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Julie Sweetkind Singer, with maps depicting California as an Island.

Listen to Julie Sweetkind-Singer talk about the Branner Earth Sciences Library, her passion for maps and the 'California as an Island' collection on KZSU’s Peninsula Report

The Revs Digital Library is a project within the Digital Library Systems and Services group whose goal is to ensure access and preservation of materials from the Revs Institute and the Revs Program at Stanford.

The Revs Institute in Naples, Florida is an independent educational organization that advances the scholarly study of automotive history.  The Institute houses a library with over a million items, including a large and varied collection of automotive materials such as images, research books, ephemera, and specialized documents.

The Revs Program at Stanford was established to promote a new trans-disciplinary field connecting the past, present and future of the automobile. The program aims to put the automobile at the center of the university and raise the quality of academic discourse at Stanford and beyond.  The program is now producing research data and generating course materials. 

Working with Pixel Acuity, the Revs Institute is currently digitizing their collection of images using specialized digital cameras.  Each slide, negative or print is cleaned and imaged at a high resolution.  The images and associated metadata are collected and transferred to Stanford, where they are being accessioned into the Stanford Digital Repository (SDR) using an automated pipeline. 

The automated pipeline is built using the Ruby programming language and relies on a "robot" framework, also developed at Stanford, for queing up and executing specific jobs in various workflows.  For example, in order to be accessioned, each image must be analyzed to ensure its integrity has not been compromised in transit (by computing MD5 checksums), web friendly derivative images need to be created (JP2), images need to be moved to the digital "stacks" and preservation core, and so on.  A "robot" is designed for each specific task, and tasks are organized into ordered workflows, with appropriate dependencies.  Queues are established to automatically move objects through the pipeline, wtih additional servers running copies of the robots added as needed to maintain throughput.

The Revs Digital Library, currently under development, will ensure that all of the accessioned materials from the Revs Institute, as well as the original research from the Revs Program, are indexed, preserved and made available to library patrons, researchers and the general public.  By digitizing materials and making them discoverable, content that was once available to a select few becomes useful and discoverable for a wide range of researchers. The Revs Digital Library is being built on top of the Stanford Digital Repository to provide a web based platform for discovery of automotive research and images.  The Digital Library is developed in Ruby on Rails using open source technologies, including Blacklight, Hydra, and Fedora Commons and will allow for metadata editing, provide community features, and tools for researchers to further utilize the data.

As of October 4, nearly 68,000 images from the Revs Institute's collections have been digitized and staged on Stanford Library servers, with 1000 images accessionined into SDR.  By the end of 2012, we expect to have all 68,000 images accessioned, with a digital library website for browsing and viewing the materials.

Digital Production Group takes great pride and pleasure in our role supporting the Library's many beautiful and informative exhibitions. The current exhibition is just that, displaying an array of startlingly colorful and detailed medieval manuscripts from the University's collection.

Please read more below, cross-posted from Special Collections.  See also the recent article in the Stanford University News, Medieval exhibition spotlights Stanford Libraries' manuscript collection.

Scripting the Sacred: Medieval Latin Manuscripts

Scripting the Sacred, part one of a two-part exhibition of Western European manuscripts and fragments, showcases the medieval experience of reading. The exhibition will open Monday, September 17, in the Peterson Gallery and Munger Rotunda of Green Library, and continue through January 6, 2013.

Studying these texts involved not only the absorption of knowledge, but also practices of interpretation, identification, and devotion. By focusing on the exercise of reading, this exhibition explores "scripting" in diverse forms: scribal activity, scripted performances, and inscribed divine things (res divinae).

Throughout the Middle Ages, the Bible remained the paradigmatic text for reading and studying. The exhibited biblical items highlight different preferences pertaining to legibility. Indeed, scribes designed manuscripts to guide, assist, and sometimes challenge readers, as medieval versions of biblical commentary and patristic works exemplify. The liturgical genres on display contain written and visual markers that instruct readers in the proper performance of the Mass, music, and specific feast days. The text portion of the liturgy helped stage the clergy's ceremonial duties. Liturgical fragments with musical notation assisted ritual actors in the memorization of stylized speech. Both components show how customized manuscripts promoted reading aloud. Miniature prayer books and books of hours demonstrate a late medieval trend toward privatized and personalized lay devotion.

Cathy Aster, Michael Olson and Sarah Sussman (SUL Curator of French and Italian) were invited by ATS colleague Nicole Coleman to a Stanford Digital Humanities & Design workshop, "Early Modern Times & Networks" where they presented a summary of the Bassi-Veratti project on 24 August 2012.  They led a discussion focused on the Encoded Archival Description (EAD) XML encoding of the finding aid to facilitate discovery of digitized content in the web delivery environment being built by DLSS engineers, scheduled for release in March 2013.  The session was well-attended by several post-doctoral students, including a group from Milan.  The Milan team shared their current research project, consisting of a customizable, online data visualization environment with numerous API's.  The SUL and Humanities workshop teams discussed the challenges of normalizing and interpreting heterogeneous metadata sources and schemas for scholarly research purposes.

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.

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

The latest version of the Stanford University Libraries and Academic Information Resources Quality Assurance Image Defects page is now “live” and made freely available to the cultural heritage and library communities.

This is a long-awaited tool that serves a range of production, development, and training needs. It includes sample images of common (and uncommon) defects, causes/sources, and potential remedies.

https://lib.stanford.edu/digital-production-services/quality-assurance-image-defects

This page compliments the outstanding and hugely popular AV Artifact site that was produced by our own Stanford Media Preservation Lab team.

http://preservation.bavc.org/artifactatlas/index.php/Table_of_Contents

Future work on the Image Defects page will include contributions from Imaging Scientist Don Williams, and content from the Library of Congress and Federal Agencies Digitization Guidelines Initiative.

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