T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S
J U L Y / A U G U S T 2 0 1 6
Volume 22, Number 7/8
E D I T O R I A L
Editorial by Laurence Lannom, Corporation for National Research Initiatives
A R T I C L E S
Preservation Challenges in the Digital Age
Article by Bernadette Houghton, Deakin University, Geelong, Australia
Abstract: The digital preservation field is evolving rapidly. Focal areas are changing and best practices are still under debate. Preservation efforts must address not just preservation of the technologies of the past, but also those of the future. The rapidly increasing volume of data requiring preservation makes other digital preservation challenges inherently larger and more complex. The shorter lifespan of digital materials also makes the need for timely and effective preservation action more urgent. This article describes what the author sees as the current major challenges in digital preservation, and covers a range of technical, administrative, legal and logistical aspects.
Exporting Finnish Digitized Historical Newspaper Contents for Offline Use
Article by Tuula Pääkkönen, Jukka Kervinen, Kimmo Kettunen, National Library of Finland; Asko Nivala, University of Turku, Finland; Eetu Mäkelä, Aalto University, Finland
Abstract: Digital collections of the National Library of Finland (NLF) contain over 10 million pages of historical newspapers, journals and some technical ephemera. The material ranges from the early Finnish newspapers from 1771 until the present day. The material up to 1910 can be viewed in the public web service, where as anything later is available at the six legal deposit libraries in Finland. A recent user study noticed that a different type of researcher use is one of the key uses of the collection. National Library of Finland has gotten several requests to provide the content of the digital collections as one offline bundle, where all the needed content is included. For this purpose we introduced a new format, which contains three different information sets: the full metadata of a publication page, the actual page content as ALTO XML, and the raw text content. We consider these formats most useful to be provided as raw data for the researchers. In this paper we will describe how the export format was created, how other parties have packaged the same data and what the benefits are of the current approach. We shall also briefly discuss word level quality of the content and show a real research scenario for the data.
The Pathways of Research Software Preservation: An Educational and Planning Resource for Service Development
Article by Fernando Rios, Data Management Services, The Sheridan Libraries, Johns Hopkins University
Abstract: Research communities, funders, publishers, and academic libraries have put much effort towards ensuring that research data are preserved. However, the same level of attention has not been given to the associated software used to process and analyze it. As a guide to those tasked with preserving research outputs, a novel visual representation of preservation approaches relevant to research software, termed the Pathways of Research Software Preservation, is presented. The Pathways are discussed in the context of service development within the Data Management Services group at Johns Hopkins University.
Deploying Islandora as a Digital Repository Platform: a Multifaceted Experience at the University of Denver Libraries
Article by Shea-Tinn Yeh, Fernando Reyes, Jeff Rynhart, Philip Bain, University of Denver
Abstract: The purpose of a highly integrated software framework such as Islandora is to satisfy as many workflows as possible in a single ecosystem for a digital repository. The Library Technology Department at the University of Denver was tasked with implementing an Islandora open-source framework for its Special Collections Department because the current host was being retired. Although Islandora's front-end is tailored for librarians, its back-end is complex, and built upon many subsystems. A failure in any of the subsystems guarantees a domino effect and a chain reaction which can obfuscate the root cause of the issue. Though product documentation and support communication channels exist, many of the problems we faced were unique to our specific hardware and software configuration. The development team had to learn fast, and be innovative, agile, and systematic in order to work with such a complicated system. This article describes the tactics used in this repository development effort, as well as the library's stakeholder relationship management. We believe our experience will be illustrative for administrators, librarians and developers, and help them better understand the many facets of an in-house, open-source digital repository development project.
Participatory Culture in Memory Institutions: of Diversity, Ethics and Trust?
Article by Chern Li Liew and Ferne Cheetham, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
Abstract: Memory institutions have been using social technologies for participatory activities aimed at creating and enhancing collective memories. This study involves an analysis and synthesis of relevant discourses, with the aim of identifying concepts that contribute to a discussion on what meaningful participatory construction of collective memories should entail. A literature review was undertaken across various disciplinary fields. Policies and guidelines from a number of New Zealand-based memory institutions were also examined to distil the current focus of such policies and to ascertain if (and in what form) they reflect the issues identified. A number of themes emerged, namely those around democracy and inclusivity, ethical responsibilities and the concept of trust. The analysis of the policies reveals largely a legal focus. While these policies can be related to some of the issues identified, there does not appear to be concerted drive to ensure inclusivity and diversity in participation, equality in contribution and representation, and transparency and trustworthiness.
Analysis of International Linked Data Survey for Implementers
Article by Karen Smith-Yoshimura, OCLC Research
Abstract: The International Linked Data Survey for Implementers conducted by OCLC Research in 2014 and 2015 attracted responses from 90 institutions in 20 countries. This analysis of the 112 linked data projects or services described by the 2015 respondents those that publish linked data, consume linked data, or both indicates that most are primarily experimental in nature. This article provides an overview of the linked data projects or services institutions or organizations have implemented or are implementing, what data they publish and consume, the reasons respondents give for implementing linked data and the barriers encountered. Relatively small projects are emerging and provide a window into future opportunities. Applications that take advantage of linked data resources are currently few and are yet to demonstrate value over existing systems.
O P I N I O N
Text Mining at an Institution with Limited Financial Resources
Opinion by Drew E. VandeCreek, Northern Illinois University Libraries
Abstract: The digital humanities are now coming to the attention of a growing number of scholars and librarians, including many at medium-sized and small institutions that lack significant financial resources. Should these individuals seek to explore text mining, one of the digital humanities core activities, they are likely to confront the fact that their library cannot afford the typical expensive database products that contain large volumes of materials suitable for analysis. In this opinion piece, I suggest that vendors would benefit from increasing their customer base by offering potential users the opportunity to purchase discrete portions of data sets individually. This approach may prove practicable for libraries able to muster relatively modest sums for the purchase of single items. It also may represent a new source of revenue for vendors, or at least an opportunity to build trust and goodwill in the digital humanities community.
N E W S & E V E N T S
In Brief: Short Items of Current Awareness
In the News: Recent Press Releases and Announcements
Clips & Pointers: Documents, Deadlines, Calls for Participation
Meetings, Conferences, Workshops: Calendar of Activities Associated with Digital Libraries Research and Technologies
F E A T U R E D D I G I T A L
C O L L E C T I O N
Title: Ranunculus root - cross section of a mature root. Photographer: Clayton, Michael W. Copyright Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System.
[Used with permission.]
Title: Agave flowers and pine tree, Sierra de los Cuchumatantes. Photographer: Iltis, Hugh H.
[Botany Slides of Hugh H. Iltis, by Dr. Hugh H. Iltis, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.]
This issue's Featured Collection is The Science Collection at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Since its founding in early 2000, the University of Wisconsin Digital Collections Center (UWDCC) has worked collaboratively with University of Wisconsin (UW) faculty, staff, and librarians to create and provide access to digital resources that support the teaching and research needs of the UW community. Resources within the collections are free and publicly accessible online. They are loosely organized into collections that span a range of subjects including art, ecology, literature, history, music, natural resources, science, social sciences, the State of Wisconsin, and the University of Wisconsin.
Like many of the larger umbrella collections that make up the whole of the University of Wisconsin Digital Collections, the Science Collection is a somewhat eclectic mix of material based on specific individual projects that fit the broader theme. In this case, the Science Collection is composed of material from three distinct projects.
The crown jewel of the collection is a relatively small set of 80 plates of Veterinary Anatomical Illustrations drawn by Herman Dittrich and published around the turn of the 20th Century. The horse is featured prominently in the illustrations, which are highly regarded for their clarity and level of detail. Other animals represented include the cow, the dog, and the lion.
The other two projects that make up the collection have a largely botanical focus. Approximately 2500 images and a few dozen videos provide the complete visual accompaniment for a full introductory course in general botany. Instructor Michael Clayton spent many years producing and assembling the material, which includes a large number of photomicrographs (microscopic photos) that blur the lines between art and science in showing off the beautiful and amazing ways that nature constructs itself. The 1700 slides documenting Professor Hugh Iltis' fieldwork provide a more macro view with a bit of a travelogue feel. His photographs showcase the plants and landscapes of Central and South America, but also include photos of the people and communities he encountered on his travels.
D - L I B E D I T O R I A L S T A F F
Laurence Lannom, Editor-in-Chief
Allison Powell, Associate Editor
Catherine Rey, Managing Editor
Bonita Wilson, Contributing Editor