University Librarian and Dean of Libraries
Syracuse University Library’s Marcel Breuer Digital Initiative aims to create a Web interface that meets the research needs of architectural historians, designers, and the general public by bringing together material from geographically disparate archival collections related to the work of the modernist architect. With support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Syracuse has created a custom PHP/MySQL based database application that consolidates metadata and JPEG2000 images from SU’s collections and those of partner institutions, including the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Art, Harvard University, and archives in Germany and the United Kingdom.
This Web application generates METS (Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard) XML objects for use in a Web portal, drawing upon the California Digital Library’s open source eXtensible Text Framework (XTF). The technical infrastructure and specifications created for the Marcel Breuer Digital Initiative can be modified easily for use with other materials and by other repositories. Syracuse University’s Special Collections Research Center intends to move all of its digital collections to this platform.
This session will present an overview of the project, describe in detail the technical infrastructure and its advantages, and discuss the technological, intellectual, and diplomatic challenges posed by this project.