Creating an Online Digital Consortium for Historic Collections


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"From Cardboard Boxes to Google Maps: How Multiple Institutions’ Digital Collections Can Find a New Life on the Internet as a Consortium" was originally presented at the Museums and the Web conference, April 13-17, 2010, in Denver, Colorado,

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  • Challenge - access
  • Challenge - funding
  • Challenge - funding
  • And each of these images is intimately tied to a location
  • Providing a historical records not just of a time or an event, but of the place where it was taken
  • Creating an Online Digital Consortium for Historic Collections

    1. 1. From Cardboard Boxes to Google Maps: How Multiple Institutions’ Digital Collections Can Find a New Life on the Internet as a Consortium Deborah Boyer Project Manager Azavea Inc.
    2. 2. Our story starts here, in the City Archives, where the image collection presented several challenges…
    3. 3. The first of which was ORGANIZATION . With images stored in boxes based on the city unit they represented (Streets, Schools, etc.), finding any particular image was a significant challenge.
    4. 4. The second was PRESERVATION . The oldest negatives are combustible, and newer ones are prone to warping.
    5. 5. The third was ACCESS . To access an image, a visitor would have to go to the archives and have a valid research reason for entrance. Approximately 100 people per year did this.
    6. 6. Certain images and/or photos on this page are the copyrighted property of 123RF Limited, its Contributors or Licensed Partners and are being used with permission under license. These images and/or photos may not be copied or downloaded without permission from 123RF Limited The last was FUNDING . Addressing these challenges was unlikely to be an inexpensive endeavor.
    7. 7. So what do you do with one million photographs? Digitize the Images Preserve the Original Media Increase Public Access via the Web Get the Public Involved!!! Generate Revenue through Print Sales Organize, Organize, Organize Create a Consortium of Organizations
    8. 9. <ul><li>Web-based geographic digital asset management software - use the power of geography to display, retrieve, and manage digital media </li></ul><ul><li>Public Interface </li></ul><ul><li>Geographic Search </li></ul><ul><li>Archive Management </li></ul><ul><li>Community </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborative Tools </li></ul>
    9. 10. Public Interface
    10. 11. Each of these images is intimately tied to a location.
    11. 12. Providing a historical record -not just of a time or an event - but also of the place where the photo was taken.
    12. 13. Geographic Search
    13. 15. Archive Management
    14. 16. Community - Tools for Public Participation <ul><li>Scan requests </li></ul><ul><li>Error reports </li></ul><ul><li>Public commenting </li></ul><ul><li>Public profile page </li></ul><ul><li>Bookmarks </li></ul><ul><li>Favorite photos </li></ul>
    15. 17. Collaborative Tools – Public <ul><ul><li>Unified search and display </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Watermarks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Individual metadata fields </li></ul></ul>
    16. 18. Collaborative Tools - Administrative <ul><li>Administrative access to only your institution’s assets </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple collections per institution </li></ul><ul><li>Collection based metadata fields </li></ul><ul><li>Customizable features </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ecommerce </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Licensing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Public commenting </li></ul></ul>
    17. 19. The result is a collaboration that uses Sajara to make available to the public seven historic collections from three institutions – all on one website.
    18. 27. Connecting the Past to the Present <ul><li>Google Street View </li></ul><ul><li>Integration with Google Earth </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile Version </li></ul><ul><li>iPhone Application </li></ul>
    19. 28. Google Street View 2009 1911
    20. 29. Setting the Angle of Google Street View
    21. 31. Mobile Edition
    22. 32. for the iPhone <ul><li>Design from a functional standpoint – things had to go </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on the geographic search </li></ul><ul><li>Follow the screen per function guideline </li></ul><ul><li>Utilize the OpenLayers API to display maps </li></ul><ul><li>Keep the same search logic as the PhillyHistory website </li></ul><ul><li>Make it location aware </li></ul><ul><li>Google Android </li></ul>
    23. 33. What’s Next for Sajara? <ul><li>Augmented Reality </li></ul><ul><li>Audio and Video Content </li></ul><ul><li>Public Feedback and Contributions </li></ul>
    24. 34. Using Augmented Reality to Connect the Past and the Present <ul><li>Data or images appear on your smart phone and tell you more about the physical structure or environment you are viewing </li></ul><ul><li>Build for iPhone and Google Android </li></ul><ul><li>Engage students in the study of history, architecture, and photography </li></ul><ul><li>Overlays of 500 historic photographs of locations around the city </li></ul><ul><li>Additional contextual information for 20 images </li></ul>
    25. 35. Other Ideas - Audio, Video, and Public Contributions <ul><li>Add audio and video files for public download </li></ul><ul><li>Create feature for the public to upload text, photos, audio, and video via their smart phones </li></ul><ul><li>Add a tour construction kit feature </li></ul><ul><li>Engage the public via mobile technology to create a community around our digital collections </li></ul>Students and pretzel vendor at West Philadelphia High School, 1934.
    26. 36. <ul><li>Just keep adding those photos! I have to limit myself to logging on only once or twice a month because I get carried away for hours on your site! Thank you for all your good work. - Philly user </li></ul><ul><li>I am thrilled by the amount of enthusiasm we have received from other agencies. By collaborating, we are all able to not only showcase our beautiful collections for public access but also to preserve them for future generations. It is my hope that Philly will set an example of how a city-wide consortium of collections can operate together and be successful. </li></ul><ul><li>- Joan Decker, Commissioner, Department of Records </li></ul><ul><li>By partnering with Philly, we hope to expose more individuals from Philadelphia and around the globe to the vast and diverse digital resources held by the Free Library of Philadelphia. </li></ul><ul><li>- Siobhan A. Reardon, President and Director of the Free Library </li></ul>
    27. 37. Questions? Deborah Boyer [email_address] Twitter: @debsting