Category Archives: Content Management

The King James Bible Virtual Exhibit : The King James Bible

The King James Bible Virtual Exhibit : The King James Bible.

Here is an interesting DH project from Ohio State libraries about the King James Bible. It was developed as part of a pilot project, as the developer describes below:

The exhibits pilot innovation grant project was a partnership of three departments, Digital Content Services (formerly SRI), Rare Books and Manuscripts, and the Web Implementation Team (nowApplications, Development and Support). The Preservation and Reformatting Department (Amy McCrory) and the Copyright Resources Center (Sandra Enimil) were also heavily involved. The grant was “to develop a new model for creating and delivering digital exhibits at the Libraries.” The project was developmental in scope, and the specific goals were to create a polished digital version of a physical exhibit, and to gather information about what would be required to develop an exhibits program in the Libraries.

The King James Bible exhibit, curated by Eric Johnson, is indeed a polished exhibit.  We learned a great deal from working on it, such as the need to create a glossary of terms as reference for all people on the project.  We also identified the strengths and weaknesses of the Omeka software for our environment. The research into what it would take to build a sustainable program took many forms.  We looked at existing digital exhibits at OSUL, as well as curator expectations for exhibit functionality, and the use of Omeka at other institutions.  We tracked information on the time it took to create the exhibit.

What’s next?  The report is done and has been given to the Executive Committee.  The suggestions in the report are just that – suggestions.  We were not charged to develop a program.  We applied for funding to explore the possibilities; the report is what we discovered.  It is also worth noting that the environment has changed since the report was written.  Most important, is that the Libraries have hired an Exhibits Coordinator.  However, many of you have expressed interest in our results.

Read Report Here (docx).

 

 

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Filed under Content Management, Digital Collections, Digital Humanities, digital repository, Library science, Omeka

Unit 12: pre-installed VM versus DIY

I think the question here is really: what skills are really needed in a librarian working in digital collections? That is not easy to answer, because libraries vary so much in terms of staff size, budget, and training. I certainly feel much more confident about installing and configuring virtual machines (VMs) as a result of this course; but I wonder if it was the best use of class assignment time, especially since it could be so time-consuming. But if I was the sole librarian in a small non-profit or museum, with no technical staff, and I wanted to create and host a digital collection, the ability to create a VM from scratch would be important. I guess the question is, how common is this scenario, and how common will it be in the future? And what sorts of librarianship does the DigIN program want to support?

I don’t know if a middle ground might have worked better; maybe install only 3 VMS and spend more time on metadata and actually working with collections. I think DSpace and Eprints were sort of repetitive; maybe we could have been given a choice to install one or the other as our example of digital repository software. I think it was good to see Drupal because it is so ubiquitous, and to get an idea of the more technical end of the spectrum in digital collections management. And I think Omeka seems to represent the other end, the simple end of digital repository management.

 

 

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Filed under Content Management, Digital Collections, digital repository, Drupal, dSPace, ePrints, Library science, Omeka, SIRLS 675

Unit 11: Repository Software Homepages – an assessment

A repository software package’s homepage ought to be attractive, clear, and inspire the users’ confidence.  Some of these homepages do that better than others; but they are also geared toward very different audiences. In general I think each site is geared toward the user that could best benefit from it.

  • Eprints (http://www.eprints.org/): clearly states what it is, the interface is clean, and provides a live demo as well as links to documentation, downloads, and a description of the principles of open access.
  • Omeka (http://omeka.org/): again, the homepage is well-designed, attractive, and provides clear links to all the information a user could want. It seems geared especially to draw in the new or uninitiated user (i.e. me). The user could be an individual rather than an institution.
  • DSpace (http://www.dspace.org/): There is a lot of white space on this page. For some reason I find that intimidating. There is a very clear statement about what it is–if you know what an “institutional repository application” is. The logo at the top identifies it as a “scholar space” – This is definitely geared toward an institutional user/IT professional that already knows what an institutional repository is. This might be more confidence-building if you are an institutional administrator looking to find a turnkey application.
  • Drupal (http://drupal.org/): This is a very busy page. But the tag line: “Come for the Software, Stay for the Community” is catchy. The page goes out of its way to show you how world-wide its scope is; you can tell that the software is geared for IT professionals and developers; they even have announcements about DrupalCons (a very geeky term for conventions). This is definitely a geek community and that means that I am not the sort of user they are targeting.
  • PKP (Public Knowledge Project http://pkp.sfu.ca/): This site also has a lot of projects besides the harvester software. It takes a while exploring and reading to figure out what this site is and what it contains. It’s not for the casual user, and it seems to already assume that the user is committed to open source and open access projects.
  • JHove (http://hul.harvard.edu/jhove/): This is a site full of technical jargon, definitely targeting the technical user, not the casual user or the repository administrator.

I guess each site has its advantages for the type of user it is seeking. As a librarian or a non-profit or museum curator, I find the first 3 more attractive and accessible.

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Filed under Content Management, Digital Collections, digital repository, Drupal, dSPace, ePrints, Omeka, SIRLS 675

DuraSpace | Open technologies for durable digital content

DuraSpace | Open technologies for durable digital content.

This is the home page of the non-profit organization that runs DSpace and Fedora Commons. I wanted to link it here for future reference.

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Filed under Content Management, Digital Collections, Digital Humanities, dSPace, SIRLS 675

Unit 5 – Using Drupal for my digital collection

Discuss either a) which module you decided to try to try from assignment 2 and how it enhances your collection; include if you like any problems or tips related to installation; or
b) now that you have some experience, how you feel overall about the suitability of Drupal for your collection.

It is clear that Drupal, in the hands of a trained Drupal programmer, would be a powerful and customized tool that could be used to manage my digital collection; although it seems that it is not really designed for the type of content I would like to include: many large searchable text files (in pdf or other formats, especially including files with specialized markup). When I say that it is not really designed for it, I mean that the native content types don’t lend themselves to it (although I have not experimented with the “book” type).  Of course there are many modules that add that type of functionality; I saw several that seemed designed to make RDF-type relations between nodes; but I was too intimidated by all the dependencies to try to install such modules, and the help material was too highly technical for a casual Drupal user to understand.

I did find an apparently simple module that added some necessary functionality to my site, i.e., the ability to search attached text files. The module is called, appropriately, search-files.Here is a screenshot of the kind of output the module produces:

sample of the results returned by the Drupal serach module

Because this is a crucial function for my collection, I decided to install it, even though it requires several “helper applications” in Linux.

Helper Applications

In order to extract text, this module calls ‘helper apps’ such as cat and pdftotext. Drupal administrators can configure any helpers they like. Helper apps need to be installed on the server and need to be setup to print to stdout.

Most Linux distributions have the following helper apps available:

  • cat – generic text (txt) files
  • pdftotext – Adobe Acrobat (pdf) Documents
  • catdoc – Microsoft Word (doc) Documents
  • xls2csv – Microsoft Excel (xls) files
  • catppt – Microsoft Power Point (ppt) files
  • unrtf – Rich Text Format (rtf) files

For more information about helpers and how to configure them, see hints for Linux and Windows. It is also possible to configure helpers in a shared hosting environment.

I assumed that my Linux installation might already have these applications available, although I could enable them separately if need be. So I downloaded and installed search_files-6.x-1.6.

I had no difficulty installing it or configuring it in Drupal. But it can’t search the pdf files I have attached, so I’m assuming I also need to install the helper applications in Linux.

UPDATE: as it turns out, this module worked in Drupal 5 but is broken in Drupal 6. Evidently it works in Drupal 7, so hopefully when I update my system I can get this working. Else I will need to find a different CMS, because this search functionality is crucial.

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Filed under Content Management, Digital Collections, Digital Humanities, Drupal, Operating systems, SIRLS 675