LinkedIn emplea cookies para mejorar la funcionalidad y el rendimiento de nuestro sitio web, así como para ofrecer publicidad relevante. Si continúas navegando por ese sitio web, aceptas el uso de cookies. Consulta nuestras Condiciones de uso y nuestra Política de privacidad para más información.
LinkedIn emplea cookies para mejorar la funcionalidad y el rendimiento de nuestro sitio web, así como para ofrecer publicidad relevante. Si continúas navegando por ese sitio web, aceptas el uso de cookies. Consulta nuestra Política de privacidad y nuestras Condiciones de uso para más información.
NCompass Live - 2/22/2017
In 1998 Omaha Public Library created its first online digital library to showcase its extensive collection of original photographs and documents from the 1898 Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition, Omaha’s own world’s fair. Another digitization project was undertaken in 2004. A decade later it was only too evident that the entire digital library, with its hodgepodge of different interfaces and metadata standards, needed to be dragged into the 21st century. We did it—despite minimal staff, minimal training, and minimal time! Come hear this saga of the good, the bad, and the ugly, and what we learned from it.
Presenter: Martha Grenzeback, Omaha Public Library; Mary Marchio, retired.
In 1998 Omaha Public Library created its first online digital library to showcase its extensive collection of original photographs and documents from the 1898 Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition, Omaha’s own world’s fair. Later projects landed OPL with a hodgepodge of different interfaces and metadata standards. It was clear that an overhaul was needed.
We had minimal staff and minimal time, but plunged in anyway. It’s still very much a work in progress (and slow progress, at that), but it has been a learning process, which we will share with you now.
First we will briefly review how our original digital collections got started, and why; we will talk about how decisions were made about metadata, and the problems we faced when we decided to upgrade our digital site. In the second half of the presentation, we’ll look at how we have dealt with those problems, and what we’ve learned.
Slide: These are our four major collections, with the very approximate number of images we started with.
We also contributed to two cooperative projects.
Now, we’re just going to summarize the collections that we have digitized, and how they have been accessed over the years.
The Trans-Mississippi & International Exposition Collection is our most extensive and unique collection.
MARTHA Keep in mind—people have been donating items to the library since 1877. In this category, we also have original documents, pamphlets, and more documenting Omaha’s early history which we would like to digitize.
In more recent years—no one got to see them.
I give the floor to Mary, since she was actually involved in OPL’s first digitization project.
Intersection of different circumstances: 1. clear that better access was needed; 2. other institutions beginning to think of digitization 3. Centennial celebration of original Expo was coming up: how to commemorate?
In 1995 not much in the way of guidelines. Mention that the scanning met modern standards—met the standards of the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities (CDRH)
MARY WHY catalog in OPAC? 1995-98 WHY single record in OCLC? Minute charge to use OCLC; cost for exporting record; and charge for being on OCLC while creating records.
Originally established as the Colorado Digitization Project in 1999, the CDP later evolved into the Collaborative Digitization Program, earning national recognition for its collaborative digitization expertise. The CDP merged into BCR in April 2007, creating BCR's CDP. In 2010 BCR established a partnership with LYRASIS which hosts and has added new resources for practitioners working in the areas of digitization and preservation.
OPL joined in 2002-2003
Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant for this.
Since the metadata was directly uploaded through a web interface (ZEBRA), the only record OPL retained was its Access database—which included all images—no indication of what was in Western Trails vs TMI, etc. Zebra was a “general-purpose structured text indexing and retrieval engine.” At the time, it was available free. The template was pretty basic.
ACCESS database—Peggy Marrs system, useful but not LCSH or TGM (Thesaurus of Graphic Materials).
Early Omaha was OPL’s site for the WT data. Website was created by OPL staff member (Julie Kaspar) who had just taken a class in “Introduction to Web Design” (2003).
MARY Mary Marchio hired to do subject headings and enhancement
LSTA (Library Services and Technology Act) grant for Nebraska Memories. Quite a few maps were scanned that are not yet in Nebraska Memories.
Map Gallery nonetheless one of the most heavily used collections
As you can see, a little utilitarian-looking.
Metadata in various forms. The Peggy Marrs scheme is what we have in the Access database we mentioned.
Searching: some collections couldn’t be searched: Early Omaha and Early Nebraska couldn’t be searched on our website; Trans-Miss no search except the approx. 600 images in our OPAC
People didn’t know what we have online; staff didn’t know how to direct; people would want to purchase and very difficult to identify image; Western Trails site—local access number has been modified.
These problems had been discussed more than once by different staff groups at OPL. At earlier moments the focus was more on cataloging all these items in Horizon (our ILS); but as digitization became a common option, that became the goal.
Once again, combination of circumstances propelled this new “project.”
Site looking increasingly out of date. Increasingly frustrating to help people navigate and fill image requests. Digital libraries more and more ubiquitous—libraries, archives, museums, etc.
Additional spur: transition to new OPL website planned.
STRESS: At least there WAS a paper trail. Problem is, not all in same place, or organized, and we had to look for it.
This project was not our main job—but there was an expectation that it would get done. Somehow. (Mention new website pressure again)
We were particularly fortunate to have Patrick Esser & Deirdre Routt on board initially
Administration: administrators favored. Mention Gary Wasdin—and agreement to move to paid level of CONTENTdm.
Things came to a head at the end of 2011, when UNL contacted us about using our digital images for their new TMI portal site.
UNL got idea of Trans-Miss portal. Timothy Schaffert, UNL English professor, writing book Swan Gondola at the time; Timothy and Gary Wasdin friends. We did briefly discuss Omeka, an open-source content management system; or Content PRO, an add-on for our ILS
We now pay for the basic level one subscription, which lets us digitize up to 10,000 items (40 GB). We are nowhere near.
Collections reside on CONTENTdm server.
Talk about why those people? Self-selected based on their special super powers. No one really appointed—just wanted a better digital library. Patrick and Deirdre gone. 2. Metadata Guidelines: Don’t reinvent the wheel. NM guidelines are in their turn based on CDP Dublin Core Metadata Best Practices, Version 2.1.1 It is crucial to have your guidelines written down!
One of our working papers….
Why is a timeline important, even if you don’t stick to it?
Millard Town Memories as experiment, to get the hang of CONTENTdm (Actually, think I started with a few TMI photos….)
MENTION UNL Project—as mentioned, their project gave our administration the impetus to think seriously about our digital collections.
MARY Other reason for starting with TMI: already had MARC records, and also researchers contact OPL the most about this collection (thanks to WorldCat and Google); We had MARC records for 660? Rinehart photo images, created by Mary; Patrick expert on TMI AND technology manager If it hadn’t been for the UNL project, starting with the Nebraska Memories items would probably have been quicker and easier
MARY: Authority file
Mary: created original MARC records Patrick: expert on TMI and very keen. Got a chance to see before he passed away
Even though you can create a local authority file in CONTENTdm, it is a lot less trouble to verify your subject headings and names before you try to upload records to CONTENTdm.
SO—once we’d got started with the Trans-Miss collection, we began looking at upgrading the other collections. Difficulties of finding WT metadata: Spent a certain amount of time trying to find it--hard to trace, no one at UNL seemed to know anything about it, but it turned out not to be as problematic as feared, since most of the WT images were duplicated in NM
Example: dimensions and nature of original object in its own field instead of in description.
Writing down the process was one of the most useful things we have done. MENTION First of all, metadata guidelines created by Deirdre. WHY? Besides remembering how to do it ourselves, we want to be able to train other staff and volunteers in future.
Everything we catalog now we do in Dublin Core, in an Excel template that will allow us to upload to CONTENTdm easily—even if we are not planning to do so in the near future. Have stopped putting things in Access.
MARTHA STARTS: 1 &2
In CONTENTdm, you can’t switch items between collections, or pull smaller collection out of larger. Example: deciding belatedly to separate Indian Congress and Trans-Miss. Similarly: decide fields carefully. More is better, since you can leave empty but you can’t add in afterwards without reuploading everything. For example, I am wondering if a separate field for scale in map collection template might be a good idea.
2. User forum and CONTENTdm support have been helpful
MARY 3. Took Janet to lunch 4. Track down documentation. Emails even from beginning of our project: DON’T BE SHY. Don’t reinvent the wheel.
Be sure to acknowledge Joanne, Lindsey, Patrick, Deirdre, Lynn, Peggy Marrs, Devra, Allana, Janet, Julie Kaspar
NCompass Live: Metadata Makeover: Transforming Omaha Public Library's Digital Collections
Mary Marchio and Martha Grenzeback
Omaha Public Library
World Stereoview Collection, 1259 images
Early Nebraska, 440 images
Early Omaha : Gateway to the West
Trans Mississippi & International
Exposition , 2800+ images
Photographs by official photographer, Frank Rinehart,
and papers, correspondence, and memorabilia related
to the Exposition and the Indian Congress that was
part of it
Donated to library at the close of the Exposition (1898)
by the Exposition’s Board of Directors; additional
items have been donated or purchased since then
Available in the library to researchers
Collection of some 770 images of photographs,
lantern slides, postcards, stereoviews, and maps
reflecting Omaha's importance as the site of the Union
Pacific headquarters and point of eastern origin for the
first transcontinental railway
Source: donations from the public and Library Board
members, library purchases
In-library access, some check-outs
1259 stereoviews dating back to late 1800s-early 1900s,
depicting scenes from around the world
Gift to the library from Charles Dietz, wealthy lumber
businessman, longtime President of the Library Board,
and enthusiastic world traveler
For many years, available to check out or view in the
United States, Nebraska, county and regional maps
and atlases, mostly not cataloged
Donations and library purchases
Used by library patrons in the library
Inspired by a desire to provide better access,
particularly to OPL’s extensive and unique Trans-
Mississippi & International Exposition collection
1998 centennial celebration of original Exposition was
Trans-Mississippi project was first effort, successful for
Showed OPL could manage a digital project
Formation of library staff committee
Steep learning curve: organizing a project
Consultant hired to evaluate physical condition of
Major Urban Resource Libraries (MURLS) grant
Solicited bids for scanning
Marian High School girls: The Web
No metadata on website except titles, format, and
MARC records for some images in local catalog
Single record for collection in WorldCat
Libraries and other cultural institutions in Nebraska,
Wyoming, Kansas, and Colorado pooled digital
resources on the 19th century pioneer migration to the
Scanning standards set by Colorado Digitization
Program (now subsumed in LYRASIS)
Metadata : modified Dublin Core; Library of
Congress Thesaurus for Graphic Materials
headings and LCSH
Directly uploaded to UNL server via Zebra (later
transferred into CONTENTdm)
OPL: Basic metadata in Access database
Impetus for digitization: 150th anniversary of Omaha
Part of Western Trails
Scanning standards: Western Trails
Metadata: Basic info in Access database (staff use);
minimal on website but rich narrative description for
some “Exhibit” items
34 libraries and other cultural institutions in Nebraska
pool digital resources that illustrate the state’s history
and geography—more than 5,500 items to date
Scanning standards: Decided by Nebraska Library
Commission, which administers project
Metadata: Modified Dublin Core; Library of Congress
Thesaurus for Graphic Materials headings and LCSH
OPL is still contributing
Quick and easy solution for public access
Scanning standards: Same as previous projects
Metadata: Minimum needed for Flickr; captions and
Maps and atlases of Nebraska (large-format scanning
contracted out with grant money)
No metadata at all, except for the Omaha maps and atlases
that were included in Nebraska Memories
Image scanning is all to the same high standard
Metadata is all over the lot:
Peggy Marrs’s postcard cataloging scheme
Public and staff access difficult (inadequate search
Hard to find on main OPL webpage
Almost everyone involved in original projects gone or
distracted (retired, deceased, moved to other
Paper trail/documentation spotty
Multiple projects, each with different parameters
Project manager (Martha) inexperienced
Not much staff time available (“spare time” project)
Images up to current standards; no rescanning needed
Original cataloger on our team (Mary Marchio)
Assistance from OPL employees with unique knowledge
and skills, or memories of previous projects
Great support from Devra Dragos and Allana Novotny,
Nebraska Library Commission
Library staff’s reluctance to purge or even tidy old files
(computer and paper)
OPL contribution to UNL’s Trans-Mississippi &
International Expo portal site
Internal OPL proposal suggesting new digital site:
CONTENTdm QuickStart (hosted): March 2013
CONTENTdm vs Omeka or other option?
Is hosted and user-
Good support, forum,
Looks like every other
digital collection website
More expensive as your
Can get started free with OCLC
Can use “out of the box”
Records can be synced to WorldCat
Working group: Patrick Esser, Mary Marchio, Lindsey
Bray, Deirdre Routt, Martha Grenzeback
Many webinars and much reading on CONTENTdm and
In 2013, Deirdre created OPL Metadata Guidelines for
CONTENTdm Entry, largely based on:
Nebraska Memories Metadata Guidelines
Huntington Digital Library Guidelines Metadata Creation
Created timeline (delusional)
Began trying to track
down any available data on
OPL’s digital images
Created “trial” collection
(Millard Town Memories)
Decided to start with
Crosswalk for MARC records to Excel/Dublin Core,
created by Patrick Esser
Cataloging from scratch—everything but the first 600
or so records; minimal info created by Patrick using
info from TMI guidebook and Official Catalogue
Enhancing records; enriching descriptions, adding
subject headings (LCSH, TGM), adapting to Dublin
Mary created local authority file which we use for all
Problematic because metadata had been directly
uploaded via internet to Western Trails database; OPL
kept no real record
Almost all images in Western Trails were also in
Allana Novotny kindly compared holdings to get a list
of OPL items not in Nebraska Memories, and Mary
Nebraska Library Commission had all the metadata,
which they retrieved and provided to us in Excel
We changed a few fields to fit our own requirements,
but otherwise pretty smooth
Most of the maps in this project uncataloged; only the
Omaha maps had been uploaded to Nebraska
Cataloging from scratch using Excel
Created document: How to Upload Items to CONTENTdm
(settings, choices, etc.)
Use Excel template with fields that match the fields in the
CONTENTdm template for a particular collection
Dublin Core, Thesaurus of Graphic Materials, LCSH
Proofread in Excel. Check that names and subjects appear
in our local authority file (also Excel)
Batch upload to CONTENTdm
Save all metadata spreadsheets in folder for each collection
on network drive and in the cloud
Decide on collection content carefully
User forums very helpful; also looking at other digital
Don’t be shy! Grill everyone involved in past projects
Track down any documentation (memos, reports)
Document! What you did and how you did it. No
detail is too small (today’s small may be tomorrow’s