Collections and Projects

From UA Libraries Digital Services Planning and Documentation

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.

Search homepage

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.

Project documentation

Digital content

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 3d files from method one are encoded in x3dom for delivery online, and can be viewed online at the following link

See the 3D files from round one

The 3d files from method two are in .WRL format and can be found in the following .zip package. Meshlab is an excellent freeware program for viewing these types of 3d files.

Example .WRL files from method two

Example of file produced for 3d printing

Source code

Daxelject ruby source code and environment

Lua code for the CHDK camera component

Instructions for using the 3d capture processes


3d printer files for construction of the capture apparatus. these file can be printed and used to build the apparatus

Bracket .STL files

Read blog entries on the project

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.