It's been about a year since the project first began, so I thought now would be a good time to review the latest updates to the Bowden Postcard Collection Online. As I wrote about in November, this digital collection is being developed from the donation of roughly 480,000 postcards by two friends and Miami alumni: Clyde N. Bowden and Charles Shields. The project began last summer with a pilot that used a handful of cards from each state in Bowden's collection. These cards were digitized, given metadata records, and added to CONTENTdm - our digital content management system.
In the year since we began, we have digitized nearly 2,200 postcards, mostly from Ohio. There have been some setbacks along the way, most notably the recognition in December for a need to revise our already existing metadata records. At the same time, however, we have also made great strides forward. Clyde N. Bowden, the donor and namesake, was very excited to hear about the project and has given us a very generous donation to fund the current Ohio-focused work. His was not the only positive feedback we have had, either. Since joining the Commons, our digital collections' Flickr account - of which the postcards represent a substantial portion - has averaged between 10-20,000 views a day, and the number of monthly hits we have received in CONTENTdm for the full collection has likewise increased several times over. One particularly memorable response was from someone who recognized his father in a photograph used for one of the Oxford postcards.
In addition to his financial contribution, Mr. Bowden also donated to us several boxes of books about postcards, books of postcards, and other postcard-related miscellanea. We are also receiving another generous donation from the Columbus Metropolitan Library in the form of roughly 500 postcards from their own collection - many of them being from the mid-20th century Middle East.
So where do we go from here? Thanks to Mr. Bowden's donation, we are able to investigate commercial digitization which will save a significant portion of our students' time and labor, allowing them to focus on creating the metadata records and adding them to the collection online. We also are expanding our operation and bringing on a third student this summer to help with the work. With the digitization outsourced and the extra help, I am anticipating having over 5,000 postcards online by the end of 2014. Once we have completed the roughly 8,000 postcards remaining in the Bowden collection, we will add the Ohio postcards from the Shields collection. My goal for the project is to complete both collections' Ohio cards - about 15,000 in total! - by the end of spring 2016. I have also created a Twitter account - @bowdenpostcards - to track new postcards being added to the collection. Although currently inactive for the summer break, I look forward to seeing the account continue to log the latest additions to the collection, including a fascinating postcard flipbook from early 1900's Portsmouth, Ohio (watch a video of it on the Special Collections blog here).
Marcus Ladd Special Collections Librarian & Postcard Czar
On behalf of Special Collections and the Center for Digital Scholarship, I am excited to announce the launch of our new digital collections portal. The new website is the end result of a long migration process of collections divided across instances of DSpace and CONTENTdm version 4.3 into a single, up-to-date instance of CONTENTdm 6.6. In addition to a variety of new features, the new instance is based on a significantly improved platform to allow for better searching and viewing of the items in our digital collections.
List of currently available collections
In total, our digital collections hold roughly 90,000 items, shared between over two dozen collections. These collections include:
The migration project began over a year ago and was spearheaded by John Millard, the Head of the Center for Digital Scholarship, and Elias Tzoc, the Digital Initiatives Librarian. From Special Collections, I have been collaborating with them to migrate and update the information about our collections that have been digitized. The project had several stages, each with their own unique set of challenges, including coordinating import/export tools from different platforms, updating image files to current standards, and preparing for a seamless-as-possible transition to a new platform.
This migration also comes ahead of Miami University’s domain name overhaul - migrating from the muohio.edu domain name (which will be defunct June 1st of this year) to the newer MiamiOH.edu. As a part of this, we are working to ensure that citations to our digital collections elsewhere on the web are ready for the migration and domain name change. One of the biggest current challenges in this is updating the links in our Flickr collections that lead back to the full objects and metadata records in CONTENTdm. Earlier this year, Miami University Libraries’ digital collections officially joined the Flickr Commons. Since then, I have been tracking the changes in views of both our Flickr account and their comparable collections in CONTENTdm. I have been thrilled to note the significant increase of both, but it has become clear to me that when it comes to access, there is no competition - the increase of views of the Bowden Postcard Collection Online in CONTENTdm is outnumbered fifteen times over by the views on Flickr. While the Flickr collection only shows the front of the card and a limited version of the metadata found in the CONTENTdm collection, the number of views is undeniable evidence of the importance of social media platforms for access in the modern world of information.
Another exciting part of this migration is the relaunch of our Civil War Diaries online collection. These diaries include three kept by Miami students and three by local Ohio community members who took up arms to fight for the Union. The diarists, all of whom served as members of the Ohio Volunteer Infantry, record their impressions and experiences on a variety of topics, including their interrupted college studies, the daily life of a soldier, military engagements and news from the home front. In the near future we will be also relaunching our digitized Samuel Richey Collection of the Southern Confederacy, as well as digitizing and making available new materials related to the American Civil War.
Studio 14 host Rick Ludwin
Finally, I am pleased to announce the completion of our newest digital collection: the Studio 14 Archives. This collection features digitized copies of the variety show produced by Miami students under the oversight of Dr. Bill Utter, from 1968-1970. The two-inch wide quadruplex videotape originals were kept by the show’s producer, Miami alumnus Rick Ludwin, who had them digitized and donated them to Special Collections so that we might be able to make them publicly available online. Special Collections continues to enjoy an ongoing relationship with Mr. Ludwin, who spoke at Special Collections’ first Annual Lecture Series. In addition to being a Miami alumnus, Rick Ludwin was also VP at NBC, where he is remembered for backing a new show called Seinfeld. The Studio 14 episodes in this collection feature a wide range of sketch comedy, musical performances, and famous guests. Happy viewing!
Gabriel García Márquez, the best-known author of the Boom generation of Latin American Authors died Thursday. García M´rquez was well known for his use of magical realism and incorporating Latin American history and politics in to his novels and short stories. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1982. Want to find out more?
Miami University Libraries is pleased to announce our participation in the Knowledge Unlatched project as a charter member. The current system for publishing scholarly material is in crisis. Knowledge Unlatched is pioneering a new, experimental model for the publication of scholarly monographs--instead of every academic institution purchasing a single title whose use is limited to that institutional community, a large cooperative of institutions pay into the cost of a title fee to a publisher. In return for this payment, the book is made freely available for anyone in the world to access on a Creative Commons license as a fully downloadable PDF. Because the number of participating institutions was much higher than originally predicted, the cost per book per institution dropped drastically.
As of April 2014, 22 of the 28 titles in the pilot phase of this project are now available for anyone to download on the OAPEN platform. The remaining 6 titles will be published and made available over the remainder of 2014. As a charter member, Miami University Libraries will be involved in the project’s governance going forward, and will have the option to continue participating on a title by title basis.
Titles cover a variety of subject areas, primarily in the humanities and social sciences. A list of the available titles can be found on the OAPEN platform.
Amos Music Library wants the university community's input to help decide which recent popular music recordings to add to our collection. Please visit http://bit.ly/amospoll to vote for your favorite album from 2013. (A Miami University email address is required. Only one vote per person will be considered.) Nominees were selected based on the best-of-the-year lists of several major publications (http://bit.ly/1ixwCKZ).
You can listen to selections from the nominees on our Spotify playlist: http://bit.ly/amoslist (see instructions below).
Remember, a number of our general interest recordings are on display in our Spotlight Collection at Amos Library in CPA.
New to Spotify? It is one of the most popular resources for streaming music. It can be accessed via a desktop application or via a web browser. Anyone can sign up for a free, ad-supported account with either a facebook account or an email address. You do not need to supply credit card information. There are also ad-free paid subscriptions available ($4.99/month for Unlimited or $9.99/month for Premium, which allows for streaming via mobile devices). You can try Premium via a one-month free trial subscription.
How to sign up for Spotify (web browser access):
1. Go to https://www.spotify.com/
2. Click "Go to web player"
3. Two options: A) Sign up with facebook B) Sign up with email
4. Create your username and password
5. Visit http://play.spotify.com to listen via the web
6. Log out by clicking the gear in the lower left corner
By: Anonymous (not verified)on: September 25, 2015 10:41 am| Anonymous
Sunday, March 16 is Freedom of Information Day. This yearly celebration is always on or around the birthday of James Madison, who strongly believed in the freedom of information. The Freedom of Information Act, which was enacted in 1966, protects the rights that all American citizens have to federal knowledge. For more information on this act, come check out Government Information’s Guide to the Freedom of Information Act or access it online. Access to this and many other materials are available to members of the Miami community through the Federal Depository Library Program. “Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.” –James Madison Happy Freedom of Information Day!
By: Anonymous (not verified)on: August 10, 2016 9:51 am| Anonymous
Miami University Libraries and the Howe Writing Center celebrate National Black History Month with the 25th Annual African American Read-In on Wednesday, February 26th. The Read-In encourages the celebration of all aspects of the African American experience, including the reading of selections from all literary genres, the display of artistic works, music and dance performances, and more! Come join us & share some of your own work or anything that recognizes the talent, contribution, or experience of African Americans. Refreshments will be provided so please pass the word & join us Wednesday, February 26th between 11:30am & 2:30pm, first floor King Library, Howe Writing Center for a multi-faceted Read-In!