Tag Archive for 'digitization'

CCC progress update: two new digital collections from Duke and NCSU

The Triangle Research Libraries Network’s collaborative large-scale digitization project, CCC, has completed digitization of two new collections from NCSU and Duke. These collections are now freely available online through the collections’ finding aids.

The first series of Duke’s Women-In-Action For the Prevention of Violence and its Causes, Inc. (WIAPVC) Records has been digitized. WIAPVC was an interracial community organization dedicated to service outreach in the Durham community that began in 1968. Some of the issues addressed by the group included working towards peaceful school integration in the city of Durham, creating programs for disadvantaged youth, and aiding racial reconciliation in the South. In addition to a fantastic series of photographs from WIAPVC meetings and events, the collection features reports on their many programs and local newspaper clippings related to the work of founder Elna Spaulding and WIAPVC’s other members.

The second series of NCSU’s North Carolina Extension and Community Association Records has also been digitized and is freely available online. The North Carolina Extension and Community Association was formed by local home demonstration clubs that promoted continuing education in home economics and related subjects throughout their communities. Digitized content includes the majority of the NCECA’s Administrative Records series, a robust collection of material such as extension agent packets (used as “field guides” by personnel), agendas and notes from agriculture and home economics meetings as far back as 1916, and yearbooks documenting the activities of the organization between 1932 and 1995. Also of interest are the records from the African American component of the organization established on a statewide level in 1940, which was known as the “State Federation of Negro Home Demonstration Clubs.” In 1966 the two associations were integrated and renamed the North Carolina Extension Homemakers Association, which continues to operate today.

Producing the “Freedom’s Teacher” Enhanced E-Book

Many thanks to our publishing colleagues who sent positive comments and thoughtful questions in response to our announcement of the enhanced e-book version of Freedom’s Teacher:  The Life of Septima Clark by Katherine Mellen Charron.  In this blog post, I’d like to review briefly some of the aspects of the enhanced e-book editorial and production process that were new to us.  (This overview is cross-posted on the Association of American University Presses Digital Digest blog.)

Author’s voice, multiplied.  At our invitation, the author provided extended captions for 19 of the enhancements, or 20% of the total.  The author’s voice now appears in the book in three layers: (1) in the audio, in the role of interviewer; (2) in the finished biographical narrative; (3) in the extended captions, which might be said to mediate between the first two.  She is slightly embarrassed when she hears her own voice in the audio; nevertheless, she is interested in the ways in which the enhanced e-book reveals the historian’s research process to readers, especially students of history.  One enhancement is a map, based on her notes from reviewing the 1910 census, on which she has marked the race of Clark’s neighbors in Charleston.  The map connects the raw census data with the finished narrative, in which the author states that Clark’s was a mixed-race neighborhood.  We toyed with a possible headline, “Historian at Work,” which we did not include but which might describe all of the enhancements.

Digitization.  Ideally the author’s materials would become a digital archive at a collaborating institution during production of the book.  However, in this demonstration project, the author had not yet decided where to donate her research materials, including 13 taped interviews.  Making do with the situation, we borrowed her stack of cassette tapes and digitized them in the media lab at UNC’s undergraduate library.  This took about 20 hours of staff time, spread over a couple of weeks, that we were able to justify under the umbrella of the Publishing the Long Civil Rights Movement project.

Publisher-archive partnership.  Septima Clark’s papers are housed at the Avery Center for African American Research and Culture at the College of Charleston.  Recognizing the potential of the enhanced e-book to bring  the Center’s collections to the attention of a wider audience, the archivists granted permission for use of the materials that the author had identified and, with the support of the college’s Lowcountry Digital Library, digitized them.  The Center’s archivists were enthusiastic partners and even rediscovered in their holdings an interview with Clark that the author had not previously heard.  The collaboration is formally acknowledged on the title page of the enhanced e-book, and links to the Center’s website are included in the captions.

Technology.  The technology that we used was fairly simple; new standards from Barnes & Noble and Amazon allowed us to avoid having to use or write special software.  Starting with an Epub file, we inserted outbound links in the form of DOIs and URLs.  We inserted new content in an appendix and created internal navigation via HTML links inserted by hand; the audio content was in MP3 form.

Audio excerpts.  Cutting the excerpts from the long interviews took only a few hours.  However, choosing and marking the excerpts to be cut took another several hours.  We did it the old-fashioned way, by reviewing transcripts together with the author, who bracketed chosen passages with a pencil.  Once all the MP3 audio files were included in the Epub file, some work had to be done to even out the sound volume.  The very best interview with Clark is, ironically, the one with the most ambient noise; perhaps more experienced sound engineers could have removed some of it.

Ellipsis.  In a couple of cases, the transcripts of interview excerpts included ellipsis points where the author had asked that we skip a digression in the conversation.   However, at first the digitally spliced-together audio did not indicate an ellipsis; this is a minor point, but it seemed to cross a line of scholarly integrity.  Playing around with “Garage Band,” a program that comes automatically loaded into a Mac laptop, we devised a swift clock-ticking sound to indicate the ellipsis.  We hope that people will know instinctively what it is when they hear it. Continue reading ‘Producing the “Freedom’s Teacher” Enhanced E-Book’

Digitizing the Long Civil Rights Movement in North Carolina

Six months ago, the digital production centers at UNC Chapel Hill and Duke University began scanning more than 35 archival collections related to the long civil rights movement—a substantial undertaking by the Triangle Research Libraries Network (TRLN).

Drawing on collections from Duke University, North Carolina Central University, North Carolina State University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the project, “Content, Context and Capacity: A Collaborative Large-Scale Digitization Project on the Long Civil Rights Movement in North Carolina,” was made possible by funding from the federal Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources.

The project is expected to take three years; as digitized collections are completed, they will be available online free of charge, both through Search TRLN and the collections’ finding aids on each library’s website.

To date, more than 100,000 documents have been scanned, and six collections, including the North Carolina Commission on Interracial Cooperation Records, are complete; scanning of five more collections, including the James E. Shepard Papers, the North Carolina Extension and Community Association Records, and the Women-In-Action for the Prevention of Violence and Its Causes, Inc. Durham Chapter records, 1968-1998, is already under way. The following photos illustrate the digitization process at UNC’s Louis Round Wilson Special Collections Library, where graduate assistants are hard at work scanning manuscript materials from UNC, NC State University, and NC Central University.

Graduate assistant Shea Swauger places a document onto the Zeutschel scanner.

The documents are placed under a glass window to keep them flat during the scanning process.

The Zeutschel scanner, mid-scan.

When finished, the scanned images appear on a computer.

Once the scans are complete, they’re uploaded to the server. Here, graduate assistant Allen Bell uploads the files.

Once the scans are complete, staff perform a quality check and ensure that all pages from the physical document made it into the digitized document. Here, graduate assistant Carolyn Chesarino performs this task.

After the documents have undergone a quality check, the digitized scans are uploaded to the internet and linked within the collection’s finding aid, where researchers can view them.  So far, 105,937 scans out of an estimated 400,000 have been completed.

Samantha Leonard, CCC Digital Production Manager, supervises the UNC School of Library and Information Science students, who she says “have really been the push behind our high numbers of scans and success.”

Later in the grant period, NC State will scan oversized materials, and an audio engineer will digitize the audio recordings including more than 300 oral history interviews from Duke University’s Behind the Veil: Documenting African-American Life in the Jim Crow South Records.

Click here to follow the digitization progress.

Progress Update: TRLN’s LCRM digitization project

During its first six months, the Triangle Research Libraries Network’s “Content, Context, and Capacity” grant project has scanned over 100,000 digital objects from archival collections related to the Long Civil Rights Movement. Digitization of six collections is complete, with scanning of five further collections under way. Most of the digitized content is already available online to researchers. Click here to follow digitization progress for individual collections. Click here to view a full list of the 38 collections to be digitized. Scanning is complete for the following six collections, and digital content is accessible via the links to the collection finding aids:

Floyd B. McKissick Papers (NCCU) McKissick (1922-1991) was a North Carolina attorney, businessman, and civil rights leader. The collection documents the LCRM in Durham and Soul City, a town owned and operated by African Americans, and are critical for the study of legal and economic remedies to civil rights inequities. The collection reflects McKissick’s work with the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and the NAACP, the development of Soul City, and his work with the Republican Party.

The North Carolina Commission on Interracial Cooperation Records (UNC) The NCCIC was established in 1921 as a state affiliate of the Commission on Interracial Cooperation to work toward improved race relations in the state and to alleviate injustices and change prejudiced racial attitudes. The collection consists of correspondence and financial, legal, and other materials.

Roy M. Brown Papers (UNC) Brown held various administrative positions in North Carolina state public welfare agencies, 1921-1934, and was director of the Division of Public Welfare and Social Work at UNC-Ch, 1936-1945. The collection includes correspondence with professional colleagues concerning public issues, social work training, the North Carolina Rural Rehabilitation Corporation, the North Carolina Commission on Interracial Cooperation, and the compiling of information from North Carolina counties for a history of public aid to the poor.

Samual Huntington Hobbs Papers (UNC) Hobbs (1895-1969), was a rural sociologist and member of the faculty of the University of North Carolina, 1916-1968. He was chair of the University’s Department of Rural Social Economics. His papers include correspondence, writings, materials about part-time farming, and materials about the North Carolina Rural Electrification Project.

Basil Lee Whitener Papers (Duke) Whitener was a North Carolina Congressman and U.S. Representative for the Eleventh and Tenth Districts (1957–1968). Whitener was opposed to civil rights legislation, deficit spending, foreign aid spending, and the proliferation of domestic and social programs. His papers document the rise of the New Right in North Carolina.  

Rencher Nicholas Harris Papers (Duke) Harris was an African American civic leader during the period following the Brown decision of 1954 and the Civil Rights Movement. Harris was the first African American city councilman in Durham, N.C., and the first black man to sit on the Durham County Board of Education. The collection materials relate to Harris’ work in political and educational affairs in Durham, N.C., in the 1950s-1960s as a member of the City Council and the School Board, with emphasis on school desegregation, civil rights, and race relations.

Announcing “Content, Context, and Capacity: A Collaborative Large-Scale Digitization Project on the Long Civil Rights Movement in North Carolina”

The Triangle Research Libraries Network (composed of Duke University, North Carolina Central University, North Carolina State University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill libraries) has been awarded a $150,000 grant to be used for the collaborative large-scale digitization of 40 archival and manuscript collections documenting the Long Civil Rights Movement in North Carolina. The project, entitled “Content, Context and Capacity: A Collaborative Large-Scale Digitization Project on the Long Civil Rights Movement in North Carolina” is projected to span three years, with funding renewed annually by LSTA. LSTA funds awarded by the State Library of North Carolina are made possible through funding from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources.

Each university library holds outstanding unique primary source materials that document the Long Civil Rights Movement, during which struggles for racial, social, and economic justice reshaped the cultural and political landscapes of North Carolina and America. The materials selected for digitization document grassroots activism and institutionalized efforts during the LCRM, as well as the resistance on the emerging New Right that drove and was transformed by the LCRM. To provide both the content and context requisite for archival research, each collection will be digitized in its entirety—every page of every item in every folder. The digitized collections will be available online free of charge and will be searchable both through Search TRLN (http://search.trln.org/) and the individual libraries’ websites.

The goals of the project are to promote and support educational and scholarly research uses of modern primary source materials, to provide a proof of concept for a collaborative approach to large-scale digitization, to test interinstitutional workflows, and to develop shared standards and practices for large-scale digitization among TRLN Libraries.

To learn more about the project, please visit our website: www.trln.org/ccc or contact Joyce Chapman, Project Librarian for the grant, at chapmajc at email dot unc dot edu.

Discovering DuBois

In long, long civil rights movement news, UMass Amherst is digitizing its W.E.B. DuBois papers in an ambitious project expected to wrap up this summer. The project website includes learning modules for teachers and video of Amilcar Shabbazz discussing DuBois’s significance. DuBois’s Niagara Movement sought to push a “why we can’t wait” style of advocacy for civil rights and social change, but it disbanded by 1910 and was replaced by the NAACP.

Annotating Books Online

While a new, more architecturally sound, more scalable version of our publishing prototype is being developed, the one that we demonstrated at the Digital Publishing Workshop in April is no longer available to be viewed.   It is good news for the LCRM Project that we have received some inquiries about it.  If you are curious to see similar functionality that allows commenting on books, you might take a look at the following:

–Django Book, which provides some of the technical framework for our future offering
–Yale Books Unbound, in partnership with the Institute for the Future of the Book

There are other experiments online with annotating books, but these are two of my favorites.

What appears to be different about the LCRM Project/UNC Press plans in comparison to other experiments with annotation is our emphasis on links to primary and secondary sources, including primary sources that might be provided by the author and digitized by the UNC Library or elsewhere for this purpose.

In other words, sometimes when an author approaches UNC Press with a completed book manuscript, he or she also has in hand a collection of primary sources that informed the book narrative.  Sometimes the author will ask the Press, “Do you want any of these oral history tapes and document files?”  Notwithstanding the rights issues and technological challenges, we would like to be able to say “Yes.”  With the UNC Library fast becoming a major digitization center, there is the possibility of (1) ingesting the pieces that do not reside elsewhere into the Library as a collection; (2) making them available for viewing online; and (3) linking from the online book to the digital collection. Continue reading ‘Annotating Books Online’

Civil Rights Roundup

Recent civil rights news…

The SOHP Goes Global

Seth Kotch, the digital coordinator at the Southern Oral History Program, recently led a seminar for scholars and students of oral history and literature at the University of Nairobi in Kenya.

Seth discussed the challenges of digitization and some of the possibilities and pitfalls presented by new modes of publishing, including some of those being investigated by the Publishing the Long Civil Rights Movement project. Read a bit more here …