Shoeboxes and Scanners: Digitizing Personal Treasures


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  • Today we have heard some wonderful information about the importance of preservation and the role that the libraries can play in acquiring and managing historical collections. We can do a lot just by preserving our historical treasures, collecting them in institutions that will protect them and make them available for research. But, as we all know, we live in a changing world, one where technology has altered our habits and expectations. Increasingly, libraries are taking on the role of not just caring for physical collections, but transforming these into new online, globally-accessible digital collections. So what role does digitization play in the preservation picture?
  • At the libraries the digital collections unit works with Special Collections, campus partners, and regional cultural heritage organizations to identify collections suitable for digitization. We select items, scan or convert them to digital format, describe them with search terms, and deliver them on the Web. These digital collections do not replace the physical artifacts completely, but they replicate the collection content in a digital form, they provide increased access to anyone with a web browser, and they allow unique, fragile, one-of-a-kind materials to be used by multiple people who never have to set foot in Las Vegas.But digitization is not equal to preservation. The physical artifacts retain their intrinsic value. Digitization extends their usefulness and accessibility, but does not mean we get rid of the original.
  • You’re a university, and that’s great, but why should I care? And what can I do? 
  • Systems/IT manager: evaluating server security issues allowing submission of data; estimating required server space and storage requirements for multimedia files and user-contributed data; recommending file formats and technical specifications for digital collections (video file formats and delivery methods, upload file sizes, user’s ability to download images for reuse, etc.); recommendations for preventing spam or use of these tools for commercial purposes (companies posting links to their products in digital collection comments); how moderation will be handled; either automatically allowed in the system, through an administration module/control panel, or centrally by systems staff; what tools are available to help with improving and automating workflow (i.e. is there an API that can be used to help batch import metadata into the application); how statistics will be gathered and what reporting features are available to help track usageContent provider: Thus, while the content provider does not necessarily have to be a “techie,” he/she does have to be willing to address the increased amount of work managing content that will come about as a result of Web 2.0 functionality and develop aplan to deal with the content . Beyond the practical concern with an added layer of reference work, there is a concern about the nature of a project which places material online that has traditionally been held in a reading room in archival boxes; it is a desirable course of events in that it makes materials more accessible and allows us to encourage user contributions, but it does take away some of the interaction with the librarian or archivist that has typically characterized such research. Edmunson-Morton (2009) reflects in her case study on using CONTENTdm and Flickr in the Oregon State University Archives on how the balance of power shifts when an image is placed on line. She remarks on the institution’s experience with Flickr that “users are weaving their own research paths through commercial and “educational” sites, freely categorizing our images, questioning our rules and asserting their own, and commenting on what they see—all in a very public space.”Digital collection manager: Technical imaging specifications are routinely developed for original material formats during the digitization process, It can be important to question whether current standards are suitable in an interactive environment. Image specifications, decisions about how images are organized online, and the choice of providing full text are all important decisions to be made when considering future user interactions with the collections. For instance genealogists working with newspapers. Comments, tags, and conversation between users can be both entertaining and informative; adding a new dimension to metadata creation. Users may identify local landmarks, community leaders, family stories, and little-known regional history. How is this esoteric, anecdotal, sometimes chaotic flow of information managed, and by whom?Communications/Marketing: there is no shortage of business applications for social software. It does however require somebody to own the responsibility for initiating them and to manage the process around gathering feedback and honing the ongoing business proposition.” These collections can be a marketing and promotion goldmine and social networking is a boon to getting the word out. But there is a strong need for a role ensuring that text about the about project’s messageremains consistent, dealing with a representative set of graphics and visuals that can be utilized in the marketing of the project and responding to press requests at its completion.
  • Just what is this user-generated content?
  • dmBridge is an integrated web page template engine, HTTP API, and social content system for digital collections. It works with the CONTENTdm® digital asset management system.
  • Shoeboxes and Scanners: Digitizing Personal Treasures

    1. 1. Shoeboxes and Scanners:Digitizing Our Historical Treasures Cory Lampert Head, Digital Collections UNLV Preservation Week, April 28, 2012
    2. 2. Collections in a changing world How UNLV Libraries helps to preserve history… How YOU can preserve your own history!
    3. 3. Why digitize? • Preserve Collection Content • Provide Access • Transform UseDigitization ≠ preservation … yet …
    4. 4. Three Phases of Digitization• Digital Conversion• Metadata• Online Delivery
    5. 5. Why visit our collections?… • Most relevant material selected by content experts • Scanned at high resolution for access and use in research • Search on subject, date, location, full text • Interact with collections • Get ideas for teaching, including classroom activities • Get research help and assistance
    6. 6. The value of digital collectionsThank you for all your hard work you put into this website. I teach 4th grade here in Las Vegas, and this site will be used frequently this next school year. Thanks again. Helen W. I am looking for some things about my great grandmother, who lived in Tonapah for a time, and this is interesting. Thanks for putting it together. BillieGean G
    7. 7. Exploring digital history • Historic Landscape of Nevada • Menus: The Art of Dining • Southern Nevada: The Boomtown Years • The Nevada Test Site Oral History Project • Showgirls • Historic Maps • Welcome Home, Howard!
    8. 8. Tell us what you think!!
    9. 9. Personal Archiving and Technology Obsolescence We’ve got all that stuff in a shoebox in the attic! Back in the days of floppy disks? The only person that knows is probably Grandma!I don’t know, the computer just crashed! As soon as I get a chance I’m going to organize all these family photos!
    10. 10. Should you think about personal archiving?• Do you have family photos lying around unorganized in a shoebox?• Are items fading or damaged?• Would you like to get family memories recorded?• Have you put off downloading vacation pictures off your camera?• Have you ever lost an important file because your computer crashed?
    11. 11. Photos - Tips • Organize and prep materials for scanning • Make technical decisions • Scan once (high resolution) • Save with meaningful name • Capture annotations and descriptions, if possible • Document what you did • Make copies
    12. 12. Documents - Tips• Locate and consolidate• Versions of documents• File formats and software• Give meaningful file names• Email? Websites?• Make multiple copies
    13. 13. Other formats Audio files Video files• Gather • Gather• Name • Name• Transfer analog • Transfer analog• Consider format • Consider format• Consider copyright • Consider copyright • Software: MovieMaker (Microsoft)• Audacity free software: or iMovie (Apple) • Tips:• Tips: personalarchiving/documents/video personalarchiving/documents/PA_A -transfer.pdf udio.pdf STORAGE SPACE!!!
    14. 14. A Word About Storage• Devices and synching• Multiple copies• Multiple locations• The Cloud vs. local• Use a naming convention• Develop a routine
    15. 15. Digital and Beyond: Sharing and Crowdsourcing• Social sites (Flickr, Facebook)• Education and sites like Wikipedia• Local history organizations• Libraries and archives
    16. 16. Citizen Archivists / National Archives:
    17. 17. Save Your Stuff!!: Library of Congress Personal Archiving Kit /handouts.html Handouts available on table Digital collections demo to follow presentation
    18. 18. Thank You! Cory Lampert Head, Digital Collections UNLV Libraries cory.lampert@unlv.edu