Many of my Bitstreams posts have featured old-school audio formats (wax cylinder, cassette and open reel tape, Minidisc) and discussed how we go about digitizing these obsolete media to bring them to present-day library users at the click of a mouse. In this post, I will take a different tack and show how this sound … Continue reading Future Retro: Images of Sound Technology in the 1960s Duke Chronicle
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Last year we at Duke University Libraries circulated a prospectus for our still-young partnership with the SNCC Legacy Project, seeking bids from web contractors to help with developing the web site that we rolled out last March as One Person, One Vote (OPOV). Now, almost 18 months later, we’re back – but wiser – hoping … Continue reading Request for Proposals – The SNCC Digital Gateway
We experience a number of different cycles in the Digital Projects and Production Services Department (DPPS). There is of course the project lifecycle, that mysterious abstraction by which we try to find commonalities in work processes that can seem unique for every case. We follow the academic calendar, learn our fate through the annual budget cycle, … Continue reading FY15: A Year in Digital Projects
The Library is currently in the middle of digitizing sermons from the Duke University Chapel recordings housed in the Duke University Archives, part of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library. Within this collection there are audio and video recordings along with printed sermons. While it takes many people to digitize and publish … Continue reading A Sermon: Moral Crisis in a Troubled South (1956)
In a recent feature on their blog, our colleagues at NCSU Libraries posted some photographs of dogs from their collections. Being a person generally interested in dogs and old photographs, I became curious where dogs show up in Duke’s Digital Collections. Using very unsophisticated methods, I searched digital collections for “dogs” and thought I’d share … Continue reading Digital Dogs
Today we will take a detailed look at how the Duke Chronicle, the university’s beloved newspaper for over 100 years, is digitized. Since our scope of digitization spans nine decades (1905-1989), it is an ongoing project the Digital Production Center (DPC), part of Digital Projects and Production Services (DPPS) and Duke University Libraries’ Digital Collections … Continue reading How Duke Chronicle Goes Digital
One project we’ve been working on recently in the Digital Projects Department is a revamped Library Exhibits website that will launch in concert with the opening of the newly renovated Rubenstein Library in August. The interface is going to focus on highlighting the exhibit spaces, items, and related events. Here’s a mockup of where we … Continue reading Inspiration from Italy
Rachel Ingold (Curator for the History of Medicine Collections at the Rubenstein Library) and I co-presented yesterday at the TRLN Annual Conference 2015 in Chapel Hill, NC: Raising the Bar for Lifting the Flaps: An Inside Look at the Anatomical Fugitive Sheets Digital Collection at Duke Sean Aery, Digital Projects Developer, Duke Rachel Ingold, Curator … Continue reading Fugitive Sheets Wrapup at TRLN 2015
One of the most tedious and time-consuming tasks we do in the Digital Production Center is cropping and straightening still image files. Hired students spend hours sitting at our computers, meticulously straightening and cropping extraneous background space out of hundreds of thousands of photographed images, using Adobe Photoshop. This process is neccessary in order to … Continue reading The Beauty of Auto Crop
My colleague Sean wrote two weeks ago about the efforts a group of us in the library are making towards understanding the scholarly impacts of Duke Digital Collections. In this post, I plan to continue the discussion with details about the survey we are conducting as well as share some initial results. After reviewing the … Continue reading Who, Why, and What: the three W’s of the Duke Digital Collections Mini-Survey
Over the last few months, we’ve been doing some behind-the-scenes re-engineering of “the way” we publish digital objects in finding aids (aka “collection guides”). We made these changes in response to two main developments: The transition to ArchivesSpace for managing description of archival collections and the production of finding aids A growing need to handle … Continue reading The Tao of the DAO: Embedding digital objects in finding aids
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Our Digital Collections program aspires to build “distinctive digital collections that provide access to Duke’s unique library and archival materials for teaching, learning, and research at Duke and worldwide.” Those are our primary stated objectives, though the reach and the value of putting collections online extends far beyond. For instance, these uses might not qualify as … Continue reading The Elastic Ruler: Measuring Scholarly Use of Digital Collections
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My last several posts have focused on endangered–some would say obsolete–audio formats: open reel tape, compact cassette, DAT, and Minidisc. In this installment, we travel back to the dawn of recorded sound and the 20th Century to investigate some of the earliest commercial recording media. Unlike the formats above, which operate on post-WW2 magnetic and … Continue reading …and We’re Putting it on Wax (The Frank Clyde Brown Collection)
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Children are smoking in two of my favorite images from our digital collections. One of them comes from the eleven days in 1964 that William Gedney spent with the Cornett family in Eastern Kentucky. A boy, crusted in dirt, clutching a bent-up Prince Albert can, draws on a cigarette. It’s a miniature of mawkish masculinity … Continue reading Mini-memes, many meanings: Smoking dirt boy and the congee line bros
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We all probably remember having to pose for an annual class photograph in primary school. If you made the mistake of telling your mother about the looming photograph beforehand you probably had to wear something “nice” and had your hair plastered to your head by your mother while she informed you of the trouble you’d … Continue reading Sports Information negatives sneak preview
Ah, the 1980s…a decade of perms, the Walkman, Jelly shoes, and Ziggy Stardust. It was a time of fashion statements I personally look back on in wonderment. Fashionable leotards, shoulder pads, and stirrup pants were all the rage. And can we say parachute pants? Thanks, MC Hammer. If you’re craving a blast from the past, we’ve got you covered. … Continue reading Back to the ’80s – Duke Chronicle Style
When I was a kid, one of my favorite things to do while visiting my grandparents was browsing through their collections of old National Geographic and Smithsonian magazines. I was more interested in the advertisements than the content of the articles. Most of the magazines were dated from the 1950s through the 1980s and they … Continue reading Advertising Culture
Before you let your eyes glaze over at the thought of metadata, let me familiarize you with the term and its invaluable role in the creation of the library’s online Digital Collections. Yes, metadata is a rather jargony word librarians and archivists find themselves using frequently in the digital age, but it’s not as complex … Continue reading The Value of Metadata in Digital Collections Projects
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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