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University of Virginia
Report to the Digital Library Federation
October 15, 2000


  • Collections, Services, and Systems
  • Projects and Programs
  • Specific Digital Library Challenges

    I. Collections, Services, and Systems

    A. Collections

    American Civil War Collections
    8 collections of Civil War letters, two that are part of Ed Ayers' Valley of the Shadow Project for which we provide XML searching and display services (Electronic Text Center)

    Apachean Languages and Oral Literatures
    Chiricahua and Mescalero Apache Texts: a Bilingual Apache-English presentation with Linguistic notes (Electronic Text Center)

    Cape Coast Archive
    An architectural survey of Cape Coast, Ghana. (Digital Media Lab)

    Digital Orthophoto Quarter Quadrangles
    DOQQs (digitized and geo-referenced aerial photographs) cover all parts of Virginia that have been completed by the U.S. Geological Survey. Metadata will be developed as well as text- and map- based retrieval systems for imagery. (Geospatial and Statistical Data Center)

    Early American Fiction I
    Sold by Chadwyck-Healey on behalf of UVA. The University (with funding from the Mellon Foundation) has built 583 volumes of early American fiction (1789-1850) by 83 authors. Each text exists as a full set of color page-images and a searchable SGML text. (Electronic Text Center)

    eBook Library for the Microsoft Reader
    1,200 publicly available ebooks for the Microsoft Reader. More than 680,000 ebooks shipped between Aug 2000 and Oct 2000. (Electronic Text Center)

    Flowerdew Hundred
    An interactive online museum and searchable XML database, with text, images, and QT movies. Flowerdew Hundred is located on one of the earliest original land grants in Virginia. (Electronic Text Center)

    Inventory of Virginia Architecture
    A compendium of visual material documenting the architecture of Virginia. (Digital Media Lab)

    Japanese Text Initiative (JTI)
    Preparing to add 39 new texts of classical Japanese literature. The Japanese characters are fully searchable for all JTI texts. (Electronic Text Center)

    New Modern English Texts Online
    Several hundred new titles, many illustrated, in our largest and most active collection (Electronic Text Center)

    Ovid's Metamorphoses
    Searchable Latin text, an interlinked English translation, and a full-color facsimile of an illustrated verse commentary by Johann Spreng, published in 1563. (Electronic Text Center)

    Poe Archives
    Commemorative for the Sesquicentennial of the death of Edgar Allan Poe. Details his life at the University and his writing career. Fully searchable resources (Electronic Text Center)

    Sanborn Map Collection
    More than 40 detailed hand-drawn maps produced by the Sanborn Map Company. Browse-able via click-able map index or an index of 1920 street and building names. Maps for 1920 currently available online and maps for 1907 in process. (Geospatial and Statistical Data Center)

    Suriname Archive
    Collection of maps and photographs documenting the cultural diversity of this South American nation. (Digital Media Lab)

    The 20th-Century American Poetry Database
    Sold by Chadwyck-Healey: thousands of poems from 316 works (1,393 images, including shape poems, portraits, and illustrations) (UVA only)

    Tibetan Cultural Archive
    Rich repository of digital images, video and audio describing the people and places of Tibet. (Digital Media Lab)

    Databases served to the Virtual Library of Virginia from UVA
    The Oxford English Dictionary;
    http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/epd.html - The English Poetry Database (AD 600-1900);
    http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/evd.html - The English Verse Drama Database (AD 1300-1900);
    http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/ampo.html - The American Poetry Database, up to 1900;
    http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/aapd.html - The African American Poetry Database

    Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy
    TEI encoded version of the Encyclopedia, including embedded links to our full-text holdings

    Harper's Weekly Full-Text
    Fully searchable TEI-encoded database, with page images (currently 1857-1903)

    B. Services

    Digital Media Lab
    The Digital Media Lab provides hardware, software and staff expertise to students, staff and faculty to support their digital media needs. Staff assist patrons in the capture, editing and delivery of digital images, audio, video and animations. The Lab has developed numerous digital image, audio and video collections in support of the humanities curriculum.

    Document Delivery
    The Library has implemented electronic document delivery for both ILL items and items held locally. Articles are delivered in PDF format, and both borrowing and notification of availability are handled through the catalog and Z39.50 modules of VIRGO, the Library's SIRSI system. The Library has recently begun using ILLIAD for Interlibrary Loans management, but to preserve the integration of bibliographic data and delivery request is working with ILLIAD to develop an interface to VIRGO.

    Electronic Journal Access
    To enhance access to electronic journals, the Library placed additional subject information in all e-journal records. Searches allow users to obtain lists of journals sorted by academic discipline. Other features: a search form for digital resources; and the catalog in proxied resources list.

    Electronic Text Center
    The Electronic Text Center has twin missions: 1) to build and maintain an internet-accessible collection of SGML texts and images and 2) to build a user community adept at the creation and use of these materials.

    Geospatial & Statistical Data Center
    The Geospatial & Statistical Data Center supports a wide range of academic and scholarly activities with extensive collections of numeric and geospatial data files; computing facilities for data manipulation, research, and instruction; and internet-accessible data extraction tools.

    Instructional Toolkit
    The Library provides a digitized copy of an article, exam or other classroom materials for faculty members for their class Toolkit page as well as links to full text articles available through various databases. The Toolkit is provided by the University's computing services and serves as a class web page. Students have access to course syllabi, class e-mail lists, links to other web resources, announcements and digitized materials. The Library scanned 4670 items for 353 courses during Spring 2000.

    Library Short Course Series

    Teaching and Technology Initiative (TTI) and Teaching Technology Support Partners (TTSP)
    The Digital Media Lab provides technical support (hardware, software, consultation) for two innovative faculty/graduate student development programs. TTI supports creative uses of teaching with technology through a grant-based program; TTSP offers technology/training to graduate students who support teaching projects in their home departments.

    C. Systems

    Descriptive Metadata Specification
    Descriptive Metadata Specification is a project led by our cataloging department to produce a set of descriptive elements for specifying the intellectual content of digital resources. Initially derived from the Dublin core specification, they have been adapted and extended for local use. The new specification provides more precise description of visual, geospatial, statistical, textual and archival resources. We have developed an XML DTD as well as a best practices manual.

    Digital Library Prototype
    The R&D group continues work on a prototype digital library repository that is based on the FEDORA architecture (Carl Lagoze and Sandy Payette at Cornell). As of Sep 2000, the repository included 30,000 digital objects from collections of EAD-encoded finding aids, images, and TEI-encoded letters. Plans call for adding 70,000 objects by Dec 2000: images from art and architecture collections, TEI-encoded books and GIS and statistical data.

    General Descriptive Modeling Scheme (GDMS)
    (GDMS) is a project developed a DTD for creating XML files that are structured, annotated descriptions of digital collections. An infinitely recursive set of structural units: each may contain a narrative, a descriptive metadata record and references to, and metadata about, any number of digital resources. Used to describe buildings, archeological sites and artworks, creating structural metadata for digital objects that provide access to related sets of digital images. The model will give scholarly projects a formal structure, making them more collectible than the existing HTML websites.

    Image tools
    The R&D group has been experimenting with a variety of disseminators for different types of images as well as MrSid software from LizardTech (uses wavelet compression to compress high resolution color and grayscale image files).

    D. Additional software projects

    Interactive Codebook Reader
    This demonstration project examines the Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) DTD for data files. Functionalities include codebook navigation, question level identification as well as generation of descriptive statistics (including graphs) and formatted subsets. The demo provides proof of concept for methods that can be assigned to data objects and will serve as a model for further java-based development.

    Metadata tool: TransFormer
    The Electronic Text Center and the Cataloging Department have collaborated on a web-form building program that feeds an XML template to the program to build a "fill in the blank" cataloging form. One use is for the creation of TEI headers and MARC records -- the etext staffer fills in the form, the cataloguer corrects and augments the core metadata record, and a TEI header and MARC record is then produced.

    XML and SGML middle ware
    An evolving set of web forms, search interfaces, Table of Contents generators, and on-the-fly HTML conversion tools that allow users to manipulate and view XML/SGML collections. Works with Opentext and SGREP search engines.

    II. Projects and Programs

    Active Collection-Building Library/Faculty partnerships
    Dozens of active faculty projects that provide rich digital collections.

    Library of Tomorrow
    A 5-year program to transform the traditional library into the model research library for the future. Planning teams have been established to address important policy and processes needed for ensuring the success of the project. Each planning team will make recommendations for establishing workflow, responsibilities, decision-making points, and quality assurance methods. The five teams are: Digital Content Creation and Preservation; Resource Management; Library Portal; Digital Content Selection and Acquisition; Information Communities.

    Music Representation DTD
    In order to realize the full potential of Music Information Retrieval (MIR), or content-based searching, an XML representation for music is under development. XML (eXtensible Markup Language) has the potential to solve many of the problems associated with representing music content - it is grammar-based, declarative, structured hierarchically, modular, human-readable, and extensible, and it separates data content and structure from presentation and behavior.

    Musicat DTD
    This DTD is intended to meet the specialized needs of thematic catalog creators and users. Most data elements within the user-definable descriptive unit are optional and repeatable, including additional descriptive units. Data exchange with other metadata resources can be accomplished by mapping to Dublin Core or MARC. External binary sound, image, or music data may be implemented with pointers while ASCII-coded music data may be included in the markup directly using our music representation scheme.

    Unicode music character proposal
    IMAG/CU is a shared university image catalog that incorporates collections from the Johnson Art Museum, the Rare and Manuscripts Collection of the Cornell University Library, the History of Art Slide Collection, and the Architecture, Art and Planning Slide Collection. CIDC will develop and administer the Website using the museum collection management system Multi Mimsy 2000. CIDC has committed to this project for the next 4 years. It is hoped that searching this database will be compatible with other databases in the Cornell University Library system and the online catalog.

    Grant funded projects

    Challenge grant from NEH
    The Electronic Text Center received a 5-year challenge grant from NEH. NEH has pledged to match funds raised by UVA to encourage the development of an endowment for the Electronic Text Center. Additional funds were also provided to support new projects and initiatives.

    Early American Fiction II 1850-1875
    Funded by Andrew Mellon Foundation to continue of our largest rare books digitizing project, now incorporating manuscripts and contextual materials

    Jackson Davis Collection of African-American Educational Photographs
    The Institute for Museum and Library Services has provided a grant to digitize, identify, arrange, describe and conserve the approximately 4,500 photographs of African-American educational scenes in the southern U.S. taken by Jackson Davis.

    Salem Witch Trials
    NEH grant for this collaborative effort between Benjamin Ray and the Electronic Text Center, Geospatial and Statistical Data Center, and IATH.

    Supporting Digital Scholarship (SDS)
    This 3-year project is funded by a grant from the Andrew Mellon Foundation. The Digital Library R&D group is working with the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities to determine the technical and policy implications inherent in collecting digital scholarly projects, and to develop methods and tools that exploit the digital library repository system to make collection feasible. The project will be carried out by: 1) a technical committee of library R&D and IATH staff; 2) a policy committee of four subject librarians, one each library R&D and IATH staff, one faculty member; and 3) an advisory committee of senior University administrators and faculty.

    Virginia Heritage Project
    UVA, representing VIVA (the Virtual Library of Virginia), was awarded this grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The VHP has two primary goals. 1) the creation of a large union database of EAD tagged finding aids to archival collections in Virginia and 2) the development and implementation of a model for statewide dissemination of and training in newly emerging library standards and technologies.

    Walter Reed Yellow Fever manuscript collection
    IMLS funded. Health Sciences Library, with the Electronic Text Center. 3,000 XML encoded letters, with page images. The first project of this type that we know of to use a commercial keyboarding company to type in and encode from handwritten sources.

    XML Interlinking of Electronic Dictionaries and Texts: A US/German Collaboratory
    2-year National Science Foundation grant between the Electronic Text Center and Trier University, Germany, to create and interlink Middle High German texts and the Middle High German dictionary.


    Chadwyck-Healey & the University of Virginia
    The partnership was announced in September 1997. The Early American Fiction Collection created with financial support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is made available for subscription as part of Chadwyck-Healey's Literature Online product line, and is available for purchase on CD-ROM.

    Cornell's Digital Library Research Group
    Cornell's Digital Library Research Group is an important part of UVa's development work. Our digital library architecture is based on the FEDORA model developed by Carl Lagoze and Sandy Payette, computer scientists at Cornell.

    SIRSI Corporation
    The Library has recently begun discussions with SIRSI regarding a joint venture to develop software to support the growth of digital collections at UVA.

    III. Specific Digital Library Challenges

    Enforcement of access restrictions
    UVA would like to be able to establish a policy for the use of a digital object that could be matched with the characteristics of the user making the request. Under consideration is the use of a digital certificate to authenticate the user coupled with a set of policies for either the objects and/or their components.

    Supporting the development of user-based collections: scalability
    The Digital Media Lab is actively engaged in creating tools and processes to support the development of user-based collections of digital media, which can be drawn from and contribute to the Digital Library. Others are actively testing models for support.

    Please send comments or suggestions.
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