Monday, October 31, 2005

Digitization vendors at NYLA

There were at least three digitization vendors at NYLA. (I have to use the words "at least" in case I missed someone.)
  • Indus International had one of their book scanners there.
  • ST Imaging was demoing their microform reader/scanner which is easy enough for patrons to use.
  • Kirtas was there with literature only (no hardware being demoed and no representatives at the booth when I went past).
When I went by the ST Imaging booth, there were several interested people huddled around the equipment. Obviously people do want to see the equipment and see it in operation, so that they better understand its capabilities and uses.

There will be a few digitization vendors at the Nylink showcase on Nov. 17 in Syracuse, so another chance for people in the region to see hardware and software (digital asset mgmt.). Plans are underway for a Digitization Expo in Buffalo on May 24, 2006 sponsored by WNYLRC and which I'm coordinating. (Details are in the works and vendors will receive formal invitations over the next few weeks.)

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Event: 7th Annual Nylink Information Showcase 2005

Every year, Nylink has a vendor showcase, either in Syracuse or NYC. This year, the showcase will be Thursday, Nov. 17 from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. at the Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel on University Ave. in Syracuse (close to the SU campus). Admission is free. Besides the vendors, there will be speaker sessions throughout the day featuring information on new products and services AND poster sessions. The day is geared towards librarians and information management professionals. Students (e.g., library science students) are encouraged to attend (good networking and a great change to connect with vendors -- a source of employment). ALL -- not matter if you are associated with Nylink or not -- are welcome to attend. Additional details are available on the Nylink web site. You can also register for the event on the Nylink web site, which helps them plan the refreshments.

In talking to someone from Nylink at the NYLA conference, I mentioned that parking can be a hassle in that area because of its proximity to the SU campus and two hospitals. If you are going to attend, be patient with the parking situation. There are several parking garages in the area, including one at the Sheraton, those associated with the hospitals, and one associated with the SU campus. However, do NOT let any parking hassles stop you from participating in this. This is a worthwhile event to attend.
What is Nylink?

Nylink is a not-for-profit membership organization that includes nearly 350 institutions, representing more than 700 academic, special, government, law, medical, public, school, and non-profit libraries, as well as library systems, access a wide range of Nylink services.

NYLA: The Future is In Your Hands: PDAs and iPods

[I tried to post this from the session, but the connection wouldn’t let me. The presentations are going to be online, perhaps at the NYLA web site. I’ll post that info if I find it out.]

This session had a combination of presenters from the University of Buffalo, South Huntington Library System (on Long Island, NY) and Apple Computers.

Dean Hendrix -- University of Buffalo
-- Hendrix talked about the use of PDAs in a health science library by medical professionals. Medical professionals value:
  1. Time -- using time effectively

  2. Accuracy -- accurate information

  3. Currency -- current information

  4. Organization -- information is well organized
Time + Organization = Value PDAs are like a Swiss Army Knife -- they do a lot of different jobs. What do they use PDAs for?
  1. Decision support

  2. Professional activities

  3. Administrative support
Where does the library fit in?
  1. User assessment

  2. MobileHSL (Health Science Library)

  3. Mobile Computer in Healthcare Fair

  4. Collaborations with SMBS (medical school) -- e.g., orientation, infrared sync station, PDA support, MP3s on web page with help information and more

  5. New mobile computing hardware/software evaluation
The future of mobile computing:
  1. Use is increasing rapidly

  2. Wireless standards are becoming global

  3. Devices are smaller and more powerful

  4. Redefining "space" (e.g., when the library is open and where the library is)
BTW most medical schools require students to have PDAs.

South Huntington Public Library -- Ken Weil & Joe Latini

They are doing audio books. It's cheaper. The money saved is used to purchase MP3 players. Materials are available faster (immediacy). The digital audio books are portable.

They are not the first library to offer digital downloads, but may be the first to do it with iPods.

Currently, there is no single perfect solution for acquiring and providing audio books.

They are using iTunes because they provide more titles and the library owns what it purchases. They can select what they want to purchase. iPod is the mostly MP3 player, and the software works with PCs and MACs.

The library protects copyrights by limiting the number of copies it circulates. If it has purchased three copies, it only circulates three copies.

Patrons borrow an iPod with specific books loaded on it. There is an power adapter so the iPod can be recharged. There are other connectors that come with it and all fit into a small package. There is a two week circulation period. Only people in the library district can borrow them.

People can also have the audio books loaded onto their iPod. For the book to be returned, the book must be deleted from the iPod.

Overdue fines are $1 per day.

They are also circulating music on the iPod.

For people under 18, they must have the books or music loaded onto their own iPod. They do not loan iPods to that group.

They load audio tours of their art exhibits on iPods (the artist's tour of the exhibit). They are exploring podcasts.

Christina Dowd -- Apple Computer -- "iPod in Education. We didn't see it coming!"

BTW she is a former school librarian and a former member of NYLA.

iPods are everywhere and being talked about by everyone.

"It is coming to a campus near you."

Three versions:
  1. iPod Shuffle

  2. Photo iPod

  3. Video iPod
iPods do more than music, they do a lot of (what I think of as) normal PC functions. They can store a tremendous amount of information.
  1. A photo library

  2. a calendar

  3. a hard drive

  4. an alarm clock

  5. and much more (I didn't type fast enough)
The iPod in the classroom has many uses including podcasts, vodcasts (video)...

  1. Duke University -- foreign language music, engineering. iPod increased the depth of student knowledge. Anytime learning.

  2. Drexel University

  3. Middlebury College (famous for their language training)

  4. Buffalo State University

  5. Stanford University -- with Duke, Brown and Univ. of Michigan -- e.g., Presenting Stanford on iTunes -- digitizing (audio) all their content, including faculty lectures.

  6. Univ. of Michigan is using it in their dental school.
And with video, think of the possibilities!

The Daily Princeton announced today that they will have a vodcasting channel.

Apple Digital Campus Exchange...good site for understanding the electronic use of technology.

Friday, October 28, 2005

NYLA -- Quick thoughts

I don't know if there are official NYLA bloggers, although there are several people hauling laptops. I'm sitting in the lounge of the Adam's Mark Hotel (the conference site) where there is a free wireless network and several of us are hard at work doing "whatever."

I've been asked how big NYLA is. NYLA attracts somewhere between 2,000 - 5,000 people to its annual conference. The count likely depends on location as well as the ability for institutions to pay for people to attend. The conference moves around the state (always, I think, staying close to the Thruway). From the sessions I've been in, most people are either academic or public librarians. CORRECTION (11/9/2005): My source corrected herself this week. The NYLA conference attracts 1,000 - 2000 people. This year's attendance was "a little low" but the conference still attracted more than 1,000 paying attendees.

NYLA begins on Wednesday and ends on Saturday, with the days being long ones (a trademark of library-related conferences).

The Adam's Mark is a nice hotel (very nice). I'm pleased that it and the hotel I stayed in last night (Comfort Inn Suites) had free wireless network. What a joy! The gentleman at the next table remarked that one should not have to pay for wireless access (although obviously someone has to bear the cost).

I've got one more session to attend, then will head home. For sure, this has been a good trip!

NYLA: Going Digital

Carole Ann Fabian (University of Buffalo) and Paul Spaeth (St. Bonaventure College) spoke about their digitization projects. Fabian talked about the UBdigit project, which I've mentioned before. Spaeth talked about a collection of Franciscan engravings and woodcuts that they indexed and are now digitizing. The project at St. Bonaventure is much smaller, with more limited resources. The content, though, shows off a collection that is world-class.

One phrase that Fabian said stood out to me. She said that when considering a collection to digitize, one must ask:
What does this project add to the general knowledge of the world?
A good question, indeed.

NYLA: Born Digital (presentation slides, etc.)

This morning I did my presentation entitled Born Digital. The PowerPoint is available on my web site. There were approx. 57 people in the room with most of them being either academic or public librarians. The presentation went well, but of course there were things that should have been said or said differently:
  • I did not talk about those electronic records that institutions create (e.g., personnel files, business documents). Although a library might not collect them to "serve" to the public, the library might be involved in create policies for their collection and maintenance as part of the institution's record management.
  • I used the phrase "card catalogue" and, as soon as the words left my lips, I knew it was very "old school." Unfortunately, I did file cards in a real card catalogue back in the 1970s and I still correlate OPACs and library management systems to those old catalogues. I need, however, to banish that phrase from my mind. (And, yes, a person -- slightly younger than me -- reminded me privately afterwards that there are people who can't relate to those old terms.)
  • Otherwise, my terminology was good and understandable, although I used the word "wiki" which at least one person didn't know what it was.
  • I should have talked about collaborating on creating born digital collections. Even in small institutions, collaborative efforts could make the finding and ingestion of born digital materials much easier. For example, collaborate with those departments that create most of the born digital materials that you want to collect in order to ensure that the materials come to the library (repository).

The material flowed well, which always concerned me. I slipped in some humor and good examples (including one from Stargate: SG-1). And the questions/comments were all good. Hopefully people will download the presentation itself and especially look at the four resources listed at the end.

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Thursday, October 27, 2005


In a committee meeting this afternoon, we talked about collaboration. As you might expect, the truly successful digitization programs are collaborative efforts often including a large academic institution (which I'll speculate gives the program/project stability as well as momentum). Can a project done by an institution without any collaborators be a good project? Yes, but it will not have benefited from additional ideas, more resources, different ways of approaching the topic...

So when you think of starting a digitization program/project, look around and see who you can collaborate with. It might be an institution in your area or an institution elsewhere in the "world" but with a similar focus.

Sitting in Buffalo and rambling

I'm in Buffalo to work on a project and to attend (and present) at the New York Library Association annual conference. I'm sitting in my downtown Buffalo hotel room accessing a free (but occasionally slow) wireless network and listening to music on my iPod Shuffle, since there is nothing good to watch on TV. What was good tonight was attending the Syracuse University School of Information Studies alumni reception, which was open to alumni, faculty (like me) and friends of the School. Since I'm infrequently on campus and teach only online, it was good to see other faculty members and students (past and present) that I know. Of course, the conversations were about digitization and/or information access.

What did we talk about? Well as information professionals, we tend to assume that other people will look for information in the same way we do, but that is not true. Similarly, institutions (schools, businesses, etc.) tend to organize there web sites in ways that make sense to them, but not in ways that make sense to everyone else. Institutions are also guilty of not placing the information online that the information seekers really want. As much as we talk about building systems for those that will use them, we don't do it.

For example, an academic library web site may have different pages for the databases it subscribes to AND for the electronic journals its receives, yet to the user looking for an article, the difference in the two web pages may not be apparent. Both give access to journals and articles, so why are some here and others there?

Sticking to academia, college web sites are used by parents, students, faculty/staff, visitors, and prospective students. College web sites, however, tend not to provide information for all of those people or place it where they can find it. For example, can a parent find the academic calendar as well as a calendar of the campus events? Are the two calendars connected to each other, entwined, or must the parent piece together what it really means? Is there information on those things that parents care about like when tuition payments are due?

And are we using the tools that we should to build these online systems? Actually that part of the conversation was really connected to the use of WebCT for teaching online courses. I good product, but it is not software that students will use in their work. I talked with one faculty member about my hope of incorporating other technologies, like blogs, in teaching my digitization class in the spring (2006). Although I may get "dinged" for moving part of the class conversation to a blog (and outside of WebCT), it will give the students experience in doing something that may be new and will definitely be useful to them in the professional lives. And isn't that what we strive to do?

But thinking of the question in terms of web sites, digitization projects, etc., are we building these sites/systems using current -- forward thinking -- software or are we stuck in the past? Are we using inflexible proprietary systems or systems that promote interoperability and flexibility?

Funny how at events like this that you have an opportunity to talk about what could be, but the bureaucracies around us -- and those people that fear change -- stop us for making the changes that really should happen to make information easier to find and easier to share.

Tomorrow will be a long day, but undoubtedly full of good information and good networking. I'll post notes about it when I get back home.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

32 Tips to Inspire Innovation for You and Your Library (Parts 2 & 3)

Back in July, I noted that Steve Abram had published the first installment of 32 Tips to Inspire Innovation for You and Your Library. Since then, he has published that last two installments. There is something in these for everyone. For example:
I find that it pays to remind myself that I am not trying to create products and services for mini-librarians - and that this is a poor goal in the first place. I need to understand the user's context and needs and not project my own onto them. For instance, it is likely that the end-user doesn'’t actually want "“information"” but, more likely, wants to be informed, entertained, taught, and/or transformed in some manner. Libraries are great environments for that.
Ask the three magic questions:
  • What keeps you awake at night?
  • If you could solve only one problem at work, what would it be?
  • If you could change one thing and one thing only, what would it be?
Bring management on board first.
Cheap is expensive.
Part 2 was published in the September Sirsi Newsletter and Part 3 was published in October.

The Google Print Controversy: A Bibliography

For those of you who are interested in this, DigitalKoans has created a bibliography of "selected English-language electronic works about Google Print that are freely available on the Internet. It has a special focus on the legal issues associated with this project." Charles W. Bailey, Jr., the author of DigitalKoans, has definitely put a lot of work into compiling this long and interesting list.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Report: Acquiring Copyright Permission to Digitize and Provide Open Access to Books

Covey, Denise Troll. Acquiring Copyright Permission to Digitize and Provide Open Access to Books. Washington, DC: Council on Library and Information Resources and Digital Library Federation, October 2005. Available online (free). Print copies ($25 ea.) of this publication will be available in November 2005.
The description says:
What are the stumbling blocks to digitization? Is copyright law a major barrier? Is it easier to negotiate with some types of publishers than with others? To what extent does the age of the material influence permission decisions? This report, by Denise Troll Covey, principal librarian for special projects at Carnegie Mellon University, responds to many of these questions. It begins with a brief, cogent overview of U.S. copyright laws, licensing practices, and technological developments in publishing that serve as the backdrop for the current environment. It then recounts in detail three efforts undertaken at Carnegie-Mellon University to secure copyright permission to digitize and provide open access to books with scholarly content.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Creating digital audio

Because of a current project, I posted a question to the Archives-L discussion list asking for recommendations on equipment to use in recording audio (oral histories) for use on the Internet. The people on Archives-L are always helpful and so I received several e-mails and two phone calls! Below is a quick summary of the information I have received (that covers more than just the equipment), which may be useful to you:
  • IC Recorder ICD-ST25 Stereo
  • Marantz PMD 670 or 660
  • There's a system that uses the PC (laptop) for storing the audio as it is recording.
  • Digital recorders can be very expensive, but so can be converting analog to digital.
  • Consider if transcription will be necessary.
  • Get a signed release form from the interviewee.
  • Consider something like Adobe Audition to edit the audio.
  • Article -- Digital Recording: Here to Stay.
  • Article -- The Holy Grail of Digital Recording.
  • Digital Audio Best Practices, Version 1.2, (link deleted, see below)

Update (12/6/2005): The Digital Audio Best Practices were updated in November 2005. Version 2.0 is available at

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Article: Predicting the Life Expectancy of Modern Tape and Optical Media

You may not need to read this technical article, but likely you should bookmark it so you have it ready to answer those all important "won't it last forever?" questions.

Article: Watch This Space: Ten Promising Digital Preservation Initiative

If you missed this article in the Aug. 15 RLG DigiNews, you should go back and take a peek. The editor writes:
This is a trial feature for RLG DigiNews to highlight the potential of ten funded but not yet completed digital preservation research and development projects.
The projects featured in August were:
  1. The ECHO DEPository Project, 2004-2007
  2. Incentives for Data Producers to Create Archive-Ready Data Sets, 2005-2006
  3. DAAT: Digital Asset Assessment Tool, 2004-2006
  4. Metadata Generation Research (MGR), 2005-
  5. Digital Academic Repositories (DARE), 2003-2006
  6. Australian Partnership for Sustainable Repositories (APSR), 2004-2006
  7. Digital Curation Centre (DCC), 2004-2006
  8. Auditing and Certification of Digital Archives, 2005-2006
  9. Digital Preservation Cluster, 2004-2006
  10. Virtual Archives Laboratory (VAL)

Article: Requirements for Digital Preservation Systems: A Bottom-Up Approach


The field of digital preservation is being defined by a set of standards developed top-down, starting with an abstract reference model (OAIS) and gradually adding more specific detail. Systems claiming conformance to these standards are entering production use. Work is underway to certify that systems conform to requirements derived from OAIS. We complement these requirements derived top-down by presenting an alternate, bottom-up view of the field. The fundamental goal of these systems is to ensure that the information they contain remains accessible for the long term. We develop a parallel set of requirements based on observations of how existing systems handle this task, and on an analysis of the threats to achieving the goal. On this basis we suggest disclosures that systems should provide as to how they satisfy their goals.

The full-text is available online.

European Commission unveils plans for European digital libraries

According to the press release:
The European Commission... unveiled its strategy to make EuropeÂ’s written and audiovisual heritage available on the Internet. Turning EuropeÂ’s historic and cultural heritage into digital content will make it usable for European citizens for their studies, work or leisure and will give innovators, artists and entrepreneurs the raw material that they need. The Commission proposes a concerted drive by EU Member States to digitise, preserve, and make this heritage available to all. It presents a first set of actions at European level and invites comments on a series of issues in an online consultation (deadline for replies 20 January 2006). The replies will feed into a proposal for a Recommendation on digitisation and digital preservation, to be presented in June 2006.
The commissionon is also funding research activities. As a result of all this work, the commission hopes to stop the EU countries from creating systems that are mutually incompatible and duplicate work.

Thanks to digitizationblog for pointing this out (and to Bloglines for reminding me that I hadn't read the posting yet).

Presentation online: International Conference on Preservation of Digital Objects

As noted on DIGITAL-PRESERVATION, the live recordings of the presentations at the
International Conference on Preservation of Digital Objects (iPRES), held on
September 15 -– 16, 2005 in Germany are online, along with their respective PDF documents. To view them, go to

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

How long did you project take and how much did it cost?

These are two questions that are often asked (and would be helpful to know), yet projects often don't give you any indication. Okay...cost may be a sensitive topic, but perhaps projects could talk about the percentage of total costs that specific activities took (like metadata creation).

Google and the University of Michigan Library Digitization Project

If you're interested in what people are saying at conferences about Google Print, then you'll want to read this post in the LITA blog entitled Google and the University of Michigan Library Digitization Project. dshapiro captures some great information including:
The shockingly high number is that 80% of the books in the Google 5 libraries are still in copyright, so even though the full text will be digitized, only the snippets will be available. Although it is probably more productive if we stop thinking of the visible part of in-copyright books as snippets, and start thinking of them as indexing - a point brought up by danah boyd in her keynote...

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Roy Tennants's LITA National Forum 2005 Presentations

Roy Tennant has posted his slides from the LITA National Forum. His slides for Googlezone, Episode VI: Return of the Librarians need his oral annotation and storytelling, but his major points (on those paper clipped slides) are loud and clear. His second presentation is entitled Breaking Out of the Box: Creating Customized Metasearch Services Using an XML API.

Thanks to Roy for posting a note in the LITA blog pointing to these.

Article: Descriptive metadata for copyright status

Here's an article in First Monday that is worth reading (or skimming). The abstract says:
The need to express the intellectual property rights of digital materials has focused on access and usage permissions which must be granted by the rights holder. A key set of permissions not acknowledged by these rights expressions is inherent in the legal copyright status of the item. Digital libraries can hold and provide access to many items for which copyright status is the sole governor of use. This article proposes a small set of descriptive data elements that should accompany digital materials to inform potential users of the copyright status of the item.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Facilitated discussion on digitization

Last Friday I did a facilitated discussion on digitization with Carole Ann Fabian, who heads the Educational Technology Center (ETC) at the University of Buffalo (UB). Our task was to talk about "Creating Successful Digital Imaging Projects." I gave the introduction to the topic, Carole Ann then talked about the program that UB is doing called UBdigit, and then we asked questions to get the discussion rolling. My handout is online. Carole Ann is talking about UBdigit at NYLA and other conferences, so I would expect that she'll have something online (or published) for people to view. (The About page gives you some info on how the project was conceived, its policies, etc.)

UBdigit took six years from concept to formal launch. I mentioned to the discussion participants that we often think of these projects as being "quick", but that it takes time to get people to see the idea as worthwhile, lay the groundwork, build the infrastructure, do the project (and turn it into a program), and then launch it. Of course, then comes the maintenance, which we pointed out is a necessary "evil."

WNYLRC (in Buffalo, NY) and I will continues these facilitated discussions in the spring as a way of getting people to apply what they've learned about digitization to their organizations. I've done these before and they do help spark ideas. It will be interesting to see what will come out of these.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Searching the archives of Digitization 101

I mentioned a while ago that you could use the search box at the top of this blog to search the archive. Well, last week I had an opportunity to give it a work out and found that it didn't find all of the posting that I knew it should. Once you type in a search, the results page tell you that this is a beta feature. Let's hope that Blogger works on the feature so that the archives are fully searchable. In the meantime, if you wonder if I've written on a particular topic, just leave a comment or send me an e-mail: hurst {at}

Digitization and Archives

I'm in the middle of editing a resource list and came across this paper again. The 12-question decision tree that it has is quite good for deciding whether to do a digitization project or not. This would be a good resource to use with a group that is thinking about embarking on a project. )It might also be a good decision tree for funding agencies to use with those seeking funds.) The paper also includes the principles concerning the relationship of digitization to preservation of archival records and a bibliography. Digitization and Archives was written in 2002 by the Canadian Council of Archives.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Article: Search Looks at the Big Picture (the ability to search within images)

Good metadata tags for images will tell you what is in the image, so you can search on those terms. Unfortunately, it is time consuming to create metadata at that level of detail. This article talks about research that is being done in Europe to create software that will search within images for specific things. The software has learned to recognize specific shapes. Although the article talks about this for search engines like Google, it would be useful for digital imaging projects.

Thanks to Julia Schult at SUNY Cortland for pointing out this article to me.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Presentations... (musings)

At a meeting tonight, there was a brief side conversation started by me about a presentation we all had attended. I wanted to know if the PowerPoint had been easy to read, given that room lighting can have a horrible impact on readability. This led to a discussion on how much text should be on a slide. Needless to say that my view was very different from others at the table. In recent years, I've given presentation (and classes) to groups that contained people who spoke English as a second language. I've also given presentation where the printout of the presentation was the handout (a standard practice with many of library councils' training programs). And I've given presentations where they have had a second life online, which means that people need to understand the slides based on the text that is on the slides. And -- like you -- I've read people presentations online and based everything I know about what the author intended on what was presented on the slides.

In my mind, having too little text is as dangerous as having too much text. I want enough text so people "get it," but not so much that they glaze over or become confused. It is a delicate balance. It flies in the face of correct presentation design, yet it works. For example, I've been studying a presentation done by Richard Fyffe in December 2004 (entitled "Digital Preservation:Theory Approaching Practice"). There are likely too many slides and too many words on each slide, yet we get his message without hearing him.

The same is true often in the online environment (web pages). We need to give people enough text so that they understand what we're talking about, but not too much per page. Better to break up text over several pages, which can make it more readable online. (The same is true with PowerPoint.) Unfortunately, many library web sites say too little about their services, how to use materials on the site, who to contact, etc. Instead of telling people what they need to know, we let them fill-in the blanks and hope that they do so correctly.

By the way, Steve Cohen and others have started using blogs for presentations instead of PowerPoint. I've not tried it yet, but need to find time to test it out. Gary Price uses web pages for his presentations, which works well with his style.

Digitizing finding aids

I have spent time in the last two days working on an article for the next issue of WNYLRC Watch. Once the article has been published (which will be a matter of days), I'll post it in the blog, since I think it is a good introduction of "what" should be digitized.

The article, and recent consulting work, has made me think more about digitizing finding aids. The article says:
Digitizing the finding aid for the collection, before digitizing the actual material in the collection, would allow researchers and those interested in the topic to fully understand the scope of the collection. For example, the University of Buffalo has a Finding Aid for the North American New Music Festival Archive ( The online finding aid includes:
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Historical Note
  • Scope and Content Note
  • Series Description
  • Container List
  • Related Resources
We tend to want to rush into digitizing "entire" collections, but it seems to me that we should put some emphasis on digitizing finding aids (or creating digital finding aids). This would allow people to know what is in our collections and not just what we saw fit to digitized. The finding aids would be real entrances to our collections, pointing people to what we have available. By tracking the usage of the finding aids, inquiries, etc., we would then know better what to digitize. That would be useful, especially with collections where we're unsure if there would be value in having them fully accessible online.

Monday, October 10, 2005

JJT Inc. moves from Massachusetts to NYC

I received a press release from JJT (via the IMAGELIB discussion list) about their move. Here's some excerpts from the press release:
  • JJT, Inc....announced the relocation of its production facility from Plymouth, Massachusetts to 231 West 29th Street in New York City.
  • ... JJT has the proven experience to digitize art, film, video or paper to client specifications. JJT also offers on-site digital capture and document scanning of historical archives for projects big and small.
  • JJT has also expanded its services to include a wide array of capture and 20 conversion of textual formats. Scanning, markup, re-keying and/or OCR options for texts, manuscripts and microfilm are now offered at competitive rates.
Since some vendors are very secretive, I'm pleased to see JJT working to get this news of a new location "out there."

For Miliha in India

Last week, I had someone from India leave a comment in Digitization 101 and e-mail me about digitizing books. I tried to e-mail back, but the e-mail was rejected by the receiving system. So -- Miliha -- perhaps you'll see this and then go and read my comment back to you. If you would like to talk further, please e-mail me and include an e-mail address that I can respond to.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Yale and Tufts: Ingest Guide - Draft for Comment

For those handling born digital materials, you may want to look at this document.

The Digital Collections and Archives (DCA), Tufts University and Manuscripts and Archives (MSSA) of Yale University Library is pleased to announce the completion of the Ingest Guide for University Electronic Records, a research document for which they seek public input and comment. The Ingest Guide describes the interaction between university archives and records producers and discusses the challenges of preserving electronic records in a meaningful way such that the authenticity and integrity of records is preserved during their movement from a recordkeeping system to a preservation system. The Guide is available at Public input and comment will be accepted until December 15, 2005.

Having a trustworthy ingest process is one of the cornerstones to having a successful preservation program. Following the Ingest Guide should help archives and others with preservation responsibilities to ensure the functional preservation of records. The Guide refers to ingest broadly, referring not just to the actual transfer but also to the process of defining what records will be transferred and the manner of their transfer, validation, and transformation. The Guide builds on the Reference Model for an Open Archival Information System (OAIS) and the Producer-Archive Interface Methodology Abstract Standard.

The Ingest Guide is the result of the DCA's and MSSA's collaboration on a National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) electronic records research grant project (2004-083) to synthesize electronic records preservation research with digital library repository
research in an effort to develop systems capable of preserving university electronic records at both institutions. Other forthcoming products from the project include a report on requirements for trustworthy recordkeeping and preservation systems, a guide to maintaining electronic records in a preservation system, and a report on Fedora's ability to maintain electronic records. The project website is at

Please address comments to Kevin Glick, Yale University or Eliot Wilczek, Tufts University

NEDCC announces new digital services

Another vendor for people to use and whom obviously understand conservation and preservation of the original items.

For Immediate release
September 2005


The Northeast Document Conservation Center now brings its preservation expertise to performing high-quality digitization of historic photographs and visual materials for libraries, archives, historical organizations, museums, and other cultural institutions. These services have been developed in response to requests from institutions that do not have digital experts on staff and that are reluctant to leave valuable materials at commercial facilities.

NEDCC digitizes from original sources to produce customized digital files in TIFF or JPEG formats on DVDs or other media. Its technical photographers print long-lasting images from an inkjet printer that employs archival inks on acid-free paper in a variety of finishes.

  • Photographic prints
  • Film negatives
  • Lantern slides
  • Glass-plate negatives
  • Unusual formats
  • Scrapbooks
  • Illustrations in bound volumes
  • Film slides
  • Documents
  • Works of art on paper
  • Maps


NEDCC's Paper and Book Conservators are available to perform conservation treatment or traditional reformatting of original materials that are being digitized.

NEDCC's highly trained staff has long experience in the careful handling of fragile historic materials; its facility provides sophisticated security and climate controls.

NEDCC is a national leader in digital training and offers advice on building sustainable digital collections.


Your nitrate or glass-plate negatives can be digitized and returned on DVDs.

High quality images of your works of art on paper can be added to your online collections management database.

Your historic photographs can be digitized for Web access at the same time they are treated by a conservator.

Your fragile town charter can be made accessible to all on your Web site.

Reprographic experts and archivists on NEDCC's staff can advise you on planning grant projects that address the need for sustainable products.


David Joyall, Technical Photographer: 978/470-1010 ext. 237, or
Victoria Ellis, Director of Reprographics: 978/470-1010 ext. 227,


Miller NAWSA Suffrage Scrapbooks, 1897-1911

Having worked with suffrage material in the past, I'm pleased to see the announcement of this new collection from the Library of Congress. Both Elizabeth Smith Miller and Anne Fitzhugh Miller were from Upstate NY. The project, Winning The Vote, contains biographies of both women as well as some images from their lives.

The Library of Congress's Rare Book & Special Collections Division is pleased to announce the release of a new digital collection, "Miller NAWSA Suffrage Scrapbooks, 1897-1911: From the collection of Elizabeth Smith Miller and Anne Fitzhugh Miller."

Between 1897 and 1911, Elizabeth Smith Miller and her daughter, Anne Fitzhugh Miller, filled seven large scrapbooks with ephemera and memorabilia related to their work with women's suffrage. The Elizabeth Smith Miller and Anne Fitzhugh Miller scrapbooks are a part of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) Collection in the Rare Book and Special Collections Division of the Library of Congress. These scrapbooks document the activities of the Geneva Political Equality Club, which the Millers founded in 1897, as well as efforts at the state, national, and international levels to win the vote for women. They offer a unique look at the political and social atmosphere of the time, as well as chronicle the efforts of two women who were major participants in the suffrage movement.

"Miller NAWSA Suffrage Scrapbooks, 1897-1911: From the collection of Elizabeth Smith Miller and Anne Fitzhugh Miller" compliments other women's history collections available from the Library of Congress's American Memory Collection, including:
Please direct any inquiries about this collection to the American Memory "Ask A Librarian" Web form.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Event: Digital Library Collections and Services

Roy Tennant's workshop from the SLA conference in June was recorded and is now available through SLA's Click University. The description of Tennant's CE session is:
A vast array of online resources await any library with the wherewithal and technical ability to make them available to their users. What are these collections and services, what technologies are required to make them available, and how are libraries using them to better serve their clientele? These topics and more will be highlighted in a session replete with working examples of modern library collections and services.
Go to the Click University web site for more information.

[BTW the web site does not work at all with Mozilla Firefox.]

Google Shouldn't Punt on Litigation

K. Matthew Dames has an opinion piece in his new blog on Google's litigation woes. Dames starts out the post with this:
Here's what I fear will happen in the Google Print Library Project: the copyright controversies will never go to trial, and instead will be resolved by the parties in a confidential settlement agreement.
Later he writes:
Still, a confidential settlement would do nothing to resolve critical legal issues that arise in digitization projects, most notably those of fair use in the digital age. Perhaps more than anything else, at issue in the Google Library Print Project is the extent to which fair use applies in an era of digitized work.
He's right that what needs to come out of this is a clearer definition of what can and cannot be done. We don't need another litigation like American Geophysical Union v. Texaco that fell short of giving us the clarification of Fair Use in the for-profit section that we needed.

By the way, Dames has been creating new blogs out of This one will focus just on copyright issues.

Technorati Tag:

Is the Liverpool Library haunted?

Of course, this has to do with Halloween which is at the end of the month. Since looking for ghosts takes time, you might want to read the text below the webcam and see that digitized photos of the area are available online. The site actually doesn't use the word "digitized", but we all know that they are since they're mostly from the 1920s. A nice way of sneaking in a promotion of digitized materials!

Oh, is the library haunted? You'll have to watch the webcam to see.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Yahoo & digitization - part 2

The announcement of the Yahoo project is everywhere. One blogger calls it "Brewster Kahle + Yahoo." As I mentioned on Sept. 20, I'm impressed with the role Kahle has both in leading the charge and working behind the scenes when it comes to digitization. Obviously he is playing a huge role in this new venture. However, text from his Library of Congress speech in December 2004 was tied into -- quoted by people involved in -- the Google project, so I suspect that the Google project also is addressing in some way the ideas -- and future -- that he believes in. [One might say that Brewster Kahle is far from stupid and that he will work whatever channels present themselves to him in order to advance his idea to create a digital archive similar to the ancient Library of Alexandria.]

LITA Annual Forum - relevant blog postings

The LITA blog sprung to life during the recent LITA Annual Forum. Here are some postings worth reading:

What’s in Your Digital Asset Catastrophe Plan?

DigitalKoans has a post worth reading on preparing for disasters. This is a topic that comes up about once a year, yet many don't heed the warnings and fail to do anything. Please...prepare, test your preparations, train...don't let a disaster destroy what you have tried so hard to build.

I listed some resources for learning about disaster planning in this post.

Yahoo & digitization

Confessions of a Mad Librarian has a post about a digitization project being started by Yahoo, Internet Archive, the University of California, and the University of Toronto, as well as the National Archive in England and others (called the Open Content Alliance). They are going to digitized books that are in the public domains. Go and read her post -- Yahoo! goes into digitization biz (with a little help from the Internet Archive and UC) -- to get more details.

Quickly looking at the Open Content Alliance web site, this text stands out to me:
The OCA will encourage the greatest possible degree of access to and reuse of collections in the archive, while respecting the content owners and contributors.
This definitely sounds like a user and publisher friendly mission. I'll be interested to see what others have to say about this, as well as any close to the technology their using.

A bad case of "canned ham"

Since Sept. 30, this blog has gotten more than 300 automatic comments that have nothing to do with the blog itself and are really advertisements. I don't have time to delete them from the blog, but have changed how comments work. Now you'll need to do a word verification when leaving a comment. This should thwart the comment spammers.