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Last week Stanford open sourced the code responsible for the Nearby on Shelf feature in SearchWorks as the Blacklight Browse Nearby gem.  This feature has been highly sought after by various Blacklight institutions to be contributed back to the community.  In keeping with the spirit of the vibrant open source community around Blacklight, Stanford has contributed the development effort to get this codebase available for use and contribution by other Blacklight implementers.

The release of this software was the culmination of a re-write of the SearchWorks code making it an installable package, more generalizable, and suitable in an open source context.  Due to that fact, the end product is much more generic that SearchWorks'  version (as you can see in the side-by-side screenshots below with SearchWorks being on the right) however it is infinitely more customizable.

The Stanford University Libraries recently launched a redesign of its main library website at http://library.stanford.edu.  This is a Drupal 7-based site hosted on Pantheon.

In the future we hope to document more thoroughly the technical approaches we took on several bits of the site, but for now I'll summarize a few of the features this community might be interested with a brief summary of the technical approach taken for each. In no particular order:

What's the first name you think of when considering the development of electronic music? Edgard Varèse? John Cage? Karlheinz Stockhausen? Now how about computer music? Max Mathews should be at the top of your list. While at Bell Laboratories in 1957, Mathews wrote the program MUSIC, ushering in an era of digital synthesis and composition. MUSIC went through many iterations, but its lasting influence can be seen in contemporary programs such as Max/MSP, itself named after the late pioneer.

Mathews' connection to Stanford is through the Department of Music and the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics. Named a Professor of Music (Research) in 1985, Mathews continued pursuing digital sound synthesis techniques until his death on April 21, 2011. Although his recorded output is small, his contribution to the genre is no less important; he rightfully stands side by side with more prominent names on this illustrious compilation featuring the "early gurus of electronic music".  

His archives, which includes papers, digital files, video, and audio recordings, was acquired by University Archives earlier this year by way of Jerry McBride, Head Librarian of the Music Library. Once the finding aid was complete, the Stanford Media Preservation Lab took on the reformatting duties for the media portion. Part of the work will be completed in our lab over the coming month, while the rest will be outsourced to a vendor

All of the digital files will be available to the world in the not too distant future. Until then, here's a sample of what to expect.

Originally posted in ReMix: The Stanford University Libraries Newsletter

Sixteen volumes selected from among the Libraries’ “beautiful books” were recently added – approximately 1,400 images in all – to the Stanford Digital Repository, where anyone can
now view Renaissance artistic visions of the fall of Troy, see the universe as Galileo showed it to hiscontemporaries, hear Dr. Johnson pitching his idea for the first serious English dictionary, and admire one of the last magnificent examples of the golden age of English fine printing just before WWII. As with all of Stanford’s rare and antiquarian books, the printed originals of these digitized volumes are cataloged inSearchWorks and can be requested for viewing in the Special Collections reading room. Now, via each item’s PURL (persistent uniform resource locator, which ensures that these materials are available from a single URL over the long term), researchers can work with digital as well as original printed editions. Scholars have discovered, though, that each has its own advantages and disadvantages, and often find it useful to consult both in their work.

High-volume book scanning lab

In July, approximately 300,000 images representing nearly 800 items were accessioned into the Stanford Digital Repository (SDR).  These materials include ~700 books from the Stephen J Gould Rare Books collection, roughly 150 Japanese maps, and the Montana Gothic publication.

Stephen J Gould Rare books

Stephen Jay Gould was a renowned evolutionary biologist, paleontologist, historian of science, educator, popular science author, polymath, and an enthusiastic collector. This project, focused on digitizing Gould's extensive holdings of rare books, is part of the Stephen Jay Gould Papers project that enables research and educational communities to discover and access this unique collection of materials. Books digitized under this project are also being sent to Google and will be visible in the Google Book Search.  

Example image: http://purl.stanford.edu/vh879sb9999
Added to SDR: 693 volumes, consisting of over 288,000 scanned pages
Content Contact: John Mustain

The Digital Production Group’s Map Scanning Lab has successfully completed the digitization of 500 antiquarian sheet maps depicting California as an island. 

http://purl.stanford.edu/sp153gq7179

Forensic imaging station used in Forensic/Born Digital Lab

Glynn Edwards, Peter Chan and Michael Olson from Special Collections and Digital Library Systems and Services will be hosting colleagues from the Bodleian Library, Oxford this August.  Our colleagues from the Bodleian will be spending a day and half at Stanford to learn more about how we are describing born digital archival materials.

In an important collaboration this month, Stanford Media Preservation Lab and the Department of Special Collections & University Archives are participating in the California Audiovisual Preservation Project, a pioneering statewide initiative, for a third round in a row. The CAVPP is providing funds to reformat film and video selections from SULAIR’s collections, including newly resurrected video from the Stanford Prison Experiment and the Stanford University Film Collection. These items will be sent to an outside vendor with the equipment necessary to capture preservation-quality digital files from these unique materials in obsolete formats. The digitized content will be preserved in the Stanford Digital Repository and made broadly available to the public through the California Light and Sound collection at the Internet Archive.

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