Beverage Break and Poster Session

Beverage Break and Poster Session

Sponsored by: Preservation Technologies, L.P.

Getting Out of the Inbox: Using Customer Service Ticketing Systems for Reference Email at Brooklyn Historical Society and UC Riverside

Tired of reference emails “falling through the cracks” in a messy shared inbox? Want to provide faster response times? Wish you could better communicate internally about reference questions before replying, or more efficiently supervise communication by interns, paraprofessionals, or staff? Need to harness useful data about your email reference services? In this poster, learn about two institutions which, inspired by IT helpdesks and corporate customer service operations, implemented a ticketing solution to manage their reference inboxes. This poster will explain what a ticketing system is, compare currently available platforms, highlight the benefits and challenges of using tickets for reference email, and share data from both institutions. Authors will be available to talk about their personal experiences selecting, implementing, and managing a ticketing system.

Robin M. Katz, University of California, Riverside, formerly Brooklyn Historical Society
Joanna Lamaida, Brooklyn Historical Society
Zayda Delgado, University of California, Riverside

DC Africana Archives Project

In 2014, the Council on Library and Information Research awarded George Washington University Libraries a three-year Hidden Collections grant. This grant provides funding for intensive collaboration for the processing of collections to enhance access to local African-American and African diaspora materials housed in DC repositories. The collaborating institutions include George Washington University, Moorland-Spingarn Research Center at Howard University, Historical Society of Washington, D.C., DC Public Library, DC Archives, and the Archives Center at the National Museum of American History. This complex grant requires the DCAAP Project Archivist to work directly with site coordinators in identifying appropriate collections and deploying student processors to each site. This poster will explore the ways that the grant’s home institution, an academic library, was able to partner with public libraries and archives, historical societies, museums, and other academic libraries in a meaningful way that enhanced access to each institution’s holdings of local African-American and Africana materials. It will discuss challenges and successes experienced by the project archivist and highlight a sampling of each institution’s unique contributions to the project.

Presenter: Alexandra Krensky, George Washington University Libraries

Working with Donors to Create Metadata for Archival Materials: a New Form of Special Collections Outreach

Collaborating with donors on creating metadata for materials they have entrusted to our care is a novel form of Special Collections outreach as well as a way of ensuring that the descriptions of resources in our collections reflect the knowledge and expertise of community members. Yet working closely with donors on metadata can be a challenging undertaking that raises a number of thorny questions. What kind of metadata—and how much metadata—can a donor be reasonably expected to create? Where should donor-created metadata be recorded and captured? How much training is required for donors who have little understanding of basic metadata and descriptive standards? What types of workflows and tools are appropriate for metadata creators who perform most of their work at home? Providing answers that meet the needs of both donors and the archives requires strategic thinking as well as diplomacy and tact. This poster will document UNC Charlotte Libraries Special Collections’ experience with working with a donor on metadata for a large collection of digital photographs. It will illustrate the steps UNC Charlotte has taken to make its donor metadata project a success and provide viewers with an understanding of both the challenges and rewards of collaborative metadata efforts.

Presenter: Joseph Nicholson, University of North Carolina, Charlotte Libraries

Engaging the Archives: Collaborative Teaching with Faculty and Archivists

This poster will visualize a current seminar involving University of Michigan faculty and archivists from the Bentley Historical Library: “Engaging the Archives: New partnerships and Understandings of Teaching and Learning with Primary Sources.” The seminar seeks to explore and establish new approaches to teaching with archival material and deeper collaborative relationships between faculty and archivists. Meeting weekly, the seminar consists of eight University of Michigan faculty fellows and five Bentley archivists. The sessions are guided by seminar members, and examine concepts such as archival intelligence and historical thinking as well as practical considerations such as crafting learning goals and creating class sessions within the archives. The poster will visually trace the progress of the seminar, illustrating key moments and new ideas, which come out of our interactions. While archivists and special collections librarians are giving even greater attention to teaching from their collections, this seminar offers a rather rare opportunity for intensive collaboration between faculty and archivists. The case study examined in the poster offers an example of an intensive method of archival outreach, which may be replicated, in whole or in parts, in other academic archives and special collections libraries.

Presenter: Cinda Nofziger, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan

TOME (Toolkit of Material Evidence): Tracing Readers, Owners, and Users of Books

TOME is a multimedia online resource for the study of provenance marks and marginalia that combines a core vocabulary of terms with lists of scholarly resources and illustrative digital images. Currently under development (launching May 2016), TOME arose from a collaboration between UCLA and UPenn on the Provenance Online Project (POP), which makes images of provenance marks available online and enables a worldwide user community to help identify unknown provenance marks. TOME will serve as an instructional companion and resource hubfor POP users and anyone interested in learning about the material traces of readers and book owners. Built around twenty key terms relevant to provenance and book use, TOME is innovative in that it will offer users various means of finding terms and related resources, from browsing terms associated with different “roles” (e.g., reader, owner, editor) and “locations of the book” (e.g., title page, binding, fore-edge) to viewing questions someone might ask of such material evidence (e.g., how do I find information on the person who signed this book?). TOME will reach out to new audiences unfamiliar with book history and help them engage with the abundance of rare materials available in both physical and digital libraries.

Philip S. Palmer, Clark Library, University of California, Los Angeles
Laura Aydelotte, Kislak Center, University of Pennsylvania

Bibliotheca Philadelphiensis: Philosophy and workflows for the digitization and dissemination of medieval manuscripts

In January 2016, a group of institutions organized by the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries (PACSCL) was awarded almost $500,000 by the Council on Library and Information Resources to digitize virtually all the region’s medieval manuscripts. This project, Bibliotheca Philadelphiensis, will create the country’s largest regional collection of digitized medieval manuscripts. The three-year project, involving a total of 15 partner institutions, and led by Lehigh University, the University of Pennsylvania Libraries, and the Free Library of Philadelphia, will complete the digitization and online presentation of virtually all of the region’s medieval manuscripts – a total of almost 160,000 pages from more than 400 individual volumes. Bibliotheca Philadelphiensis’ images and metadata will be hosted by the Penn Libraries’ manuscript portal, OPenn (, and will also be served via the IIIF protocol. The images will be released into the public domain at high resolution and available for download (by the page, manuscript, or collection) with descriptive metadata provided under the Creative Commons CC-BY-4.0 license.  We propose a poster that will describe the project and outline the materials to be digitized and the workflows, processes, and the philosophy behind the project.

Dot Porter, University of Pennsylvania Libraries
Lois Black, Lehigh University Library
Janine Pollock, Free Library of Philadelphia

Discover Florida Citrus

Christopher Columbus brought citrus to the New World in 1493, and early Spanish explorers planted the first orange trees around St. Augustine, Florida, sometime between 1513 and 1565. This heritage eventually blossomed into industries worth billions of dollars. The Thomas B. Mack Citrus Archives located at the McKay Archive Center, Florida Southern College was declared the official archives of the Florida citrus industry by the State of Florida on May 4th, 2001. The poster will present a brief overview of the history of citrus in Florida through examples of materials from the Mack Archives. Professor Mack began teaching horticulture and citrus grove management at Florida Southern College in 1951 and brought his passion in all things citrus, in addition to his burgeoning collection. In 1988, the inclusion of a special room to house the collection in the Jack Berry Citrus Building encouraged donations of photographs and memorabilia. Almost 30 years later the collection is still growing and includes books, scientific reports, industry magazines, grove records, and ephemera such as citrus crate labels, which document the history of the Florida citrus industry in the 20th century.

Presenter: Gerrianne Schaad, Florida Southern College

Artifact as Identity: Freshmen, archives, and the exploration of culture

English Composition is a core class at Auburn University and one for which librarians have, until recently, played a fixed role as information literacy instructors. In 2014, a new faculty requested permission to hold her library composition sessions in Special Collections with the goal of introducing students to archival practice and cultural research. In collaboration with Special Collections staff, an innovative project was designed to have students explore their identity and cultural backgrounds through an artifact, manuscript, or rare book in the Auburn collections.  This poster will discuss the project and display some of the final posters and presentations created by students. It will highlight the expectations of the faculty and the outcome of the collaboration.  Though teaching information literacy skills remained the focus of the composition class, the use of archival artifacts inspired some students to engage deeply with their modest projects. The class only met for one formal archival instruction session, but several students returned throughout the semester for further archival and rare book research.  The class culminated with a final session where students presented their work and discussed how their artifacts reflected their culture as part of a greater, more diverse American experience.

Presenter: Greg Schmidt, Auburn University Libraries

Introducing HMML: 50 years of International Collaboration for Cultural Preservation

The primary mission of the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library (HMML) is to preserve the contents of endangered manuscripts through digitization. For 50 years, HMML teams have been photographing manuscripts in 20+ countries across Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and southern India, in partnership with 540+ libraries, providing free access to 140,000+ manuscripts (50,000,000+ pages). In 2016, coverage will expand. Fire, natural disasters, persecution, political upheaval, technological change, and neglect have been the principal historic threats to manuscript survival. In recent times, manuscripts have become targets for theft or illegal export, especially in developing countries. HMML believes that manuscripts should remain in their communities and countries of origin. By cataloging the manuscripts and making copies available to scholars, HMML encourages research on manuscripts and the cultures that produced them. HMML collaborates with owning institutions (hiring and training local staff) and with other projects. For example, HMML is working with SAVAMA-DCI, a Malian NGO founded by Dr. Abdel Kader Haidara, to digitize the over 200,000 historic documents and manuscripts that were smuggled out of Timbuktu in 2013 to prevent their destruction by radical Islamists.

Presenter: Eileen Smith, Hill Museum and Manuscript Library

The Library Machine

Special Collections feature a wide range of exciting materials and given the opportunity, our users usually quickly engage with them. Yet getting the less advanced researchers in front of the materials can be a challenge.  Outreach efforts contribute to engaging novice users with our holdings but they are often labor and time-consuming as well as limited to selected audiences.  To address these challenges, librarians in Special Collections, faculty in Cinematic Arts/Interactive Media, and a team of students started a unique collaboration to develop The Library Machine. Using the rich possibilities of touch screens and motion sensors, The Library Machine transforms physical items in Special Collections into a three dimensional, virtual environment. Through this new library interface users are invited to engage and interact with our treasures without the limitations of the physical space, and can search and browse our materials in a new, more intuitive way. The poster will summarize the history of the project, project goals and outcomes, challenges faced, iterations, as well as the progress to date. Examples of object-capture tests, first interface designs, and a prototype of the project will be available for demonstration on a laptop.

Presenter: Michaela Ullmann, University of Southern California

Cataloging Palm-leaf Manuscripts in the Classroom

South and Southeast Asian palm-leaf manuscripts pose unique problems of accessibility and ethics in special collections libraries. Often languishing as hidden collections, these manuscripts have colonial provenance and/or ritual significance that places ethical demands on libraries to increase their visibility. Collaborative cataloging projects in the classroom can help accelerate the cataloging of these materials by sharing the expertise and time commitments of students, faculty, and library staff. In a hands-on manuscript course offered by University of Edinburgh, graduate students worked with special collections librarians and faculty to identify and catalog Buddhist manuscripts. This poster illustrates the concrete steps involved in cataloging an eighteenth-century Sri Lankan manuscript with multiple stakeholders.

Presenter: Alia Levar Wegner, University of Tampa

“I sing my song, and all is well” – The Paul Laurence Dunbar Book Collection at the West Virginia & Regional History Center

The West Virginia & Regional History Center is home to six illustrated books by Paul Laurence Dunbar. These decorated books showcase the wonderful marriage between text and image that was prevalent in the 19th and 20th century. These books are a great example of diverse partners coming together to make works of art for a mass audience. It is impossible to talk about this collection without addressing noted illustrator Margaret Armstrong, Dunbar’s poetry, and the photographs by the Hampton Institute Camera Club. The value of these books transcend the appreciation of booksellers and bibliophiles; this collection also functions as a resource for anyone interested in early 20th century African-American cultural history.

Presenter: Ashleigh Coren, West Virginia & Regional History Center