A Zeiss Butter Refractometer : Notes from the Oesper Collections, No. 42, January/February 2017

The circa 1920 Zeiss butter refractometer recently acquired by the Oesper Collections.

The circa 1920 Zeiss butter refractometer recently acquired by the Oesper Collections.

Issue 42 describes a new addition to the museum’s refractometer collection – a circa 1920 Zeiss butter refractometer – and its historical importance as a means for rapidly differentiating between pure butter and margarine.

Click here for all other issues of Notes from the Oesper Collections and to explore the Jensen-Thomas Apparatus Collection.

 

 

 

 

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!

A Varian E-4 EPR Spectrometer : Notes from the Oesper Collections, No. 41, November/December 2016

The Varian E-4 EPR instrument as it appeared while still in use in Dr. Bobst’s laboratory.

The Varian E-4 EPR instrument as it appeared while still in use in Dr. Bobst’s laboratory.

Issue 41 describes a new addition to the instrument collection on the mezzanine of the chemistry-biology library. Dating from the early 1970s, this desktop Varian E-4 Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) Spectrometer was donated by Dr. Albert Bobst of the UC Chemistry Department.

Click here for all other issues of Notes from The Oesper Collections and to explore the Jensen-Thomas Apparatus Collection.

Behind the Scenes with UC’s Digital Archivist: Finding the Needle in the Haystack

By Eira Tansey, Digital Archivist/Records Manager

A constant challenge for digital archivists is identifying potentially sensitive material within born-digital archives. This content may be information that fits a known pattern (for example, a 3-2-4 number that likely indicates the presence of a social security number), or sensitive keywords that indicate the presence of a larger body of sensitive information (for example, the keywords “evaluation” and “candidate” in close proximity to each other may indicate the presence of an evaluation form for a possible job applicant).

Digital archivists use a number of tools to screen for potentially sensitive information. When this information is found, depending on the type of information, institutional policy, legal restrictions, and ethical issues, archivists may redact the information, destroy it, or limit access to it (either by user, or according to a certain period of time). Continue reading

Nature Asks – Where are the data?

Starting in October, researchers publishing in Nature and 12 other Nature titles will have include information on whether and how others can access the data supporting the article.  This means authors will need to compose a Data Availability Statement.  The full policy is available at go.nature.com/2bf4vqn) and more information is on the Nature blog.

Scholar@UC, our own institutional repository, would be the right tool to help comply with this new policy.  If you need more information or help with access to Scholar@UC please Contact the Scholar@UC Team or a UC Libraries informationist.

Tiffany Grant PhD,  Research Informationist at tiffany.grant@uc.edu

Don Jason Clinical Informationist at don.jason@uc.edu

Amy Koshoffer Science Informationist at amy.koshoffer@uc.edu

 

Paper featuring Scholar@UC Gets Best Research Paper Award!

Congratulations to Dr. Nan Niu and his research team!re16_bestresearchpaperaward_niu

Recently Dr. Nan Niu traveled to Beijing, China to attend the RE16 conference- Requirements Engineering16 http://re16.org/downloads/RE16%20program.pdf. He took with him high hopes for the requirements engineering research paper he and his team submitted together with Linda Newman, Head of Repositories and Digital Collections and Amy Koshoffer, Science Informationist. For the beginning of this story and more on the models created using Scholar@UC use cases, see the blog entry “Scholar@UC Goes to Class” (https://libapps.libraries.uc.edu/liblog/2016/01/scholaruc-goes-to-class/).

Dr. Niu has made all the research materials supporting this work available through Scholar@UC https://scholar.uc.edu/works/documents/wm117q084.  Dr. Niu is making brilliant use of Scholar@UC as a teaching tool, a research subject, data preservation tool and an open data/access model.  Again congratulations to Dr. Niu and the whole team!!

Behind the Scenes with UC’s Digital Archivist: Making Sense of It All

By Eira Tansey, Digital Archivist/Records Manager

When archivists first make contact with a large group of records, they often perform some form of appraisal. You might think of appraisal as being the calling card of the much-loved PBS television show Antiques Roadshow, in which average people realize that Great Aunt Milly’s painting is a valued masterpiece – or a total dud.

Unlike appraisers, when archivists appraise something they generally aren’t assigning a monetary value, but seeking to articulate the value of the records and the information they contain. The Society of American Archivists defines (http://www2.archivists.org/glossary/terms/a/appraisal#.V2hA1jXERmM)  appraisal as:

  1. ~ 1. The process of identifying materials offered to an archives that have sufficient value to be accessioned. – 2. The process of determining the length of time records should be retained, based on legal requirements and on their current and potential usefulness. – 3. The process of determining the market value of an item; monetary appraisal.

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Liebig and Combustion Analysis : Notes from the Oesper Collections, No. 40, September/October 2016

Justus von Liebig (1803-1873) posing with his apparatus for combustion analysis.

Justus von Liebig (1803-1873) posing with his apparatus for combustion analysis.

Issue 40 outlines the history and importance of the chemical technique known as combustion analysis and highlights a reproduction of Liebig’s famous 1831 instrument for this purpose made by the late Dr. Melvyn Usselman of the University of Western Ontario and donated to our museum collections in 2005.

Click here for all other issues of Notes from the Oesper Collections and to explore the Jensen-Thomas Apparatus Collection.

 

 

 

 

Behind the Scenes with UC’s Digital Archivist: Much Ado About Digital

By Eira Tansey, Digital Archivist/Records Manager

Within the archives profession, “Digital Archivist” is one of the fastest-growing job titles (http://digitalcommons.kennesaw.edu/provenance/vol31/iss2/5/). The Society of American Archivists offers a Digital Archives Specialist curriculum and certificate (www2.archivists.org/prof-education/das).   And library and archives conferences abound on topics of an electronic and digital nature – like Saving The Web (https://www.loc.gov/loc/kluge/news/save-web-2016.html), the Digital Library Federation (https://www.diglib.org/), and the Software Preservation Network Forum (http://www.softwarepreservationnetwork.org/spn-forum/).

So what does a digital archivist do? Every digital archivist’s responsibilities will look slightly different depending on institutional mission, priorities and resources. As the first link indicates, there isn’t even professional consensus whether a digital archivist is one who works with digitization of analog material (like paper documents and manuscripts, rare books, maps, etc), or someone who works with “born-digital” materials. In many institutions, both of those responsibilities may be within the Digital Archivist’s charge. As UC’s Digital Archivist/Records Manager, my responsibilities center on working with born-digital archives, digital preservation, and overseeing UC’s Records Management program. I also work closely with my colleagues in Digital Collections on digitization projects (http://digital.libraries.uc.edu/).

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