D-Lib Magazine
The Magazine of Digital Library Research

T A B L E   O F   C O N T E N T S
N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R   2 0 1 2
Volume 18, Number 11/12

ISSN: 1082-9873




In This Issue
by Laurence Lannom, Corporation for National Research Initiatives



Context and Its Role in the Digital Preservation of Cultural Objects
Article by Joan E. Beaudoin, Wayne State University

Abstract: In discussions surrounding digital preservation, context — those properties of an object related to its creation and preservation that make the object's origins, composition, and purpose clear — has been identified as a critical aspect of preservation metadata. Understanding a cultural object's context, in as much detail as possible, is necessary to the successful future use of that object, regardless of its form. The necessity of capturing data about the creation of digital resources and the technical details of the preservation process, has generally been agreed. Capturing many other contextual aspects — such as utility, history, curation, authenticity — that would certainly contribute to successful retrieval, assessment, management, access, and use of preserved digital content, has not been adequately addressed or codified. Recording these aspects of contextual information is especially important for physical objects that are digitally preserved, and thereby removed from their original setting. This paper investigates the various discussions in the literature surrounding contextual information, and then presents a framework which makes explicit the various dimensions of context which have been identified as useful for digital preservation efforts, and offers a way to ensure the capture those aspects of an object's context that are often missed.

A Framework for Contextual Metadata Used in the Digital Preservation of Cultural Objects
Article by Joan E. Beaudoin, Wayne State University

Abstract: The quality and the quantity of contextual information found in the descriptive metadata associated with digital representations of cultural objects are frequently inadequate for assuring that users will understand the nature of both the original object that has been digitally preserved, and the digital representation itself. This paper proposes and defines a framework for ensuring that relevant contextual metadata is easily collected and maintained. After identifying and describing eight important dimensions of context, the paper shows how implementing the framework, through a series of questions and prompts, results in a descriptive metadata record that accommodates the important aspects of an object's context. Using two very different cultural objects as examples, an Etruscan tomb painting and a 19th century bridge, the framework demonstrates that sufficient contextual information can be recorded in a metadata schema to enable effective future search, retrieval, examination, use, management, and preservation interactions.

Viewshare and the Kress Collection: Creating, Sharing, and Rapidly Prototyping Visual Interfaces to Cultural Heritage Collection Data
Article by Lauren Algee, National Gallery of Art, Jefferson Bailey, Metropolitan New York Library Council and Trevor Owens, Library of Congress

Abstract: Visualization tools for digital cultural heritage collections allow users to discover connections between artifacts over time and across space. Created using curators' and collection stewards' unique knowledge of their collections, visualizations empower users to discover meaning and patterns within digital collections using dynamic, interactive displays. Viewshare, a free, open-source visualization platform developed by the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program at the Library of Congress and its partners, is such a tool. Viewshare's primary function is as a platform for generating and customizing views that enable users to creatively experience digital cultural heritage collections. But Viewshare can also be used by institutions as a testbed for development of web requirements and as a step in the larger workflow of managing collection data and testing its potential augmentation and exhibition. This article explains the conceptual framework behind Viewshare's development and its specific functions and affordances. The article then explicates a specific, detailed use case of Viewshare by the National Gallery of Art, Gallery Archives, demonstrating both how Viewshare offers a new way for collection managers and users to understand collections and also how Viewshare can serve as a rapid prototyping tool by which content managers can refine their existing practices around digital collection management, description, and display.

CORE: Three Access Levels to Underpin Open Access
Article by Petr Knoth and Zdenek Zdrahal, Knowledge Media institute, The Open University

Abstract: The last 10 years have seen a massive increase in the amount of Open Access publications in journals and institutional repositories. The open availability of large volumes of state-of-the-art knowledge online has the potential to provide huge savings and benefits in many fields. However, in order to fully leverage this knowledge, it is necessary to develop systems that (a) make it easy for users to discover and access this knowledge at the level of individual resources, (b) explore and analyse this knowledge at the level of collections of resources and (c) provide infrastructure and access to raw data in order to lower the barriers to the research and development of systems and services on top of this knowledge. In this paper, we argue why these requirements should be satisfied and show that current systems do not meet them. Consequently, we present the CORE (COnnecting REpositories) system, a large-scale Open Access aggregation, outlining its existing functionality and discussing the future technical development. We demonstrate how the system addresses the above needs and how it can be applied to the benefit of the whole ecosystem that includes institutional repositories, individuals, researchers, developers, funding bodies and governments.

Georeferencer: Crowdsourced Georeferencing for Map Library Collections
Article by Christopher Fleet, National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh; Kimberly C. Kowal, The British Library, London; Petr Přidal, Klokan Technologies GmbH, Baar, Switzerland and Moravian Library, Brno, Czech Republic

Abstract: Georeferencing of historical maps offers a number of important advantages for libraries: improved retrieval and user interfaces, better understanding of maps, and comparison/overlay with other maps and spatial data. Until recently, georeferencing has involved various relatively time-consuming and costly processes using conventional geographic information system software, and has been infrequently employed by map libraries. The Georeferencer application is a collaborative online project allowing crowdsourced georeferencing of map images. It builds upon a number of related technologies that use existing zoomable images from library web servers. Following a brief review of other approaches and georeferencing software, we describe Georeferencer through its five separate implementations to date: the Moravian Library (Brno), the Nationaal Archief (The Hague), the National Library of Scotland (Edinburgh), the British Library (London), and the Institut Cartografic de Catalunya (Barcelona). The key success factors behind crowdsourcing georeferencing are presented. We then describe future developments and improvements to the Georeferencer technology.

Exploring Social Curation
Article by Michael Zarro and Catherine Hall, Drexel University

Abstract: This work investigates social curating activities on the website Pinterest, and relates them to digital libraries. Pinterest is a social curation site that combines features such as sharing, liking, following and commenting with the information management characteristics of successful data curation. Effectively combining social media techniques and data curation practices will result in new ways of interacting with Web users, providing insight into the development of useful social media efforts by libraries, archives, and museums, as well as commercial organizations.


C O N F E R E N C E   R E P O R T S

Report on the 16th International Conference on Electronic Publishing: Social Shaping of Digital Publishing
Conference Report by Tomasz Neugebauer, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada

Abstract: Elpub2012, "Social Shaping of Digital Publishing: Exploring the interplay between Culture and Technology", the 16th annual conference on electronic publishing, took place 14 - 15 June 2012 at the University of Minho in Guimarães, Portugal. This report summarizes some of the arguments and results presented, and offers some review and reflection on the contents.

CurateGear: Enabling the Curation of Digital Collections
Conference Report by Alex H. Poole, Christopher A. Lee, and Angela P. Murillo, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Abstract: CurateGear: Enabling the Curation of Digital Collections took place on January 6, 2012, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It was a highly interactive, day-long event focusing on digital curation tools and methods, involving presentations and demonstrations by a variety of experts. It will be followed by a second interactive day-long public symposium, "CurateGear 2013", continuing the same themes, to be held on January 9, 2013 at the William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The event had the support of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. CurateGear 2013 will not only inform participants, but also provide numerous opportunities to encounter and discuss the latest world-wide developments in, and applications of, digital curation in diverse professional contexts. It is hoped that this summary of the highlights of CurateGear 2012, and introduction to CurateGear 2013, will spark further interest in attending this event.


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




[Franz Rosenzweig (1886-1929), philosopher and theologian. Courtesy of of the Leo Baeck Institute. Used with permission.]

[Joseph and Frederike (Friedl) Roth in Berlin (1920's). Courtesy of of the Leo Baeck Institute. Used with permission.]

[Agenda 1848, Diary of Henriette Meyer Mendelssohn. Courtesy of of the Leo Baeck Institute. Used with permission.]

DigiBaeck is a project of the Leo Baeck Institute (LBI), the premiere research library and archive devoted exclusively to documenting the history of German-speaking Jewry. The Institute has completed the digitization of its entire archive, which now provides free online access to primary source materials encompassing five centuries of Jewish life in Central Europe.

DigiBaeck offers a digital gateway to LBI's growing collections. It already includes 3.5 million pages of material that ranges from the personal papers and photographs of luminaries like Albert Einstein and Moses Mendelssohn to letters, diaries, recipes, and other ephemera chronicling the lives of everyday people over five centuries. The collection includes documents in German and over a dozen other languages, and many pieces in the collection include English translations.

"German-speaking Jews accomplished breakthroughs in so many fields — from science to medicine and art and architecture — so it is appropriate that this archive is the first to present itself in its entirety on the Internet, giving this rich history access to perpetuity," said Carol Kahn Strauss, Executive Director of Leo Baeck Institute. "Before the Nazi seizure of power, Jews in Germany probably had better opportunities for success than Jews anywhere else in the world. As a new Jewish community once again flourishes in Germany, it is all the more important to ensure it also has broad access to this past."

Leo Baeck Institute partnered with the Internet Archive, non-profit digital library that offers permanent storage of and free public access to digitized materials, including websites, music, moving images, and nearly three million public-domain books.


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

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