Category Archives: digital repository

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

Aaron Swartz, a Data Crusader and Now, a Cause – NYTimes.com

Aaron Swartz, a Data Crusader and Now, a Cause – NYTimes.com.

More about the career, and legacy, of Aaron Swartz.

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Filed under Digital Collections, digital repository, internet, open access, public access

Aaron Swartz, Internet Activist, Dies at 26 – NYTimes.com

Aaron Swartz, Internet Activist, Dies at 26 – NYTimes.com.

The death of Mr. Swartz, apparently by suicide, is a tragic loss to the open access movement, and indeed to the world at large. He is perhaps most famously known for having hacked into the computer network at M.I.T. and then downloading most of the articles available on JSTOR in an attempt to make them free to the public. He was facing charges for that act that could have netted him years in prison and millions of dollars in fines.

JSTOR itself, it should be noted, declined to press charges. It was the State Prosecutor for Massachusetts* who pursued Mr. Swartz (to his death, some would argue).

As an academic who participates in the process of scholarly information production and exchange, I have some understanding of the time, money, and effort it takes to conduct research, write and publish articles, run an academic journal, collect and curate said articles, and archive them in ways that make them available to others in a useful form. That work deserves fair compensation. But at the same time, corporations have become gatekeepers to that information (which is often produced at public expense at public universities, funded by public grants) and are charging what appear to be exorbitant amounts of money for access.

The Open Access model of information production and distribution requires a fundamental restructuring of the way information is produced, circulated, and valued in our culture. The current model is deeply entrenched, and will not change without significant buy-in from stakeholders who are currently highly resistant. Thus some activists are taking back their power by circumventing the system and forming alternate systems outside the current publishing structure. Mr. Swartz was one of those. He did so, not for any gain of his own, but because of his passionate conviction that the producers and users of information need to take back control of their intellectual property and make it freely available (or as free as possible). The entire system of scholarly production and exchange is changing, and the sooner the corporations that tie up intellectual information in proprietary databases realize this, the better.

*Correction: an earlier version of this post said it was the federal government that pursued prosecution of Mr. Swartz. The corrected information is above.

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Filed under Digital Collections, Digital Humanities, digital repository, internet, online publishing, open access, public access

Secret Reading Lives, Revealed – The Chronicle Review – The Chronicle of Higher Education

Secret Reading Lives, Revealed – The Chronicle Review – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

 

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Without Sanctuary: Photographs and Postcards of Lynching in America

Without Sanctuary: Photographs and Postcards of Lynching in America.

WARNING: THE IMAGES IN THIS ARCHIVE ARE VIOLENT AND DISTURBING.

This is an archive of postcards of lynchings (yes they made postcards) that I have used with my university students to educate them about lynching, to provide context to some of the literature we study, and to provoke discussion about the fetishistic nature of violence (who makes postcards of these events? who buys them, sends them, collects them, and why?). Obviously, images like these must be used with care; my students inevitably find them traumatizing (I don’t require them to look at the archive, I merely suggest it; most do end up looking at it, after the discussion if not before).  Often, the discussion in class revolves around our supposedly “post-racial” society. Do images like these just replay the violence and re-victimize the victims, and perpetuate racial resentment? Or do they serve a useful purpose? This is an important question, since I often find that many of my students (even black students) have never heard of lynching or the Jim Crow era. Without that context, much of 20th century American literature is unintelligible to students.

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Filed under Digital Collections, Digital Humanities, digital repository

ProQuest to Release First Module of NAACP Archives in April – Press Release – Digital Journal

The first step in broad, digital access to the archives of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) commences in April when ProQuest and the venerable civil rights organization release the first in a series of modules for libraries and researchers. ProQuest® History Vault’s NAACP Papers 1 will provide the first electronic access to files from the group’s Board of Directors and Annual Conferences, as well as text of major speeches and national staff records.

via ProQuest to Release First Module of NAACP Archives in April – Press Release – Digital Journal.

This is an important project to preserve and make publicly accessible the archives of the NAACP – the digital humanities once again making important records available to the public in ways that expand the potential research of such archives.

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Filed under Digital Collections, Digital Humanities, digital repository