|Mark E. Phillips
Head, Digital Projects Unit
University of North Texas
|Robert M. Johnson
Vice President for Information Services & CIO
Director of Special Projects
Associate Database Analyst
Creating a Culture of Collaboration: Collaborative Models for Digital Libraries in a Heterogeneous Institutional Landscape (Phillips)
In 2005, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, the University of North Texas (UNT), and other partners across the state received an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) National Leadership grant to develop a multi-component federated search tool on behalf of the Texas Heritage Digitization Initiative. In order for this project to be successful, the project team had to negotiate not only technical challenges, such as interoperability protocols, but also cultural challenges that threatened the collaborative structure of the initiative. Ultimately, a variety of models were adopted, depending on the type, needs, and capabilities of individual institutions.
In this presentation, the broad landscape of digitization of cultural materials in Texas will be described, as well as three scenarios for collaboration that have been incorporated into a single point of access for end users: the Portal to Texas History, a multi-institutional repository hosted at UNT; an OAI harvester and content syndication service, also managed at UNT; and a network of content providers loosely linked through a normalized federated search application managed by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. These scenarios provide sufficient flexibility and extensibility to accommodate a nearly unlimited number of additional institutions and content types. By providing options rather than mandating solutions, we have increased participation and fostered a collaborative culture among various types of institutions and institutional environments.
Crossroads to Freedom: Institutionalizing a Digital Collection (Bonefas, et al.)
Crossroads to Freedom is a digital archive of materials related to the civil rights era in Memphis, TN. Its primary goals are (1) to support conversation in Memphis about the impact of the civil rights era on our community today, and (2) to provide Rhodes College students with the opportunity to participate in this conversation by creating, maintaining and managing the archive. The archive is built on Fedora, and contains a variety of media types, including digital video (interviews), short text documents (letters, memos, etc.), book-length documents, and images.
A brief background on this project will be provided as a starting point for discussion of lessons learned from collaborative digital collection building. In particular, connecting a digital library project to an institutional mission in partnership with a local (and non-virtual) community will be discussed. Issues facing small colleges striving to adhere to accepted standards for creation and maintenance of large-scale digital library projects, will also be raised, and there will be discussion regarding strategies for overcoming resource limitations. These include local partnerships, outsourcing, connection of the archive to the academic program, and the role of undergraduate students.