Job posting: Digital Lab Manager, University of Cincinnati Libraries

The University of Cincinnati Libraries is seeking a Digital Lab Manager (a 3-year renewable position). The successful candidate will direct the operations of a digital lab in a university research library, including digitizing rare books, manuscripts and special collections, managing digitization projects and workflows, maintaining equipment and software, providing quality control, and supervising student assistants. This is an exciting opportunity to join a dynamic and diverse organization in a great university, great city, with high potential for interesting technical work.

Evaluation of candidates begins on September 21, 2017. The University of Cincinnati is an EE/AA employer. For more information and application instructions see:

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.

UC Libraries Invests in Digitization

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!

Hamilton County Probate Court Makes Over 1.1 Million Historic Records Available Online

Probate Judge James Cissell announced on December 29, 2009 that probate records dating back to 1791 have been digitized and are now available for public use on the Probate Court website. The five-year project to digitize the records was intended to both preserve the original, sometimes fragile, records and provide increased public access to them. Included in the digitized records are indexes and docket books for estates, wills, trusts, marriages, guardianships, births, deaths, and physician certificates as well as minister’s license indexes and probate entries. A list of all available records and the search pages are available at Access to these records is important to historians and genealogists who are looking to document the life changing events of family and historic figures. Continue reading