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New York University
Report to the Digital Library Federation
January 15, 2002


  • Collections, services, and systems
  • Projects and programs
  • Announcements

    I. Collections, services, and systems

    Online Audio Reserves
    NYU has digitized the all of the language tapes used for foreign language instruction, and is currently making them available through an electronic reserve system. The audio files are available as streaming media delivered by Real Server 8, and access is limited to students enrolled in the various language courses offered each semester. In addition, as an increasing amount of musical material becomes available for use by NYU (see the Database of Recorded American Music below), this material will also be made available for use by students through electronic reserve.

    New York University Photo Bureau
    NYU's Photo Bureau provides photographic services for the NYU community, and serves as a valuable resource for those outside the University seeking images of either NYU or the surrounding Greenwich Village area. As the Photo Bureau's operations have increasingly switched to digital production, the Bureau has found itself needing a simple, easy-to-use information retrieval system for browsing its backfile of images and making them available for sale. The NYU Digital Library Team is working with the Photo Bureau to provide such a system, as well as developing a digital repository system capable of storing the approximately one terabyte of photographic data the Bureau produces each year.

    Richard Maass Collection
    The Fales Library at NYU and NYU's Digital Library Team are currently collaborating on a project to capture digital images of the material in the Richard Maass Collection at Fales. This is one of the more significant collections of material documenting activities during America's Revolutionary War in New York State, and in particular the area surrounding New York City. When completed, this project will provide a valuable resource to those studying the history of the Revolutionary War period.

    EAD Retrieval in Oracle 8i/Intermedia
    NYU has adopted the Encoded Archival Description (EAD) format as its standard for encoding finding aids for its various special collections. Unfortunately, commercial software for search/retrieval of XML documents and their delivery over the WWW is still in its infancy. NYU's digital library team has therefore been investigating developing its own solution for retrieval and deliver of XML versions of EAD finding aids, using Oracle 8i and Intermedia for search services, and XSLT for translation of the XML documents into HTML for web display. A prototype system which allows users to search the finding aids of individual archives or all NYU special collections has been developed and is in testing, and XSLT style sheets for HTML display of EAD documents have been completed and made publicly available.

    NYU Libraries have acquired the SFX software from Ex Libris corporation and are planning on rolling it out for general use at NYU during Spring Semester, 2002. Initial implementation will focus on linking NYU's electronic journal collections and NYU's three OPAC systems (BobCat, a GEAC Advance system, and MedCat and Julius, both Innovative Interfaces systems).

    Studio for Digital Projects and Research
    The Studio for Digital Projects and Research is a collaborative facility of New York University Libraries and Information Technology Services (ITS) to facilitate the creation, use, analysis, and re-purposing of digital resources. In addition, the Studio provides a home for digital scholarly content development projects, media intensive Internet 2 experimentation, and collaboration with NYU's Digital Library. The Studio thus provides a public presence for the Digital Library Team to NYU faculty and students and a location where Digital Library staff can offer advice and assistance on developing digital projects to both library staff and other members of the University community. A portion of the Studio space is reserved for Digital Library work, and provides high-end workstations for image capture, text encoding, and audio/video digitization.

    NYU Global Campuses
    To better reach NYU students located at campuses in global sites ranging from Paris to Buenos Aires, the Library has created a global website that features the virtual resources students can access from abroad. The site also features "Ask-a-librarian" reference service that offers both email and chat reference options for students and faculty overseas. http://www.nyu.edu/library/bobst/abroad.htm

    II. Projects and Programs

    NYU's Digital Library Team has take a lead role in driving the Digital Library Federation's METS initiative. METS is an attempt to develop a single, XML-based encoding format for capturing descriptive, administrative and structural metadata for digital library objects. Version 1.0 of the METS format has just been made available through the Library of Congress' web site; the Library of Congress' Network Development and MARC Standards Office has agreed to serve as maintenance agency for METS and provide public access to METS materials. An editorial board to manage further development of METS, headed by Jerome McDonough of NYU's Digital Library Team, will be appointed shortly. In addition to working directly on the METS format, the NYU Digital Library Team is working on a variety of projects to assist in adopting METS locally, including working with the University of California on a project to enhance UC's MOA2 browser to support METS objects, and development of a relational database system based on the METS data model.

    Database of Recorded American Music (DRAM)
    Working in partnership with New World Records (NWR) on a project funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, NYU is developing a database system capturing descriptive, administrative and structural metadata regarding NWR's entire catalog of music down to the audio track level. The database is linked to both high and low bit rate (MP3 and Real, respectively) streaming versions of all NWR recordings. A web-based search interface for the database and streaming media has been developed and made available to NYU faculty, students and staff. A significant part of the project has involved an investigation of the intellectual property issues which must be confronted in delivering music through the Internet. Development of the system is continuing, and NWR anticipates eventually making it available to other institutions as a subscription service.

    III. Announcements

    Moving Image Preservation Program
    New York University has received a $732,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for a pioneering program in Moving Image Archiving and Preservation. The program is a joint project of the NYU Libraries and the Department of Cinema Studies at the Tisch School of the Arts and supports the development of a model program addressing the preservation of cultural, artistic and historical documentation on film, videotape and new-moving image media. This project will build on and support the Tisch School's new master's degree program in moving image archiving and preservation, which has been developed in collaboration with the Motion Picture Department of George Eastman House in Rochester, New York. The development of a moving image preservation program to manage the NYU Libraries archival film and video collection will serve as a training ground for the graduate students in this new degree program. A video reformatting and remastering facility will be created in the NYU Libraries that will allow students in the Tisch School program hands-on experience in preserving unique or deteriorating videos.

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