One of my internship projects this year is developing a digitization plan for the Cincinnati German Third Protestant Memorial Church Collection (Accession number GA-09-03). Acquired a decade ago, the Third German Protestant Memorial Church was formerly known as the Third German Protestant Memorial Church of Cincinnati, the German and Evangelical Lutheran and Reformed Church, and the North German Lutheran Church. This collection spans 1814 to 1982 and includes records of births, marriages, deaths, confirmations, along with financial records and a few photographs. For the most part, it has been used by family historians but once it is digitized and available as a global resource, the records can be used by urban historians, religious scholars, ethnicity and immigration researchers, and many others, as well as providing excellent primary resources in teaching.
The collection forms an important part of the University of Cincinnati’s German-Americana holdings but poses some challenges for digitization. The TPMC collection is composed primarily of handwritten German documents that need to be transcribed as well as scanned. Since transcribing foreign language documents adds an additional layer of processing, it is important to get a clear sense of the extent and composition of the collection. One of my first tasks in this project was creating a collection overview. Continue reading Developing Future Access to Cincinnati’s Third Protestant Memorial Church Collection
Preservation has always been central to the mission of research libraries, which are charged with preserving knowledge, in all its forms, for use. Digital material faces different preservation challenges than analog materials. Rapid changes in file formats, software and hardware mean that digital content created according to today’s best standards risks being unusable or degraded in the future.
At the University of Cincinnati Libraries, we have significant born-digital and digitized content. Much of this can be found in Scholar@UC, UCL Digital Collections, and Luna. Digital preservation refers to the various preservation measures undertaken to ensure long-term use and access of digital materials for enduring sustainable preservation. Archivists and librarians must make many key digital preservation decisions, such as whether to migrate old file formats to new ones, determining how and where to store files, and scheduling file integrity checks. Digital preservation is more than just backups, but storing extra copies of content is a critical component of a digital preservation strategy. To mitigate against complete loss, it is important to store extra copies in different locations. According to the National Digital Stewardship Alliance, increasingly enhanced levels of digital preservation emphasize greater geographic distribution of copies. Continue reading AP Trust Recap
A recent article by Danniah Daher, graduate assistant to the Graduate School Office, entitled Scholar@UC: The Archive You Need, talks about the need to preserve and protect scholarly work and research data by submitting it to the university repository. Linda Newman, head of digital collections and repositories, is quoted as saying, “The mission of Scholar@UC is to preserve the permanent intellectual output of UC…We are very serious about preservation. We’re also very serious about access. We want to make the content accessible—content that otherwise would just be sitting on someone’s hard drive in their office. We consider preservation and access our two most important jobs.”
Available at https://scholar.uc.edu/, Scholar@UC is a digital repository that enables the University of Cincinnati community to share its research and scholarly work with a worldwide audience. Faculty and staff can use Scholar@UC to collect their work in one location and create a durable and citeable record of their papers, presentations, publications, datasets, or other scholarly creations. Students, through an approved process, may contribute capstone projects such as senior design projects, theses, and dissertations.
The mission of Scholar@UC is to preserve the permanent intellectual output of UC, to advance discovery and innovation, to foster scholarship and learning through the transformation of data into knowledge, to collect a corpus of works that can be used for teaching and to inspire derivative works, and to enhance discoverability and access to these resources.
The transition from paper-based workflows to electronic records-based workflows has been one of the most profound ways in which work has changed over the last several decades. The “paperless revolution” has created many unanticipated challenges, but perhaps one of the more underrated ones is how it has affected institutional archives. Continue reading Out of Sight, Out of Mind
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.
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.
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.
We are excited to announce that excerpts from Pharmaceutical Education In the Queen City : 150 Years of Service, 1850-2000 by Michael A. Flannery and Dennis B. Worthen, originally published in 2001, documenting the students and graduates who attended the Cincinnati College of Pharmacy, Queen City College of Pharmacy, and the University of Cincinnati College of Pharmacy from 1850 through 2000 are now available in the UC Digital Resource Commons (DRC). The DRC started as an initiative of the OhioLink consortium of libraries to create a digital repository service that would help streamline access to unique collections and facilitate scholarly communication.
We are proud to announce the completion of the first interview in The Christ Hospital Health Network in collaboration with the Henry R. Winkler Center for the History of the Health Professions Oral History Series; our first interview subject was one of Cincinnati’s most prominent physicians who is also considered to be “The Doctors’ Doctor”, Dr. William Schreiner. The entire interview is now available in a streaming format through the UC Libraries mediaspace.
Have you visited the Neil Armstrong Website? The site pays tribute to Armstrong’s professional life from his early career as a test pilot to his monumental first steps on the moon and concluding with his time as a professor and researcher at the University of Cincinnati?
Anyone curious about the career of the first man to walk on the moon should begin with this site. The rich content exposes users to highlights as well as little-known but important, interesting aspects of Neil Armstrong’s life.