archives


My final digital library collection resource is NYPL’s Planning Digital Projects for Historical Collections. This site provides information about the purpose of digitizing historic materials, the planning of a digital project, the selection of materials, the organization of information, and the effective delivery of the materials. It’s an older site, but I found much of the information relevant today. In particular, I agree with the statement, “Preserving and presenting the true context of the materials are critical in delivering digitized materials on the web.” Last semester, I wrote a digital project proposal for a local history collection. The physical collection consisted of hierarchical vertical file folders. Another intern and I looked for similar collections online and found this one at the Fayetteville Public Library significant as the online collection represented the structure of the physical collection.

I have posted before about library buildings and design. Yesterday, I was rifling through suggested bookmarks on Diigo and came across a few sites that I’d like to mention including a post on Curious Expeditions titled, “Librophiliac Love Letter: A Compendium of Beautiful Libraries.” Some of these I have seen, many I have not, but there are some amazing libraries pictured. Who knew Portugal harbored so many beautiful libraries? Well, I bet many of you did, but I didn’t. I think my favorite is still the Rijkmuseum in Amsterdam that I’ve pointed to before.


Libsite.org is a recommendation service for library-related websites. Here you will find annotated links to library websites and online collections. In some cases, they describe any notable features or collections. In other cases, they indicate the content management system or provide a general description. Sites can be recommended by registered users, so if you want to promote a site/collection, this is one avenue.


The National Archives Experience lets users build their own collection, create pathways denoting the relationship between items, and create posters and videos with their collection materials. The materials are from the National Archives, and they include pictures and documents. They provide tags and links to related resources and media as well as lesson plans and teaching tools. I don’t usually share collections with my family unless relevant, but I did this one because it’s so cool. AND, not only did their eyes not glaze over, they wanted to see more- remarkable…

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Either a classmate or my professor recently linked to an article about the inclusion of online, freely available books in library collections and their catalogs. Unfortunately, search in our online education environment is difficult, and so I’m not able to credit the referrer or reference the article at this time. My impression of the article was that libraries are not consistently incorporating these resources into their collections and catalogs. I am not aware of any central location that libraries might find these resources, in all their forms (i.e. Open Access, Public Domain, Creative Commons licensed, etc.), facilitating their inclusion. Selection aids exist for other resources and assist librarians in the time-consuming task of selection. Perhaps, selection aids for freely available digitized books would be helpful.

I searched online a bit to determine if the libraries that I use are incorporating some of these books and to see if I could find any selection aids specific to this group of resources. I looked for three books, that I found freely available online, in my local library catalog, in my university catalog, and in WorldCat.

All three catalogs offered online access to Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (found in the Open Library, Project Gutenberg, and HathiTrust) that is in the Public Domain. I then looked for Cory Doctorow’s Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom (found in the CC Wiki). The physical book was cataloged in my local library, it was not in my university library (though another book of Doctorow’s was available in print), and WorldCat linked to an e-book in Library and Archives Canada Electronic Collection. Finally, I searched for the book, Open Sources: Voices from the Open Source Revolution, freely available from O’Reilly Open Books. WorldCat was the only catalog with the title, and it had an e-book listing. Open Library, HathiTrust, nor Project Gutenberg provided access to this book. Of course the exclusion of any of these materials from my local public library and from my university library could be attributed to other reasons. It is possible that the books did not meet other selection criteria.

The Hilton C. Buley Library at Southern Connecticut University lists Open Access resources including books. Several of the resources, such as Project Gutenberg, the Internet Archive, and The Online Books Page, provide RSS feeds that might be useful to any librarians interested in adding these books to their collection. The Internet Archive Text allows user ratings that could aid in selection. Project Gutenberg lists the top 100 most downloaded books and authors. And, some of the resources are subject or area specific. Librarians working in areas like young adult or children might select resources available from Literature for Children. Librarians selecting for particular subjects like agriculture or environment and sustainability could find materials in the United Nations University Publications.

There may be some copyright issues to consider with some forms of these freely available books, though. Looking at the University of Michigan’s treatment of the O’Reilly book mentioned earlier, it looks like this issue may be avoided by merely linking to the online version, thus avoiding the “copy.”

I need to catch up on my digital collection resources. I have a few resources to list today. The Archives Association of British Columbia provides an online toolkit for archivers. Intended for small to medium archives, this toolkit provides information on many archival aspects such as policy guidelines, description, standards, database systems, preservation and conservation, appraisal, grants, and ethics. There are sample forms and mailing list suggestions. Though there is some specific information about digitization, I think all the information here could inform a digital archives project.

Has anyone mentioned the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) advisory service, Technical Advisory Service for Images (TASI) yet? TASI provides digitization case studies, theoretical and technical papers, as well as planning and problem-solving information. There’s a mailing list here, too. Many topics are covered including: using images in teaching and learning and finding images, managing projects like workflows and staff training, selecting and preparing images, and considering necessary hardware and software.

Emory University has published a collection of essays titled, “Strategies for Sustaining Digital Libraries.” It’s available online (free!), using the Creative Commons, Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License. Essays are written by “leaders in major digital libraries,” contributing from universities across the U.S. Some of the essays are broad, considering the history of media and organization, technology, economic, and collection sustainability. Some are more specific, looking at sustainability from open access educational digital library and digital repository perspectives. If you are thinking about the ongoing maintenance of a collection, you might take a look at this.

In addition to the collections noted in the previous post, other Oklahoma libraries have digitized their archival collections and made them freely accessible online. The University of Oklahoma Library has many fascinating items in their digital collections. They have digitized title pages from the History of Science Collections that date back to the 16th century. This could be a real find for typography buffs or those interested in the historical author autographs. The Western History Collections is also accessible. This special collection is rich with transcripts of interviews with Oklahoma’s Native Americans about the history and culture of their tribes. In addition, there are interviews of Oklahomans from 1831-1936 regarding the settlement of Oklahoma and the Indian territories as well as the life conditions and conduct during this period. Although the Photograph Archives also has a heavy American Indian focus, it includes images of Oklahoma’s land run and lotteries, western outlaws, agriculture, and the petroleum industry as well.

Photos from the Western History Collections, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma.

rose1812.jpg Wyatt Earp 1866 jesse james 1875 Jesse James 1875

Geronimo 1900 Geronimo 1900 Cheyenne woman and child Cheyenne woman and child

The University of Tulsa McFarlin Library digital collections include Tulsa Race Riot images, maps of the American West, and resources for the study of the Creek (Muskogee) language. The Creek language resources offer a talking dictionary and written and spoken (recorded) versions of Creek folktales like “The Boy who Turned into a Snake,” and “The Origin of Corn.” The American West maps date back to Thomas Jeffreys’ 1776 American Atlas. Zebulon Montgomery Pike’s 1810 Chart of the Internal Part of Louisiana, from his expedition to find the headwaters of the “Arkansaw” and Red Rivers, can also be found here.

Images from Special Collections, University of Tulsa’s McFarlin Library, Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Creek drawing from 1736 titled “”Ta-fo-lope,” the Creek word for butterfly 1736 Creek drawing titled “Ta-fo-lope,” the Creek word for butterfly

Pike’s 1810 Chart of the Internal Part of Louisiana Pike’s 1810 Chart of the Internal Part of Louisiana

In October, the Online Education Database listed 250+ Killer Digital Libraries and Archives. The resources are listed alphabetically by state and are mainly open access. There are two listings for Oklahoma: Electronic Publishing Center and Sooner Stories which is now Oklahoma Crossroads. The Oklahoma Department of Libraries (ODL) Sooner Stories Archive contains online exhibits titled “Rationing in World War II,” “Farm Security and Administration,” “Construction of the Oklahoma Governor’s Mansion,” and the “Oklahoma State Capitol.” My favorite items in this collection, though, are creepy Oklahoma stories and pictures in “Skeletons in our closet” and the great multimedia presentation of “Bonnie & Clyde in Oklahoma.” Among other rich resources, ODL’s newer service, Oklahoma Crossroads, links to the above exhibits as well as to collections including Tulsa Race Riot documents and images and a database of Oklahoma author profiles.

OSU’s Electronic Publishing Center digital collections include items like: the Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, the first fifty years of our state’s magazine, Oklahoma Today, From Warrior to Saint: The Journey of David Pendleton Oakerhater, Indian Claims Commission Decisions, and the Oklahoma Historical Society’s Chronicles of Oklahoma. Dating back to 1923, the Chronicles of Oklahoma contains colorful stories, excerpts from letters and diaries, and resident profiles. In Volume 2(1), the origins of county names in Oklahoma are explained. A born and raised Okie, I’m ashamed to admit that I wasn’t aware that Oklahoma is a combination of two Choctaw words, “Okla” meaning people and “Humma” meaning red. Another article‘s description of early Oklahoma folklore was particularly poignant. The author ends with, “I deem it one of my greatest privileges to teach my students that we must not let the first stories of our earliest people pass into oblivion; that we have one of the richest heritages on earth, the record of which is a combination composed of ballads and legends in which the heart beats of Indian warrior, man and maid, the roving cow man, the sturdy pioneer—all beat in steady succession to the music of life itself. The result of it all is the finished symphony—the symphony of Oklahoma itself.”

This 1917 photo, from ODL’s “Skeletons in our closet,” was taken of the newly finished rotunda in the Oklahoma Capitol building. phantom2_02.jpg

Wendy Boswell over at Lifehacker provides an interesting compilation of archival information found on the web. Categories include historical information, multimedia, print media, science, web-specific information, and government. The Wayback Machine, allows access to archived web pages that date back to 1996. We are examining and evaluating OU’s new main web page this week in class, and this is what it looked like back in 1998.