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
A couple of weeks ago, I attended a fantastic roundtable on Digital Futures of Indigenous Studies in the Digital Scholarship Lab at Brown University’s John D. Rockefeller Library. The event was “part of an ongoing initiative at the JCB to encourage and support a new generation of scholars and community members as they build consciousness about Indigenous issues not only in New England, but also in the United States and internationally”. The discussion centered on “the use of digital media to foster education, research, and outreach within Indigenous communities and studies.” There was a focus on how digital media and tools can help to create connections between people and materials, as well as the importance of relationship-building with Native communities, the ethics surrounding these projects, and project management issues of resource allocation, stewardship, and sustainability.
I was particularly impressed with Tobias Glaza and Paul Grant-Costa’s Yale Indian Papers Project. They focused on the importance of Indigenous communities as stakeholders in the project and collaborating with community members right from the beginning to answer questions like – What’s most important to the community? How do they tell their stories? What information should remain private? How do they want to access and use their digital history? With this approach, they published the New England Indian Papers Series – “a scholarly critical edition of New England Native American primary source materials gathered into one robust virtual collection.” Built on Yale’s Ladybird software and using a Blacklight front-end, the platform is clean and easy-to-use, and includes a document reader, scholarly transcription, and extensive metadata.
An eye-opening takeaway from Alyssa Mt. Pleasant’s presentation on the American Indian Studies (AIS) resources portal that she built at Yale, is the importance of maintaining a project’s stewardship to ensure its longevity. Unfortunately, the AIS portal, which took 3 years to build, wasn’t taken on by anyone else when she left Yale, and consequently, is no longer accessible.
Lisa Brooks from Amherst College gave a fantastic talk on the problem of trying to understand the history of Native spaces when the main existing reference points are colonial maps. She’s worked extensively on creating new historical maps of Indigenous spaces to support her research and is also engaged in the idea of maps as storytelling, often combining her maps with present-day photos of the locations to bring them to life. Her work is included in Amherst’s digital map collection, which was created using Esri’s ArcGIS platform, and is definitely worth checking out.
Another standout was Dana Leibsohn’s project, Vistas, which “seeks to bring an understanding of the visual culture of Spanish America to a broad audience.” Vistas was designed as a non-linear platform, in an effort to encourage multiple pathways between content that would support research in a variety of scholarly disciplines, as well as less formal modes of education and learning. Launched in the late 90’s, Vistas has undergone three major evolutions, from a website hosted by Smith College, to a DVD, and now back to an online version hosted by Fordham University. Dr. Leibsohn’s stewardship of the project over the years has clearly been integral to its longevity, which includes her commitment to tackling the challenges of migrating the platform to keep up with ever-evolving technologies.
There were also a couple of great discussions surrounding endangered Native languages, including a conversation on the power of digital activism to increase online, and particularly social media usage of these languages, as a way of preserving them.
Obviously all of these projects are contributing to content-collection, digital preservation, and scholarship needs, but it was great to hear that so many are focused on supporting Indigenous communities by facilitating access to their histories, preserving them, and ultimately, helping to amplify the voices of these communities.
A couple of weeks ago, I attended a fantastic roundtable on Digital Futures of Indigenous Studies in the Digital Scholarship Lab at... MORE
Yale University, through a National Endowment for the Humanities grant (NEH), created a beautiful online database called Photogrammar for searching, organizing and visualizing over 170,000 photographs from 1935-1945. The photographs were created by the United States Farm Security Administration and Office of War Information (FSA-OWI). This web-based platform uses various ways to interact with this content, including a map of the United States that can organize the photographs by photographer and where the photographs were taken. There are Photogrammar Labs, which include a Treemap: “a three-tier classification starting with 12 main subject headings (ex. THE LAND), then 1300 sub-headings (ex. Mountains, Deserts, Foothills, Plains) and then sub-sub headings. 88,000 photographs were assigned classifications,” and a Metadata Platform: “an interactive dashboard showing the relationship between date, county, photographer, and subject in photographs from individual states. The dashboard is still in development, but California is now available.” Coming soon will be a ColorSpace lab, which explores “the 17,000 color photographs based on hue, saturation and lightness.”
A great resource for educators, researchers, students and the public alike.
Yale University, through a National Endowment for the Humanities grant (NEH), created a beautiful online database called Photogrammar for searching,... MORE
In January of this year, Rolling Stone Magazine released a vast digital archive of their content to the public for free. In collaboration with Google Play, the archive begins with their 1967 launch and spans five decades. Every issue ever published is available, providing viewers with open access to the wealth of musical, political, and cultural reporting Rolling Stone has generated through time. The archive can be accessed via the Google Play Newsstand app on both iOS and Android devices. Articles by notable writers, including David Fricke, Hunter S. Thompson, and Cameron Crowe, and imagery by Annie Leibovitz and David LaChapelle, are among the content featured. Rolling Stone’s daily news and coverage is available via the app, as well. Alongside the archive, Rolling Stone has introduced a feature on their website called CoverWall, which offers an immersive experience of the publication’s content, including every iconic cover from their 48-year tenure and extensive archival content. They follow in the footsteps of publications like WIRED and the New York Times with this immersive feature, which is noteworthy, as Rolling Stone was slow to enter into digital format. Gus Wenner, Head of Digital of Wenner Media notes that, “This collaboration is as much about our history as it is our future.” Brian Irving, global head of marketing for Google Play adds, “Rolling Stone produced some of the most iconic music and political coverage in America for the past five decades. We’re proud to offer this rich history to people for free, where they can explore and interact with every issue… It’s like a highway of information, revisited.” (Sources: 1, 2)
In January of this year, Rolling Stone Magazine released a vast digital archive of their content to the public for... MORE
The Library of Congress, Digital Preservation website has a blog called At the Museum, which highlights various museum’s digital collections and the people who work with these collections. The most recent blog has an interview with Ellice Engdahl, Digital Collections & Content Manager, and Brian Wilson, Digital Access and Preservation Archivist of the Henry Ford Museum. Previous posts include an interview with Marla Misunas, Collections Information Manager for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Please check it out!
The Library of Congress, Digital Preservation website has a blog called At the Museum, which highlights various museum’s digital collections... MORE
Yesterday, several members of Digital Publishing Services attended a NERCOMP (NorthEast Regional Computing Program) event on inexpensively creating and managing digital humanities projects. The event featured several speakers from a range of Northeastern higher ed institutions to discuss their projects and the motives, tools, and strategies behind them. Of the subjects covered, some highlights were: introducing gaming elements into a Classics course via collaborative online annotation; digital storytelling with iPads; virtual history narratives; publishing and analysis tools; and data preservation methods. The variety of the projects and methods served as a strong indication that digital humanities can be a feasible pursuit for many institutions, even those with a limited budget.
Yesterday, several members of Digital Publishing Services attended a NERCOMP (NorthEast Regional Computing Program) event on inexpensively creating and managing... MORE
Here in Digital Publishing Services (DPS) we work with digital objects every day. We scan, process, store, and present a wide variety of digital content in many formats. We are engaged in aspects of the digital curation process, but we don’t often label it as such.
I set out to locate some introductory resources about digital curation to help me better understand the field. Here’s a selection of what I found:
DCC Curation Lifecycle Model
The Digital Curation Centre is a UK-based organization that specializes in digital information curation “with a focus on building capacity, capability and skills for research data management across the UK’s higher education research community.” The Centre presents a wealth of helpful resources on digital curation including How-To guides and case studies.
The DCC presents the Digital Curation Lifecycle Model pictured above. As someone new to the field, this lifecycle model is a little daunting. Luckily, I cam across a helpful webinar presented by Lisa Snider and the ALA ACRL Digital Curation Interest Group that broke down the lifecycle model into manageable “pieces of the digital curation pie.” Lisa outlines the pieces as:
Digital Objects (Data)
Selection and Acquisition
Arrangement and Description
Each of these items deserve more attention, and I’ll expand upon them in further posts. Lisa’s presentation emphasized that digital curation goes beyond digital preservation. Preservation is one very important (and often challenging) part of the larger digital curation lifecycle.
I plan to deepen my understanding of this subject through the upcoming MOOC, Introduction to Digital Curation, presented by University College London. Interested? Join me!
Here in Digital Publishing Services (DPS) we work with digital objects every day. We scan, process, store, and present a... MORE