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Stanford bibliographers have long needed a tool to collect, preserve and give access to born-digital documents and publications that fall within scope of their collecting areas. For the last several years, we have been using a tool to collect Everyday Electronic Materials (EEMS). However, the EEMs system has some technical and workflow constraints that do not meet our growing needs.

Kris Kasianovitz and I have now begun expanding our born-digital government information collections using <a href="http://sdr.stanford.edu>Stanford Digital Repository (SDR) Online Deposit</a>. This tool allows for multi-piece files and in general has a lower barrier to use than the EEMs tool (though it still requires copyright clearance and I loved the EEMs tool because of the bookmarklet in the browser!).

While we're in the piloting phase, I was asked to post my experiences with self-deposit to date and describe a little about how we're thinking of using the tool in the government information world. Without further ado, here are 3 recent documents we've successfully uploaded to the SDR that are now available via searchworks.

1) The Negro family, the case for national action AKA the Moynihan Report. This document came to me from a recent New Yorker article "Don’t Be Like That: Does black culture need to be reformed?" by Kelefa Sanneh. The article, a book review of a new anthology called “The Cultural Matrix: Understanding Black Youth,” contextualized the sociology and cultural history of being black in America, describing in detail the ground-breaking work of Daniel Patrick Moynihan, trained as a sociologist and well known later as the liberal Senator from NY. As Sannah notes, the Moynihan Report -- which was originally printed in a run of 100 with 99 of them locked in a vault -- was leaked to the press causing the Johnson administration to release the entire document. Moynihan's overarching theme was “the deterioration of the Negro family” and he called for a national program to “strengthen the Negro family.”

2) Annual Report of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. This one started out as a research consultation. A student wanted to analyze this report over the 100+ years that it's been published. She found that the Immigration and Naturalization Service had digitized their historic run, but for some reason had taken the link down from their site and not restored it for over 2 weeks. I contacted INS and got the digitized documents restored, then downloaded them, deposited them in SDR and had the purl added to our bibliographic record. The added benefit to collecting this digital annual report is that it makes it easier for future users to access this important annual report chock full of important statistics -- our paper collection is shelved in several different areas of the US documents collection as INS has shifted around over the years (causing its call# to change over time) among different agencies from Treasury (call# T21.1:) to Labor (call# L3.1: and L6.1:) to Justice (call# J21.1:) to Homeland Security (call# HS4.200).

3) Documents from the Ferguson Grand Jury. Ferguson has been in the news over the last year because of the fatal shooting of African American youth Michael brown by police officer Darren Wilson and the ensuing protests it sparked. This important historic series of 105 Missouri state documents from the Grand Jury were released via Freedom of Information requests from CNN. Some of our government information colleagues around the country wondered online how to collect and preserve these documents for posterity and future researchers. Luckily, SUL is one library able to collect and preserve historically important born-digital government documents.

The overwhelming majority of state, local, US and international government documents these days are born-digital. Kris and I continue to look for ways to maintain and expand SUL's documents collections. Self-deposit will no doubt be one strategy among several (including Web archiving, LOCKSS and future initiatives) as we serve the information needs of current and future Stanford faculty, students and researchers.

Offshore platform

Construction of marine facilities is an expensive endeavor, with platforms built in deep waters costing in the billions of dollars. That makes it important to do it right the first time. Research at the John A. Blume Center for Earthquake Engineering has helped to advance the offshore industry's knowledge of how to build these structures more reliably.

Student theses and research reports from visiting scholars in the Reliability of Marine Structures (RMS) Program are now preserved and available through the Stanford Digital Repository.

Fragment of Text of Canon Law dealing with statues in church

Eight new digital collections are now available in SearchWorks. These collections take advantage of SearchWorks' ability to provide users with rich discovery and access capabilities for finding and working with digital collection content.

Medieval fragments study collection, 11th-16th cent

Abstract: Primarily fragments, these specimens were acquired to demonstrate the development of writing in the western world. A variety of scripts are represented, from Carolingian minuscule to the humanistic hands and the "cancelleresca."

Collection contact: Benjamin Albritton

Logo for the Graduate School of Education

People come from all over the world to study international comparative education at Stanford's Graduate School of Education and now their masters monographs are being loaded into the Stanford Digital Repository (SDR). These are being added as we receive permission and PDFs.

Digging Deeper Logo

In January, Stanford launched Digging Deeper: Making Manuscripts, an online learning experience devoted to the technologies involved in creating and interpreting medieval manuscripts. We're off to a roaring start with thousands of enrolled participants across more than 90 countries (and it's not too late to sign up!).  The creation of the course has been a truly collaborative experience: Stanford University faculty and library staff have worked closely with counterparts at Cambridge University, Stanford Academic Technology Specialists, graduate students, and a team from Stanford's Office of the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning to produce a suite of learning materials that have become much richer than any of us envisaged at the beginning of the process in 2013!

Bird Rock weather station

Weather is often a hot topic for discussion (no pun intended!), even here in the usually moderate Bay Area where thoughts on the current drought are frequently proffered. But our discussions of the weather would be baseless if it weren't for weather data and our ability to track weather changes over time.

Hopkins Marine Station in Pacific Grove has been tracking the weather in their neck of the woods for years. Detailed data from this weather monitoring project is now available online via the Stanford Digital Repository in the Hopkins Marine Station collection.

Revs Digital Library Site Home Page

The Revs Digital Library website contains nearly 200,000 images of automotive history (as of January 2015). As with other digital library sites, users can search and browse to find content that interests them.  

A search engine, however, is only as good as the data being searched on.  Since the website will eventually have over a million images, browsing to find the images you want is not a great option and good information about the images becomes critical. Interested in PorschesChevy's from the 1960s?  Mario Andretti, but only when he drove in the Indy 500?  All of these wonderful ways to find materials are dependent on having metadata, or information about the images.

logo of the International Internet Preservation Consortium

Once each year, the international web archiving community represented by the International Internet Preservation Consortium meets for a week-long "General Assembly". As alluded to in my recap of the 2014 meeting, I'm pleased to belatedly announce that Stanford University is the confirmed host for the 2015 IIPC General Assembly as well as more promptly announce that registration is now open!

Prospective attendees may register for 1-3 segments making up the week-long event:

  • Monday, April 27th, is the Open Conference day. Registration is open to anyone, as the intended audience — researchers, web professionals, digital humanists, digital library specialists, and other interested parties — is broadest. The agenda hasn't been finalized yet but tentatively includes talks on large-scale, longitudinal analyses of web data; insights and differences in personal-scale web content preservation; and experimentation with derivative web archive datasets.
  • Tuesday, April 28th, is the Open Workshops day. Registration is again open to anyone, though the program has a slightly more web archiving community-centric focus. The agenda currently features, in parallel, a file formats hackathon and sessions on web archive information retrieval, content analysis, and promising new tools.
  • Wednesday through Friday, April 29th to May 1st, are IIPC working days. Registration is open to staff of IIPC member institutions only. These days will feature tracks for each of the working groups and sessions proposed by IIPC members focused on collaborative projects and exchange of best practices.

I encourage anyone interested in a survey of the work happening in the field to sign up for one or both of the "open" days. If you belong to an IIPC member institution (Stanford University employees are eligible) and are currently or prospectively engaged in web archiving on an ongoing basis, you may also want to consider the IIPC days.

The General Assembly location rotates every year, typically between Europe, North America, and Oceania, so this is an infrequent opportunity for nearby interested individuals and institutions to plug in. There's also an attendee cap, so please register sooner as versus later, if you plan to attend.

We hope to see you there!

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