Digital Library Blog

A Digital Library site that puts users in the driver's seat

January 8, 2015
by Peter Alexander Mangiafico

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.

Four new digital collections added to SearchWorks

December 19, 2014
by Laura Wilsey

Four 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.

Bucky Conversations: Conversations on the Life and Work of an Enigmatic Genius, 2002-2003 - Collection contact: Glynn Edwards

Abstract: In 2002, to celebrate the acquisition of the Fuller archive, the Stanford University Libraries and the Stanford Humanities Laboratory launched a series of Conversations on R. Buckminster Fuller, alias "Bucky, " inventor of the Dymaxion car, the Dymaxion Dwelling Unit, and the geodesic dome, author of Utopia or Oblivion, 4D Timelock, Synergetics, Tetrascroll and Critical Path. The series consists of filmed interviews with Fuller's key collaborators, interlocutors and contemporaries, and is designed to enhance critical understanding of this enigmatic polymath.

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Melissa and Stevie receive a holiday greeting

December 18, 2014
by Nathan Coy

A wide range of sound recordings come to SMPL for digitization. Recently two disc recordings from the Archive of Recorded Sound’s Non-Commercial disc collection (ARS 0033) appeared in our queue: 6” duo disc blanks likely dating from the late 1940’s into the early 1950’s with recordings on one side. The discs appear to be have been recorded by a service called Santa Gram that sold semi-custom recorded greetings from Santa to children. 

Happy Anniversary SDR!

December 13 is a momentous date in the history of the Stanford Digital Repository. It's the date in 2012 when the very first research data item was deposited in the SDR through our online deposit application. Which makes Dec. 13, 2014, the second anniversary of this historic occasion!

Who was our first depositor, how did he find us, and what did he deposit? 

Bridget Whearty and Astrid Smith in the digitization lab

Making a digital medieval manuscript

As the CLIR postdoctoral fellow in Data Curation for Medieval Studies at Stanford I work primarily with data about large collections of digitized manuscripts and fragments. For example, I have helped to make our teaching collections more easily discoverable in Searchworks. I've also been bringing together partner institutions' descriptive metadata to feed a specialized manuscript search environment. 

In practice, I write code to transform batches of 70, 300, 500, or 1000+ manuscripts at a time: I've gotten very comfortable thinking of medieval manuscripts in the tens, hundreds, and even thousands. But the truth is that these large batches of digital-medieval manuscripts I curate are built of unique, single objects. Single objects that, just like the physical objects they grow from, are made by individual people, in particular environments, under specific institutional, financial, and social pressures. 

In order to better understand the process that leads to the creation of a digital-medieval book, I recently followed the digitization of a fifteenth-century book of hours, Stanford University Libraries, M0379, from the request for digitization, through the slow hard work of taking the images and hours of post-production labor, to its arrival in Stanford Digital Repository (SDR). 

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