Research in the digital age - circa 2005


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Research in the digital age - circa 2005

  1. 1. Research in the Digital Age Why go to the bother and expense of making digital copies of materials that already exist in hard copy formats?
  2. 2. • Because… • 1. The more that they are used, the more your own success helps to destroy or deteriorate them. You need the content, not the actual original format. • 2. In a public setting, you risk theft and mutilation since your archival options are limited. • 3. Multiple users can see an item, and obtain prints under controlled conditions.
  3. 3. • Examples – city directories almost 200 years old; 500,000 item 19th century newspaper index; 25,000 item picture file; manuscripts 200 or more years old, and in delicate condition.
  4. 4. What are Rochester initiatives? • We have tried, over the past half dozen years, to make parts of our collection more accessible and useful to our users – mostly the general public – through the Rochester Images project, Rochester History pamphlets, and by providing cataloging and descriptions of the materials that we hold.
  5. 5. What else is being worked on? • Rochester Life Records (750,000 name birth, marriage and death indexes to entries in the local (Gannett) newspapers, 19592005. • Compiled in house by staff, converted to a searchable database by a contractor.
  6. 6. • Rochester Images; Approximately 18,000 images of pictures, postcards, maps, etc. from the Rochester Museum and Science Center, town historians, city archives, and the Library's own collection. All cataloged to MARC standards and are available on the web at the library web site.
  7. 7. • Images can be quick-downloaded as JPEG format, or can be ordered as TIFF format on a CD. • Used by publishers and media personnel for their products.
  8. 8. What else? • RBDB (Regional Bibliographic Data Base) • In 2004, this project amplified the collection in Rochester Images by adding another 500 maps to the collection. These included city, railroad, topographic and town maps, all useful in historical and family research.
  9. 9. 2005 RBDB • This database production and sharing grant has been extended to add several hundred more items to the online databases: Civil War and WW I images and portraits, religious movements, architecture, industries, and street scenes.
  10. 10. Scanning 2005 • In early 2005, the library purchased a Kirtas Technologies BookScan 1200, capable of scanning over 1000 pages per hour. • Can adjust for book curvature, post process the images, and is capable of being OCR’d.
  11. 11. What does the library do with these materials? • We use them daily in the provision of reference and referral services; help inhouse patrons use them; guide people who call, email or write to us; and give presentations to community and educational groups letting them know of the databases’ existence.
  12. 12. • This includes inviting about 20 volunteer researchers from community groups to assist patrons with their family histories, and training the volunteers in the subject matter and use of the databases.
  13. 13. • We sell production quality copies for use in films and books. • We show teachers and classes what we have available that could be useful in their classrooms.
  14. 14. Library decisions about format and media • The staff knows what’s in the collection and it’s condition. They also want to have it used as much as possible. • But they are not professional image workers or programmers. Consulting with people or units (DCAPS at Cornell) that have experience with this is crucial.
  15. 15. Money, money, money • Groundwork needs to be done to get an idea of how much equipment and software costs. • How much equipment do you have or must you buy? • What level of staff is needed? In house or hired?
  16. 16. • • • • Production schedules. Where and when will it appear What format is to be used? Don’t cheap out on supplies or equipment. Today’s advanced machine is tomorrow’s midrange or lower.
  17. 17. • Back up your product. • Life span of project and who maintains it, where and in what format.
  18. 18. Cataloging • Dublin Core ( for 100+ pages of explanatory material. • MARC – can be used off the shelf for most online catalogs in use now. • What format does your current catalog support[[ort at no extra cost?
  19. 19. Don’t get bitten by a bad D.O.G. • Deed of Gift. Many archives and colleges have these. Many public libraries do not. • Don’t accept something that’s not yours without a clear, legally approved written understanding. • Handshake agreements are worth the paper they are printed on…
  20. 20. • Make sure that you have rights to digitize, and give permission for use – you do not want to have to refer users to outside groups that may or may not respond to inquiries. • Do you split the money made on sales? Do you chare fees to publishers, producers or for profit organizations?
  21. 21. • Essentially, wok on only what you own and what is not subject to restrictive copyrights – you want to produce a useable product, not spend time in court.
  22. 22. • Draw up and adhere to timelines for production. Your reputation will suffer if you are a year or more late with a project and have no reason. But – have a workable timeline, not a best case, nothing goes wrong scenario.
  23. 23. You have the project going… • So do you mount it partially and slipstream additional items? • How do you provide copies? Web items can be copied onto a user's desktop; how to you provide in-house copies and at what fee?
  24. 24. Who provides copies? • People at the desk? • People at a copy center? • What options – B&W, color, scanned, emailed, faxed, on CD or DVD, etc.
  25. 25. What is restricted and why? • In our case, people can look at whatever is in the database. We can only give permission to use for library owned items, and must refer users to our partners for other permissions. • We cannot now digitize anything that isn’t ours due to legal action