Collections and Projects
Acumen Digital Library System
At the University of Alabama, we have developed a simple, robust digital library system. The new system is free, easy to set up and administer, imposes no new work flows or skill set requirements on archivists, bypasses the need to create extra metadata wrappers, works in all major browsers, runs on the most common web server stack, and automatically creates and updates its own index database.
Now in version 3.0, Acumen features an updated asset viewer and allows for tagging and transcription of materials within the interface.
NHPRC Grant Project: Digitizing the S. D. Cabaniss Papers
The grant "Digitizing the S.D. Cabaniss Papers", part of the "Digitizing Historical Records" effort by NHPRC, was funded for 14 months. The intent was to provide online access to the content in a low-cost, scalable model which simulates online the experience of the patron in the reading room. That is, the finding aid provides the descriptive information about the content, and from the finding aid, content in each series is linked in the order found in each file and box.
We are currently using a version of this workflow to digitize and present the Pauline Jones Gandrud Papers, an extensive collection of genealogy research.
3D Capture Project
Jeremiah has received two UA Libraries Innovation Grants to work on a process that uses basic capture equipment plus some homegrown software to collect relief data from archival objects. The aim of the process is to be able to create 3D files used in web display as well as 3D printing.
During round one, the process used brightness values to determine height. This involved use of a specialized lighting rig (designed by Jeremiah), Adobe Photoshop, and a Ruby program (also devised by Jeremiah). During round two, issues with this process were addressed by using a new workflow, based on using focus to determine height. It required a different digital camera but no lighting rig, and he was able to manipulate the images with a Ruby program exclusively.
The second round is now in progress, nearing completion.
Video Digitization Outsourcing
In order to leverage expertise available elsewhere, we will be piloting projects in video digitization outsourcing. To ensure this is a successful venture, we have researched the current best practices and guidelines in the field, and analyzed the pros and cons of different encodings and wrappers. We have not only gathered specifications, but drafts for RFPs and procedures used elsewhere for vendor management and quality control. More information on our developing policies can be found in Video Digitization.