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Marina Georgieva on the liaison between digital collections and digital preservation

  Marina Georgieva presented a poster at Digital Preservation 2018. Please read on for a closer look at her work, one of the many great offerings from this year’s event. For more posters, please visit Marina holds Master’s Degree in Library Science with Information Technology concentration from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. She’s currently Visiting Digital Collections Librarian at the University of Nevada – Las Vegas. Her passion is large-scale digitization with cutting edge technologies. Her research interests include project management in large-scale digitization and approaches for achieving higher digitization efficiency such as staffing and training, development of workflow, procedures and guidelines. Marina is also involved in metadata and authority work as well as metadata remediation projects.   The digital librarian: the liaison between digital collections and digital preservation Overview At UNLV Libraries, the role of the Digital Collections Librarian goes beyond the traditional routine tasks of digitization, metadata management, project management, workflow development and team management. Digital Collections Librarians serve as links between digitization and digital preservation and do everything in between to draft sustainable digital preservation workflows alongside their colleagues in the Special Collections Technical Services Department. Technical Services Librarians are responsible for the preservation of born-digital archival materials, whereas the Digital Collections Librarians’ roles entail being information architects directly engaged in the process of preparing master files of in-house and outsourced reformatted materials for digital preservation. In recent years, the UNLV Libraries Digital Collections Department has completed numerous large-scale digitization projects that yielded hundreds of thousands new archival digital objects that require long-term preservation. Currently all these archival files are stored on a server, referred to as ‘The Digital Vault’. One of the invisible, often overlooked, yet very important roles of the Digital Librarian is to verify that all images from completed digitization projects are properly organized in meaningful easy-to-navigate directories and that all files are in the appropriate file format. It is common practice for folder directories (created and organized during the actual process of digitization) to remain intact and be moved to the Digital Vault for long-term storage in their original order. There they get merged in the collection-appropriate existing folders or, if necessary, a new folder is created. Additionally, UNLV Digital Collections has thousands of images from legacy collections stored in the Digital Vault. All of these digital objects live on the Digital Collections website, but some of the archival master folders have redundant data; others are saved in inappropriate file formats, and still others have non-normalized file naming. In the recent years, there has been an effort to clean up and restructure these legacy folders in order to make the archival files easily discoverable and to optimize the storage space before the content of the Digital Vault gets migrated to a new more robust system (UNLV Special Collections and Archives is currently building an instance of Islandora CLAW that will back up files in Amazon Glacier).   The role The role of the UNLV Libraries Digital Librarian that relates directly to the digital preservation is outlined in the poster presented at 2018 NDSA DigiPres Forum (click here for access). Here we will just briefly touch upon few of the major responsibilities: File naming conventions For current digitization projects, file naming has been normalized and it happens in a structured and logical way depending on the type of collection being digitized. During the process of preparing collections for digitization, the librarian analyzes the content, makes decisions regarding the grouping of the digital objects and assigns collection-level and item-level digital identifiers. To achieve consistency and logical arrangement, the digital librarian maintains and updates spreadsheets with assigned and available digital identifiers. For example, if the collection consists of archival photographic materials, the assigned digital collection alias will be ‘PHO’ with the sequential numeric identifiers. These identifiers will logically follow the structure and numbering of all other previously digitized photo collections. As mentioned earlier, most of the newly digitized collections remain in the original directory structure that was developed during the scanning process. The digital librarian ensures that the file naming on directory level and on file level is accurate and the data set is ready to be moved to the Digital Vault. It is important to mention that often digital librarians need to deal with and manage more identifiers beyond those that identify archival structure (collection, folder) and those that identify the intellectual unit (item) so that they can accurately reflect the structure of materials. So they also need to create a third type which may involve multiple image files that comprise a single digital object; for example, back and front of a printed item or multiple items on a page in a scrapbook. Legacy collections bring more challenge and sometimes need some clean up as their file naming may be inconsistent. Depending on the project, the digital librarian may decide to keep the file structure intact or to rearrange the folders in more normalized way that follows the current preservation practices. Decisions on archival file formats UNLV Libraries Digital Collections have chosen TIFF file format for long-term preservation of archival master files. TIFF is the preferred format for in-house digitized reflective materials and transparencies. The file format for digitized periodicals may vary depending on the project. In-house digitized periodicals and newspaper clippings are preserved in TIFF just as photographs and films, while periodicals digitized as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program are stored in the original Library of Congress approved data sets. These data sets include newspaper pages in JP2, PDF and TIFF formats along with the accompanying metadata encoded in XML METS/Alto schema. Legacy collections may contain files in JPG format. This usually applies to collections accessioned as already digitized materials. The reason why they usually they remain in this format is that UNLV Libraries Special Collections do not have holdings of the original materials and therefore, it is impossible to re-digitize the items in the proper archival format. Building directories in the Digital Vault Current digitization and digital preservation efforts follow Read More

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2018 DLF Comm/Cap Awards: meet the nominees!

e are pleased to announce the nominees for the 2018 DLF Comm/Cap Award! This biennial award honors constructive, community-minded capacity-building in digital libraries and allied fields: efforts that contribute to our ability to collaborate across institutional lines and/or work toward something larger, together. The 2018 award will go to an inspiring project, team, or person selected by the Digital Library Federation membership at large. The winner (person or group) will receive a $1000 prize, one free Forum registration, and some level of assistance toward travel expenses to make it possible for a representative to accept the award certificate in person at the DLF Forum event at which they will be honored. Each DLF member organization gets one vote. Voting is open from May 24 – June 8, 2018 (at 11:59PM ET) and DLF’s liason at each institution has been sent further instructions. For your local DLF liason’s contact information, get in touch with Director of Development & Outreach Louisa Kwasigroch. Congratulations to all thirteen nominees, and thank you for your work. Read more about each nominee below. Amanda Meeks (@A_meeksie) Founder of WTF Maker Nights. Through her work as the Teaching, Learning and Research Services Librarian (Arts/Humanities) at Northern Arizona University, Amanda Meeks has been working to close the gender gap in technology. She has championed creating inclusive, equitable, and diverse making spaces throughout Arizona with the creation of “Women/Trans/Femme Maker Nights.” Women/Trans/Femme (WTF) Maker Nights strives to address the disparity in gender representation in tech environments (e.g. library makerspaces) and has centered the voices, skills, and visibility of communities often relegated to the margins. WTF Makers Nights offers the LGBTQ community, advocates, and allies an environment to express themselves and work with people they can relate to. Amanda ‘s work has inspired other institutions to adopt WTF Maker Nights into their respective makerspaces.   Digital Library of the Caribbean (@dLOCaribbean) A cooperative of partners that provides users with access to Caribbean cultural, historical and research materials held in archives, libraries, and private collections. The Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC) is a cooperative digital library for resources from and about the Caribbean and circum-Caribbean. The overdLOC partner institutions are the core of dLOC. dLOC partners retain all rights to their materials and provide access to digitized versions of Caribbean cultural, historical, and research materials currently held in archives, libraries, and private collections. Since 2004, Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC), a multi-institutional, international digital library, has worked on data curation with various archives and libraries in the Caribbean by scanning and preserving rare books and manuscripts. dLOC follows a model of decentralized digitization and distributed collection development, thus giving Caribbean institutions, and those that know the collections most intimately, an important role in the decision making and production process. dLOC allows Caribbean institutions ownership of their cultural/national patrimony, while providing access to scholars and students around the world. Together, dLOC partners have created the world’s largest open access collection of resources from and about the Caribbean (3.51 million pages, serving 3 million users per month).   Digital POWRR (@digitalPOWRR) Increasing the confidence, capacities, and capabilities of the less-technically-inclined to take a proactive role in managing and preserving their digital collections. SInce 2012, the Digital POWRR Project has been working to demystify digital preservation with training and resources targeted specifically at resource-restricted institutions, as well as Lone Arrangers and similar solo practitioners. Their IMLS-funded Digital POWRR Institutes ensure that every participant goes home with an actionable plan for stewarding the digital materials their organization is responsible for. POWRR Institute training materials are freely shared to help everyone at every institution, including those who cannot make it to an Institute.   Documenting the Now (@documentnow) Awareness-raising and tool-building to support the ethics of preservation. Documenting the Now responds to the public’s use of social media for chronicling historically significant events as well as demand from scholars, students, and archivists, among others, seeking a user-friendly means of collecting and preserving this type of digital content. DocNow, a joint effort between the University of Maryland, University of California, Riverside, and Washington University in St. Louis, is building a variety of tools to help researchers work with Twitter data, and has drawn together a community to raise the visibility of discussions related to the ethics of collecting digital content. The suite of tools will enable communities to research and preserve digital content in conscientious and thoughtful ways.   Dr. Melissa Nobles and Professor Margaret Burnham Creators of the CRRJ/Nobles Digital Archive.               Dr. Melissa Nobles, Kenan Sahin Dean of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, and Professor of Political Science, MIT (left) and Professor Margaret Burnham, University Distinguished Professor of Law and Director, Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project at Northwestern University (right) Northeastern University’s Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project is directed by Margaret Burnham, University Distinguished Professor. Melissa Nobles, Kenan Shahin Dean of the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences and Professor of Political Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has been associated with CRRJ as faculty and board advisor since its inception. Building upon empirical research on lynching and racial violence chronicled by journalist Ida B. Wells, sociologist Monroe Work, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, as well as contemporary sociologists Stewart Tolnay and E.M. Beck, the CRRJ-Nobles Archive is a collection of records on incidents of racially-inflected homicides committed against African Americans in the southern states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia from 1930-1970. The goal of the CRRJ-Nobles Archive is to bring the important story of homicidal racial assaults in the mid-twentieth century to a broad and varied audience in order to deepen their appreciation of the significance of this history.   Educopia Institute (@Educopia) A catalyst for collaboration among cultural, scientific, and scholarly institutions. In 2017, the Educopia Institute provided administrative and technical scaffolding to support and strengthen the efforts of five networks: BitCurator Consortium, Library Publishing Coalition, MetaArchive Cooperative, Read More

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On creating tools with intentionality: a #BlackDigArchive recap.

Becca Quon (@beccaquon) is DLF’s Program Associate for Advancement and Awards, and attended the ‘Digital Blackness in the Archive: A Documenting the Now Symposium‘ on December 11-12, 2017.  s a recent iSchool graduate and the youngest person working at CLIR-DLF, I can say that by now, I’ve gotten used to walking into a room full of people with a passion and work ethic that make my head spin, plopping myself in a corner, and–well– absorbing as much as I can. It’s one of the great pleasures of my work that I’m constantly privy to conversations in the office, within the DLF community, and abroad that make me want to high five everyone and exclaim ‘YES! That’s amazing. You’re doing incredible things.’ That was absolutely the case when I attended the Digital Blackness in the Archive symposium in Missouri last month, which brought together DocNow community members to “address issues at the intersection of archival practice and the existence of Black people on the web and social media”. If you haven’t had the chance to listen to any of the recorded sessions yet, I encourage you to spend some time with the first panel, in which three community organizers spoke about their experiences during and in the years following the protests in Ferguson in 2014. These activists, Kayla Reed, Brittany Ferrell, and Alexis Templeton, shared moving and deeply personal takes on their work, the Black experience, and community memory that foregrounded a deep respect for communities in upheaval as a central focus of the Documenting the Now project. The second panel turned the mic over to digital black culture researchers, who touched on many archives-related challenges from their perspective: the ethics of collecting social media posts and related data, the need for tools that place tweets in context, and ways these platforms can help researchers visualize communities. The third focused on the nature of collecting and representation within collections–who gets represented when collecting decisions are made? And what are the collector’s responsibilities to them? One set of questions posed by panelist Tonia Sutherland (@toniasutherland) really stuck with me as representative of the work the DocNow team has done: I was asked a few times over the course of the symposium “so why’s DLF here?” Though we’re not part of the Documenting the Now project, we’re very much fans of the effort being put into it, and of the example being set. As Bergis Jules, who co-created the project, said in his (DLF-hosted) 2017 NDSA Digital Preservation keynote on ‘Confronting Our Failures of Care Around the Legacies of Marginalized People’, it’s necessary for information professions to “model our work after projects, organizations, or institutions that are already doing people centered work.” Something I’ve noticed perpetually about the practitioners who work under the DLF umbrella is the motivation to create the community they want to be a part of–something that DLF’s executive director also thinks about often, as she frames thoughtfully in a piece she wrote on building capacity through care, and that I try to bring to my desk everyday, too. Intentionality was a word I heard a lot over the course of the meeting, and it’s one that, I think, should drive the work we all do as information professionals and organizers. Sharing our space at the table, or even stepping back to let others speak, is necessary in order to help us listen (and design, and do) better. Nobody should have to bring their own chair. So, DocNow team? YES! #BlackDigArchive was amazing. You’re doing incredible things. High fives all around.

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Kress+DLF Cross-Pollinator Fellow: Alexis Logsdon

DLF and the Kress Foundation are pleased to announce the latest award in the GLAM Cross-Pollinator Fellowship series, which will send DLF affiliate Alexis Logsdon to the annual conference of the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA).  The f…

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