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Digital Production Group instructs Rare Book School Classes

In recent weeks Digital Production Group (DPG) has provided tours and instruction on digitization workflows and best practices for two Rare Book School classes, Digital Approaches to Bibliography & Book History and XML in Action:  Creating Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) Texts. After an overview by Christina Deane, head of DPG, several student employees demonstrated specific steps in the digitization process then answered questions. Here is the story in images:

Victor Naturale, a student employee who has worked on the McGregor Fund digitization project since its inception, discusses camera settings, best practices for image capture and assembly, and appropriate handling of rare books. He emphasizes the Quality Assurance process that requires several staff members to review and approve work before publication or delivery to a customer.


As a participant examines the original document, Robert Rust, student supervisor, demonstrates the potential of multi-spectral scanning to enhance and even reveal hidden or obliterated texts by capturing multiple images using wavelengths from UV to Infra-Red then post-processing the images.



Divya Babu discusses our use of Media Pro software to develop a catalog of images. She explains our descriptive metadata process and guidelines.


Ariadne Rehbein, intern for Collections, Access, and Discovery, explains her project to improve access to the Small Special Collections Library’s manuscript collections. Responsible for converting a set of legacy finding aids in Word Document format into EAD XML, she is using and advising the development of a new tool created by Mike Durbin at the UVa Library that programatically converts files from DOCX to EAD XML. The converted aids will be imported into the Library’s new content management tool for archival data, ArchivesSpace, and will be made available through the Virginia Heritage database.

Congratulations to our graduating student employees

Digital Curation Services (DCS) congratulates the graduating members of our student staff and thanks them for their contributions to successful digitization of numerous rare books, images, and manuscripts from the University of Virginia Library Special Collections:

  • Sanchay Gupta, Computer Engineering
  • Shannon Hees, Environmental Science and Economics
  • Chelsea Kenney, Sociology
  • Caitlin Secrist, Communication Disorders and Spanish

We asked them to share their thoughts about working in Digital Curation Services and to tell us about their future plans.  Here’s what we learned:

Sanchay Gupta, who worked for DCS during the past academic year, will join the banking firm Capital One in July.   He describes his initial experience with DCS as challenging:  “There are a lot of small details that you have to focus on and make sure you are doing them before you can move on to the next step,” a common theme we heard.  What Sanchay found most memorable was the amount of time it took to assure the best quality product for the customer.  In his career he expects to see benefits from the attention to detail that he developed in the DCS, along with his increased patience.

Chelsea Kenney also spent the past academic year working in DCS, where she achieved her goal of working in a library.  She enjoyed working with rare materials, including manuscripts and 16th century books.  Chelsea views the DCS as a good technology learning opportunity and expects to apply some of these skills in her teaching career.  First, though, she will spend the next year completing her Master of Education through Liberty University’s online program.  With a special interest in middle school teaching, as a result of her recent internship in Philadelphia, Chelsea plans a career that begins in the classroom and leads to management as a principal and then school superintendent.

Caitlin Secrist has been with DCS for 2.5 years, 1.5 of which were as a student supervisor.  She values the team approach, especially for thorough quality assurance.  For Caitlin it is still exciting to see the new digitization projects: most memorable for her are Steinbeck’s manuscript for Grapes of Wrath, Borges’ poems with extensive doodles by the author, and an unpublished Faulkner manuscript.  Through working with these she felt a connection with the authors and believes these opportunities are what keep the student staff engaged in the digitization process.  Caitlin’s next step is graduate school in Speech-Language Pathology at University of Texas at Austin.  Her summer in Ecuador at a school for the intellectually challenged stimulated her interest in early intervention through working closely with families.

Our best wishes to all!

100th McGregor Library Volume Digitized

We have reached the 100th volume milestone in the digitization of McGregor Library rare books on early European exploration of the Americas.  Focusing initially on the non-English language works from thBlavianaAtlasTitlePageVol2e earliest in the collection (1475) to approximately 1675, the project, funded by the McGregor Foundation, aims to provide access to materials heretofore unavailable in digital format.

Our milestone item is volume 2 of the 11-volume set [Atlas maior] Geographia, quae est Cosmographia Blaviana, by Dutch cartographer Joan Blaeu published in 1662.  At 22 inches high and with double page plates of maps, some with color, it presented special handling and capture challenges for successfuBlaeu1662MapSwedenWithCartouchesl digitization.  Look, for example at this map of eastern Sweden:  it contains several beautiful cartouches as well as a series of municipal coats of arms along the left side.

Access online:


The Tracy W. McGregor Library – A Successful Launch


McGregor Book PlateDigitization of the Tracy W. McGregor Library is well underway.  More than 50 volumes related to the early exploration of the New World are now available online through the University of Virginia’s digital library.


Click on the link to explore a specific title:

Ptolemy, active 2nd century.  Cosmographia, 1475

Pius II, Pope, 1405-1464. Pii II Pontificis Maximi Historia rerum ubique gestarum : cum locorum descriptione non finita. 1477

Euclid. Preclarissimus liber elementorum Euclidis perspicacissimi: in artem Geometrie incipit qua[m] foelicissime. 1482

Mela, Pomponius. Cosmographia : sive De situ orbis. 1482

Sacro Bosco, Joannes de, active 1230. Sphaera mundi. 1485

Thomas, à Kempis, 1380-1471. De vita et beneficijs salvatorie Jhesu cristi devotissime meditationes cu[m] gratiaru[m]actione. ca. 1490

Lilio, Zaccaria, -approximately 1522. Zachariae Lilii Vicentini, Canonici Regularis Orbis Breviarium fide, compendio, ordineq. captu ac memoratu facillimum foelix et gratus legito. 1493

Vespucci, Amerigo, 1451-1512. Be [i.e. de] ora antarctica per regem Portugallie pridem inuenta. 1505

Foresti, Jacopo Filippo da Bergamo, 1434-1520. Nouissime historiarū omniū repercussiōes: nouiter a Reuerendissimo patre Jacobophilippo Bergomense ordinis Heremitarum edite: que Supplementum Supplementi Cronicarū nuncupantur. Incipiendo ab exordio mudi vsq; in Annu salutis nostre. M.cccccij. Cum gratia & priuilegio. 1506

Fracanzano da Montalboddo, fl. 1507-1522. Cum Priuilegio : Paesi Nouamenti retrouati. Et Nouo Mondo da Alberico Vesputio Florentino intitulato. 1507

Dionysius, Periegetes. Situs orbis Dionisij Ruffo auieno interprete. 1508

Waldseemüller, Martin, 1470-1519. Cosmographie introductio : cum quibusdam geometrie ac astronomie principiis ad eam rem necessarijs. Insuper quattuor Americi Vespucij nauigationes. 1509

Strabo. Strabo De situ orbis. 1510

Strabo. Strabo De situ orbis. 1510 (copy 2)

Anghiera, Pietro Martire d’, 1457-1526. P. Martyris angli mediolanensis opera. Legatio babylonica Occeani decas Poemata Epigrammata. 1511

Schöner, Johann, 1477-1547. Luculentissima quaedā terrae totius descriptio : cū multis vtilissimis cosmographiæ iniciis. Nouaq, & q̄ ante fuit verior Europæ nostræ formatio. 1515

Anghiera, Pietro Martire d’, 1457-1526. Ioannes Ruffus Foroliuiensis Archiep[iscop]us Co[n]sentin[us]: legat[us] apo. ad lectore[m] De orbe nouo. … De orbe nouo decades. 1516

Mela, Pomponius. Pomponii Melae Hispani, Libri di situ orbis tres. 1518

Solinus, C. Julius, active 3rd century? Ioannis Camertis Minoritani, artium, et sacrae theologiae doctoris, in. C. Iulii Solini [Polyhistora] enarrationes. 1520

Anghiera, Pietro Martire d’, 1457-1526. De nvper svb D. Carolo repertis insulis, simulq[ue] incolarum moribus. 1521

Maximilian, of Transylvania, active 1522. Maximiliani Transyluani Cæsaris a secretis epistola, de admirabili & noussima Hispanorũ in Orien tem nauigatione, qua uariæ, & nulli prius accessæ regiones inuẽtæ sunt, cum ipsis etiã Moluccis insulis beatissimis, optimo aromatũ genere refertis.. 1523

Apian, Peter, 1495-1552. Cosmographicus liber Petri Apiani mathematici studiose collectus. 1524

Cortés, Hernán, 1485-1547. La preclara Narratione di Ferdinando Cortese della Nuoua Hispagna del Mare Oceano, al Sacratissimo, & Inuictissimo Carlo de Romani Imperatore sempre Augusto Re Dhispagna, & cio che siegue, nell ãno del Signore. M.D.XX. trasmessa: Nella quale si cõtẽgono molte cose degne discienza, & ammiratione, circa le cittadi egregie di quelle Prouincie costumi dhabitatori, sacrifici de Fanciulli, & Religiose persone, Et massimamente della celebre citta Temixtitan, & varie cose marauigliose de quella, e quali diletteranno mirabilmẽte il lettore per il Dottore Pietre Sauorganano Foroiuliense Del Riuerendo Messer Giouãni de Reuelles Vescouo di Vienna Secretario dal iddioma Hispagni uolo in lingua latina Conuersa Nel Anno. M.D.XXIIII. di Primo Marzo. 1524

Maximilian, of Transylvania, active 1522. Maximiliani Transyluani Cæsaris a secretis epistola, de admirabili & nouissima Hispanorū in Orien tem nauigatione, qua uariæ, & nul li prius accessæ regiones inuētae sunt, cum ipsis etiā Moluccis insu lis beatissimis, optimo aromatū genere refertis. 1524

Fernández de Oviedo y Valdés, Gonzalo, 1478-1557. OViedo dela natural hystoria delas Indias. 1526

Anghiera, Pietro Martire d’, 1457-1526. De orbe nouo Petri Martyris ab Angleria Mediolanensis Protonotarij Cesaris senatoris decades. 1530

Novvs Orbis regionvm ac insvlarvm veteribvs incognitarvm, unà cum tabula cosmographica, & aliquot alijs consimilis argumenti libellis … His accesit copiosus rerum memorabilium index. 1532

Rhenanus, Beatus, 1485-1547. Beati Rhenani Selestadiensis Rerum Germanicarvm libri tres. Adiecta est in calce epistola ad D. Phillippū Puchaimerū, de locis Plinij per St. Aqæum attactis, ubi mendæ quædam eiusdem autoris emaculantur, antehac non à quoquam animaduersæ. 1532

Novvs Orbis regionum ac insvlarvm veteribvs incognitarum / unà cum tabula cosmographica, &c aliquot aliis consimilis argument libellis, quorum omnium catalogus sequenti patebit pagina. 1532

Ziegler, Jacob, 1480-1549. Qvae intvs continentvr. Syria, ad Ptolomaici operis rationem. Præterea Strabone, Plinio, & Antonio auctoribus locupletata. Palestina, iisdem auctoribus. Præterea historia sacra, & Iosepho, & diuo Hieronymo locupletata. Arabia Petræa, siue, Itinera filiorum Israel per desertum, iisdem auctoribus. Aegyptvs, iisdem auctoribus. 1532

Ptolemy, active 2nd century. Klaudiou Ptolemaiou Alexandreōs philosophou en … peri tes geographias biblia oktō, meta easēs akribeias entypōthenta = Clavdii Ptolemaei Alexandrini philosophi cum primis eruditi, De geographia libri octo, summa cum uigilantia excusi. 1533

Anghiera, Pietro Martire d’, 1457-1526. Libro primo della historia de l’Indie Occidentali. 1534

Franck, Sebastian, 1499-1542. Weltbůch. 1534

Die New welt, der landschaften vnnd insulen, so bis hie her allen altweltbeschrybern vnbekant, jungst aber von den Portugelesern vnnd Hispaniern jm nidergenglichen meer herfunden. Sambt den sitten vnnd gebreuchen der inwonenden völcker. Auch was gütter oder waren man bey jnen funden, vnd jnn vnsere landt bracht hab. Do bey findt man auch hie den vrsprung vnd altherkummen der fürnembsten gwaltigsten völcker der altbekanten welt, als do seind die Tartern, Moscouiten, Reussen, Preussen, Hungern, Sschlafen, etc. 1534

Vadianus, Joachim, 1484-1551. Epitome trivm terrae partivm, Asiæ, Africæ et Europæ compendiariam locorum descriptionem continens, præcipue autem quorum in Actis Lucas, passim autem euangelistæ & apostoli meminere. Ab ipso avthore diligenter recognita, & multis in locis aucta. Cvm addito in fronte libri elencho regionum, urbium, amnium, insularum, quorū Nouo Testamento sit mentio, quo expeditius pius lector quæ uelit, inuenire queat. ca. 1534

Vadianus, Joachim, 1484-1551. Epitome trivm terrae partivm, Asiæ, Africæ et Evropæ compendiariam locorum descriptionem continens, præcipue autem quorum in Actis Lucas, passim autem Euangelistæ & Apostoli meminere. 1534

Xerez, Francisco de, 1500-. Libro primo de la Conqvista del Perv & prouincia del Cuzco de le Indie occidentali. 1535

Eusebius, of Caesarea, Bishop of Caesarea, approximately 260-approximately 340. Habes opt. lector Chronicon opvs felicissime renatvm infinitis membris emendatis exactiusq[ue] conformatis, & adiectis multis quibus antehàc caruerat annis, perfectum: omnibus omnium, quas uocant, facultatum professoribus non solum utilissimum, sed & maxime necessarium, in quo diuinitus est scriptum, & plusquam humano iudicio distributum quicquid magnum & memorabile per Deum opt. maximum rerum omnium rectorem, & per miseros mortales cum mortalibus, à mundo creato usque ad hunc annum, est gestum. 1536

Maximilian, of Transylvania, active 1522. Il viaggio fatto da gli Spa gnivoli a torno a’l mondo. 1536

Giustiniani, Agostino, 1470-1536. Castigatissimi annali con la loro copiosa tavola della eccelsa & illustrissima republi. de Genoa, Opera certamẽte molto laudeuole, a studiosi assai comoda, & communemente a tutti vtilissima. 1537

Solinus, C. Julius, active 3rd century? C. Iulii Solini Polyhistor, rerum toto orbe memorabilium thesaurus locupletissimus. Huic ob argumenti similitudinem Pomponii Melae de situ orbis libros tres, fide diligentiaque summa denuò iam recognitos, adiunximus. 1543

Boemus, Joannes, approximately 1485-1535. Gli costvmi, le leggi, et l’vsanze di tvtte le genti; raccolte qvi insieme da molti illustri scrittori. 1558

Enciso, Martin Fernández de, -1525. Suma de geographia : q̄ trata de todas las partidas y provincias del mundo : en especial de las Indias. y trata largamēte del arte del marear jūtamente cō la espera en romāce 1546

Apian, Peter, 1495-1552. Cosmographiæ introductio : cum quibusdam geometriæ ac astronomiæ principiis ad eam rem necessariis. 1550

 Apian, Peter, 1495-1552. Cosmographia Petri Apiani. 1550

Casas, Bartolomé de las, 1484-1566. Breuissima relacion de la destruycion de las Indias. 1552

Cieza de León, Pedro de, 1518-1554. Parte primera De la chronica del Peru. Que tracta la demarcacion de sus prouincias: la descripcion dellas. Las fundaciones de las nueuas ciudades. Los ritos y costumbres de los indios. y otras cosas estrañas dignas de ser sabidas. 1553

Novvs orbis regionvm ac insvlarvm veteribvs incognitarvm, vna cvm tabvla cosmographica & aliquot alijs consimilis argumenti libellis, nunc nouis nauigationibus auctus … His accessit copiosus rerum memorabilium index. 1555

Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, Alvar, active 16th century. La relacion y comentarios del gouerna- dor Aluar nuñez cabeca de vaca, de lo acaescido en las dos jornadas que hizo a las Indias. 1555

Cieza de León, Pedro de, 1518-1554. La Prima Parte dell’ Istorie del Perv̀. 1557

Zeno, Niccolò, 1515-1565. De i commentarii del viaggio in Persia di m. Caterino Zeno il k. & delle guerre fatte nell’ imperio persiano, dal tempo di Vssuncassano in quà. Libri dve. Et Dello scoprimento dell’isole Frislanda, Eslanda, Engrouelanda, Estotilanda, & Icaria, fatto sotto il polo artico, da due fratelli Zeni, m. Nicolò il k. e m. Antonio. Libro vno. 1558

Medina, Pedro de, 1493?-1567? Regimiēto de nauegaciō Contiene las cosas que los pilotos hā de saber para bien nauegar: y los remedios y auisos que hā de tener para los peligros que nauegando les pueden suceder. 1563

Apollonius, Levinus, active 16th century. Levini Apollonii, Gandobrvgani, Mittelbvrgensis, de Peruuiae, regionis, inter Noui Orbis prouincias celeberrimae, inuentione: & rebus in eadem gestis, libri V. 1567

Colón, Fernando, 1488-1539. Historie // Del s. d. Fernando Colombo. 1571

Fernández, Diego, approximately 1520-approximately 1581. Primera, y segvnda parte, de la historia del Perv, qve se mando escreuir, à Diego Fernandez, vezino de la ciudad de Palencia. Cõtiene la primera, lo succedido en la Nueua España y en el Perù, sobre la execucion de las nueuas leyes: y el allanamiento, y castigo, que hizo el presidente Gasca, de Gonçalo Piçarro y sus sequaces. La segvnda, contiene la tyrannia y alçamiento de los Contreras, y don Sebastiã de Castilla, y de Francisco Hernãndez Giron: con otros muchos acaescimientos y successos. 1571

Porcacchi, Thomaso, approximately 1530-1585? L’isole piv famose del mondo. 1572

Colom, Arnold, 1624-1668. Zee-atlas, ofte Water-wereldt. Inhoudende een korte beschryvinge van alle de bekende zee-kusten des aardtrycks nieuwelycks uyt-ghegheven. 1656

Dudley, Robert, Sir, 1574-1649. Arcano del mare … Impressione seconda, corr. & accresciuta … con l’indice de’capitoli, e delle figure, & istruzione a’librai per legarle. 1661 (v.1)

Dudley, Robert, Sir, 1574-1649. Arcano del mare … Impressione seconda, corr. & accresciuta … con l’indice de’capitoli, e delle figure, & istruzione a’librai per legarle. 1661 (v.2)




Volvelles in the McGregor Library

Definition from John Carter, ABC for Book Collectors

Several volumes recently scanned as part of the McGregor Foundation’s digitization grant feature volvelles. And what is a volvelle? At its simplest, a volvelle comprises multilayered discs or dials that rotate above the page. The parts of the volvelle were printed on dedicated pages so that the reader could cut, remove, and assemble them on the appropriate page within the text using decorative glue caps or string. The earliest volvelles are attributable to Matthew Paris, an English Benedictine monk responsible for the 13th-century manuscripts constituting the Chronica Majora, and Ramon Llull, whose 1302 manuscript Ars Magna currently resides in the British Library.  These and other early volvelles were designed to answer both simple and complex questions related to religion and mysticism.  By the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, however, volvelles were appearing in astronomy and geographic texts, providing efficient summaries of data or serving as simple calculators.

In the McGregor Collection

Four of the first fifty volumes scanned from the McGregor collection contain volvelles:  three editions of Peter Apian’s Cosmosgraphicus and the revised edition of the Arcano del Mare of Sir Robert Dudley.



Cosmographicus Peter Apian (“Petrus Apianus”) published Cosmographia in Bavaria in 1524.  An introduction to astronomy and geography, it remained one of the most popular books throughout the century. The first edition featured four volvelles: a device for determining the horizon line, an altitude sundial, a meridian device, and a lunar clock.  A revised edition published in 1545 by Gemma Frisius, an astronomer and instrument-maker in Louvain,  replicated all of the original volvelles.  When Frisius published a second edition in 1550, however, he added a fifth: a nocturnal, an instrument for determining the time by observing the position of certain stars.  The importance of the volvelles to the popularity of the Cosmographia is open to debate.  The Collection also features an abridgment of the book published in Paris that omitted them entirely.




Arcano del’Mare.  Sir Robert Dudley’s Dell’Arcano del Mare (On the Mystery of the Sea) was the only successful maritime encyclopedia in the 17th century that did not originate in the Dutch Republic. The initial four-volume publication (1646-1647) was groundbreaking: “it was the earliest printed sea atlas to cover the entire world; the first compiled by an Englishman; and the first to base its charts on the map projections used by Mercator” (C. Rider). For Dudley, the volvelles were important navigational tools.  In the two-volume revised edition published in 1661 owned by the McGregor Collection, the general maps are gone, but the charts and volvelles remain.

McGregor Library Digitization Underway

We recently posted that the UVa Library had received a very generous grant from the McGregor Foundation to digitize a number of volumes from the McGregor Library, which includes many rare and historically significant books related to the European exploration of the New World. The Library was collected by Detroit philanthropist Tracy W. McGregor and donated to the University in 1938.

Well, the project is underway! Here are some images of the very first volume being scanned:

Student assistant Caim begins scanning the first volume for the McGregor digitization project.

DCS student assistant Caim Stewart begins scanning
the first volume for the McGregor digitization project.

We’re now three weeks into the digitization effort, and are excited that the first volumes are available online through Virgo! Volumes will continue to be added every week.

Click on the links below to view or download images from the first five volumes.

Pii II Pontificis Maximi Historia rerum ubique gestarum : cum locorum descriptione non finita, 1477

De vita et beneficijs salvatorie Jhesu cristi devotissime meditationes cu[m] gratiaru[m]actione, 1490

Zachariae Lilii Vicentini : Canonici Regularis Orbis Breviarium fide, compendio, ordineq. captu ac memoratu facillimum foelix et gratus legito, 1493

Be [i.e. de] ora antarctica per regem Portugallie pridem inuenta, 1505

Situs orbis Dionisij Ruffo auieno interprete, 1508

Images from the first volumes digitized by the McGregor project.

Images from the first volumes digitized by the McGregor project.

Chronicle: Born Digital, Projects Need Attention to Survive

Digital Curation Services staff were featured in a recent Chronicle of Higher Education article on the challenges of preserving born-digital scholarship: Born Digital, Projects Need Attention to Survive. The article describes the work that DCS director Bradley Daigle, together with Matthew Stephens, Sustaining Digital Scholarship Programmer, and Lorrie Chisholm, Content Migration Specialist, have done to steward an early UVa digital humanities project. Valley of the Shadow, a project begun in the early 1990s by historian Edward L. Ayers, is an online library of primary source documents about two American communities, one Northern and one Southern, during the Civil War and Reconstruction. Since 2009, Digital Curation Services has been working to standardize and update the technology used in the site, ensuring that the project continues to function and be accessible as its technological environment evolves. To learn more about the project and the work required to maintain born digital scholarship over time, click over to the Chronicle of Higher Education website.

From left to right, Matthew Stephens, Bradley Daigle, and Lorrie Chisholm. Image by Andrew Shurtleff for The Chronicle.

From left to right, Matthew Stephens, Bradley Daigle, and Lorrie Chisholm. Image by Andrew Shurtleff for The Chronicle.

University of Virginia Library Tweeting Broadcast Wire Chronicling Shooting of JFK

Digital Curation Services, part of the University of Virginia Library, will be “live-tweeting” a transcript of the broadcast wire from a United Press International teletype machine in Jacksonville Florida chronicling the shooting and death of President John F. Kennedy, November 22, 1963.

The Reporting came from Merriman Smith, the UPI White House reporter and dean of the White House Press Corps, who was in the front seat of the wire service pool car just behind the President’s convertible.

The tweets will begin at 1:45 PM EST on November 22nd and continue until 6:30 PM.

Follow @UVaDigServ, #JFK50 on Twitter to make sure you don’t miss it!

For more information, please contact Bradley Daigle, Director of Digital Curation Services,

Please be aware that some descriptions of the shooting and aftermath are graphic.

View the broadcast in its entirety here:

To read more about the UVa Library’s copy of the UPI teletype, go to the Special Collections blog, Notes from Under Grounds.

Broadcast Wire teletype chronicles events of November 22nd, 1963.

Broadcast wire teletype chronicles events of November 22nd, 1963.


Our Process for Live Tweeting the Broadcast Wire:

The first order of business was scanning the teletype. Images below are of the printout rolled up, as it lives in Special Collections’ stacks, and then unrolled and being scanned on our Cruse scanner. At over 30 feet long, the teletype had to be scanned in five separate sections and then digitally stitched together to create the continuous image you see at

The teletype printout of the UPI broadcast wire from Jacksonville, Florida, from just before the first report of Kennedy’s shooting to the end of the day. (MSS 15678, Gift of Randolph Pendleton. Photo by Molly Schwartzburg)

The teletype printout of the UPI broadcast wire from Jacksonville, Florida, from just before the first report of Kennedy’s shooting to the end of the day. (MSS 15678, Gift of Randolph Pendleton. Photo by Molly Schwartzburg)


One section of the teletype being scanned on Digitization Services' Cruse scanner. (MSS 15678, Gift of Randolph Pendleton.)

One section of the teletype being scanned on Digitization Services’ Cruse scanner. (MSS 15678, Gift of Randolph Pendleton.)













After scanning, we sent the images to a vendor for keyboarding, receiving a TEI file of marked-up text.

To prepare the text for tweeting, we stripped the markup, leaving plain text, and created a CSV file matching each line of the report up with its associated timestamp (such as HR1240PCS11/22). We then split all lines that were over 120 characters long. Although Twitter allows 140 characters, we wanted to leave room for hashtags (#JFK50 and #UVA) as well as links back to the teletype image.

View of the teletype as a CSV file

View of the teletype as a CSV file

Once we had our CSV ready, we created a Ruby program to work with Twitter’s API to automate the tweets. If you’re curious, you can check out our code on our GitHub repository:

While testing our tweets, we ran into an unexpected problem – Twitter limits the number of tweets coming from one account both per hour as well as per day. We had originally hoped to tweet the entire broadcast just as it would have been received 50 years ago, but because of these limits the tweets that go out on Friday will be curated; in some cases combining lines, and in others omitting duplicative information and unrelated stocks, weather, and local news reports. However, links will be provided so that our followers can go directly to any tweet’s location on the teletype image to be sure that they’re not missing anything.

Be sure to follow along on Twitter November 22nd, starting at 1:45 PM EST at @UVaDigServ!

McGregor Fund Awards Grant to Library

The McGregor Fund has awarded the University of Virginia Library a $245,000 grant to support a three-year effort to digitize a significant portion of the McGregor Library.

The McGregor Library of American History was donated in 1938 by the McGregor Foundation. The Library includes many rare and historically significant books related to the European exploration of the New World, and was collected by Detroit philanthropist Tracy W. McGregor.

The $245,000 grant will go towards making the collection more accessible to the public by digitizing 300 books from the McGregor Library and providing high resolution images of their pages online through the UVa Library’s online catalog. Volumes included in the digitization project are a 1495 Italian verse translation of Christopher Columbus’ official report of his first voyage and a 1613 etching from explorer Samuel de Champlain’s original sketch, depicting a July 30, 1609 battle where Champlain and a band of Huron Indians defeated a superior Mohawk force.

All of the digitization will be accomplished in-house in our own Digitization Studio starting in January. Keep an eye out for new McGregor volumes to begin showing up online soon!

To read more about the award, check out the UVA Today article here: Grant Awarded to U.Va. Library Will Make Unique Collection Available Online