The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee worked on the cutting edge. In the fight for Black political and economic power, SNCC employed a wide array of technology and tactics to do the work. SNCC bought its own WATS (Wide Area Telephone Service) lines, allowing staff to make long-distance phone calls for a flat rate. It developed … Continue reading The Return of the Filmstrip
Last fall, I wrote about how we were embarking on a large-scale remediation of our digital collections metadata in preparation for migrating those collections to the Duke Digital Repository. I started remediation at the beginning of this calendar year, and it’s been at times a slow-going but ultimately pretty satisfying experience. I’m always interested in hearing about … Continue reading Tools for Metadata Remediation
As we’ve been adding features and refining the public interface to Duke’s Digital Repository, the application has become increasingly slow. Don’t worry, the very slowest versions were never deployed beyond our development servers. This blog post is about how I approached addressing the application’s performance problems before they made their way to our production site. … Continue reading Nobody Wants a Slow Repository
We’ve been talking a lot about the Repository of late, so I thought it might be time to come full circle and make sure we’re all on the same page here…. What exactly is a Repository? A Repository is essentially a digital shelf. A really, really smart shelf! It’s the place to safely and securely store digital … Continue reading What is a Repository?
This week’s post is inspired by one of the more fun aspects of digitization work: the unexpected, unique, and strange audio objects that find their way to my desk from time to time. These are usually items that have been located in our catalog via Internet search by patrons, faculty, or library staff. Once the … Continue reading Presto! The Magic of Instantaneous Discs
Although we launched the Duke Chapel Recordings Digital Collection in April, work on the project has not stopped. This week I finally had time to pull together all our launch notes into a post mortem report, and several of the project contributors shared our experience at the Triangle Research Libraries Network (TRLN) Annual meeting. So … Continue reading Lessons Learned from the Duke Chapel Recordings Project
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This summer I’ve been working, or at least thinking about working, on a couple of website design refresh projects. And along those lines, I’ve been thinking a lot about typography. I think it’s fair to say that the overwhelming majority of content that is consumed across the Web is text-based (despite the ever-increasing rise of … Continue reading Typography (and the Web)
We are shouting it from the roof tops: The migration from Fedora 3 to Fedora 4 is complete! And Digital Repository Services are not the only ones relieved. We appreciate the understanding that our colleagues and users have shown as they’ve been inconvenienced while we’ve built a more resilient, more durable, more sustainable preservation platform in … Continue reading Repository Mega-Migration Update
The 1905 to 1939 Chronicle issues are now live online at the Duke Chronicle Digital Collection. This marks the completion of a multi-year project to digitize Duke’s student newspaper. Not only will digitization provide easier online access to this gem of a collection, but it will also help preserve the originals held in the University … Continue reading The Chronicle Digital Collection (1905-1989) Is Complete!
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In the Digital Production Center, many of the videotapes we digitize have “bars and tone” at the beginning of the tape. These are officially called “SMPTE color bars.” SMPTE stands for The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, the organization that established the color bars as the North American video standard, beginning in the … Continue reading Color Bars & Test Patterns
In previous posts I have referred to the FADGI standard for still image capture when describing still image creation in the Digital Production Center in support of our Digital Collections Program. We follow this standard in order to create archival files for preservation, long-term retention and access to our materials online. These guidelines help us … Continue reading The FADGI Still Image standard: It isn’t just about file specs
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Audiovisual materials account for a significant portion of Duke’s Digital Collections. All told, we now have over 3,400 hours of A/V content accessible online, spread over 14,000 audio and video files discoverable in various platforms. We’ve made several strides in recent years introducing impactful collections of recordings like H. Lee Waters Films, the Jazz Loft … Continue reading Web Interfaces for our Audiovisual Collections
A broadside is a single-sheet notice or advertisement, often textual rather than pictorial. The historical type of broadsides called ephemera (the Latin word, inherited from Greek, referred to things, like a fever, that do not last long) are temporary documents created for a specific purpose and intended to be thrown away. The Broadsides and Ephemera … Continue reading Specks of history : the Broadsides and Ephemera Collection
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While I would really prefer to cat-blog my merry way into the holiday weekend, I feel duty-bound to follow up on my previous posts about the digital collections migration project that has dominated our 2016. Since I last wrote, we have launched two more new collections in the Fedora/Hydra platform that comprises the Duke Digital Repository. The … Continue reading Hang in there, the migration is coming
The Digital Projects and Production Services is excited to announce that the 1940s and 1950s Chronicle are now digitized and accessible online at the Duke Chronicle Digital Collection. These two new decades represent the next installment in a series of releases, which now completes a string of digitized Chronicles spanning from 1940 to 1989. The … Continue reading 1940s & 1950s Chronicles Are Live!
The SNCC Digital Gateway is a collaborative, Mellon-funded project to document the history and legacy of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee on a digital platform. One of the challenges of this undertaking is the physical distance between many of the project partners. From Washington, D.C. to St. Cloud, MN and Durham, NC to Rochester, NY, … Continue reading Communication in Practice
Back in the fall, we convened a Metadata Task Group (which I chair) charged, in part, with defining, overseeing, and performing the work necessary to remediate Duke University Libraries’ digital collections metadata in preparation for migration from our old technical platform to the Duke Digital Repository. This involved an intensive analysis and review of our … Continue reading Our Guiding Lights