New Digital Content: UC’s First Thesis, Thomas Jefferson Letter, Hamilton County Morgue Records, News Record, UC Commencement Programs, and Preservation Lab Treatment Reports

After working through some storage limitations on the Digital Resource Commons, the UCL Digital Lab is pleased to publish several recently digitized items.

John Hough James Thesis and Thomas Jefferson Letter

The first thesis written at the University of CincinnatiIn July 2016 the Eaton family donated two jewels from their family archive: the first thesis ever written at the University of Cincinnati in 1820 by John Hough James and a letter from President Thomas Jefferson, to whom James had written for additional source material on Poland.

Hamilton County Morgue Records

Ossie Bowman's death entryAbout three years ago, UC Libraries published a digitized collection of historical ledgers from the Hamilton County Morgue, documenting the circumstances of death for thousands of Cincinnatians. Somehow during this process, one of the volumes was missed. We have just published volume 11 of the Morgue Records, 1910-1911.

News Record

The News RecordWhile most issues of News Record from the 1960’s and 70’s have been digitized over the past five years, we were missing seven volumes from the 1970’s. The UCL Digital Lab is pleased to publish the complete run from the 1970’s, each issue has been OCR’ed and full-text indexed.

Commencement Programs

Invitation to first UC commencementWe have recently published a digitized collection of 116 UC commencement programs, from 1878 to 1973. While most years only include the official program, some contain invitations to commencement-related events and even the text from commencement addresses. These programs have been OCR’ed and full-text indexed to make it easier to search for UC alumni.

The Preservation Lab Treatment Reports

Preservation Lab Treatment ReportThe Preservation Lab has been publishing treatment reports and photographic documentation that are a record of conservation treatments conducted in the lab on special collections items held either by the University of Cincinnati Libraries or the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. The reports offer detailed bibliographic information and technical information on the construction of the materials. Several new reports have been added to both the UC Libraries and Public Library collections.

New Digital Content: Ambrose Bierce Letters, UC History Books and Reports, Indian Botany

The UCL Digital Lab has been busy over the past several months digitizing new content and collections. While we are still curating some of that content, we wanted to share a few things in the meantime.

Ambrose Bierce letters to Myles Walsh, 1895-1911

Formal black and white portrait of a man, Ambrose Bierce, in tuxedo.
Ambrose Bierce

The collection of the letters of Ambrose Bierce to Myles Walsh consists of the correspondence to Elizabeth (Lily) Walsh and Myles Walsh from 1895-1911. Myles Walsh’s sister, Lily, was a protege of Bierce and during her illness–and after her death in 1895–in young adulthood, the two men began writing to each other.

The Archives and Rare Books Library created an online exhibition last year. The letters have now been added to the DRC as searchable PDFs.

University of Cincinnati Historical Books and Reports

We digitized several books and reports relating to UC. All are now available in the Digital Resource Commons. A complete list is presented below, in chronological order.

Indian Botany

I know what you’re thinking: Indian botany, where did that come from? UC Libraries has a fantastic collection, some of our items are rare and unique. Occasionally these rare and unique items are requested through Interlibrary Loan. Unfortunately, frequently, due to their rarity and condition, we are not always able to fulfill the requests. We’ve embarked upon an effort to, when possible, digitized this content and make it available to the work in digital form.

The first example of this is Some Wild Flowers of Kasmir by Emilia F. Noel. UC’s copy of this 1903 botanical exploration of Kashmir includes many penciled in annotations, believed to be in Noel’s own hand.

As we are able to publish more collections, we’ll make announcements here!

New Website for Digital Collections & Repositories

Update, May 16, 2016, 4pm: The website migration has been completed. Let us know what you think about the new site!

Next Monday (May 16), the Digital Collections & Repositories department will launch a new website. The website will be fully responsive and will work on all devices. Graphics will be prominently featured with less text overall. New features include a card-based collections page that can be filtered by library, subject, or format. We’re very excited to launch this new site and hope our users will find it easy to use.

During the transition on Monday, May 16, you may experience difficulties using the website as we copy new files over and remove  old files.

New Digital Collections & Repositories website home page.
New Digital Collections & Repositories website home page.

UC Libraries Invests in Digitization

DT RG3040 Reprographic System

The UC Libraries strategic initiative, DigitizeUC, is working to grow in-house digitization capabilities at UC Libraries into a fully-fledged program. UC Libraries has a long history of digitization and even started a University of Cincinnati Digitial Press in the 1990s. However, we have had limited in-house equipment and relied heavily on grants and local vendors to carry out projects. While grants and vendors are still part of our program, we are beginning to expand our in-house capabilities.

Fujitsu fi-6670
DT RG3040 and PhaseOne IQ360

Our first purchase is a significant investment that will serve UC Libraries for many years to come. We purchased a PhaseOne Reprographic System from Digital Transitions. This system includes a 60 MP PhaseOne digital back, DT RCam with electronic shutter, Schneider 72 mm lens, and motorized copy stand. This system will allow us to achieve rapid, high-quality digitization workflows and take on mass digitization projects with a high degree of color accuracy.

Fujitsu fi-6670
Fujitsu fi-6670

Our second purchase is a high-speed, duplex, automatic-sheet-feed Fujitsu scanner that will help us quickly digitize paper materials from the 20th-century and after. We are currently using it in a project to digitize the Lucy M. Shultz Archive held by the Department of English and Comparative Literature. The archive comprises of high-quality photocopies of 19th-century textbooks and handbooks for English composition and rhetoric.

The Digital Collections and Repositories department will be testing this new equipment with pilot projects the rest of this academic year. The DigitizeUC strategic initiative will be proposing a short-term (12-18 months) operations plan for next year that will help us focus our efforts next year and produce digital content.

These efforts and investments are aligned with the first and fourth pillars of UC Libraries strategic plan and would not be possible without the support and vision of Dean and University Librarian, Xuemao Wang, and his cabinet. This represents the first step towards a UC Libraries Digital Lab, a strong foundation for our expanding services to support digital scholarship at the University of Cincinnati.


Self-Service Overhead Digitization Comes to Langsam

UC Digital Archivist Eira Tansey digitizes a book using her smartphone.
UC Digital Archivist Eira Tansey digitizes a book using her smartphone.

Have you ever been in the library and wanted to digitize a few pages from a book? Have you ever been working at the photocopier wishing you could be getting digital images and not paper copies?

Resulting image from Digital Archivist Eira Tansey's smartphone.
Resulting image from Digital Archivist Eira Tansey’s smartphone.

UC Libraries is conducting a pilot to determine the level of interest in self-service overhead digitization. In collaboration with UC carpenters, we have designed a prototype Bring You Own Device self-service digitization station. It is currently located next to the photocopiers and is easy to use.

Results from Self-Service Overhead Digitization
Other results from Self-Service Overhead Digitization

Simply walk up, lay your object on the table surface and place your smartphone on the clear platform. Use your camera app to start taking pictures. The station includes information on free apps that will OCR the images for you.

Please be sure to note your usage in the log attached to the station. Future decisions on this and other options for self-service overhead digitization will use this data!

Two Events in the Elliston Poetry Room This Week

Claudia Keelan

On Wednesday, September 16th at 4:00 poet, editor, and translator Claudia Keelan will read from and discuss Truth of My Songs: The Poems of the Trobairitz (Omnidawn, 2015), the new anthology of 12th century female troubadours (or “trobairitz”) that she translated and edited. Her most recent of her seven poetry collections are O, Heart (Barrow Street, 2014), Missing Her (New Issues Press, 2009), and Utopic (Alice James Books, 2001). As part of her visit to Cincinnati, Keelan will also give a reading at Xavier University’s Kennedy Auditorium at 7:30 on Tuesday night.

James McMichael, Photo Credit: Cindy Love
Photo Credit: Cindy Love

Then, on Friday, September 18th, James McMichael will visit the Elliston Room for two events — a Q&A with Don Bogen at 3:00 and a poetry reading at 4:00.  His most recent collections include Capacity (Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux, 2006), a National Book Award finalist, and The World at Large: New and Selected Poems, 1971–1996 (University of Chicago, 1996), and his honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Shelley Memorial Award, and a Academy of American Poets Fellowship.

Look for recordings of this presentation soon in the digital collection, The Elliston Project: Poetry Readings and Lectures at the University of Cincinnati.

Learn more about Events sponsored by the Elliston Poetry Fund.

Elliston Poetry Lecture, February 27, 2015, Mary Szybist

The next reading in the Elliston Reading Series will be by poet Mary Szybist.

February 27, 2015 4:00 PM, Elliston Poetry Room, 646 Langsam Library

Mary Szybist is most recently the author of Incarnadine, winner of the 2013 National Book Award for Poetry. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rona Jaffe Foundation, the Witter Bynner Foundation in conjunction with the Library of Congress, and the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center. Her work has appeared in such publications as Best American Poetry, The Kenyon Review, Poetry, Ploughshares, and two Pushcart Prize anthologies. Her first book, Granted, won the 2004 GLCA New Writers Award and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. A native of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, she now lives in Portland, Oregon where she teaches at Lewis & Clark College.

Look for recordings of this presentation soon in the digital collection, The Elliston Project: Poetry Readings and Lectures at the University of Cincinnati.

Learn more about Events sponsored by the Elliston Poetry Fund.

What is the DL with Triceracopter?

by Cedric Rose

Patricia Renick with Triceracopter.
Patricia Renick with Triceracopter.

As the culminating experience practicum for my Master of Library and Information Science degree, I am working on a digital collection of documents connected to the evolution of Patricia Renick’s Triceracopter: Hope for the Obsolescence of War.  The finished library will illuminate the connections and processes–physical, social, and conceptual–concealed in the finished work.  Along the way I’ll ruminate on issues and concepts related to digital libraries (DLs).

Triceracopter is a hybrid of parts with far-flung origins in space and time: part three-horned Rhinoceros-like creature that last walked the earth 66 million years ago, part war-damaged helicopter, the final manifestation of a series of forms that imprinted further forms under the hands, intellect, imagination; and will of a DAAP professor and sculptor whose life included shock treatment for a misdiagnosis of schizophrenia (Chapman 2003), decades of teaching art, and emergence as an internationally recognized artist.

Continue reading What is the DL with Triceracopter?