Tagged: digital libraries

Library as Agent of [Re]Contextualization: presentation available online

July 1st, 2009 in DigiLib BLog 0 comments

I’ve uploaded the talk I gave last week at Digital Humanities 2009, “Library as Agent of [Re]Contextualization.” Its text is here [PDF], and the slides are available on SlideShare.

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THATCamp: Libraries and Web 2.0

June 27th, 2009 in DigiLib BLog 2 comments

From Digital Humanities 09 to THATCamp, or The Humanities And Technology Camp. It’s an unconference: we (well, Jeremy Boggs, to whom profound thanks) came up with the schedule first thing in the morning. It’s a bare-bones event which apparently cost about $3500 to put on, and has about 100 participants. And we have everything we need — coffee, food, and rooms with projection. And smart people around the table. Note to self: a fairly large [un]conference is possible without a $100k investment, as long as someone (or five someones) is willing to put in a lot of organizational work.

The first breakout session I’m attending is, as will be obvious from the title, is Libraries and Web 2.0. People attending include “straight-up” librarians, digital humanists, a programmer at NCSA even. Let’s see if I can capture what we talk about.


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DH09 Thursday, session 1: libraries!

June 25th, 2009 in DigiLib BLog 0 comments

The first paper was mine; naturally, I’m not going to blog it. But I’ll post a link to a PDF version of my talk here, and will Tweet it too. Stay tuned.


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BU STH materials make their way onto archive.org

June 19th, 2009 in DigiLib BLog, Open Access 0 comments

Here at the School of Theology Library, we’ve been digitizing our Missions collection—for now, just what’s out of copyright. Student assistants Christina (Mo) Geuther and Carolyn Frantz have been working tirelessly, and we’re starting to see results. Exciting! And more on the way.

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Resources: World Digital Library

April 28th, 2009 in DigiLib BLog 2 comments

Have you seen the World Digital Library yet? It’s fantastic. In the creators’ own words, the WDL “makes available on the Internet, free of charge and in multilingual format, significant primary materials from countries and cultures around the world.” The interface, developed by the Library of Congress with support (including financial) from worldwide entities, is slick. Navigation tools are available in several languages including Arabic and Russian. You can browse primary materials by place of origin, time period, owner institution, topic, and type of item. The specific technologies used to create the WDL site are not clear, though a quick look at the home page source suggests just JavaScript and CSS – anyone know for sure?

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Events: Zotero trainers workshop at Emory this August

April 28th, 2009 in DigiLib BLog 0 comments

From the Zotero blog:

We are now accepting applications for the second Zotero trainers workshop, to be held July 30-31st at Emory University in Atlanta. At this info-packed and fun-filled two-day event, participants will acquire a solid understanding of Zotero’s capabilities and how those capabilities can best meet their users’ needs. Beyond acquiring a detailed understanding of the program, participants will learn: best-practices for demo-ing and supporting Zotero at their institution; approaches for developing institution-specific documentation; and steps for migrating user data to and from other research management tools.

Cost: $350. Application deadline: May 31. One or two people from a single institution will be accepted. More at the link above.

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Digital library jobs

April 15th, 2009 in DigiLib BLog 0 comments

A slew of them has been coming up. Via DigitalKoans:

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Limited spaces still available at the DigCCurr Professional Institute at Chapel Hill

April 9th, 2009 in DigiLib BLog 0 comments

Got this through a list:

DigCCurr Professional Institute: Curation Practices for the Digital Object Lifecycle

June 21-26, 2009 & January 6-7, 2010 (One price for two sessions)

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Visit the institute’s site for more information and to register.

The institute consists of one five-day session in June 2009 and a two-day follow-up session in January 2010. Each day of the June session will include lectures, discussion and a hands-on “lab” component. A course pack and a private, online discussion space will be provided to supplement learning and application of the material. An opening reception dinner on Sunday, break time treats and coffee, and a dinner on Thursday will also be included.

This institute is designed to foster skills, knowledge and community-building among professionals responsible for the curation of digital materials.

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Best practices: what do we want to do with it?

February 20th, 2009 in DigiLib BLog 1 comment

At the School of Theology Library, we’ve begun combing our first collection for public-domain imprints we’d like to have digitized by the Internet Archive. For the first batch we’ve chosen the Missions collection—logical, given the Digital Mission Project we’re pursuing.

The selection process is a huge amount of work, and we’re only dealing with about 3,000 records so far! Not only do we have to pull the books; we must find out whether they’ve already been digitized; if so, whether there’s a good reason to digitize them again; and each item needs to be within IA’s technical spec requirements.

Missions stuff is only the beginning of what we’ll eventually want to preserve and make available electronically. But, as the social internet has been teaching us, it’s not enough to digitize. Once artifacts are digitized, what do we want to be able to do with them? I’ve found a third-hand formulation that may be a useful starting point for answering that question in our specific context.

Dan Cohen, director of the Center for History and New Media at George Mason U, was a participant in the recent Smithsonian 2.0 meeting in Washington. Summarizing the meeting, he paraphrased David Recordon’s description of what he’d like to be able to do with Smithsonian Institution objects, in the future (I quote from Dan’s post):

Before I visit Washington, I want to be able to go to the web and select items I’m really interested in from the entire Smithsonian collection. When I wake up the next morning, I want in my inbox a PDF of my personalized tour to see these objects. When I’m standing in front of an object in a museum, I want to see or hear more information about it on my cell phone. When an event happens related to an object I’m interested in, I want a text message about it. I want to know when it’s feeding time for the pandas, or when Lincoln’s handball will be on public display. And I want to easily share this information with my classmates, my friends, my family.

It’s unlikely that any theology library will ever have the same breadth of appeal as SI. But, as I said: it’s a starting point for thinking about what, in the exciting world of tomorrow (and tomorrow, and tomorrow), we’d like to be able to do with the objects we’re digitizing. What are the contexts for its use, inside and outside of academe? Who would want to share what with whom? What would your ideal user experience of digitized theological artifacts be like? Technosocial fantasies welcome in comments.

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Digital humanities in the news

January 12th, 2009 in DigiLib BLog 0 comments

The past few weeks have been exciting for digital humanities and digital libraries projects, which are getting recognized and rewarded all over the place.

The Mellon Foundation has announced the recipients of its third annual Mellon Awards for Technology Collaboration (MATC). Among the recipients are UIUC’s brainchild Archon, archiving and publishing software for archivists and manuscript curators; George Mason University’s Omeka, another web-based publishing platform for collections; King’s College London’s Pliny Project, a scholarly annotation tool; and Villanova University’s VuFind, a library resource portal designed to replace a traditional online catalog.

Mellon isn’t the only source of recognition for digital humanities projects. A collaboration between the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Endowment for the Humanities has resulted in a fantastic opportunity for three major humanities projects, housed at UVA, UC San Diego and Tufts. Together, these projects will take advantage of 1 million hours of supercomputing time. This will allow humanities scholars to perform hugely computationally intensive research and processing of primary resources, be they Michelangelo’s David or linguistic corpora. Read UVA’s news release here.

Such tremendous recognition of these projects is notable not only in itself but also in conjunction with the upcoming nomination of Elena Kagan to the post of the United States Solicitor General. During her tenure as the Dean of Harvard Law School, Kagan supported the activities of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, and most recently welcomed copyright law scholar Lawrence Lessig back to Harvard, to (among other things) direct the Safra Foundation Center for Ethics. Having Kagan as the country’s Solicitor General is reassuring in this time of uncertain copyright law – proponents of open access and Creative-Commons-like open licensing will have an advocate in Kagan, who will (as Lessig discusses) affect policymaking on a federal level.

And speaking of policies and copyright, looks like the recording industry is looking to abandon mass lawsuits in favor of “more effective ways to combat online music piracy.” (WSJ) It’s about time; those costly lawsuits have been both ineffective in accomplishing the RIAA’s anti-piracy goals and a PR disaster (see above-linked article).

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