Creating an online resource for medical archives at the Wellcome Library
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Creating an online resource for medical archives at the Wellcome Library

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This presentation covers digitisation and sensitivity assessment of archives for online access.

This presentation covers digitisation and sensitivity assessment of archives for online access.

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Creating an online resource for medical archives at the Wellcome Library Creating an online resource for medical archives at the Wellcome Library Presentation Transcript

  • Creating an Online Resource for Medical Archives at the Wellcome Library Christy Henshaw Programme Manager - Wellcome Digital Library Libraries@cambridge Conference 2012
  • The Wellcome Trust • A global charitable foundation • Achieving extraordinary improvements in human and animal health • Supporting the brightest minds in biomedical research and the medical humanities • Exploring medicine in historical and cultural contexts
  • The Wellcome Library The Wellcome Library • Major resource for the study of medical history • Collections of books, manuscripts, archives, films and pictures on the history of medicine from the earliest times to the present day. • Provide insight and information to anyone seeking to understand medicine and its role in society, past and present. • Provide access to a growing collection of contemporary biomedical information resources relating to consumer health, popular science, biomedical ethics and the public understanding of science.
  • The Wellcome Library
  • The Library Transformation Strategy 2009 - 2014 To provide global access to, and expert interpretation of, a world class collection that explores medicine in its cultural contexts • Targeted collecting – putting challenges in context • Expert interpretation – engaging (new) audiences • Strategic digitisation – online access to our collections
  • The Wellcome Digital Library Pilot Genetics and its Modern Foundations 2010-2013 A new online resource for everyone interested in the history of human and animal health. Aims • build sustainable/expandable mechanism – foundation stone for WDL • digitise key library holdings - relating to a major Trust challenge area • digitise important third party content – linked to theme • use innovative content and tools – to encourage discovery and use • explore commercial partnerships – enhance access to nontheme material
  • Archival material – 1.1m images Wellcome Library - 600,000 images External – 500,000 images
  • Books related to genetic research - 600,000 images
  • ProQuest, Early European Books – 5.5m images
  • Medical Officer of Health reports – 400,000 images
  • Born digital material – initially small but growing
  • Digitising archives – key tasks 2 years – 10 collections – 600k pages Physical preparation • Flattening • Check sequence of items • Protect fragile items with sleeves • Remove staples • 0.6 FTE Digitisation • Complete “cover to cover” digitisation • Canon digital cameras (medium format) • 2 FTE
  • Digitising archives – managing users Managing information • Make clear which items are not available in the catalogue(s) • Maintain up-to-date list online • Keep up-to-date schedule on staff wiki Reducing impact • Good understanding of timing built over time • Remove items for shortest possible time • Include a good buffer in advertised “unavailability” time • Set targets/batches based on complete series (if possible)
  • External partners 1.5 years – 9 collections – 500k pages • Churchill Archives Centre • Cold Spring Harbour Laboratory • KCL • University of Glasgow • UCL Wellcome Trust provides the funding, digitisation managed by and carried out at the host institutions.
  • Sensitivity and archives – access policy
  • Sensitivity and archives – overview Archives commonly contain the following types of content that may be sensitive: • Personal information • Private information • Medical information • Personal opinions • Formal assessments of others • Clinical images or other visual content
  • Assessing sensitivity - overview 10,000 files with ca. 1.1m pages of content – impossible to read everything Analyse series level metadata for sensitivities Determine level of checking required for risky series (usually a percentage, or number of files) Check items Determine whether further checking is required Carry out further checking Record items to be suppressed (may be entire file)
  • Sensitivity and archives – online access Access category Sensitivity Online availability Open (>100 years old) Non-sensitive Open access Open (<100 years old) Non-sensitive Registration only access Closed Highly sensitive No access Restricted Some sensitivity Access with special permission in the Library only
  • Sensitive items Examples of content we would restrict from online access: • Reference letters about a 3rd party less than 60 years old • Job and grant applications submitted by a 3rd party less than 30 years old • Letters or notes discussing someone’s • Mental health • Debilitating diseas • Sexual orientation • Race/ethnicity Information may not be sensitive if it is in the public domain.
  • Registration Registration requires a user to provide an email address and agree to a set of Terms of Conditions of Use (still in draft) that will include something along these lines: I will not make any use of personal data on living persons that contravenes s.33 of the Data Protection Act 1998. In particular, I will not use the information obtained from archival material: (a) to support measures or decisions with respect to particular individuals; (b) in such a way that substantial damage or distress is, or is likely to be, caused to any data subject.
  • Reuse Distribution and reuse is encouraged within the parameters of the Terms and Conditions: • Complies with Copyright Law and Data Protection Act • Acknowledges copyright holder(s) • Non-commercial Viewing, zooming, downloading, sharing, printing: all permissible. Accessing high resolution images (i.e. TIFFs) will incur an administration fee. Use for commercial purposes may incur a fee.
  • Thank you! Christy Henshaw c.henshaw@wellcome.ac.uk Useful links Access policy: goo.gl/WPVww Archives digitisation: goo.gl/T1RS9 WDL information: goo.gl/uR5OI