Digital Projects atOSUSarah Coates, Special Collections and University Archives,Oklahoma State Universitysarah.firstname.lastname@example.org
The beginning….• While OSU had several digital projects already in the works and online, few of them were of Special Collections’ (SCUA) material• In September 2011, I found some old questionnaires that had been sent out to WWI veterans of OAMC while looking for material for an exhibit• There were roughly 400 questionnaires, and as there was some valuable historical information (photos, camps attended, and stories), it was decided that we should create a digital collection
The OAMC WWI collection• Several students and I scanned in the questionnaires from September-November 2011.• We decided on how we wanted to do the metadata for the collection, and then began entering in metadata. With several students, metadata entry took a little under a month.
Metadata• The metadata for this collection consisted of the answers to the questions on the questionnaire and some other identifiers, such as the file type and size of the images.• As there were several students entering metadata, the subject and keywords were not all standardized, and since the handwritten questionnaires could be difficult to decipher, there were some inconsistencies in spellings.
The project itself• At this point, I took over the project as it became my Directed Project for class credit at OU.• I standardized all of the metadata, went through our yearbooks to see if there were other soldiers who had not returned their questionnaire, added those missing soldiers’ yearbook photos to our metadata, and then wrote webpages to give context for the collection, and uploaded it to ViewShare (and later, CONTENTdm)• Collection can be viewed here: http://bit.ly/XKjUvt
Lessons Learned• This was the first digital collection I did on my own, and I learned a lot from it.• Lesson 1: Come up with standards for your metadata before you start, especially if there are several people writing it all at once; i.e., decide if you want it to be U.S. Navy, US Navy, Navy, or all three• Lesson 2: Learn what limitations/requirements your CMS has before you start converting file types. • ViewShare did not accept PDFs (learned after I had already made the multi-page surveys and letters into PDFs and added the filename to my metadata). CONTENTdm needs to have a multi- item document in a compound object, which requires separate metadata sheets for each of those documents.
• Lesson 3: Never underestimate the value of having excellent people help you with your questions about how to upload to CONTENTdm, create metadata, modify metadata for CONTENTdm, etc. Ask often and early to avoid having to re-do things• Lesson 4: Have a clear set of guidelines and tasks assigned to each person. I had a list of boxes and folders that were assigned to each student to scan, and later, a similar list for metadata so that nothing got repeated
New Projects….• As a direct result of this OAMC WWI project, we in SCUA began to actively seek out and digitize more materials in an effort to get our materials online.• Using what I learned from the WWI project, I set up plans of action for these new projects and oversaw them• All of these collections have been started since this January, with two stated exceptions
John Hayes White• We received a collection of 13 letters, a few booklets, and 78 photos from a relative of John Hayes White, who lived in Oklahoma and fought during WWI.• I digitized this collection, created its metadata, transcribed the letters, and uploaded it to CONTENTdm and ViewShare. This collection is currently complete and is waiting for the “go” to be made public. This collection was completed in May 2012.
Jessie Thatcher Bost• The first female graduate of OAMC (1897)• Her collection consists of speeches, class notebooks, photographs, and other early OAMC memorabilia• This collection is currently being scanned
WAVES• OSU had a Navy WAVES school (Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service) from 1942-1945.• We have students scanning in articles from our alumni magazine, yearbooks, phot ographs, and other materials. They also scanned in over 10,000 registration cards• Metadata is currently being created for this collection
Vingie Roe • Vingie Roe attended OAMC for a semester, and then went on to write many novels that had a theme of a romanticized wild west. • Her collection contains a scrapbook, photographs, correspondence, and her novels. • We have digitized her scrapbook and photographs as well as her novels that were published pre- 1923. • This collection is also in the process of being uploaded
Bellamy Parks Jansen• This collection contains thousands of Jansen’s botanical illustrations. Many of them are photocopies of her originals, but there are some originals included in the collection.• A botany student is currently identifying these plants and creating metadata for the collection. Scanning is also underway.
Agricultural CooperativeExtension• Our Extension Service publishes many newsletters and other materials that are scattered across lots of websites. This digital collection (so far) consists of us uploading our born digital copies of these publications and gathering them in one place.• This was begun in September 2012 and is still ongoing.• Currently, there are over 1,900 items uploaded to its CONTENTdm collection• The goal is to eventually scan in and upload all of our extension materials, some of which date back to 1890. This would add over 10,000 more documents to the existing born digital items
How did we decide what todigitize?• We looked at our main area of interest, which is Women’s Archives, and found collections we thought would be of interest to the public and did those first.• We also have a great deal of military collections, and looked at those as well.• We also looked at what we already had in a digital format so that we could save time scanning• Choosing smaller collections that can be scanned quickly and that can have metadata entered quickly also helped us get these projects moving faster
Digital Projects=DirectedProjects• I would recommend doing a digital project as a Directed Project for course credit• Invaluable digitizing experience, project management, metadata experience, etc.• Choose something relevant to your library’s interests, that would get used by the public, and that would be small enough to do in a semester • The WWI collection has been viewed 600 times in Feb. 2013, and the Ag Cooperative Extension collection was viewed over 4,000 times in Feb. 2013• Use this chance to work with your digital department/archives to gain experience that you can take to other libraries/jobs. Digitizing is big, and knowing how to create digital collections will only help you