The New York
Report to the Digital Library Federation
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. Collections, services, and systems
II. Projects and programs
III. Specific digital library challenges
IV. Digital library publications, policies, working papers, and other documents
Collections, services, and systems
A Virtual Archive of Whitman's
The New York Public Library is participating in "A Virtual
Archive of Whitman's Manuscripts" as one of two-dozen
sub-contracting institutions for the University of
Nebraska’s IMLS national leadership grant. NYPL has
completed its first batch of images including 126 captures, about
15% of the total to be done, at 600 dpi, from the Berg Collection
of British and American Literature.
Art and Architectural Images from
Eastern Europe and Eurasia.
NYPL’s "Art and Architectural
Images from Eastern Europe and Eurasia" is an NEH Access and
Preservation that includes the conservation and digitization of
more than 5000 illustrations for web delivery in our larger
digitization project, the NYPL Digital Gallery. Imaging underway
with JJT Inc. as the onsite subcontractor.
The New York Public Library provides free online ask-a-librarian
services. Each curatorial or research division has an email
address posted and users submit questions directly.
The Digital Library Program uses a
combination of Windows 2000 and UNIX servers. In order to improve
information retrieval capacity and server reliability, the
Digital Library Program has acquired a SunFire V480 with 2 900MHz
processors and 4GB RAM, and Sun StorEdge 3310 SCSI Array with
twelve 73GB Disk Drives.
XML and Open Source Search Engines.
The Digital Library Program has
recently developed a text search interface that queries and
retrieves digital image metadata, via an open-source search
engine -- the Apache Software Foundation's Jakarata Lucene
(Release 1.3). Jakarata Lucene is a full-featured text search
engine written in Java. The web application retrieves indexed XML
files, and runs on Cold Fusion MX. Digital assets, primarily
metadata, are stored in an Oracle 8i (Release 8.1.7) database,
however our production site uses a subset of those data that are
exported and converted to XML.
The New York Public Library has engaged the design firm
Razorfish.SBI to complete a redesign of the NYPL web site. Web
designers and information architects have been given the task of
recasting the vast resources on the NYPL web site in a more
systematic and tightly organized structure.
Some interesting challenges have included:
1) creating a unified presence for a library that comprises two
systems, Branch and Research,
2) improving access to library materials in a two-OPAC site,
3) presenting resources to a cradle-to-grave audience with
considerable variation in age, education and interest.
Over the next several months web developers across the library
will implement the new design and information architecture.
Projects in progress
The New York
Public Library will soon launch the NYPL Digital Gallery, the
Library's new digital image database, developed to provide free
and open online access to thousands of images from the original
and rare holdings of the Research Libraries. Spanning a wide
range of visual media, NYPL Digital Gallery will offer digital
images of artwork, maps, photographs, prints, manuscripts,
illustrated books and printed ephemera. Encompassing the subject
strengths of the vast collections of the Research Libraries, the
materials presented in digital form will represent the arts,
humanities, social sciences, applied sciences and performing
gratefully acknowledges The Atlantic Philanthropies for its
leadership support for the NYPL Digital Gallery. Additional
support has been provided by generous grants from the Stavros S.
Niarchos Foundation and AOL Time Warner.
In Motion: The
African-American Migration Experience
Center for Research in Black Culture has been awarded a grant
from the Institute for Museum and Library Services to create a
web site entitled: In Motion: The African-American Migration
Experience. The site will present and interpret thirteen
migrations to, within, and out of the United States; from the
transatlantic slave trade to the Western migration, the
colonization movement, the Great Migration, and the contemporary
immigration of Caribbeans, Haitians, and sub-Saharan
In addition to
original essays on each migration being written by scholars
eminent in the field, the site will use over 8000 images and
16000 pages of digitized text culled from the collections of the
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and other
institutions. The site will also feature lesson plans and other
materials being developed by educators to help make use of the
material in the classroom.
The site will
make extensive use of XML. All of the text resources will be
marked up in TEI format, and other parts of the site will use XML
written against in-house DTDs for presentation and configuration.
Additionally, we will be using software developed using several
open-source programming libraries, including the Lucene search
engine API. The site will use the ColdFusion MX application
Digital Library Challenges
More and more
collections are being gifted to the library that contain mixed
media. In this case mixed media does not mean mixed, electronic
media, but a combination of physical and corollary or
complementary electronic material. The Library is in the process
of making policy decisions about how to accession and describe
these "mixed" collections and make them available to the
Born Digital Objects
materials coming to the library for permanent deposit are a new
type of archiving responsibility. Library is exploring a
retention policy for digital objects that will be based on
taxonomy of content. The obligations and responsibilities for
electronic materials being as varied and diverse as the physical
holdings, the Library expects that it will develop a staged
approach to electronic archiving.
library publications, policies, working papers, and other
by John Parsons, Technical Project Manger for The
African-American Migration Experience:
The New York Public Library Digital Gallery:
An Open Source Approach
Using XML and the Lucene Search Engine
The New York Public Library's Digital
Library Program charge to provide access to hundreds of thousands
of digitized images from the Research Libraries and to provide
fast and easy search tools has been a technological challenge.
NYPL has developed a low-cost architecture using XML
representations of our image data indexed and searched using
Lucene, an open source search engine API supported by the Apache
Jakarta Project. This briefing examines the details of the
architecture and elaborates on some of the benefits and problems
that come along with it.