This site documents technical aspects of the digital projects being carried out at the UNR Libraries. The Libraries often work with partnering institutions, campus entities, campus faculty, and the public to build these digital projects, selected because they emphasize the Libraries' strengths or provide technological or knowledge management challenges. The projects digitize collections of scholarly and general interest, and are built from a user's perspective. Many of the projects have been cooperative, especially with entities from elsewhere in the Great Basin Region to explore the use of network technology to promote preservation of the Libraries' unique collections and provide global access to these collections. The Libraries seeks additional partners with complementary holdings.
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My "Carpe CONTENTdm: Congruous Coaxing and Customization" presentation given at ALA in New Orleans in June of 2006 might be of interest to those who want to know more about what we are trying to accomplish with CONTENTdm; how we decide on our collections; for whom we are building them; challenges we've faced and overcome; some of our coping mechanisms; and what's on our horizon.
We currently have twenty digital collections. Those that are public are hyperlinked below:
Note: a generic crosswalk showing various metadata schemas for digital projects is a "work in progress".
We follow these guidelines for collection development.
Should you have questions about the tools and techniques used to create these digital projects that are not answered in their collection descriptions, please contact us.
These are the current steps that are followed for each "routine" project:
|1.||Project creation on server, with appropriate permissions (request generated by Glee)||Glee|
|2.||Project configuration (field properties, templates, banding, controlled vocabularies)||Glee|
|3.||Digital object selection||Project team|
|4.||Imaging and file conversions for all images not already digitized or in the appropriate display file format||Project team|
|5.||Image importation into desktop workstation, either individually or in batches for labeling and attachment of metadata descriptions||Team members responsible for keying metadata|
|6.||Uploading from desktop to server, with approval of new controlled vocabulary headings and database index builds||Team members responsible for keying metadata|
|7.||Construction of pre-defined queries for the user interface||Glee|
|8.||Design of initial interface web "splash" page for project||Justin/Glee/Team members|
|9.||Graphic and technical design of "search", "about this collection", "help", "how to search" web pages||Justin/Glee/Team members|
|10.||Write project description||Project team|
|11.||Submit brief project descriptions to known clearinghouses for listing digital projects: CONTENTdm.com; OCLC's Western Digital Clearinghouse, etc. Submit record for DiMeMa's "Collection of Collections" database.||Project team|
|12.||Prepare exported metadata for OAI harvesting by the Mountain West Digital Library, the OCLC Digital Gateway, etc.||Glee/Project team|
|13.||Publicize the project (Nevada News, liball, other libraries, RSCVA, nationally, internationally, as appropriate).||Glee/Project team|
|14.||Select supplementary materials||Project team|
|15.||Oversee addition of supplementary materials||Project team|
The procedures currently followed by library staff members adding digital objects using CONTENTdm are presented in two PowerPoint presentations entitled, "Building CONTENTdm Projects using version 4 of the Acquisition Station" and "Building CONTENTdm Projects using the version 4 Web Interface".
For those projects following Special Collections image scanning
instructions are provided.
For those projects that involve JPEG2000 compression, these instructions assist in the use of the JPEG2000 plug-in for Photoshop.
For those projects that store tiffs on the archival server, these instructions assist in DFS configuration on your desktop. For those folks mapping their drives from outside the library, remember to map your drives to \\contentdm.library.unr.edu\[projectname]
METADATA AND IMAGING STANDARDS
Metadata is like interest -- it accrues over time. To stretch the metaphor further, wise investments generate the best return on intellectual capital. Carefully designed metadata results in the best information management in the short- and long-term.
-- Ann J. Gilland-Swetland
CONTENTdm's implementation of Dublin Core is very interesting, and I have written a brief summary of it entitled, "Metadata and CONTENTdm". The University of Oregon has built a very useful crosswalk between the VRA Core and CONTENTdm's implementation of Dublin Core.
The Western States Dublin Core Metadata Element Setis used to create basic object cataloging with CONTENTdm software providing a flexible template which is customized for each collection. Collection specific fields are mapped to Dublin Core using a required fields checklist to enable participation in the Mountain West Digital Library. You can view the "crosswalks" (see above) that have been formulated for these projects, along with the Library of Congress cataloging tools used (see below). The Getty's metadata standards crosswalk between 9 standards is used for project planning.
Metadata Examples for MWDL Contributors: Applying CDP Metadata Best Practices to Digital Objects was proposed in April of 2006 as a specialized tool for assisting metadata keyers in their creation of CONTENTdm records that will eventually be harvested into the MWDL.
The Nevada subject headings, created by a statewide group, is used in the Images of Lake Tahoe project. Nevada and California place names, extracted from on the GNIS, is also used in the Images of Lake Tahoe project. Only the Nevada place names controlled vocabulary was used in the Sagebrush Vernacular project. An Excel version of the Nevada place names, sorted by county, is freely made available here for others' use.
* WSDSG/DIWG = Western States Digital Standards Group/Digital Imaging
**CDP/MWG = Collaborative Digitization Group/Metadata Working Group (formerly known as the Western States Digital Standards Group/Metadata Working Group)
- Lists of commonly misspelled words to use in metadata cleanup work:
- Misspellings, High and Moderate Probability
- Bill can't spell
- 100 words most
mispelledmisspelled words in the English language
- Typographical Errors in Library Databases
- Install Terry Reese's toc.php extension to CONTENTdm.
- Invoke the toc.php file against your controlled vocabularies for a given collection.
- Detect instances of duplication of headings or misspellings in the toc.php displays.
- Since CONTENTdm "normalizes" displays, it will try to "help" pretty up the display of a heading that has an extra space in it. Export the metadata, and search for the errant headings in the exported metadata.
- Go back into CONTENTdm and edit the errant headings.
- Re-invoke the toc.php file to make sure you've fixed all your problems. Voila! Cleaned up metadata!
ADMINISTERING CONTROLLED VOCABULARIESHere is a recommended procedure for administering controlled vocabularies.
REGISTERING CONTENTdm COLLECTIONS WITH WORLDCAT AND DiMeMa's COLLECTION OF COLLECTIONS
UNR has registered most of its CONTENTdm collections with both WorldCat and DiMeMa's Collection
of Collections by following these procedures.
PREPARING DUBLIN CORE METADATA FOR OAI-PMH HARVESTINGThe preprint of an article written by Molly Beisler and Glee Willis entitled, Beyond Theory: Preparing Dublin Core Metadata for OAI-PMH Harvesting. The official version (with abstract) was published in January 2009 issue [9(1-2):65-97] of the Journal of Library Metadata.
CONTENTdm InteroperabilityThese instructions describe ingesting images from CONTENTdm into the ARTstor Offline Image Viewer (OIV).
These instructions describe using the CONTENTdm PowerPoint plug-in.
These instructions describe how to create links to images in our CONTENTdm collections.
The collections on this site all utilize the
CONTENTdm Software Suite,
a product of DiMeMa, Inc. The CONTENTdm software provides tools for
digital collection management that allow us to store, search, and
disseminate our digital objects. We are using version 4.1. For more information about CONTENTdm, visit
As mentioned above, you might enjoy reviewing the "CONTENTdm Success Stories"
that I gave at ALA in New Orleans in June 2006, in which I mention some
of the site technology tweaks in place here at UNR. NOTE: Some of
the information is outdated because it pertains to version 4.1 of
To help others with CONTENTdm web template customizations, I created this graphical worksheet to quickly ascertain which variables are which in the style files.
I have submitted two brief space planning documents for reference for the architects, as they plan the new Knowledge Center. One spells out requirements for the digital projects coordinator's office and the other does so for the digital projects work area. They are both best viewed using a plain text editor, such as TextPad.
For issues related to this web site, please contact the digital
projects coordinator, Glee Willis at willis
at unr.edu. Sometimes I receive enquiries about my position
description, so I have posted it here.
Here is the self-archived version of "From Drawer To Digital: A Statewide Collaboration for Building Digital Historic Map Collections", an article written by Peter Michel, Linda Newman, Kathy Rankin, Vicki Toy-Smith, and Glee Willis, that was published on pages 63-69 of the Fall 2005 issue (no.52) of Cartographic Perspectives. The authors describe the criteria that were used to select maps to be digitized; provide insight into some of the scanning issues and how they were resolved; discuss technical considerations in using CONTENTdm™; and talk about metadata issues in the collaborative effort.
Amalia Beisler wrote a very helpful article about our campus images collection, entitled: From Hanging Files to Digital Collection: Growing a Controlled Vocabulary for Sdded Functionality in the Online World that appeared in Journal of Library Metadata.
You may want to read an article about our digital collections written by Susan Skorupa, entitled, "Thousands of Nevada images and documents are … Just a click away" that appeared in the Reno Gazette-Journal on February 17, 2007. Another interesting article appeared in our internal newsletter that summarizes our appreciation of CONTENTdm's flexibility and sophistication.
A keynote address I gave at the 2008 Midwest CONTENTdm Users Group Meeting covered several innovative approaches to engaging users in their interaction with digital collections.
Another article written about our collections is entitled, "Exploring New Frontiers to Promote Digital Collections" and it appeared in the Summer 2008 issue of OCLC Western Trek.
The slides for the "Customization 101" Califa webinar I gave to the LHDRP in May of 2010 might be of interest to some of you.
For contact and use information about specific images see the individual record for that image.
If you have suggestions for topics for future digital projects, if you are interested in financially supporting digital projects at the UNR Libraries, or if you have an interest in volunteering with our digital projects, please contact the digital projects librarian, Glee Willis at willis at unr.edu. Volunteering with us would be a fun way for you to learn more about using computers!