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Honoring the Past, Ensuring the Future: Creating and Managing Digital Collections


April 26, 2011

This year’s conference focuses on creating and managing digital collections, from understanding and choosing appropriate software to finding interns and grants. We will share case studies from institutions, both large and small, that have successfully moved their historic collections online.

Exhibitors of products and services of interest to the digital library community will be on site to discuss and demonstrate services.

8:30 - 9:00

Exhibits and registration open

9:00 - 9:15

Digital Commonwealth Welcome – Jim Keenan, President

9:15 – 10:15

Keynote: Choosing and Using Digitization Technologies

Digital imaging is complex. Anyone involved in digitization projects should have a good understanding of the technology being used to convert library collections to digital images. This presentation is a technical primer on digital imaging, and is intended to provide a sound foundation for those planning and involved with digitization projects.

Speaker: Steve Puglia, NARA

10:30 – 11:30

Breakout Sessions I

Disaster Management – FIRE!

Fire is one of the greatest threats to the preservation of cultural resource properties including libraries, archives, museums and historic structures. This session will present a performance based approach to fire safety for these facilities that discusses establishing fire protection objectives and how they can be achieved. Common fire risks will be discussed as well as how fires occur and ways that the threat can be minimized. It will then describe the use of fire compartmentalization and the various fire detection and suppression methods. Current fire detection and suppression technologies will be summarized.

Nick Artim, Heritage Protection Group, Middlebury, Vermont

Born digital: WGBH

Creation of new media today is almost 100% digital. As a creator, distributor and archive of media, WGBH needs to be able to manage these digital materials – both born digital and analog materials migrated to digital forms. In some cases, managing born digital is the same as managing the digital files created from analog materials. However, as more of our productions create in digital formats we are faced with new challenges to capture the digital materials, and assure adequate metadata is attached to the files, in order to assure their preservation. This presentation will talk about some of the challenges WGBH is facing with managing born digital materials, particularly media, some of the solutions WGBH has adopted, and areas where we are still ‘brainstorming’ and problem solving.

Speakers: Karen Cariani and Karen Colbron, WGBH

Successful Grantwriting & Fundraising for Digitization Projects

Lucy Loomis will give an overview of the application process and share ideas and tips for writing the successful grant. Lucy will also discuss non-traditional ways of raising funds and getting your community interested in your digitization project. Handouts will include lists of grants sources for digitization, as well as a list of key points for writing successful grants.

Speaker: Lucy Loomis

11:30 – 12:00

Vendor Fair - Want to Exhibit? Download the Exhibitor Packet Here

12:00- 1:30

Lunch and Keynote
Creating Rich and Long-Lasting Digital Images

Image quality choices made when files are first created will have a profound effect on project cost, the value of the final project to the users, and the long-term usability of the digital images. Image quality requirements therefore have to be established carefully before a digitization project starts. Selecting the appropriate quality level will always depend on careful analysis of the desired uses of the images in the near and long term. Several digitization guidelines have been published over the past decade that can help institutions with their digitization strategies. Some of these guidelines will be introduced and compared during this presentation.

Speaker: Franziska Frey, RIT

1:45 – 2:45

Breakout Sessions 2

Getting Started with Digital Commonwealth

Are you a member of the Digital Commonwealth? Do you have a collection that you would like to digitize, or that is already digitized? Are you interested in gaining a better understanding of how to include your digital resources in the Digital Commonwealth? Then this session is for you! Learn more about how the process works from start to finish, see examples of the technology and tools, and ask questions about your project.

Speaker: Kristi Chadwick, CW/Mars and Digital Commonwealth

Managing Large (Digitization) Collections and What Smaller Institutions Can Learn

Successful large-scale digitization programs and projects provide more access to more content through streamlined workflows. Archivists from the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library will share insights gained as implementers of a large-scale digitization program, drawing on their practical experience in collection digitization, and describe the challenges and benefits of what they argue should be the paradigm for archival digitization in the future. They will discuss the technological, intellectual, and logistical challenges of planning, staffing, and executing a project of this size, and discuss how these policies and procedures can be scaled for different sized (small, medium, and large) digitization projects and programs.

Speakers: Jamie Roth and Erica Boudreau, JFK Presidental Library

Managing Interns: Finding and Managing Them Successfully

Working with student interns can mean a burdensome time commitment that may often seem to out-weigh the potential benefits. Simmons GSLIS has been working with six New England cultural heritage sites on an IMLS grant-funded project in which our students are given the opportunity to work in small teams on significant projects addressing projects such as needs assessment, digital asset management, and collection dissemination. In this presentation we will look at ways to manage interns and how they can help institutions meet the challengesof digitizing and preserving their collections.

Speaker: Martha Mahard, GSLIS, Simmons College

3:00 – 4:00

Breakout Sessions 3

From Your Archive to the Web: Managing the Project

Anne Clark and Anne Reed will give an overview of how the Public Library of Brookline created a digital collection starting with the decision to digitize the library’s historic photographs. They will discuss choosing the items, researching copyright issues, selecting a company to scan the photographs and glass plate negatives; deciding to contract with Lyrasis and the Digital Commonwealth for repository services; entering the metadata in OIA compliant format, and seeing Brookline’s photos displayed through the Digital Commonwealth portal

Speakers: Ann Clark and Anne Reed, Public Library of Brookline

Choosing a Digital Collection Software Solution: An Inside Look at Four Popular Open-Source Options -- Dspace, Drupal, Omeka, EPrints

Choosing the right software solution for hosting your digital collection can be a complicated procedure. The choice between an open source and commercial service is perhaps the most difficult to fully assess. This presentation examines the realities of choosing an open-source solution by taking an inside look at setting up a digital collection in four leading open-source web publishing platforms: DSpace, EPrints, Drupal, and Omeka. We will look at four stages of implementation for each system: installation, collection setup, item ingest, and user interface. The result will provide an overall sense of the pros and cons of choosing open source as well as some of the values and limitations inherent in four of the most popular platforms.

Speaker: Joseph Fisher, University of Massachusetts, Lowell

Introduction to Metadata: Dublin Core Best Practice for the Digital Commonwealth
Leigh Grinstad, Lyrasis

This presentation will discuss metadata best practices and Dublin Core basics and give attendees a well-thought-out strategy on how to create strong metadata records. At the end of the session participants will be able to define and describe standards and best practices in use in the Digital Commonwealth, recognize the value of the Dublin Core metadata schema and its use in OAI repositories, and identify where to find additional information. They will be able to construct an outline for planning their metadata project.

Speaker: Leigh Grainstad, Lyrasis

H.W. Wilson grant recipients will present their projects throughout the day in poster sessions

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