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

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.

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

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/).

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

The Steelyard Balance : Notes from the Oesper Collections, No. 39, July/August 2016

A recently acquired 19th-century Chinese steelyard or so-called “opium balance” with an 11” ivory beam and accompanying “teardrop” storage case
A recently acquired 19th-century Chinese steelyard or so-called “opium balance” with an 11” ivory beam and accompanying “teardrop” storage case

Issue 39 briefly outlines the history and principles underlying traditional single pan or “steelyard” balances and illustrates their evolution using examples from our museum collections.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check Out the Latest Issue of Source

sourceRead Source, the online newsletter, to learn more about the news, events, people and happenings in UC Libraries.

This latest issue of Source includes an article announcing the new UC academic press, a Q&A about a new position in the Office of Research, and A Note from the Dean: IFLA Coming to Cincinnati. Updates to library websites are showcased in A New Look at Digital Collections and in an article about the Neil A. Armstrong display and website. There are two articles about recent awards –  the Provost Technology Innovation Awards and Recognizing Library Student Workers. Read these articles and more.

Source is available on the web at http://libapps.libraries.uc.edu/source/ and via e-mail. To receive Source via e-mail, contact melissa.norris@uc.edu to be added to the mailing list.