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Technical Reports

University of Virginia
Report to the Digital Library Federation
July 1, 2001


  • Collections, Services, and Systems
  • Projects and Programs

    I. Collections, Services, and Systems

    Explorations in Black Leadership
    Digitization of text, video and audio documenting the personal and professional lives of prominent African-American leaders, supporting a program co-sponsored by the Virginia Institute for Public History and the Darden School of Business.

    The Music of John Powell
    Digitization of recordings and scores of the American composer and pianist John Powell, from material held by the Special Collections Library. This is a collaborative project among the Digital Media Lab, Music Library, and Special Collections.

    The View from Here
    Digitization of materials in a variety of formats - audio, video, text and images - documenting the local manifestation of events or movements of national importance (the Vietnam War, Civil Rights, Women's Liberation) in the central Virginia area. Much of the material resides in Special Collections.

    Oral Histories of the University
    Development of a digital archive of 230 taped interviews, spanning more than 40 years, relating to the history of UVA and the surrounding region.

    The Third Row
    Creation of a multimedia tool for teaching advanced Hindi, based on the integration of digital video, transcripts and critical commentary.

    Creating 3-D Special Effects
    Development of tools and processes to support the creation of a new computer science course. This course will bring together students of art and computer science in the development of innovative computer-based special effects.

    A Digital Primer for Architecture
    Creation of an online archive to support the teaching of a cross-disciplinary course in the study of architectural forms. Thomas Jefferson's original conception for the Lawn at the University of Virginia is the locus of the course. The material includes images, 3-D reconstructions and animations. (Digital Media Lab). Digital Media Lab URL:

    Development of a user-defined collection tool to allow individuals to create data structures, set permissions and restrictions, and develop online collections of materials in a variety of formats. This tool is part of the collection-building toolbox for the Digital Library.

    Virginia State Legislature Database 1776-2001
    Presenting membership roles and summary statistics regarding the membership of the Virginia General Assembly. (Geospatial and Statistical Data Center)

    Virginia Heritage Project
    UVA, representing VIVA (the Virtual Library of Virginia), was awarded $250,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities to implement the Virginia Heritage Project. The VHP has two primary goals. The first goal is the creation of a large union database of EAD tagged finding aids to archival collections in Virginia. The second goal is the development and implementation of a model for statewide dissemination of and training in newly emerging library standards and technologies. The VHP is distinctive due to the collaborative efforts of over eleven separate institutions, each contributing to the database and training. (Special Collections)

    EBook Library for the Palm Pilot
    The eBook library for the Palm Pilot joins the previous eBook library for the Microsoft Reader. Holdings increased (October 2000 - June 2001) by 500 titles with ongoing TEI to Palm/MS Reader is planned. As of June 20, 2001, more than 3 million eBooks had been shipped since August 2000. (Electronic Text Center)

    Faculty/User Projects
    • Diary, correspondence, and papers of Robert "King" Carter, 1701-1732
      Transcriptions of the diary, correspondence, and papers of the richest and most important man of his day in Virginia. Edmund Berkeley, Jr. UVa Emeritus. (Electronic Text Center)

    • Attributions of Authorship in the European Magazine
      Emily Lorraine de Montluzin, De Montfort University (Electronic Text Center)

    • Attributions of Authorship in the Gentleman's Magazine, 1731-1868
      Emily Lorraine de Montluzin, De Montfort University (Electronic Text Center)

    • Virginia Runaways: Runaway Slave advertisements from 18th-century Virginia newspapers.
      Thomas Costa, Associate Professor of History, University of Virginia's College at Wise (Electronic Text Center)

    • Mark Twain in His Times
      Stephen Railton. UVa English Texts and contexts for Mark Twain, drawing heavily on items in UVA's Special Collections Department. (Electronic Text Center)

    • The Construction of the University of Virginia, 1817-1828 [PhD dissertation]
      Frank E. Grizzard, Jr, UVa Washington Papers A comprehensive documentary edition of the papers surrounding the construction of the Academical Village, Jefferson's 19th-century architectural masterpiece at the University of Virginia at Charlottesville. (Electronic Text Center)

    Grant funded projects
    • Mellon Foundation grant: Early American Fiction 1850-1875 (Phase II)
      The University is processing this Mellon-funded collection of 400 volumes of American fiction (1850-1875), including works by Louisa May Alcott, Samuel Clemens, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Harriet Beecher Stowe and some 90 other 19th century novelists. Each text exists as a full set of color page-images and a searchable XML text. Biographies and supporting manuscript materials are also being digitized. First release -- Fall 2001. (Electronic Text Center)

    • National Science Foundation grant: "Middle High German Interlinked"
      Digitizing and interlinking XML medieval German dictionaries and texts. Partner: University of Trier. 2 years [2001-2003]. (Electronic Text Center)

    • Private donor: Center for Religion and Democracy Online
      Sub-contract to Jeff Hadden; Pam Cochrane; James Hunter, UVA Sociology. [2001-2004] (Electronic Text Center)

    • Etext Center Endowment: Challenge grant from NEH
      A $500,000 gift [Spring 2001] has moved the Electronic Text Center closer to completing the five-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.

    Grant Sub-Contracts
    The Electronic Text Center is providing XML, TEI, web hosting, vendor negotiation, and other digitizing sub-contracting work on the following active grant projects (PIs noted below):

    Digital Library Repository update
    The R&D group has begun to rigorously stress test the implementation using software that simulates simultaneous users requesting a realistic mixture of different requests. On a Sun Ultra80 two-processor workstation, simulating 20 simultaneous users making requests with an average delay of 300 milliseconds, response time averages are approximately one half second per request. Note that for most of the XML object transactions this includes a server-side rendering of the XML into HTML, a relatively processor-intensive action. The process of moving the repository to a four-processor, dedicated server has begun. This is where we will continue the testing. The plan is to start scaling the testbed up by duplicating the existing objects repeatedly, running the user tests at 1,000,000 and 10,000,000 objects. (Digital Library Research and Development)

    The "WebCollector" tool is a Java application that may be used as an aid to collect and preserve existing scholarship published in HTML and incorporate it into a data repository. (Digital Library Research and Development)

    II. Projects and Programs

    Library of Tomorrow Update
    After a five-month planning process, the Library released its Library of Tomorrow implementation plan. Entitled "Preparing for our Future", this document calls for a new central digital production facility, new methods for acquiring and managing digital collections, the development of "information communities", and recommends the development of a series of Library produced information channels for the University portal system.

    Teaching with Technology Experiment
    The Library and the University's central computing organization are partnering on an initiative to make it easy for faculty to acquire the skills needed to introduce technology in the classroom in support of teaching and learning. Faculty will commit to training that will enable use of technology in teaching. In exchange they will receive a full-configured laptop and support for implementing their individual proposal for teaching with technology.

    Building an American Studies Information Community
    This project is funded by the Andrew Mellon Foundation. The project will focus on building the infrastructure for an information community by concentrating on collections and tools that are particularly useful to scholars and students studying American Culture. Goals for the project include expanding our digital library testbed, developing a set of tools and procedures for an American Studies community, and developing the portal for that community. Work will center around building the appropriate collection in the new digital library system the Library is developing, starting with existing text, image, statistical and GIS collections. Research will continue on how information technology can be used to support and enhance the effort to harvest and enrich metadata from collections that are bought or those that are acquired by harvesting Open Archive servers.

    Please send comments or suggestions.
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