2017 Updates

2017 has already been an amazing year for PA Digital!

We began our year with a webinar, “Highlights of DPLA Whitepapers Webinar” in January in order to give an overview of three complex documents for our existing and prospective contributors. During this webinar, we summarized Aggregating and Representing Collections in the Digital Public Library of America. This paper explored the possibility of including more collection-level description within the DPLA. The second white paper, RightsStatements.org White Paper: Recommendations for Standardized International Rights Statements acted as documentation and information for Rightsstatements.org. Lastly, we spoke on DPLA Metadata Quality Guidelines which acts as a refresh of the DPLA’s metadata requirements and recommendations for better data quality. View our slides here!

We have had two harvests so far this year. Our April harvest saw the inclusion of Bryn Mawr College, Bloomsburg University, Montgomery County Community College, Slippery Rock University, Ursinus College, Philadelphia University, and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. This harvest included 19 new collections and 18,480 digital objects (records).

PA Digital was well-represented at DPLAFest 2017 in Chicago. Brandy Karl, Copyright Officer, from Pennsylvania State University presented on “Implementing Rights Statements @ PSU and PA Digital” (part of Turn the Rights On: a RightsStatements.org Update and Comparison of Regional Rights Standardization Projects). View her slides here!

Delphine Khanna and myself presented on “Reaching Out to Potential DPLA Hub Contributors: PA Digital’s Communication Strategy and Plan, or “The Accidental Public Relations Manager.” View our slides here!

Our June 2017 harvest saw the inclusion of West Chester University, Pennsylvania State Archives, La Salle University, Millersville University, Sewickley Public Library, and Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. This harvest also added 48 new collections and 27,780 digital objects (records).

We would like to extend warm thanks to all who worked with us to bring in new collections.

You can see all of PA Digital’s records in the DPLA by searching or faceting on our name PA Digital: PA Digital Records in the DPLA.

View our progress since we went live in DPLA:

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We also revamped our website recently. Check it out: https://padigital.org/

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In addition to new contributors and records, we are planning:

  • Two metadata workshops,
    • Metadata Anonymous Webinar, 8/23 at 1pm
    • If You Liked it Then You Should Have Put Metadata On It: Descriptive Cataloging and Selecting Rights Statements for Digital Collections at the 2017 Pennsylvania Library Association (PaLA) 10/18 at 9am
  • Two orientation webinars, and
    • Knight Orientation Webinar, 7/20 at 1pm
    • Fall Webinar TBD
  • Three educational online modules on rights statements for this summer and fall.
    • What is Copyright?
    • What is a Rights Statement?
    • Implementing Rights Statements

We are looking forward to presenting our work and onboarding more institutions and more content from current contributors within the coming year. Stay tuned for more details.

As usual, for information about our project, or about how you can participate in PA Digital and the DPLA, please email anytime to info@padigital.org.

Sincerely,

Rachel Appel, Co-Manager, PA Digital, on behalf of the PA Digital Team

Chicken

Pennsylvania State Archives, Chicken on Barrel with String on Leg

PA Digital Virtual Office Hours

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In July, PA Digital’s Metadata Team began regular Virtual Office Hours. Inspired by instructors in our previous educational environments, we offer Virtual Office Hours as time and space for open conversation and information-sharing on digital collections and participation in PA Digital & the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). The sessions are not recorded.

In Virtual Office Hours, we hope to hear questions and thoughts that our partners and potential partners from all over Pennsylvania have about the entire process of bringing digital collections to PA Digital and the DPLA. This includes not only steps for already-digitized collections, but also steps as early as planning digitization and creating metadata practices. We would also love to hear about what works and what doesn’t work for our partners in local contexts.

We will announce details (including dates, times, and direct links) of Virtual Office Hours regularly in several places:

We hope to hear from you soon!

(Image credit: Mark Moz, https://www.flickr.com/photos/106574022@N04/10797544894)

Resources for Getting Started with Digitization

We recognize that one of the greatest obstacles of bringing cultural heritage collections into digital spaces like PA Digital and the DPLA is the large step of initial digitization, including forming a plan and a workflow for digitization, and executing them. Here are a few select resources that can help your institution’s digitization planning and implementation. The concise list appears at the end of this post.

Planning & Workflow

Recently, the DPLA offered a digital projects training program (the Public Library Partnerships Project), and its self-guided curriculum remains available, along with a gallery of projects completed by participants. This curriculum introduces guidelines and topics for planning new digitization projects. Additionally, Franky Abbott (DPLA), Jennifer Birnel (Montana Memory Project), and Sarah Hawkins (East Central Regional Library), also presented a webinar on the topic for TechSoup, based on their collaborations within the Public Library Partnerships Project:

 

For financial planning stages, the Digital Library Federation’s Assessment Interest Group recently developed and released a Library Digitization Cost Calculator, currently in beta. Once you can roughly determine the total cost of a project of interest, it becomes a little easier to determine what grants you can apply to; there are many out there, including CLIR’s Hidden Special Collections and Archives competition, and multiple grants from the NEH such as Common Heritage, Humanities Open Book, and more.

Hardware & Hosting (In-State!)

Within Pennsylvania, the State Library offers a lending program for their portable tabletop Scribe Scanner. Our partners at the University of Scranton and Scranton Public Library engaged in a great community project with it; you can also read more about the scanner’s specifications here and here. The loan application process for the State Library’s Scribe Scanner is as follows:

Additionally, our partner HSLC via the POWER Library offers PA Photos and Documents, a content management and hosting service that doubles as a union catalog. That is to say, POWER Library aggregates participant collections together in a searchable database, and provides the hosting and content management service to participants for free or very low cost (contingent on some guidelines). The application to participate is available online.

Format & Metadata Guidelines

The Federal Agencies Digitization Guidelines Initiative (FADGI) has drafted some general guidelines and  resources on digitization and digital-object metadata, including standards (like their Digital Imaging Standards), as well as explorations of specific topics, (like their file format comparisons).

If your institution’s goals include exposing your digital materials in the Digital Public Library of America, we at PA Digital are very happy to help! We suggest that you take a look at our PA Digital Readiness guidelines and our metadata guidelines, and feel free to email (info@padigital.org) or tweet (@PADigitalNews) the PA Digital team with any questions.

Concise List

Planning & Workflow

Hardware & Hosting

Format & Metadata Guidelines

More?
Please share any other resources that you may know of with the PA Digital community in the comments below!

Webinar Report: RightsStatements.org

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Three categories of rights statements at RightsStatements.org

On May 10 & 17, 2017 Emily Gore (DPLA) and Greg Cram (NYPL) presented a two-part webinar on RightsStatements.org, a joint initiative of DPLA and Europeana that provides standardized rights statements for cultural heritage institutions and aggregators to apply to digital objects. RightsStatements.org was launched on April 14, 2016, and currently provides 11 statements for institutions to use for sharing usage rights status of their digital objects.

In the first half of “RightsStatements.org: Why We Need It, What It Is (and Isn’t) and What Does It Mean for the DPLA Network and Beyond?” (5/10/2016),  Emily and Greg spoke about the background and philosophy behind RightsStatements.org’s creation. They pointed out the vast variety of statements currently describing digital objects, and the potential for users to be confused or misled regarding restrictions in using the objects; they also covered a basic primer on copyright and fair use.

The second half of the webinar (5/17/2016) focused on the statements themselves, which are separated into three types: In Copyright, No Copyright, and Other. Emily and Greg covered each of the 11 statements (and a potential 12th addition), and described the difference between rights statements (which institutions may apply) and the licensing tools of Creative Commons (which, aside from the public domain mark, only original copyright holders may apply). They also spoke about implementation of the rights statements in the DPLA, noting that the overall goal is to let users “know, as accurately as possible, what they can and cannot do with materials that they find,” and acknowledging that the work of implementation will require some time and resource-intensive work.

The presentation slides from the webinar have been made available on the DPLA website, as well as detailed Q&A from questions submitted by webinar participants.

Further Reading

International Rights Statements Working Group (2016), “Rightsstatements.org White Paper: Recommendations for Standardized International Rights Statements.”

DPLA (2016), “Announcing the Launch of RightsStatements.org,” DPLAblog.

Sarah Shreeves (2016), “Clarity for Our Users,” In the Open.