Thursday, September 11, 2014

Notes from the Upper Midwest Digital Conference

Postcard from Minnesota Reflections.

The Upper Midwest Digital Conference from August 18 and 19, 2014 was an excellent conference which was both educational and inspirational.  
Here is my report in which I incorporated forwarded notes from a young colleague whom I met at the conference.

  • Linked Data

Linked Data is about using the Web to connect related data that wasn't previously linked, or using the Web to lower the barriers to linking data currently linked using other methods. More specifically, Wikipedia defines Linked Data as "a term used to describe a recommended best practice for exposing, sharing, and connecting pieces of data, information, and knowledge on the Semantic Web using URIs and RDF."
An excellent example is the New York Public Library Labs Linked Jazz project.
Music, recorded interviews, biographical and professional information/relationships, visual materials in form of photos and videos are uploaded and present a comprehensive  picture of a topic.
  • “Scan days” a DIY Local History Project
A nonprofit organization comes into a library for several hours on one day and supplies the technical equipment and staff to create local archives.
In addition to this free technical service, we could invite the public to contribute valuable historical documents to us.  I searched the New York Public Library and found their  Community History project in which they invite the community to participate at:
To find out when NYPL's Community Oral History Project will be coming to your neighborhood, learn how to get involved, or share your story, please contact or 212-621-0552. 92. 2-7
  • Ron will investigate about implementing a possible project.
  • We could consider scanning projects.  On “Scan Day”, we could inquire about suitable scanners from the experts.
  • Online exhibitions can be created

  • Many libraries “market” their digitized materials by placing a prominent place/link on their home page.
  • Some libraries sell reproductions of their scanned maps which seems to be quite successful.
  • Facebook increases the visibility of certain parts of the collection, for example maps.  When possible, post an image or a video and be vigilant of the activity of your page.

Three free Photoshop websites were provided by Greta Bahnemann:

ContentDM Update:

.Christian Sarason
CONTENTdm® makes everything in your digital collections available to everyone, everywhere. No matter the format — local history archives, newspapers, books, maps, slide libraries or audio/video — CONTENTdm can handle the storage, management and delivery of your collections to users across the
Enhancements (must complete upgrade, did we do this?)
o Usage stats with Google Analytics
o Automated sitemap generation (Mar 2014)
o Can now “Drop Files” into the website config tool
o New Mexico Digital Collection
o Ohio Memory
Under tools > SEO > create a public URL
o First, must select a URL like: or (email update to
The User Community
The Road Map—For FY15
o Mobile UIs
o Search Improvements
o Dynamic Collection Definition
o Sharing
o Technical Dept
The Future
o Malcolm Gladwell knowledge card
o WorldCat Works as linked data (article)
Registering our ContentDM servers with the Digital Collection Gateway (this is to share with WorldCat) is this something that Curtis is interested in?
Create OAI sets for each collection so that others can discover

Annual User events
Sanata Monica Public Library
Gery Ingram
Responsible Web design

Metadata questions: Best practices


  Matthew Butler, Univ. of Iowa Libraries & DIY History

DIY History
o Provides the public with the opportunity to engage with materials
Patrons can help transcribe diary entries
Iowa Byington Reed Diaries
DIY History lets you do it yourself to help make historic documents easier to use. Our digital library holds thousands of pages of handwritten diaries, letters, and other texts -- much more than library staff could ever transcribe alone, so we're appealing to the public to help out. Through "crowdsourcing," or engaging volunteers to contribute effort toward large-scale goals, these mass quantities of digitized artifacts become searchable, allowing researchers to quickly seek out specific information, and general users to browse and enjoy the materials more easily. Please join us in preserving our past by keeping the historic record accessible -- one page at a time
transcribe a letter in DIY history
write an 800-word blog post
Record a 1:30 to 3 minute screencast
Write a follow up blog post
Omeka and Scripto were used for transcription platform
Omeka Scripto MediaWiki
Code available on GitHub (history transcription platform)
Omeka version 1.5
IN: matthew-butler

o They are moving away from Scripto and MediaWiki

Digitizing Maps at the Wisconsin Historical Society

Laura Farley and Shannon Wilsey
Team members
o Director
o Metadata librarian
o Map cataloger
o Limited term employee
o Graduate students 2-5 students working 10-20 hours per week
      • Maps are too large for TIFF, convert to JPEG2000 (high resolution)
             Use oversized scanner
                                 Google DOC- uploads images
      • Software & equipment
Next Image – scanning copying,
Photoshop for editing, stich together, allows altering, overlaying, removes imperfection
      • Contentdm                                                                                                               Scalable, allows large images, can be searched through WorldCat, compatible with finding aids EAD.  Allows some room for custom made projects.
      • Assign Metadata                                                                                      
        Microsoft Google Docs
        If not satisfactory, (Moire lines, vertical streaks) re-scan and use Photoshop
      • Upload in badges
o Facebook organizes
Increase visibility (of the yearbooks? Discuss in PR Team meeting)
The Librarian’s Nitty-Gritty Social Media Guide
Wording: short and to the point, unified voice, don’t use (!), not a robot
Post twice a week
If possible, post an image or video
Be vigilant of activity
Represent the collection
Consider scanning and sharing with other institutions such as local architect firms

Keynote: NY Public Library Labs

Matt Miller
Building Discourse and the Crowd
o Digital Libraries + Labs
Digital imaging unit
Metadata Services
o Linked Jazz
o Discourse (history of ideas, making hidden connections visible, linking ideas with statements)
o Archives Portal @ NYPL
Ruby on Rails
o Tulane University
o John Cage, Diary: How to Improve the World (You Will Only Make Matters Worse)
o (menus crowdsourcing)
o (Theater transcription Crowdsourcing)
o (oral history annotation crowdsourcing)

NYPD labs
Linked Jazz Project
Using the web to connect other methods to connect relevant data.
Linked Jazz project definition.
“Linked Jazz is an ongoing project investigating the potential of the application of Linked Open Data (LOD) technology to enhance the discovery and visibility of digital cultural heritage materials. The goal of this project is to help uncover meaningful connections between documents and data related to the personal and professional lives of musicians who often practice in rich and diverse social networks.”
Several steps are taken.
  • Bootstrapping – identification
Highlights knowledge, fills gaps, sharing
  • How can we discover and analyze?
Primary sources, oral history, interviews
  • Identifying
Reading transcripts check names and filter out same names only
  • Querying
DBpedia can be used, converting Wikipedia and data
DBpedia provides URL’s, fluid
  • Mapping
Filter DPedia jazz file,  script logic (ScriptLogic Corporation is a software manufacturer of network administration products for Microsoft Windows-based networks) and python used to filter out jazz musicians.
is a crowd-sourced community effort to extract structured information from Wikipedia and make this information available on the Web. DBpedia allows you to ask sophisticated queries against Wikipedia, and to link the different data sets on the Web to Wikipedia data. We hope that this work will make it easier for the huge amount of information in Wikipedia to be used in some new interesting ways. Furthermore, it might inspire new mechanisms for navigating, linking, and improving the encyclopedia itself.
LC abstracts can be downloaded with DBpedia .  Data will be checked to match.
  • Applying the data
Use name directory to locate individuals in interview transcript.  This project phase involves 50 transcripts.
Because of URL’s we can infer a relationship between 2 individuals.
Transcript Analyzer Tool
New data set has created an LOD project (Linked Open Data).
  • Provide Access
other methods
Digital library and labs, digital imaging unit
Metadata services

Oral historical transcripts and the sounds are used to map the network of musicians
Oral History Annotations:

Ingest, a linked open data interface is used:
using methods using the web to connect related data
linked open data, makes data available on the web under an open license as a structured data,.

ScanDays” a DIY Local History Project

John Sarnowski, ResCarta

ResCarta Foundation supports the creation of local cultural archives by holding events called “ScanDays.”
o Free and Open Source (available at their website)
o Location and volunteers
o Promotion of the event (word of mouth works better than anything)
o Training of operators
o Networking and computers
o Scanners/cameras (even items for oral recordings)
o Image and audio conversion tools (scanning small images or putting tapes on CDs)
o Software
Objects in high resolution
o Tif for photos and Text info
o Broadcast WAV upt to 96khz 24bit for audio
LC Metadata
TomCat Server included
JOAI (create a repository at this website)-


Backs Matter: Reformatting Postcards in CONTENTdm
        Greta Bahnemann
Postcards are slower to create and to upload.  They are of historic interest for post stamp collectors, stamp history and their hand written messages provide historical information.  In the 19th century the majority of postcards were produced in Germany. They were quite beautiful, however, there was a change after WWI.  Since 1907 they carried the line that divides both sides.
Image taps-Canvas size
Anchor-how canvas size is identified
Top middle square (arrows) verticle left outer middle
Copy and paste the two fronts with arrows to adjust to merge 
            the  front and back  together
Flatten image in Photoshop into one layer
Running action script (Photoshop)
Master Files
Font 123 a.tif
Back to tif, merge
Save into Master File Folder
For the ones who do not have Adobe there are three free Photoshop websites:

 Other uses for this technique:
  • Baseball cards
  • Advertising cards
  • Greeting cards

--Barbara @Central

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