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Creating a Digital Archive on a Shoestring Laurie Thompson, MLS: California Room Librarian Sarah Houghton, MA, MLIS: eServices Librarian Marin County Free.

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Presentation on theme: "Creating a Digital Archive on a Shoestring Laurie Thompson, MLS: California Room Librarian Sarah Houghton, MA, MLIS: eServices Librarian Marin County Free."— Presentation transcript:

1 Creating a Digital Archive on a Shoestring Laurie Thompson, MLS: California Room Librarian Sarah Houghton, MA, MLIS: eServices Librarian Marin County Free Library PLA 2006 Marin County Free Library California Room Digital Archive: http://www.co.marin.ca.us/library/crm/ http://www.co.marin.ca.us/library/crm/

2 And the question is… How do you create a digital archive of local history materials with no additional funding or staff? With willful determination and scraped together time.

3 Today’s Talk 1. Assessing your materials 2. Creating a digital archive on a shoestring 3. Design process 4. Workflow 5. Technical details 6. Tour of the archive

4 Why Create a Digital Archive? Dissemination: To share your historical photographs, ephemera, oral histories and other materials with a larger audience Dissemination: To share your historical photographs, ephemera, oral histories and other materials with a larger audience Preservation: To preserve your primary source materials for posterity by limiting the handling of the rare and fragile originals Preservation: To preserve your primary source materials for posterity by limiting the handling of the rare and fragile originals

5 I. Assessing your Materials Survey the primary source materials in your collection Survey the primary source materials in your collection Determine which items would be of interest to your patrons Determine which items would be of interest to your patrons Evaluate the intellectual property rights of the chosen items Evaluate the intellectual property rights of the chosen items Determine whether these items can be safely scanned or digitized Determine whether these items can be safely scanned or digitized

6 Survey Your Materials Do you have historical photographs? Do you have historical photographs? Do you have paper ephemera? Do you have paper ephemera? Do you have oral histories? Do you have oral histories? Do you have maps? Do you have maps? Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Marin County Civic Center, circa 1962. Anne T. Kent California Room Collection.

7 What Do Your Patrons Want? Images showing the people, culture, institutions and towns in your community Images showing the people, culture, institutions and towns in your community Oral histories with pioneers, politicians and anyone with a story to tell Oral histories with pioneers, politicians and anyone with a story to tell Historical Maps and charts showing how your community has changed over time Historical Maps and charts showing how your community has changed over time Ephemera such as pamphlets, playbills, newspaper clippings Ephemera such as pamphlets, playbills, newspaper clippings Vaudeville performance at San Quentin Prison, circa 1915. Anne T. Kent California Room Collection.

8 Can the Items be Digitized? Item won’t chip or break when handled Item won’t chip or break when handled Item can be safely placed on a flatbed scanner Item can be safely placed on a flatbed scanner Exposure to light won’t damage the item Exposure to light won’t damage the item Mountain Play Program, 1914. Anne T. Kent California Room Collection.

9 Copyright Issues Suggested Resources & Websites:  Copyright Term & Public Domain Chart: http://www.copyright.cornell.edu/training/Hirtle_Public_Domain.htm  Investigating Copyright Status: http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ22.pdf  Mary Minow’s Library Law site: http://www.librarylaw.com/

10 II. How to Create a Digital Archive on a Shoestring Sell your digital archive vision to Library Administration Sell your digital archive vision to Library Administration Consult with IT staff in your city or county Consult with IT staff in your city or county Leverage the skills of your staff Leverage the skills of your staff Use volunteers Use volunteers Raise money through Friends & other library support groups Raise money through Friends & other library support groups Purchase economical hardware & software Purchase economical hardware & software

11 SELL YOUR VISION Creating A Digital Archive will: Preserve rare materials by creating digital surrogates Preserve rare materials by creating digital surrogates Share historical resources with patrons & community Share historical resources with patrons & community Disseminate materials to a broad audience, via the Internet Disseminate materials to a broad audience, via the Internet Allow 24/7 access to archival materials Allow 24/7 access to archival materials Promote your library in the community Promote your library in the community Perpetuate itself, as you start small and use the digital archive as a fundraising tool Perpetuate itself, as you start small and use the digital archive as a fundraising tool

12 Leverage Your Staff & Volunteers Create a team using: Staff or volunteers with knowledge of local history or specialized subject areas Staff or volunteers with knowledge of local history or specialized subject areas Library or IT staff with the skills to create digital image and audio files Library or IT staff with the skills to create digital image and audio files Library or County webmaster to create the website Library or County webmaster to create the website Head of history room or special collections to serve as project manager Head of history room or special collections to serve as project manager Friends, volunteers and staff members to promote your digital archive in the community Friends, volunteers and staff members to promote your digital archive in the community

13 Basic Equipment HARDWARE PC with approx. 250 GB of storage & 128 MB of RAM PC with approx. 250 GB of storage & 128 MB of RAM Monitor with a minimum resolution of 800 x 600 Monitor with a minimum resolution of 800 x 600 Flatbed scanner (minimum of 600 x 1200 dpi with 32 bit depth) Flatbed scanner (minimum of 600 x 1200 dpi with 32 bit depth) Server maintained by the Library, City or County Server maintained by the Library, City or County Sound card and video card Sound card and video card CD-R/RW drive CD-R/RW driveSOFTWARE Scanning software (archival scans are generally 600 dpi.tif files) Scanning software (archival scans are generally 600 dpi.tif files) Imaging software such as Photoshop Imaging software such as Photoshop Audio software such as MusicMatch Jukebox Plus Audio software such as MusicMatch Jukebox Plus Word processing software Word processing software Adobe Acrobat to create PDFs Adobe Acrobat to create PDFs

14 Use the Digital Archive to Raise Funds Give a Talk & Demo to: Friends of the Library Friends of the Library Library Foundation Library Foundation Community groups such as Rotary Clubs & historical societies Community groups such as Rotary Clubs & historical societies Grant Sources: LSTA Grants (in California they have a Local History Digital Resources Projects grant) LSTA Grants (in California they have a Local History Digital Resources Projects grant) Local foundations & banks Local foundations & banks NEH grants NEH grants

15 III. Design Process Desired a historical look and feel for the site Desired a historical look and feel for the site Marin County web style very firmly established Marin County web style very firmly established

16 Our Own Look and Feel Background Background Typefaces Typefaces –Poetica Chancery I –Centaur Colors Colors –Deep red for headings and links, black for all else Buttons Buttons

17 Uniform on Every Page Top: Navigation Bottom: Contact, Copyright, Logo

18 Uniform Layouts

19 Searching the Archive We added a Google Search to our site We added a Google Search to our site Free and easy Free and easy Search button in the standard navigation Search button in the standard navigation

20 IV. Workflow Who does: –What? –When? –And how long does it take?

21 Photo Album Workflow California Room Staff (13-24 hours) California Room Staff (13-24 hours) –Select and scan photographs at 600 dpi for preservation (on server) –Catalog each photo with 30 fields of metadata –Confirm attribution of photos –Rearrange in a logical order –Write captions for each photo –Resize/alter selected photos for the website –Write introductory essay for the album

22 Photo Album Workflow, contd. eServices Librarian (4 hours) eServices Librarian (4 hours) –Transfers all image files to the web server –Creates page for the introductory essay –Creates page for the thumbnail images –Creates page for each individual image –Adds link and brief description to photo albums index page

23 Oral History Workflow California Room Staff (13 hours) California Room Staff (13 hours) –Transfer original oral history recording from cassette tape to a digital file (also creating a back-up on an archival quality CD, DVD, and server) –Transcribe the complete interview into a Microsoft Word file template and convert to PDF –Select brief (1 minute) audio clips from the interview –Write brief biographical essay –Digitize and resize a photograph of the interviewee

24 Oral History Workflow, contd. eServices Librarian (1/2 hour) eServices Librarian (1/2 hour) –Transfers image, audio, and PDF files to the web server –Creates new main page for the oral history with links to the various elements –Creates new page for the transcript, converting Word transcript to HTML –Adds link and brief description to oral histories index page

25 Publicity We publicize each new addition on: We publicize each new addition on: –The Library’s blog (http://www.marincountyfreelibrary.blogspot.com) http://www.marincountyfreelibrary.blogspot.com –The Library’s monthly e-mail newsletter (http://www.co.marin.ca.us/library/newsletter.cfm) http://www.co.marin.ca.us/library/newsletter.cfm –E-mails to all staff –Library homepage when appropriate

26 V. Technical Details Hosted on the County’s web server with the rest of our website Hosted on the County’s web server with the rest of our website Simple HTML only Simple HTML only –No javascript, XML, or CSS Why just HTML? Why just HTML? –It’s easy and quick to create –Looks good on anyone’s browser with any screen size and resolution –Accessibility –County IT does not support CSS

27 Accessibility All fonts are variable (can increase and decrease font sizes) All fonts are variable (can increase and decrease font sizes) All images have ALT tags All images have ALT tags Reads easily using a text screen reader Reads easily using a text screen reader W3C standards are used for the code—not perfect, but meets all priority 1 guidelines and most of priority 2 and 3 W3C standards are used for the code—not perfect, but meets all priority 1 guidelines and most of priority 2 and 3

28 Online Findability Major search engines crawl our site every 1-3 months Major search engines crawl our site every 1-3 months Ask search engines to crawl after major additions Ask search engines to crawl after major additions Sample ranks in Google Sample ranks in Google –San Quentin: 5 –Mountain Play: 5 –Frank Lloyd Wright Photos: 7 –Marin History: 14 –Every oral history shows up in the top 10 for the person’s name Listed in The LII, Marin.org, historical society websites Listed in The LII, Marin.org, historical society websites

29 2005 statistics: # of visits 24,000: San Quentin Album 24,000: San Quentin Album 3,500: Frank Lloyd Wright Resources 3,500: Frank Lloyd Wright Resources 2,400: Oral History Main Page 2,400: Oral History Main Page 2,100: Interactive Marin Rancho Map 2,100: Interactive Marin Rancho Map 2,000: Golden Gate Bridge Album 2,000: Golden Gate Bridge Album

30 VI. Tour of the California Room Digital Archive Featured Categories Oral Histories Oral Histories Images Images Frank Lloyd Wright Frank Lloyd Wright Maps Maps California Room Digital Archive Homepage

31 Oral History I FEATURES Overview of the Oral History Program Overview of the Oral History Program Link to an in-depth history of the Oral History Program Link to an in-depth history of the Oral History Program Link to an alphabetical list of oral history interviewees Link to an alphabetical list of oral history interviewees Photographs of Oral History Program pioneers Photographs of Oral History Program pioneers Opening Oral History Page

32 Oral History II FEATURES Alphabetical list of interviewees with links to individual oral histories Alphabetical list of interviewees with links to individual oral histories Birth & death dates of interviewees Birth & death dates of interviewees Brief summary of each oral history Brief summary of each oral history List of Oral History Interviewees with links to individual oral history transcripts

33 Oral History III FEATURES Portrait of the interviewee Portrait of the interviewee Biographical summary of interviewee Biographical summary of interviewee One-three audio clips from oral history (about 1 minute each) One-three audio clips from oral history (about 1 minute each) Complete transcript of the interview Complete transcript of the interview PDF version of transcript PDF version of transcript Page for each oral history interviewee

34 Images I FEATURES Alphabetical list of image albums Alphabetical list of image albums Summary of contents of each thematic album Summary of contents of each thematic album Link to each image album Link to each image album Image Collection Main Page

35 Images II FEATURES Essay providing a context for the image album Essay providing a context for the image album Sample photograph from album Sample photograph from album Link to view the album Link to view the album Opening page of an image album

36 Images III FEATURES Thumbnails of entire album Thumbnails of entire album Link back to album essay Link back to album essay Image album thumbnails

37 Images IV FEATURES Image with caption Image with caption Navigational buttons to flip through album sequentially or to return to thumbnails Navigational buttons to flip through album sequentially or to return to thumbnails Sample Image

38 Frank Lloyd Wright I FEATURES Links to: Links to: –Two photo albums –Inter-active oral history page with audio clips –Historical chronology –Frank Lloyd Wright resources in the library Frank Lloyd Wright Homepage

39 Frank Lloyd Wright II FEATURES Essay about speaker or interviewee Essay about speaker or interviewee Links to audio excerpts from speeches & oral histories which shed light on the design and construction of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Marin County Civic Center Links to audio excerpts from speeches & oral histories which shed light on the design and construction of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Marin County Civic Center Inter-active Oral History Page

40 Maps FEATURES Inter-active map created in “Flash” by California Room-volunteer Inter-active map created in “Flash” by California Room-volunteer Click on a rancho to see the name of grantee and acreage Click on a rancho to see the name of grantee and acreage Click to read essay on grantee and history of rancho Click to read essay on grantee and history of rancho Inter-active map of Marin County’s original land grants

41 What We’ve Learned Part I Creating a digital archive involves a tremendous commitment of time and resources Creating a digital archive involves a tremendous commitment of time and resources Maintaining the digital archive is more labor- intensive than creating it Maintaining the digital archive is more labor- intensive than creating it Policies, structure and staffing need to be in place to ensure the archive is maintained and backed-up Policies, structure and staffing need to be in place to ensure the archive is maintained and backed-up It is recommended that the project manager and staff receive training from experienced professionals It is recommended that the project manager and staff receive training from experienced professionals

42 What We’ve Learned Part II People find our text and images through search engines and link to us from their blogs and websites People find our text and images through search engines and link to us from their blogs and websites Unfortunate delay in getting things up due to overloaded eServices Librarian Unfortunate delay in getting things up due to overloaded eServices Librarian CSS would make updates much easier and page loading faster CSS would make updates much easier and page loading faster A database-driven site is the next step A database-driven site is the next step

43 Tips from the California Room  Back-up digital files on a second server as well as on archival CDs or DVDs and digital tape  If possible, work with your city or county’s IT dept. to additionally back-up files onto their server  Make one of your staff members the digital archivist and make another the project manager

44 Questions? Presentation available at: http://librarianinblack.typepad.com/DigitalArchive.ppt Laurie Thompson ljthompson@co.marin.ca.us Sarah Houghton librarianinblack@gmail.com IM: LibrarianInBlack


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