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University of Michigan/Digital Library Initiatives (DLI)
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

    A. Collections

    Making of America Collection
    Funding has been received from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to expand the Making of America collection. By the end of 2000, nearly 2.3 million pages will be added to the collection (bringing it to approximately 3 million pages), and will represent perhaps the largest thematic digital library collection available freely over the Internet. In addition to expanding the collection, a handbook will be prepared which will document costs and procedures to assist the Foundation in reviewing future large-scale digitization projects. MARC records for the Making of America collection have been made freely available through ftp; for information on obtaining these records, contact Jackie Shieh, jshieh@umich.edu. http://moa.umdl.umich.edu/

    Garden and Forest
    The Digital Library Production Service (DLPS) has collaborated with the Library of Congress in the development of The Nineteenth Century in Print: the Making of America in Books and Periodicals. The text for the journal Garden and Forest was converted and encoded by DLPS; the full ten-volume run contains approximately 8,400 pages, including over 1,000 illustrations and 2,000 pages of advertisements. Plans for online delivery were developed in collaboration with the National Digital Library Program, LC's Information Technology Services, and DLPS with the goal of building a foundation for the interoperability of Garden and Forest with other Making of America digital materials.

    Making of Ann Arbor project
    The Making of Ann Arbor project was launched in April 2000 with a community event at the Ann Arbor District Library. This project represents a collaboration between the University Library, the Ann Arbor District Library, and the U-M Bentley Historical Library. Digital Library Initiatives provided technical oversight of the project and also converted photographs and text materials for this pictorial history of Ann Arbor, Michigan.

    University Library's Outreach
    Several new collections are under development as part of the University Library's outreach efforts to the campus and beyond. These resources include: Saline Historical Photographs, an effort to digitize and provide access to materials documenting the development of Saline, Michigan; MiCASE, the Michigan Corpus of Academic Spoken English; and the CIC-sponsored Wright American Fiction 1851-1875 Project.

    The American Verse Project
    The American Verse Project will soon be adding several hundred more volumes, and the Corpus of Middle English will add approximately 100 titles by the end of the year. The Middle English Compendium project, initially funded with support from NEH and the Delmas Foundation, moved into production and is now available to subscribing institutions.

    Visual Images Collection
    The visual images collection continues to expand with the addition of images from the Pictures of Record, Asian Art Archives, the Southeast Asia Art Symposium, the Southeast Asia Art Foundation, and the personal collection entitled "Images from Indonesia." In hosting the Pictures of Record images, several classes of locally-developed middleware are combined to develop and maintain increasingly sophisticated systems that bring together advanced, mature levels of functionality in a single resource.

    B. Services

    The Ask-Us program has been developed to provide e-mail reference services to users of electronic resources.

    Interlibrary Loan
    Implementation of desktop delivery of Interlibrary Loan materials is underway. The University Library was a test site for DRSS interlibrary loan through CIC but has suspended participation.

    Authentication and Authorization
    DLPS developed and deployed an authentication and authorization server for the University community and for customers of its licensed resources (e.g., the University of Michigan Press). The system uses Oracle on the back end, along with a benign "cookie" implementation. It was designed to be able to migrate the system easily to LDAP and X.509 certificates when there is widespread adoption of that methodology. The authentication server requires individual user registration (where users select Kerberos or a special "Library password"); approximately 20,000 users have registered and use the service regularly.

    A revamped CD-ROM LAN will be launched in the fall, utilizing CITRIX client software. This new LAN will provide campus-wide access to resources that are only available on CD-ROM.

    Central Electronic Reserves Service
    Architecture to enable implementation of a central electronic reserves service is under development, with implementation scheduled for late 2000. University Reserves has been putting digitized documents online in an authenticated environment for nearly a year, and this has been very positively received. Digitization is performed at very low cost by DLPS as part of its regular scanning and processing operations. New mechanisms planned for the coming year include a web-based relational database for data entry and automatic generation of HTML reserves pages.

    Digitization Services
    The University Library makes available its digitization services to the campus and the academic community. Services available include bitonal and grayscale scanning, continuous tone imaging, text encoding, and OCR.

    C. Systems

    Digital Library Extension Service (DLXS)
    The Digital Library Extension Service (DLXS) has been created to offer a locally-developed package of tools that can be licensed at a low cost to educational and non-profit institutions. By providing a powerful search engine (XPAT, based on Open Text's PAT 5.0), class-based middleware, and training and support, DLXS makes available the foundation and the framework for these institutions to fully develop their own digital library collections.

    Generalizable Documentation and Middleware
    DLPS staff continue to refine documentation and middleware for various classes of materials including text, image, bibliographic, and finding aids.

    II. Projects and Programs

    Organizational Changes
    Digital Library Initiatives (DLI) has undergone several organizational changes in the past year, including the creation of the Digital Library Program Development unit and the incorporation of the Library Systems Office under the DLI administrative structure. DLI is currently engaged in a library-wide planning process to assess information technology needs in support of collections, staff, and users. The process involves staff from public, technical, and digital library services, and will result in both long-term and short-term goals and initiatives as well as a new organizational structure for the Digital Library Initiatives division.

    Electronic Publishing
    The University Library is exploring methods to leverage its substantial digital library infrastructure to support electronic publishing. DLI is in the process of developing electronic journal publishing mechanisms that can support online publication of journals produced within the University. These mechanisms enable both editorial management of the journal content and online publication. In addition, the Digital Library Production Service (DLPS) offers cost effective host services to third party electronic resource providers, such as the Association of Asian Studies' Bibliography of Asian Studies and the Human Relations Area Files.

    Art Image Host Service
    DLPS is developing an Art image Host Service which will provide online access to image collections. With this service, faculty members who own substantial image collections to which they own the rights, can make these freely available online for teaching and research. For example, DLPS has recently made freely and publicly available "Images from Indonesia" a collection of hundreds of photographs of Indonesian life and culture owned by Language Resource Center of the College of Literature, Science and the Arts.

    Fellows in Scholarly Communication Program
    The University Library, in collaboration with the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies, has developed the Fellows in Scholarly Communication program. The program is designed to explore the critical issues of the changing scholarly communication environment, and offers two-year fellowships to post-doctoral students who are seeking a multi-disciplinary experience in creating and shaping scholarly communication processes, products, and tools for the 21st century.

    Digitizing Objects to Preserve Them
    Several grant proposals have been submitted to build digital collections and preserve deteriorating primary source materials. A collaboration with the Natural History Museums to digitize and make available museum materials focusing on Great Lakes flora and fauna has been presented to IMLS. In addition, a proposal to NEH has been presented to digitize and make available numerous materials (books, photographs, and manuscripts) on the Philippines. A proposal for an interoperability project, focusing on historical math materials, was submitted to the NSF in partnership with Cornell University and Göttingen State and University Library (Germany).

    Policies for Electronic Collections and Services
    A number of policies related to electronic collections and services have been developed and are undergoing internal review. These include policies for: disposition of reformatted resources, archiving of digital content, privacy, and use of e-collections by unaffiliated users.

    III. Specific Digital Library Challenges

    Organizational Structure
    DLI will be challenged over the next year to develop and implement a new organizational structure that brings together the production, infrastructure, management, and development components of digital library activity and technology support for the Library.

    Electronic Publishing
    An array of projects focusing on publishing activities will continue to develop and offer d opportunities. Efforts in the coming year will focus on: enabling individuals or units to participate in the digital publishing arena through cost-effective services, thereby expanding availability of scholarly content for the community; leveraging digital library expertise and resources to build a critical mass of scholarly content and a more coherent access environment; providing mechanisms to integrate distributed content in the context of courses or particular disciplinary communities; developing revenue streams that will support continued development and expansion of digital library services; and, shaping the environment and nature of scholarly communication mechanisms.

    Inventory and Asset Management Tools
    Library Systems Office staff are exploring software options for inventory and asset management. Tools are needed to document hardware and software, as well as manage questions and requests received through the Office's Help Desk.

    Fee-Based Printing
    The Library continues to explore options for fee-based printing for patrons, and discussions are underway with a vendor to begin a pilot program in the fall. The Library is coordinating these efforts with the University's Information Technology Division and the Computer Aided Engineering Network.

    Digitization Cost Models
    DLPS is working within the University's financial structures to develop cost models for all digitization activities. Once established, these models will be especially useful in preparing budgets for sponsored activities and in offering services to educational and non-profit entities.

    New Library Management System
    Library staff are investigating alternatives to the Library's NOTIS-based library management system. A number of university libraries have been contacted to discuss systems currently in use; the next phase of exploration will involve defining local needs and developing a Request for Information that will be sent to vendors.

    Please send comments or suggestions.
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    © 2000 Council on Library and Information Resources

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