 7, 2016   |Comments (0)|Facilities and Tools

This past September was the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London, and the Museum of London has augmented its commemorative “Fire! Fire!” exhibit with a Minecraft map in which players explore the city and fight the fire as it occurs. (NYT article here – one Youtube video of gameplay can be watched here.) One stated goal of using games to convey historical information is to attract and engage children and non-traditional museum patrons — but it’s also interesting to think about ways in which the game might provide a new learning experience even for people with a more conventional history background. For instance, you might read in a book or article that the spread of the fire is partly attributed to the Mayor’s delay in ordering the destruction of houses to create firebreaks — but you could also, as in the gameplay video linked above, run a long way through confusing, similar-looking burning streets to find the Mayor and bring him to the site where the fire started, because your objective as a player is to get him to give the order, and then feel the frustration when he refuses! (Empathy is a subject that comes up in discussion of history-based and history education video games.)

Another video game-related map is Pudding Lane Productions’s 2013 Cryengine map of the area where the fire began, which won the “Off the Map” competition for developing 3D video game scenery based on maps from the British Library. The developers’ discussion of their process reveals some of the challenges that also face scholars working with historical documents. Using the maps as their source, they were able to lay out the streets and the footprints of the buildings, but found that the resulting model was not cramped enough and lacked vitality. Revisions increased the overhang of buildings’ upper stories into the streets, as well as adding crates, carts, vendors’ stalls, wares hung outside shops, washing lines, and other “props” that wouldn’t have made it onto maps, but that were nonetheless a part of London and people’s experience of life in the city. Additionally, they added as many real attested businesses as possible, using historical sources like Samuel Pepys’s diary; this lends the map a great deal of accuracy, but also highlights the gaps in our knowledge of day-to-day life, since most of the houses and businesses on the map did simply have to be generic and modular.

Interestingly, the Pudding Lane developers also mention that “[o]ne key issue caused by following the source material so closely was that a lot of seventeenth-century London looked very similar”. They addressed this by using different palettes in different areas. (This map doesn’t have any people on it, but if it had, perhaps the difference in areas would be established by populating them with different kinds of non-player characters going about their business.) This issue is very prominent in the less-sophisticated Minecraft map as well, but in that game it might be a feature instead of a bug.

This past September was the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London, and the Museum of London has augmented... MORE