Digitech Newsletter :: September 2010

METRO Digitech Newsletter

METRO Releases Digitization in the Real World Book

Digitization in the Real World book coverMore than 30 examples of successful efforts to digitize historically significant materials at leading libraries in North America are profiled in the new book Digitization in the Real World, published by METRO. The new book is the first to present case examples of small and medium-sized digitization projects, with information developed by library professionals for library professionals.

Digitization in the Real World identifies the specific strategies used by top libraries to digitize a range of collections in recent years. Examples include recent digitization efforts at Columbia, Yale, the American Museum of Natural History and many other leading library and research centers. Cases include examples of smaller digitization projects with very limited budgets, projects involving a range of public, specialty and university libraries and research centers, and digitization efforts that required collaboration between multiple institutions.

“Digitization continues to be a major focus of library organizations in the U.S., and in many cases practitioners proceed without a clear roadmap to success. The projects profiled in this book together represent a vital new information resource and guide for library professionals considering digitization projects in the months and years ahead,” said Kwong Bor Ng, associate professor at the Graduate School of Library and Information Studies at Queens College, CUNY, and co-editor of Digitization in the Real World.

Digitization in the Real World includes perspectives from library practitioners at small archives, public and specialty libraries, repositories of unique cultural and historical collections, and library consortia. Projects include several examples of working with open source software to build digital collections. Many examples highlight the critical role of collaboration in the success of digitization efforts.

“One of the key findings in pulling together cases from all across the U.S. was the fact that, while all digitization projects are different, key learnings from successful projects at one library can provide very effective guidance and support for projects at other libraries. This book also presents real-world perspectives tailored to the needs of library professionals, so the guidance is targeted and specific,” said Jason Kucsma, emerging technologies manager at METRO and co-editor of Digitization in the Real World.

Digitization in the Real World is available at online vendors including www.lulu.com (now) and www.amazon.com (beginning later this month). The print version is $60. The full text book is also available for electronic download for $10.

Visit the Digitization in the Real World site for chapter excerpts and additional info: http://bit.ly/ditrwblog

Digitization Special Interest Group Reconvenes with Two Fall Events

The new conveners for the METRO-hosted Digitization Special Interest Group, Cynthia Tobar and Michael Handis (both at Mina Rees Library, CUNY Grad Center) have announced two important meetings for the Fall. All meetings are free and open to librarians, library workers, archivists, and students interested in learning about and discussing digitization projects. The two fall meetings will include Basic Imaging for DIY Digitization Projects (October 7, 10am-12pm) and Metadata vs. Cataloging (November 11, 10am-12pm). For additional details and RSVP information, read more here: http://bit.ly/bCUb4A.

METRO and Archivists Roundtable to Co-host "Born Digital AV" Workshop

METRO and ART will welcome Chris Lacinak (Founder and President of Audiovisual Preservation Solutions) to the METRO Training Center October 6, 2010 (1-5pm) to lead a workshop on  "Born Digital AV: A Primer for Archivists and Caretakers of Moving Image and Sound Collections." This workshop is designed as a hands-on primer to introduce archivists and caretakers of digital file-based moving image and sound collections to utilities and processes that will help them perform routine archival tasks in the file-based domain. Activities will include: creating and validating checksums; entering, editing, reviewing, parsing and using embedded metadata; identifying file characteristics and attributes; discussion of wrappers and codecs, and discussion of obsolescence monitoring and normalization.

Registration for METRO, myMETRO, and ART members is $35. Registration for non-members is $60. Register for this workshop http://bit.ly/9CdffX. The METRO Training Center is located at 57 East 11th Street, 4th Floor (between Broadway and University.

METRO to Host Care and Identification of Photographic Materials workshop in September

Librarians and archivists working on photo digitization projects might be particularly interested in attending our upcoming Care and Identification of Photographic Materials workshop with Gawain Weaver on September 27-30. This 4-day workshop is an introduction to the history, identification, and preservation of photographic materials. Participants will acquire hands-on identification skills and learn practical photograph preservation techniques. Using handheld 30x microscopes and a large set of photographic and photomechanical samples, they will learn how a variety of processes were created, why they look the way they do, and how they deteriorate.

Read more about the workshop and registration details here: http://bit.ly/9KBucm. NOTE: To date, there are only 7 remaining seats for this workshop.

Digital Collection Spotlight:
Manuscripts Relating to Slavery at New-York Historical Society

Pharos at Alexandria (1810)Each month we take a moment to share digital collections created by METRO members. This month we look at a project funded, in part, with funds from METRO through the New York State Regional Bibliographic Databases Program.

The site offers access to fourteen of the New-York Historical Society's most important collections of source materials documenting the history of slavery in the United States, the Atlantic slave trade and the abolitionist movement. The collection includes account books and ship manifests documenting the financial aspects of the slave trade; legal papers such as birth certificates and deeds of manumission; and political works and polemics. The materials range from writings by the abolitionists Granville Sharp, Lysander Spooner and Charles Sumner to the diary of a plantation manager and overseer of slaves in Cuba, Joseph Goodwin, and that of a former slave in Fishkill, New York, James F. Brown. The collection also provides access to the archives of abolitionist organizations such as the New-York Manumission Society and the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, as well as the records of the African Free School, which document the education of free blacks in early nineteenth-century New York. With nearly 12,000 pages of text dating from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, this collection constitutes a rich archive of primary source materials on the history of slavery, the slave trade, and the abolitionist movement. View the collection here:http://bit.ly/cBSVKz.

Submit your library's collections and view others at digitalMETRO, an online directory of digital collections created and maintained by METRO libraries. Recommend a collection for the spotlight by emailing jkucsma@metro.org.

Digitization and Emerging Tech Workshops and Events

Fall 2010:

In just a few weeks, METRO will announce a slate of Fall classes, webinars, and other professional development opportunities. Please stay tuned to our website,subscribe to the techMETRO blog, or follow us on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news.

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