I recently, while perhaps inadvisably, updated my workstation to the latest version of OS X (Yosemite) and in doing so ended up needing to rebuild my setup from scratch. As such, I’ve been taking stock of the applications and tools that I use on a daily basis for my work and thought it might be interesting … Continue reading What’s in my tool chest →
One of the greatest challenges to digitizing moving image content isn’t the actual digitization. It’s the enormous file sizes that result, and the high costs associated with storing and maintaining those files for long-term preservation. Most cultural heritage institutions consider 10-bit uncompressed to be the preservation standard for moving image content. 10-bit uncompressed uses no … Continue reading The Pros and Cons of FFV1 →
Adventures in metadata hygiene: using Open Refine, XSLT, and Excel to dedup and reconcile name and subject headings in EAD
OpenRefine, formerly Google Refine, bills itself as “a free, open source, powerful tool for working with messy data.” As someone who works with messy data almost every day, I can’t recommend it enough. While Open Refine is a great tool for cleaning up “grid-shaped data” (spreadsheets), it’s a bit more challenging to use when your source data is … Continue reading Adventures in metadata hygiene: using Open Refine, XSLT, and Excel to dedup and reconcile name and subject headings in EAD →
Part of my job as Digital Collections Program Manager is to manage our various projects from idea to proposal to implementation and finally to publication. It can be a long and complicated process with many different people taking part along the way. When we (we being the Digital Collections Implementation Team or DCIT) launch a … Continue reading Getting to the Finish Line: Wrapping Up Digital Collections Projects →
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We have digitized some fairly complex objects over the years that have challenged our Digital Collections team to push the boundaries of typical digital library solutions for digitization and publication. It happens often: objects we want to digitize are sort of like something we’ve done for a previous project, but not quite, so we can’t … Continue reading A Look Under the Hood—and the Flaps—of the Anatomical Fugitive Sheets Collection →
You’re going to lose: The inherent complexity, and near impossibility, of developing for digital collections
“Nobody likes you. Everybody hates you. You’re going to lose. Smile, you f*#~.” Joe Hallenbeck, The Last Boy Scout While I’m glad not to be living in a Tony Scott movie, on occasion I feel like Bruce Willis’ character near the beginning of “The Last Boy Scout.” Just look at some of the things … Continue reading You’re going to lose: The inherent complexity, and near impossibility, of developing for digital collections →
On Monday, March 2nd, the new website, One Person, One Vote: The Legacy of SNCC and the Fight for Voting Rights, went live. The launch represented an unprecedented feat of collaboration between activists, scholars, archivists, digital specialists, and students. In a year and a half, this group went from wanting to tell a grassroots story of SNCC’s … Continue reading Launching One Person, One Vote →
Fifty years ago this week, Duke students faced off with computers in model car races and tic-tac-toe matches in the annual Engineers’ Show. In stark contrast to the up-and-coming computers, a Duke Chronicle article dubbed these human competitors as old-fashioned and obsolete. Five decades later, although we humans haven’t completely lost our foothold to computers, … Continue reading Man to Fight Computers! →
I have been thinking lately about tools that make tasks I repeat frequently more efficient. For example, I’m an occasional do-it-yourself home repairer and have an old handsaw that works just fine for cutting a few pieces of wood for small repairs. It’s easy to understand how to use the saw, takes very little planning, … Continue reading Small Problems, Little Solutions →
As Curator for the History of Medicine Collections in the Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, I have the opportunity to work with incredible items, including Renaissance era amputation saws, physician case books from the nineteenth century, and anatomical illustrations with moveable parts, just to name a few. In my opinion, our holdings of anatomical … Continue reading The History of Medicine’s Anatomical Fugitive Sheet Digital Collection →
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My last several posts have focused on endangered audio formats: open reel tape, compact cassette, and DAT. Each of these media types boasted some advantages over their predecessors, as well as disadvantages that ultimately led to them falling out of favor with most consumers. Whether entirely relegated to our growing tech graveyard or moving into … Continue reading When MiniDiscs Recorded the Earth →
We’re continually walking through doorways or passing them by, but how often do we linger to witness the life that unfolds nearby? Let the photographs below be your doorway, connecting you with lives lived in other places and times. Be adventurous. Explore more images taken by these photographers as displayed within Duke University Libraries’ digitized … Continue reading Taken near doorways →
Last Fall, this blog featured brief profiles of all your favorite Duke Library Information Technology Services staff, including our digitization specialists. This week on the blog we thought we would shine the spotlight even closer on our still image digitization expert, Mike and learn more about his unique contribution to Duke University Libraries. … Continue reading Getting to Know Us Even Better →
Many months ago I learned that a new space, The Ruppert Commons for Research, Technology, and Collaboration, was going to be opening at the start of the calendar year. I was tasked with building an informational kiosk that would be seated in the entry area of the space. The schedule was a bit hectic and we ended […]
During its first five months, the One Person, One Vote project concentrated on producing content. The forthcoming website (onevotesncc.org) tells the story of how the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee’s (SNCC) commitment to community organized forged a movement for voting rights made up of thousands of local people. When the One Person, One Vote site goes […]
One of my favorite movies as a youngster was Steven Spielberg’s “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” It’s non-stop action as the adventurous Indiana Jones criss-crosses the globe in an exciting yet dangerous race against the Nazis for possession of the Ark of the Covenant. According to the Book of Exodus, the Ark is a golden […]
The H. Lee Waters Film Collection we published earlier this month has generated quite a buzz. In the last few weeks, we’ve seen a tremendous uptick in visits to Duke Digital Collections and received comments, mail, and phone calls from Waters fans, film buffs, and from residents of the small towns he visited and filmed over […]
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