Thursday, September 25, 2008

Digital Collections and Library Resources

Here are some links and references about libraries, digital archives, and software designed to store and share collections data. There is an immense amount of information about these topics, and this is just a sample of things I found that look promising for our county history project.

Case Studies: Library Archives and Web Sites

  • Open Source Digital Image Management Took Us from Raging Rivers to Quiet Waters. This is a case study of a library with a fast-growing digital image collection. They were trapped between the under-powered proprietary database suite they'd been using and a pending university-wide move to a large, complex database system. As an interim measure, they adopted a MySQL database, and were very pleased with the results.
  • Library Success: A Best Practices Wiki: created to be a one-stop shop for great ideas and information for all types of librarians. All over the world, librarians are developing successful programs and doing innovative things with technology that no one outside of their library knows about. There are lots of great blogs out there sharing information about the profession, but there is no one place where all of this information is collected and organized. That's what we're trying to do. Includes a section on Digitization, which points to a long pdf on local history, Local History in E-Books and on the Web : One library's experience as example and model by Don Litzer and Andy Barnett. (from the Spring 2004 Reference and Users Services Quarterly). A peer reviewed article analyzing the value and impact of digitized local historical documents.
  • About ACVA: About the Project--Atlantic Canada Virtual Archives. Another case study, including nuts and bolts details about file types, formats, programs used.

Software Tools for Libraries

  • Digital Library Construction Tools: Software from The British Columbia Digital Library. Definitive list of links with brief descriptions.
  • Archon: The Simple Archival Information System. Hardly a simple system, Archon was developed at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne, and is open source and free. Archon is a web-based tool for archivists and manuscript curators. It automatically publishes archival descriptive information and digital archival objects to a user-friendly website. With Archon, there is no need to encode a finding aid, input a catalog record, or program a stylesheet. Archon's powerful scripts will automatically make everything in the system searchable and browseable on your repository's website! Archon will simplify your workflow and save you time. Once you've input or edited information using some simple web forms, Archon automatically uploads the files, publishes the website, and generates EAD and MARC records.
  • DLXS: Digital Library Extension Service. This is the software used by the University of West Virginia Library's Archives. Developed by the University of Michigan, DLXS has a free, "lite" version and a supported, for-pay version for "heavy-duty use."
  • The Fedora Project: An Open-source Digital Object Repository Management System. This is the original publication of the Fedora project, describing it to other informatics specialists. Fedora is scalable for large, complex digital collections. The Library of Congress uses it, but smaller projects, like online encyclopedias of limited scope find it usable as well. For those interested in using Fedora, Fedora Commons provides sustainable technologies to create, manage, publish, share and preserve digital content as a basis for intellectual, organizational, scientific and cultural heritage by bringing two communities together. There's an active support community, quick download directions, and many users' online presentations are available for examination.
  • Omeka is a web platform for publishing collections and exhibitions online. Designed for cultural institutions, enthusiasts, and educators, Omeka is easy to install and modify and facilitates community-building around collections and exhibits. Omeka is free and open source. System requirements include: Linux operating system; Apache server (with mod_rewrite enabled); Mysql 5.0 or greater; PHP 5.2.x or greater; ImageMagick
  • How To Set Up A Debian Linux Database Server Using MySQL. Step by step directions from aboutDebian.com--If you decide this is what you want to do, this page tells you exactly how to set up MySQL.
  • How to install MySQL on Ubuntu/Debian. Another approach to installing MySQL on Linux.
  • The phpMyAdmin Project: phpMyAdmin is a tool written in PHP intended to handle the administration of MySQL over the Web. Currently it can create and drop databases, create/drop/alter tables, delete/edit/add fields, execute any SQL statement, manage keys on fields. This is the download and official documentation site.
  • Organize Your Images in a MySQL Database- Tips for creation of a MySQL database with images. This article is written for individuals wanting to organize personal collections of digital images, but the basic information is applicable for any project.
  • Managing websites using Unix--A CVS tutorial. Making and managing a Web site repository using command-line programs and shell scripts. Must try this!

Library Weblogs Addressing Digital Collections and Web Presence

1 comment:

Benay said...

Wow, found this very interesting. Who knew there were so many variations for digital cataloging. Thanks for the website links! This will aid me in my search.