New Strategies for Managing Manuscripts in Digital Libraries

Session Type: Presentation/Panel

Session Description:
This presentation will provide an update on the University of Virginia Library’s work to bring in the heterogeneous content that is digitized manuscript materials into a stewarded digital environment. We are working to combine the digitization of manuscripts and archives with the onslaught of born digital content to create a single, open source solution to managing digital content in all of its simple, hierarchical, and aggregate forms. We are applying Fedora content models to these materials and managing through a series of ingest protocols that can take static elements such as an EAD.XML and atomize it into its constituent components. This would allow for both a nuanced management as well as fine-grained IP solution for collections that have mixed rights associated with that content. These efforts seek to dedupe redundant metadata management strategies that are often part of manuscript workflows. For example, many archives store collection level metadata in MARC as well as EAD. This new research approach would allow for the creation of a single collection object that could contain all the information related to the collection. This could be the collection object that curators manage or it could take the output from a variety of other standardized software packages (e.g. Archivists’ Toolkit, EAD, etc).

Building on the lessons learned from the AIMS grant (Born Digital Materials: An Inter-Institutional Approach to Stewardship), this work seeks to provide the means for creating a comprehensive solution to how manuscript data can be integrated in the basic search functions of a digital library environment as well as how that data can be structured to avoid redundant metadata management. There currently exists no single open source solution that can manage such heterogeneous materials and the complicated structures and rights they often imply available to libraries and archives. We hope to change that.

Session Leaders:
Bradley Daigle, University of Virginia
Mike Durbin, University of Virginia

Session Notes:
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