Patricia Price, a Digital Curation Services volunteer since 2011, was given the Ribble Award for outstanding volunteer service at a reception yesterday. Patricia was the Library’s first remote volunteer, contributing authorized names to the UVa Visual History collection. After moving to Charlottesville from Washington, D.C., she continues to contribute to the work of the department by identifying images from U.Va. Special Collections used in a faculty member’s popular website on the Atlantic slave trade, as patrons frequently request copies of these images. To learn more about Patricia’s work in Digital Curation Services, read the nomination letter here.
These digital images have been customized for various uses: find images sized for websites, publications, teaching, learning, exhibits, personal/scholarly research and private use. Use of these images may eliminate having to deal with resizing and cropping.
- Small – Ideal for websites – Max Width=640 & Max Height=640 (640 pixels on the long side.)
- Medium – Ideal for websites & PDF’s – Max Width=800 & Max Height=800 (800 pixels on the long side.)
- Large – Ideal when one needs a higher quality image. This size maybe useful for printing or oversize display (displays larger than original size) – Size may vary with a Max Width=1200 & Max Height=1200 (1200 pixels on the long side. Depends on the dimension of the original size.)
- Full Size – This image is half the size of the raw image (size is in terms of ppi). This is an extremely large image and it is not recommended that this be your first choice. This file size allows users to view detailed information in the images. It is useful for maps, graphs, and viewing background information such as signs in photographs. This image size contains a citation and persistent URL’s to the metadata along with our copyright statement. It is not recommended one download this image for web publications. It is a useful size for PDF publishing. This size is better for reading small print such as with newspaper scans.
- High resolution tiff – Not available through Virgo – these images are useful for high quality print publications, physical exhibits, GIS processing, or to use portions of an image. The smaller the original, the more useful the tiff image. Submit a request online at https://tracksys.lib.virginia.edu/ .
SAVE TIME: save time by embedding the image in your webpage and let us do the hosting. The UVa Library provides a persistent URL, which is available to agencies such as Digital Public Library of America. To find the persistent URL, look up the image in Virgo, view the image online, and click on the “Permalink” tab below the title and author listing (in the top section of the page). If you are concerned with archiving of web publications, download the small or medium image.
Thanks to the efforts of the Jefferson Madison Regional and UVa Libraries, early issues The Daily Progress, the local Charlottesville newspaper, were recently digitized. These issues are now included in our online collections, covering the years 1893 – 1923. A new Pinterest Board, The Daily Progress: Historical Headlines, highlights the Daily Progress’ reporting of some of the biggest stories of the day.
Issues on Pinterest feature national and world events:
- the San Francisco earthquake
- the Monongah Mining Disaster
- the sinkings of the Titanic and Lusitania
- World War I
- and women’s suffrage
as well as local headlines:
- the first electric streetcar in Charlottesville
- the opening of the Charlottesville Public Library
- the dedication of the Lewis and Clark statue (currently on West Main St.)
- and the hanging of ex-mayor Sam McCue for the murder of his wife.
Nearly 17,000 images have been downloaded from Virgo by library patrons in the last year. Ever wondered what the most popular images in the UVa Digital Library are? Check out a sampling of the most often downloaded images below; to download an image for yourself, click on ‘see it in Virgo’ in the image’s caption. To explore all of the top 99 visit our Pinterest board: UVa Digital Library Most Popular.
The University of Virginia Magazine recently published “Born Digital” discussing preservation of born-digital materials in the UVa Library.
Increasingly tasked with preserving materials that started out in digital formats and do not have a physical copy, UVa librarians are figuring out “What is the best way to save materials when the pace of technology so often makes the hardware and software on which they were created obsolete?”
“In the past, notable people would give you their papers,” says Bradley Daigle, director of digital curation services for the University of Virginia Library. “Now Thomas Jefferson 2.0 hands over a hard drive.”
The library is also collecting material that was never on disk, such as websites and Twitter feeds created surrounding the controversy over President Teresa Sullivan’s resignation last summer.
The article includes tips to authors and artists interested in saving their own work for posterity:
1. Back up your data – save a copy on an external hard drive or use a cloud service.
- images: TIFF or uncompressed JPEG
- text: PDF/A or backward-compatible version of Word (.doc, not .docx)
- audio: Broadcast wave (WAV)
- digital video: highest resolution your camera will produce.
2. Make informed decisions about how you create documents; some suggestions:
3. Save different drafts of your work instead of overwriting them.
To read the full article, click over to the University of Virginia Magazine.
The Digital Public Library of America went live today, with one of its initial collections being the Holsinger Studio Collection from UVa Special Collections. From the DPLA launch announcment: “The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) launched a beta of its discovery portal and open platform today. The portal delivers millions of materials found in American archives, libraries, museums, and cultural heritage institutions to students, teachers, scholars, and the public. Far more than a search engine, the portal provides innovative ways to search and scan through its united collection of distributed resources. Special features include a dynamic map, a timeline that allow users to visually browse by year or decade, and an app library that provides access to applications and tools created by external developers using DPLA’s open data.”
UVa partnered with other institutions such as the Smithsonian, New York Public Library, Harvard Library, and ARTStor to provide a cross-institutional portal to digital collections. The Holsinger Studio Collection is the first of many future contributions by the UVa Library, and can be accessed through DPLA here.
UVA Today announced the Jefferson Trust Grant awardees today, and Digitization Services is one of them! Christina Deane, Digitization Services’ department head, submitted the application to bring multispectral scanning to the digitization studio. From the UVA Today Article: “Funding for this project will allow the University Library to begin exploring multispectral imaging, opening new avenues of research to scholars with a modest investment of funds. Multispectral scanning is extremely useful in making obscured writings visible on palimpsests, severely damaged manuscripts and documents that are barely legible, allowing scholars and students to make discoveries that were previously impossible. Multispectral imaging reveals details that are invisible in white light by using multiple single wavelength scans to capture details from documents. The proposed project will digitize materials from the Thomas Jefferson collection with crossed out words and phrases. The Jefferson materials are just the beginning of the process, and this multispectral scanner is the entry point for the University to begin expanding digital imaging services to scholars.”
The University of Virginia Library is partnering with other prominent institutions to create the Digital Public Library of America, the first national library that provides a single access point for finding digital resources from multiple university libraries as well as federal organizations. The first UVa contribution will be the Holsinger Studio Collection, containing more than ten thousand images of life in Charlottesville at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. The recent announcement has generated a lot of excitement, as well as news coverage. To read more about the DPLA launch and UVa’s involvement, visit the DPLA website at http://www.dp.la or check out some of the recent press, and be sure to check out the Holsinger images like the one below in the DPLA later this week.
By James Perla, Class of 2015
At the end of January, publications from the Guardian to the New York Times reported the tragic loss of priceless manuscripts dating as far back as the 13th century, the oldest dated from 1204.
Digitization could have allayed this tragedy; precious cultural and historical information would be safely cataloged in servers, firewalled against the elements and potential transgressors. There is so much effort taken to protect individuals from terrorism; books, manuscripts, and letters should not be discarded into the realm of additional or non-essential for language creates and distills culture, destroying the documents that define a region is an act of terrorism against cultural identity.
Rebels were not so much religious-extremists as criminals. They captured the city of Timbuktu and raised a black rebel flag, pirate-style. As French and Mali government forces approached the rebels torched two of the buildings that contained manuscripts.
These manuscripts cover topics ranging from astronomy, poetry, music, medicine and women’s rights. Many of these contained local African languages, as well as texts written in Arabic, preserved unique cultural history of Africa, and gave a counterexample to the myth that Africa only has an oral history. Some of the more peculiar documents included an ancient history of West Africa, letters of recommendation for a German explorer, and a text dealing with erectile dysfunction.
Speaking on the reports, the Guardian quoted the chairman of the Timbuktu Manuscript Project, Esspo Pahad, who said: “it’s one of our greatest cultural treasure houses. It’s also one of the greatest houses of Islamic history. The writings are so forward-looking on marriage, on trade, on all sorts of things. If the libraries are destroyed then a very important part of African and world history are gone. It would be a catastrophe if the reports are true.”
Luckily, the reports are not true. The manuscript scare proved to be just that: a close call. The latest report says that around 10,000 manuscripts had been stored in a new building. Additionally, the restoration was taking place, so there were only a few manuscripts being worked on by conservators.
For those who appreciate the unsung efforts of conservators and digitizers alike, the work taken to preserve and arrange these documents has been extensive. Imagine organizing and digitizing unnumbered manuscripts! Scholars painstakingly ordered copious manuscripts, which were initially ordered by repeating the last word of a previous page on each new one. This required the direction of an international team of experts—no room for skipped pages or incorrect numbering here.
The near-miss of the terrorist-attack-on-culture has made the protection of the cultural and intellectual heritage of this region a top priority. Currently, the Ahmed Baba Institute and Tombouctu Manuscript Project work digitizing manuscripts, however only a fraction have been digitized.
These organizations have a different method of digitization than here, at University of Virginia’s Digitization Services. The Tombocutu Manuscript Project focuses on studies of book history and manuscript traditions of Africa, as well as manuscript translation; Digitization becomes an essential tool so that manuscripts can be studied in more detail. The Djenne Manuscript Library is working to digitize 220,000 pages of Djenne’s manuscripts with equipment similar. Furthermore, the Djenne project organizes public seminars on different aspects of manuscript preservation including cataloguing, conservation, calligraphy, and information technology.
As we adjust to our new LCD lights at DigiServ and put the old Tungsten bulbs and white photo-shoot umbrella set up into storage, these Malian scholars work with the equivalent of my desk lamp and DSLR fastened on a yard-stick. There’s a feeling of pride and camaraderie in the preservers-of-the-unseen written treasures of the world. There’s a sense of duty to further research, translation, and understanding of cultural jewels that transcends national, linguistic and budgetary boundaries to bring us together as digitizers. That connection is what makes this manuscript scare, this near miss of catastrophic destruction of culture, this transgression against transnational preservers of the precious so close to being tragic.
The err in reporting becomes a call to action:
In our hyper-paranoid world warring against terror, we send unmanned aircrafts, we listen to phone conversations unasked, we do full-body scans, we draft, we train, we proactively hunt under the umbrella-justification that terrorism is raining down on us. And when it rains; it pours. So, why not digitize? Protect our intellectual treasures. We digitize; we do our jobs, we preserve the precarious kindling-like documents in catalogs (readable-on-kindle). We do our jobs so that the pirates, rebels, criminals and thugs cannot destroy precious cultural items as easily as flicking a cigar into a collection after the last puff before the government officials arrive to do their jobs.
The Daily Progress digitization project is getting a lot of press! Here it is featured in the January 14th edition of UVA Today: