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).
Still, 20 years into the life of the Web, Mr. Cohen feels that many scholars don’t grasp the full potential of digital tools. They dismiss computer techniques for reading mass amounts of text. They see the Web as a place to distribute electronic copies of articles rather than as a platform that fosters new ways of thinking.
“I’m particularly worried about the humanities,” Mr. Cohen says in his corner office at the George Mason center, which he has run since 2007. Traditional forms of scholarly communication suffer from “inertia” that keeps them hanging around “long past their freshness date.”
His solution: Hack the academy.
via A Digital Humanist Puts New Tools in the Hands of Scholars – Technology – The Chronicle of Higher Education.
This is the man who brought us Zotero and Omeka!
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.
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.