Digital Library Blog

A portion of the article accompany the William Smith Map in Turun Sanomat newspaper

The William Smith Map in a Finnish Newspaper

December 2, 2015
by G. Salim Mohammed

In today's mail, the newspaper arrived. It wasn't the San Francisco Chronicle on the San Jose Mercury News though. It was a copy of the Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat, published in Turku, Finland. It wasn't until I turned to page 15 that I recognized something - a reproduction of the 1815 William Smith Map that we had scanned. William Smith published a map of Geology of what is now a good part of the UK, and earlier this year, we, along with the British Geological Society, celebrated 200 years since its publication. The map and article, all in Finnish of course, presumeably talks about the story of the man and how William Smith single-handedly authored and published this map. The newspaper used our scan both in the paper version and also in their online version. 

Ōmi Kuni-ezu 近江國絵圖 Japanese Tax Map, 1837

Adventures in oversized imaging: digitizing the Ōmi Kuni-ezu 近江國絵圖 Japanese Tax Map from 1837

November 17, 2015
by Deardra Fuzzell

By Deardra Fuzzell and Wayne Vanderkuil
A historic manuscript map and a gem of the Stanford Library Map Collection, the Ōmi Kuni-ezu 近江國絵圖 Japanese Tax Map from 1837 is hand drawn and painted in the round. This map is designed to be displayed on the floor with the viewer standing in its center. From this central vantage point, the map may be read with ease from any direction. As this display and viewing method is no longer possible for a map fast approaching its 200th birthday, Stanford has recently digitized this item to enable access for research, teaching and learning as well as preservation of the original object.

This the largest and most difficult oversized map Stanford has digitized thus far.
See how the Map Program went about imaging this unique item.

Update on Spotlight: The Stanford University Libraries exhibits platform

November 3, 2015
by Gary Geisler

It’s been more than a year since we announced the completion of the first phase of development of Spotlight, an innovative solution that enables libraries and other cultural heritage institutions to build high-quality online exhibits from content in their digital collections. Spotlight was built to make it easier for library curators, as well as faculty or students to create customized, feature-rich and searchable websites from the vast digital collections held by the Stanford University Libraries.  The initial phase of development culminated in the first production exhibit built with Spotlight, Maps of Africa: An Online Exhibit. This online collection site was built primarily by SUL's Digital and Rare Maps Librarian, G. Salim Mohammed, with only minimal help from lbrary technical staff.

Graduation cap

SDR Deposit of the Week: Celebrating the honors theses

October 15, 2015
by Hannah Frost

Use of the Stanford Digital Repository for archiving student honors theses continues to grow. At the end of the spring 2015 quarter, a total of 141 new items were deposited by students in 10 collections. Over the summer, these items were systematically indexed to SearchWorks and are now available for discovery and access. Some of the first users of this content in fact are the Stanford Class of 2016 honors students who are just now starting to plan their own theses projects to be deposited next spring. The seniors refer to the previously deposited works to familiarize themselves with the finished published product, the deposit process, and key issues to consider, such as licensing and embargo.

Rock fractures

SDR Deposit of the Week: Geology research will stand the test of time

October 12, 2015
by Amy E. Hodge

Faculty retire, projects end, and the outputs of important research languish on forgotten hard drives and servers. It happens all the time. But retiring Professors Atilla Aydin and David Pollard wanted to be sure it didn't happen to them. For 25 years they co-directed the Stanford Rock Fracture Project (RFP) in the Geology and Environmental Sciences Department, but they were concerned about the long-term availability of the research outputs of that project once they retired. 

Until they found out about the Stanford Digital Repository (SDR).

Close up of Studer 807 open reel tape machine heads

Training day at the Stanford Media Preservation Lab

September 14, 2015
by Nathan Coy

There are countless challenges in preserving obsolete media from breadth of formats to lack of documentation at the time of creation.  With the history of recorded sound now spanning over one hundred years wide range of technologies utilized in this span, challenges abound for any individual working to capture the range of media in need of preservation.  To accomplish this feat constant engagement is required to further understand the media, the way media is degrading, and best practices for preserving historic recordings that range from cylinders to digital multi-track recording sessions. 

logo of the Society of American Archivists

Recap of web archiving at SAA Annual Meeting

September 3, 2015
by Nicholas Taylor

"What does it take to archive a linear foot of the Web?," Anna Perricci posed rhetorically to our web archiving metrics breakout discussion group two weeks ago. I don't yet have a good answer for what the question's getting at, but I was gratified by the level of interest and engagement in web archiving as archiving at the just-concluded Society of American Archivists (SAA) Annual Meeting and inaugurally coscheduled Archive-It Partner Meeting.

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