Cross-Departmental Focus

From UA Libraries Digital Services Planning and Documentation

The Digital Planning Group is composed of Associate Deans from Collections and the Office of Library Technology, Head of Web Services, Head of Cataloging and Metadata Services, Head of Digital Services, and University Archivists. From time to time others are invited to present or to work on committees, as we draw on expertise throughout the libraries to further the Digital Services effort and maximize the use of our products.

Recaps of recent meetings are available online: Digi_Plan Recaps

The DigiPres Conversations group focuses on planning for long-term access, developing policies and procedures to see us through format changes, storage and content management issues. This group includes the University Archivist and Curator of Southern History and Life Collections, Head of Web Services, Associate Dean of Library Technology, Head of Cataloging and Metadata Services, Metadata Librarian Shawn Averkamp, Head of Digital Services, and our Digitization Manager.

Recaps of recent meetings are available online: Digi_Pres Recaps

The Delivery Metadata group works on issues around metadata development across departments. This group includes the Head of Cataloging and Metadata, the Metadata Librarians, Head of Digital Services, Digitization Manager, and Digitization Specialists.

Recaps of recent meetings are available online: Delivery_Metadata Recaps


The Association of SouthEastern Research Libraries (ASERL) Collaborative Digitization Project

In Autumn 2008 a collaborative effort was proposed to provide online content to material representing "The Intellectual Underpinnings of the American Civil War." This collection is to consist of materials published between 1850 and 1865 that informed the public consciousness as America approached the battle between the North and the South. Access to the content would be timed to coincide with the April 12 2011 sesquicentennial of the start of the Civil War.

Participation in this project required a collaborative effort here at the University of Alabama, which was coordinated primarily by Digital Services. As a member of the technical committee, Jody helped explore options for shared delivery with other institutions. She also wrote software to analyze the date ranges of existing online collections, to inform the choices made by the archivists. The archivists (primarily Donnelly Lancaster Walton, Archival Access Coordinator) then selected the appropriate content and remediated the collection information; and Digital Services staff digitized the selected materials.

The Metadata Unit (Mary Alexander and Shawn Averkamp) remediated the selected content to conform with the metadata requirements of the project. Marcia Barrett (Catalog Librarian for Special Collections) added creator and subject headings to the collection records. Tonio Loewald (OLT programmer) developed OAI (Open Archives Initiative) repository functionality to support harvesting of the selected materials for inclusion in the shared database. Clark Center (University Archivist and Curator of Southren History & Life Collections) described the repository and provided contact information. Jody submitted collection records and shared web sites and information as they became available. All participating faculty (archivists, metadata librarians, and digital services) tested the OAI implementation prior to release.

This was a truly collaborative project, and we successfully submitted 52 collections for inclusion in the ASERL project in a timely manner. That website is now live at Searching across our 52 submitted collections is available via .

Metadata Comparison Test

This is an effort to determine whether it is to our benefit to transition item-level metadata creation from the archivists to the metadata librarians. Time and other costs need to be weighed against the usability of the resulting descriptions. Involved in this group are archivists (Donnelly Walton, Martha Bace), Digital Services personnel (Jody DeRidder, Jeremiah Colonna-Romano) and Cataloging and Metadata personnel (Janet Lee-Smeltzer, Mary Alexander). (More information is available by clicking the heading above.)