Head of Digital Programs and Services
University of Illinois at Chicago
Director, Digital Library Development Center
University of Chicago
Head of Systems Unit
National Library of Wales
E Pluribus Unum: Melding Manifold Metadata for Use in a Consortial Setting (Seneca, Blair)
The Chicago Collections Consortium (CCC) consists of over a dozen Chicago-area libraries, archives, and museums, small and large, public and private, special and academic. In April 2014 the CCC received funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to build a research portal that provides in-depth discovery of Chicago-focused materials at member institutions. The CCC portal, scheduled for release in August 2015, will integrate the discovery of thousands of archival and digital collections for researchers studying Chicago history and culture. This will include the full text of EAD finding aids, MARC records for archival collections and thousands of digital images in various metadata formats. The portal will be built using the XTF digital library platform and the Django Web framework. As part of this work, the CCC is building the Metadata Hopper, an open-source application that will support on-demand deposit and management of metadata contributed to a consortial research portal. The central challenge of the CCC portal project has been to provide integrated and user-friendly access to disparate implementations of EAD and MARC across its member institutions, together with scores of image collections with no single metadata standard. The same degree of variation exists in the descriptive terms used by member libraries: rarely are the same subject terms used by member libraries to describe similar topics. The Metadata Hopper will allow member libraries to map their local metadata standards, deposit records that rely on those standards, and tag those materials using a shared vocabulary. This will allow member libraries to contribute to an integrated, user-friendly portal without disrupting local practices. This session will include a demonstration of the Metadata Hopper, which currently supports metadata mapping, record deposit and both automated and manual tagging of records using a shared vocabulary.
Cynefin: A Sense of Place (Robson)
The National Library of Wales has developed a large number of digital resources (including newspapers, archives, manuscripts and photographs) that are freely available as a national digital public library for Wales. Development of this material has involved research and innovation in all aspects of the digital life cycle, and development of an underlying digital infrastructure, to support the creation of open and sustainable digital collections that can be used, and re-used, by the widest range of stakeholders. Central to this has been the development of digital content in collaboration with national and international partners. This presentation will discuss this national context for Cynefin, a recent project developed in collaboration with the Archives and Records Council Wales (ARCW) and funded by the UK’s Heritage Lottery Fund. The project will digitize over a thousand tithe maps covering 95% of Wales between the period 1838 and 1947. The project has explored new approaches to crowd sourcing to geo locate the tithe maps and transcribe related apportionments, and also to develop links between content in the collections, linking location, ownership, land use and value. The project has also had to find innovative ways to digitize large tithe maps, including the use of an automated tripod head originally developed to capture panoramic landscapes and the construction of a specifically designed wall to ensure a consistent horizontal distance from the camera. The digital images have been ingested into a Fedora repository and shared using the IIIF standard. The crowd-sourcing element will be released to the public at the beginning of November 2014 and the initial results of the uptake and engagement of volunteers will be discussed in the presentation. The digital preservation of the tithe maps, apportionments and the crowd-sourced data will present future challenges, and approaches to these issues will also be discussed. This project is a potential model for other institutions to leverage the resources of the crowd to produce a useful and enduring digital humanities resource.