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University of Chicago Library
Report to the Digital Library Federation
July 15, 2000


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

    I. Collections, Services, and Systems

    EFTS (Electronic Full-Text Sources)
    EFTS provides the primary means of access to, as well as information on, full-text scholarly resources available at the University of Chicago. Texts are arranged by language, subject, and searching interface. Nearly all of the Library's searchable, encoded full-text resources are mounted under PhiloLogic , the full-text indexing, searching and retrieval system developed by the ARTFL Project. ARTFL and the Library have been actively developing this suite of software during the last few years. A list of future extensions is available from the PhiloLogic User Documentation.
    • Issues: Problems invariably arise when dealing with vendor provided databases of texts keyed in and encoded by others. Especially important are proper data representation for both searching and display (e.g., non-Roman scripts), the need for access control, and the negotiation of consortial pricing and licensing.
    • Dates: 1994-
    • Funding Source:
    • http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/h/efts (EFTS)

    EOS (Electronic Open Stacks)
    EOS is the Library's home for image-based texts. With regard to access, it affords an alternative to microforms for digitally reformatted materials. One can navigate through these texts by way of the digital table of contents or by locating a particular page from the book's indices or list of plates and entering the number into the page navigator. EOS books are not full-text searchable; such texts can be found within EFTS.
    • Issues: We need to rationalize the relationship between EOS books and E-Reserves and between the EOS searching interface and Horizon. Although one can easily print EOS pages by clicking on `external viewer,' we hope to be able to provide more effective multi-page printing.
    • Dates:
    • Funding Source:
    • http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/h/eos (EOS)

    Electronic Reserves
    Reserve materials for some courses on reserve in Crerar, Harper and Regenstein have been digitized as PDF files. The Crerar and Regenstein materials became available at the beginning of Fall quarter through the Course Reserve Catalog, a special version of WebPac; the Harper materials in Winter quarter. Citations are found using the routine reserve indexes in this catalog. If the title is available electronically, there is a link to the electronic text in the bibliographic record.
    • Issues: Issues included learning to create items in PDF format; protecting items from unauthorized access; understanding and addressing copyright issues; addressing the scanning requirements of a high-volume operation.
    • Dates:
    • Funding Source:
    • http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/h/2 (WebPAC, E-reserves version)

    Special Collections Finding Aids
    The University of Chicago Library is implementing EAD as the SGML DTD standard for mark-up and searching archival finding aids in a collaboration between Systems and Special Collections. A locally developed program and template for tagging finding aids was developed by Systems for this operation. The Library is participating in a project funded by the Delmas Foundation and organized by RLG to test the services of a mark-up vendor, APEX. The Library is also part of RLG's Archival Resources project to make finding aids available nationally.Newly created finding aids will be created with EAD tagging; a retrospective digitization project will convert print finding aids to electronic form and tag them in EAD.
    • Issues: Issues included planning a project to convert `legacy' finding aids, which required programming and OCR to support it, and to create new ones digitally from scratch; understanding the role of the Panorama SGML viewer; SGML to HTML conversion; preparatory work for contributing completed finding aids to RLG.
    • Dates:
    • Funding Source:
    • http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/h/ead (EAD)

    Ancient Near East and the Mediterranean World (NEH2)
    The National Endowment for the Humanities has funded a demonstration project that allowed the Library to digitize approximately 45 volumes (10,000 pps.) from the Library's Ancient Near East and Classics collections. This digital project is part of a larger project that preserved over 7,000 materials in this subject area. Other preservation options in the project included microfilming and physical treatment. In this project, the Library is exploring methods of digitizing and providing access to bound volumes that include both text and illustrations. For this project pages are captured at 300 dpi 8-bit grayscale, and an archival compressed TIFF file is stored on CD. High- and low-resolution JPEG images are derived for display on the Web. Access is provided via digital book software created by the ARTFL Project using a database keyed by Library staff. All work on this project is being performed in-house.
    • Issues: Issues included evaluating scanners for the project (site visits and vendor demonstrations were conducted); scanning station specification; experimenting with scanner settings, image formats (bitonal vs. grayscale) and image software to determine the best balance between optimal on-screen resolution and image size (bandwidth considerations); archival storage for original scans (decided in favor of CD ROM); structural and administrative metadata issues for archival storage; evaluation of and experimentation with methods of persistent object identification (decided in favor of CNRI's Handle System).
    • Dates: 7/1/95 - 6/30/98; digital portion extended through 6/30/99.
    • Funding Source: NEH
    • http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/h/eos (EOS)

    American Environmental Photographs, 1897-1931 (AEP)
    The Library received funding from LC/Ameritech to digitize 5,800 glass lantern slides, glass negatives, and photographic prints from a collection housed in the Department of Special Collections. This collection will become part of LC's American Memory Collection. The images depict natural environments and ecological plant communities in their original state throughout the United States. Image capture is at 600 dpi 8-bit grayscale; archival uncompressed TIFF files are stored on CD. A reference JPEG and GIF thumbnail for each image are provided for viewing on the Internet. Data about each image is entered into a Microsoft Access database. It is then exported as an ASCII file and marked up automatically in SGML according to a DTD written for the purpose. This file is then sent to LC for processing. Searching and navigation of this collection will be provided via LC's American Memory interface. Work on this project is being performed in house.
    • Issues: Issues included deciding on resolution of access (service) copies of images; deciding what information to record for each image; deciding on mechanics of database input and associated workflow, including some experimentation with object broker request systems to facilitate this; liaising with LC on structure for export file (SGML); creation of DTD for export file; discussion of applicable persistent object identification scheme with LC (decided to use an algorithm based on file structure, which is in keeping with LC's own internal handling of American Memory projects).
    • Dates: 9/30/97 - 6/29/99.
    • Funding Source: LC/Ameritech National Digital Library Competition
    • http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/h/aep (description)

    The First American West: The Ohio River Valley 1750-1820
    The First American West Proposal is for a joint project between the University of Chicago Library and the Filson Club Historical Society to digitize 745 rare books, pamphlets, newspapers, maps, prints, and manuscripts which present wide-ranging images of the Ohio River Valley from its early Euro-American settlement to the passing of the frontier beyond the Mississippi River. Materials will be scanned in-house at each institution, with archival, reference, and thumbnail files being created for each. Intellectual access will be provided through both MARC and Dublin Core records as well as searchable full-text for 50% of the text pages. Technologies will be explored for automatically generating DC records from MARC and vice versa. A web site will be created which provides contextual information and which presents the material according to several main historical themes.
    The Poetry Magazine Archives Project
    The Poetry Magazine Archives Project will conserve, stabilize, reformat, and digitize materials from the archives of Poetry; A Magazine of Verse. Selected materials will be conserved by deacidification, paper repair, and encapsulation. The entire archive will be re-housed in acid-free folders and boxes and re-formatted onto microfilm. The first decade of the printed magazine, 1912 - 1922, will be digitized and converted for full-text searching. Selected materials from the archive, for which permissions can be obtained, will also be digitized and a web site will be created to provide an historical and cultural context for the material.
    • Issues:
    • Dates: 10/1/99 - 9/30/01
    • Funding Source: U.S. Department of the Interior's Save America's Treasures

    That Other Fair--Chicago World's Fair: A Century of Progress
    The Library has received funding from a private donor and from the University of Chicago Women's Board to digitize and provide access via the Internet to 300 selected items (2,000 pages) from the official collection of pamphlets, brochures, and booklets published specifically for the Fair and issued between 1933 and 1935. The full collection of official publications is held in the Department of Special Collections. Materials will be captured as black and white, grayscale, or color. A comprehensive bibliography produced by the John Crerar Library will be converted into an electronic access tool to support on-line searching by title, subject, company name, and a variety of other data elements. At the completion of this project, the Library will have digitized approximately 25% of the contents of this collection. Work will be performed in-house.
    • Issues:
    • Dates: Not yet underway.
    • Funding Source: Private donation, University of Chicago Women's Board

    CUIP Digital Library Project (eCUIP)
    The CUIP Digital Library, known as `eCUIP,' is a set of library resources made available through the World Wide Web to the Chicago Public Schools. The components of eCUIP are the resources themselves, the Web pages designed to present them, and the underlying search and storage mechanisms to support them. In addition to providing the eCUIP itself, the CUIP Digital Library project includes implementation support, a training program for teachers and librarians to use eCUIP and to add materials to it, the extension of the Digital Library to additional non-school locations, and formal feedback and evaluation. The goals of the project are to make high-quality library materials available to teachers and students, to encourage resource-based learning, and to encourage the use of technology in the schools.
    • Issues: Issues include intellectual access, resulting in full-scale investigation and application of Dublin Core metadata to both HTML created for the project and remote sources of information linked to by the project; creation of an indexing and searching mechanism for these.
    • Dates: 1998 -
    • Funding Source: Some work was funded in part by the Monsanto Corporation.
    • http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/h/ecuip (eCUIP)

    A Shared Scanning Service for eCUIP
    The Shared Scanning Service for eCUIP project will aid in developing a digital library for K-12 public schools. It is part of an ongoing partnership between the University of Chicago and the Chicago Public Schools. The project will provide equipment for a central scanning service to be housed at the University of Chicago Library, and for satellite scanning stations and desktop workstations at local public schools. It would also create a seed collection created by scanning primary materials drawn from Special Collections. Finally the project would support the implementation of a model training program for Chicago Public School librarians and teachers.
    • Issues:
    • Dates: 3/1/99 - 9/30/99
    • Funding Source: LSTA

    Special Collections Exhibition Catalogues
    The CIC library directors have approved a research and demonstration project to digitize and make available selected exhibition catalogs from the various CIC libraries. The project is being led by the Working Group on Electronic Texts in the Humanities. Requires designing implementations of EAD finding aids prospectively and retrospectively.
    • Issues: Issues are projected to include creation of EOS-style books linked to EFTS-style index/search/retrieval mechanisms.
    • Dates: 11/5/98 -
    • Funding Source:

    Special Collections Exhibition Catalogues (Original Experiment)
    This experiment consisted of rendering several Special Collections exhibition catalogues into HTML.
    • Issues: Issues included the amount of work required to create what in some ways represents a new publication, not a reproduction of the original.
    • Dates: 1997
    • Funding Source:
    • http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/spcl/excat/ (description and HTML versions)

    Finding Aid for the Albert Mayer Archive Collection
    The printed Guide, published in 1977 by Special Collections, was scanned, converted to ASCII text, proofread, and converted to text marked with HTML in the Southern Asia Department. EAD encoding is being added.
    Finding Aid for the Gitel Steed Archive Collection
    The text of the Gitel Steed Archive Collection finding aid was `born digital' in Special Collections. It was converted to text marked with HTML in the Southern Asia Department. EAD encoding is being added.
    Digital South Asia Library
    This pilot project is intended to improve access through development of the infrastructure for inter-continental electronic document delivery to and from selected South Asia libraries and creation of new electronic reference resources, comprised primarily of data entered by project participants in South Asia. The University of Chicago Library and Columbia University Libraries have taken the lead, in the project under the AAU/ARL Global Resources Program, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Material for retrospectively digitization is being drawn from four other projects of the Southern Asia Department, specifically: the Roja Muthiah Research Library, the collection of the Urdu Research Library Consortium, the Official Publications of India collection on deposit at the University of Chicago, and publications addressed under the South Asia Reference Tools Program.
    Roja Muthiah Research Library
    The University of Chicago has purchased the private collection of the late Roja Muthiah of Kottaiyur, Tamil Nadu. The University and a collaborating Indian trust, MOZHI, have established the Roja Muthiah Research Library in Madras to house this collection. Selected serials are being indexed and made available on demand via retrospective digitization under the Digital South Asia Library Pilot Project.
    Urdu Research Library Consortium
    The University of Chicago is home for a new program to acquire and preserve the collection of Mr. Mohd. Abdus Samad Khan. In concert with six other institutions or consortia, the private library was purchased in 1996 and is being maintained in Hyderabad in collaboration with the Sundarayya Vignana Kendram, an Indian trust. Selected serials are being indexed and made available on demand via retrospective digitization under the Digital South Asia Library Pilot Project.
    Official Publications of India
    The project is improving access to the Official Publications of India through coordinated activities of the University of Chicago Library and the British Library. The program includes: production of a web site; assembly of a bibliographic database including all pre-Independence Official Publications of India together with a description of world-wide holdings, beginning with the nearly 22,000 titles held by the British Library; cataloging the titles for distribution to the international bibliographic utilities OCLC and RLIN; deposit of the British Library's duplicate Official Publications of India at the University of Chicago; and preparation of selected titles as full electronic texts under the Digital South Asia Library Pilot Project.
    South Asia Reference Tools Program
    This project seeks to improve access to the reference tools required for scholarship by making available high quality photo-reproductions on acid-free paper at reasonable prices. The database of records corresponding to the first converted reference publications, the British Library's Oriental and India Office Collections holdings of 19th-century Indian publications, is currently available for searching. All of the reference resources addressed under this program are being retrospectively digitization under the Digital South Asia Library Pilot Project.
    Microfilming of Indian Publications
    This is a joint project of the Library of Congress and the National Library of India in conjunction with the South Asia Microform Project to create preservation microfilm of about 55,000 titles in various languages, listed in The National Bibliography of Indian Literature: 1901-1953 (NBIL). The first stage of the project involved retrospective digitization of the NBIL to create a resource file guiding the project. This file is available as a searchable database on the Web at Chicago and is periodically updated to reflect current information on the titles that have been microfilmed.
    Chicago doctoral dissertations on Southern Asia
    By the end of 1998, it is anticipated that there will be abstracts in the searchable file for all of the more than 500 dissertations. The project has involved retrospective digitization and augmenting of paper files maintained by Chicago's Committee on Southern Asian Studies. Subsequently, abstracts have been entered into the file by retrospective digitization, if they existed in paper form, or alternatively, by preparation of abstracts from review of the theses.
    Library of Congress South Asia Serials
    Working in collaboration with the Library of Congress and the Committee on South Asian Libraries and Documentation, we have converted current serials files maintained by the LC Field Offices in New Delhi and Islamabad for searching on a Web site. More than 9,700 titles are included. The data includes information on subscribing libraries in North America.
    South Asian Union List of Newspapers
    This file, prepared by Irene Joshi at the University of Washington, was brought up at Chicago as part of the Digital South Asia Library pilot project. Conversion of the data involved addition of SGML tags to a flat file containing nearly 2,900 entries.
    South Asia at Chicago: Fifty Years of Scholarship (Exhibition Catalog)
    Materials drawn from the wealth of the South Asia collections at the University of Chicago Library, whose collections are both a repository for current South Asian studies at the University and the foundation for future scholarship. The exhibition text was `born digital.'
    Asia in the Making of Europe (Exhibition Catalog)
    Professor Donald F. Lach curated this exhibition exploring enduring themes of European interest in Asia during the sixteenth throughout the eighteenth centuries. The text of the 1991 exhibition catalog was converted by optical character recognition software, proofread and corrected, and converted to HTML text, with inclusion of images from the catalog.
    A Dialogue of Civilizations (Exhibition Catalog)
    A 1992 exhibition on Robert Redfield, Milton Singer, and the development of language and area studies at the University of Chicago.
    Dictionaries of South Asia
    The Southern Asia Department and Chicago's South Asia Language and Area Center are leading a collaborative effort to make available at least one bi-lingual dictionary for each of the languages of South Asia. Other collaborators include: Columbia University, North Carolina State University, and the universities of Michigan and Wisconsin. Experiments include negotiation with a publisher for the rights to sell access to other universities under a license with royalty payments to the publisher, addition of TEI dictionary tags to pre-existing lexical data, and display of South Asian scripts over the Web. Experiments under funding from the CIC and three South Asia National Resource Centers are leading to preparation of a major proposal to the Department of Education for the balance of necessary support to convert approximately 115 megabytes of lexical data over a five-year period.

    Kriyavin Tarkalat Tamil Akarati [Cre:A: Tamil-Tamil-English dictionary] (Madras: Cre:A:, 1992) and Tarkalat Tamil maraputtotar akarati [Tamil-Tamil-English dictionary of idioms and phrases in contemporary Tamil] (Madras: MOZHI:, 1997) have been brought up as searchable dictionaries. Sample entries are available for viewing outside the University computer domain and full text databases for both publications are available for use on campus. This experiment includes the use of GIF images for display of Tamil characters, a left-to-right script.
    The Oxford Hindi-English Dictionary
    The CIC/South Asia Libraries Project is preparing a searchable version of The Oxford Hindi-English Dictionary by R. Stuart McGregor (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992) under a contract with Oxford University Press. This experiment includes the first use in the Library of Unicode encoding. Unicode is being used to represent Devanagari script, a left-to-right script. It is also the first Library attempt to add TEI tags to a flat file for return to the original publisher. A test version of the lexical database is available.
    A Dictionary of Urdu, Classical Hindi, and English
    Three of the CIC universities with National Resource Centers for South Asia each received grants from the Department of Education for a collaborative project to convert John Platts' A Dictionary of Urdu, Classical Hindi, and English (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1884) to searchable form and mount it on a Web site at Chicago. Unicode is being used to represent Perso-Arabic script, a right-to-left script, intermingled with left-to-right roman script.
    • Issues:
    • Dates: 1998 - 1999
    • Funding Source:

    Indological Series
    This project is producing a guide to Indian texts and studies published in South Asian monographic series. Most of these books are primary texts in Sanskrit, Pali, and Prakrit or translations into modern languages. Entries from the complex relational database are being converted for searching on the Web.
    South Asia Faculty Selected Articles
    Articles by South Asia faculty at Chicago have been converted to HTML in the Southern Asia Department. These will be mounted as searchable files on the Library's web site during the first quarter of 1999.
    • Issues:
    • Dates: 1999 -
    • Funding Source:

    High Fidelity Digitization On-line (Hi-Fido)
    Hi-Fido is a prototype for a multi-media project that offers page images of sheet music and actual sound recordings via the Internet. Materials date from jazz's beginnings in the early 1910s through Chicago Jazz's heyday in the 1920s up to the Great Depression. This multi-media project allows users to view sheet music while listening to the sound recording. A low and high resolution image of sheet music are available for Web access or for downloading and viewing. Audio files of sound recordings are offered via `media-streaming' technology which allows the music file to begin playing almost instantaneously at any point within the file. The Library submitted a grant application to productionize this model which was not selected for funding. Because of copyright issues, the site is available only to members of the University of Chicago community.
    • Issues: Issues include joining text (in this case, musical scores) to sound files; identifying and installing requisite software for audio media-streaming; bandwidth considerations (e.g., home user vs. directly connected user); copyright.
    • Dates: 1998
    • Funding Source:
    • http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/h/hi-fido (search interface)

    The Abraham Lincoln Historical Digitization Project
    The Lincoln Project will produce digital records from historical materials held in some of the State of Illinois' libraries, historical societies, and archives and present them on a free-use World Wide Web site. The University of Chicago Library will participate in this project in some way. At present Chicago has helped the Lincoln Project to set up a pilot site, called the Abraham Lincoln Songster, which offers digital facsimiles of Lincoln campaign song sheets together with full-text searchable lyrics of these songs and RealAudio sound recordings of several of the songs.
    The Abraham Lincoln Songster
    The Abraham Lincoln Songster is an experiment in collaboration with Lincoln/Net and the Chicago Historical Society. In The Lincoln Songster the Library has integrated not only digital facsimiles of sheet music with their sound recording, but also the ability to search the full-text of the songs' lyrics.
    • Issues: It will be intersting to see how one incorporates a discrete unit such as the Lincoln Songster into a larger and more comprehensive Lincoln Web site.
    • Dates:
    • Funding Source:
    • http://enlil.lib.uchicago.edu/efts/LINCOLN/ (pilot site)

    Pamphlets and Periodicals of the French Revolution of 1848
    Pamphlets and Periodicals of the French Revolution of 1848, an experiment in collaboration with the ARTFL Project and the Center for Research Libraries.
    • Issues: This project was designed to test two objectives: 1) how can the CRL offer its materials quickly and cheaply over the Web and 2) can tif2gif convert 2-color TIFF images to smaller grayscale GIF images with a full range of options for the user?
    • Dates:
    • Funding Source:
    • http://humanities.uchicago.edu/ARTFL/projects/CRL/

    CNRI's The Handle System
    The Library is using CNRI's The Handle System to provide persistent naming for some digital resources. The Library is currently in the process of installing the newly rewritten version of the system, before moving implementing The Handle System for all of its electronic resources.

    II. Projects and Programs

    The University of Chicago Library has reorganized its digital library initiatives creating a Digital Library Development Center. The Center will coordinate the Library's digital library's activities, but not all of these activities will be performed in the Center; for example, the work of selection and retrospective conversion will be performed by selectors and the Preservation Department, respectively.

    The Center's Web presence is currently under development, and is available at present for intra-Center use only.

    III. Specific Digital Library Challenges

    Some specific challenges are listed under `Issues,' above, for each initiative listed. Current challenges include the following (the `reporting period' referred to is July 2000 - June 2001).

    Persistent naming
    • implement version two of CNRI's handle server
    • test and productionize system
    • develop and implement workflows

    Archiving for electronic information
    • for information the Library maintains locally:
      • physical archiving (media): establish and implement local policies and procedures
      • logical archiving (formats and metadata): continue to participate in discussions to identify the parameters of the problem; make some progress in coming to local decisions about the long-term viability of some formats for use in the digital library (e.g., TIFF, PDF); establish a searchable, updatable metadata repository for material we archive physically
    • for information to which the Library licenses access:
      • continue to participate in external discussions and initiatives as these occur

    Electronic theses and dissertations (ETD)
    • participate in the University initiative; begin to establish, if possible in the reporting period, when it is appropriate to outsource, when it is the Library's responsibility to serve as a repository of digital material, and if so, when it can specify appropriate formats for what will be received, to ensure the archivability of the material
    • plan, if possible during the reporting period, how to make a local digital ETD repository function as a rich resource for information discovery

    Digital library architecture
    • establish applicability of metadata standards and elements for each digital library domain identified by the metadata working group, and others that may be identified subsequently
    • establish interoperability between metadata schemata

    Authorization/authentication (in conjunction with DLF initiatives and ILS group)
    • identify emerging standards and best practices
    • if possible during the reporting period, and where appropriate:
      • select from among them
      • implement selected standards

    Electronic Text Services
    • productionize PhiloLogic for library use
    • examine alternatives to Perl/MySQL for EOS page-turning mechanism

    • begin statistical tracking of traffic to the eCUIP site 1 September 2000 so as to record use of the site by CUIP teachers/students and the on-line world at large
    • review standards for metadata creation; implement changes as necessary

    For further information, please contact dldc-admin@lib.uchicago.edu

    Please send comments or suggestions.
    Last updated:
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