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University of Tennessee Libraries

Report to the Digital Library Federation
October, 2004

I. Collections, services, and systems

A. Collections


Efforts to expand the library's digital collections proceeded on many fronts. Digital Library collection development included: writing and submitting new grants; obtaining funding to move projects beyond the pilot stage; accepting proposals to digitize new collections; and preparing processed collections for online presentation. Electronic Services added many new subscriptions, while reducing costs by eliminating duplication of content. Collection Development has been working with many departments to identify materials worthy of digitization, include digital collections in the budget, and develop an institutional repository for the university.

University Catalogs Online

This is a new electronic archive of current and past versions (going back 10 years) of the University of Tennessee's Graduate and Undergraduate Catalogs. As print versions are no longer available by mail, this collection has rapidly become an important access point for curriculum information.

WPA/TVA Photographs

The final arrangements in the development of this collection for online presentation are being made. It features some 7,500 photographs of prehistoric sights taken by WPA archaeologists prior to the flooding of the East Tennessee Valley by the construction of the TVA Dams. Funded by a grant from the Institutute of Library and Museum Services, the permanent collection resides in the Frank H. McClung Museum at the University of Tennessee, the William S. Webb Museum at the University of Kentucky, and the Alabama Museum of Natural History at the University of Alabama. Researchers in the area of early Southeastern Native American populations can browse and search a preview of this collection.

Egyptian Photograph Collection

This collection of early Twentieth Century photographs, related to ancient and modern Egypt, is going through its final presentation preparations. The images, mostly taken by leading photographers of the Nineteeth and early Twentieth Centuries, depict temples, tombs, Nile River scenes, Egyptian Museums, archaeological sites, and town and desert life. A fascinating resource for Egyptologists, students, photographic historians, and museum curators, these images can be browsed and searched in a preview.

B. Services

Virtual Reference Services

The Reference department has decided to switch from OCLC's Questionpoint, to LivePerson Pro, as the software that will best accomodate the needs of its remote patrons. The change will allow students, and other users, to co-browse databases with the Virtual Reference librarian. The reference department reports that usage statistics for this service have doubled since 2002. One factor that has contributed to this rise, has been the placement of eye-catching access buttons on most of the public pages of the library Web Site.

Map Library

The Map Library is offering a variety of new GIS services. Of particular note is the GIS@UT Web site, which acts as a clearing house for GIS resources. Faculty and students are now offered customized instruction and workshops in GIS, the use of circulating GPS units, and a selection of freely downloadable ESRI products. Additionally, a project to digitize segments of the map library's sheet maps is in its early stages (see more about this under projects).

Instructional Services

Reference librarians have continued their efforts to offer students and faculty easily accessible library instruction tools. A series of informative video modules for new faculty, can now be streamed on the Web, or viewed on DVD. The program called "Scoop on Services", includes presentations on: Collection Development; Electronic Reserves; Interlibrary Loan and Library Express; Instructional Services, and Data Services.

Digital Library Center

The Digital Library Center has made progress in mainstreaming its services, creating standards and practices, and improving the usability and accessibility of its collections. Twelve task groups, overseen by a steering committee, now carry out work that ranges from project management and technical infrastructure, to copyright standards and information architecture. This innovative organizational structure has brought many talented people together from all departments of the library. Some results of their activities include: (1) The creation of a Public Users Page, which simply and seamlessly connects the patron with the Center's Digital Collections. (2) An evolving homepage, which presents the collections in greater depth, distributes news briefs via RSS, and organizes documents relevant to the Center's operations. (3) Guidelines for Digitization Practices and Standards. (4) A formal Procedure for Submitting Proposals to the Center.

C. Systems

Ex Libris Integrated Library System Migration Completion

The year in systems focused on continuing to implement the Aleph Integrated library System. The migration to the Ex Libris Aleph system, which occurred in September of 2003, was followed by reserves coming online in January, and completed with the implementation of the Authorities Module in June. The final shutdown of the former system occurred in the Spring of 2004. Extensive work has been done to customize applications of the system to suit the needs of the University of Tennessee Libraries. The successful efforts of the team, in bringing about this complicated and labor-intensive conversion, enables all library departments to operate with a truly integrated system for the first time.

Desktop Support and Windows Networking

Desktop support staff, in collaboration with the Office of Information Technology, spent three months completing the implementation of a Pay-for-Print Net ID login. The new system is expected to realize substantial savings for the library in reduced use of paper, printers, and supplies. In the area of Windows Networking, over fifty faculty/staff desktop computers were upgraded to Windows XP and Office XP.

Digital Library Software Customization

Digital Library Center programmers continued to customize software and create programs to solve access and usability problems. Their activities included: developing an integrated browse implementations for DLXS text class (by author and sub-collection for Tennessee Documentary History) and for bib class for the Electronic Theses and Dissertations (by author and department). Creating a username/password authentication for access to restricted DLXS collections of American Indian burial remains (WPA/TVA) and an LDAP login for image classes (to maintain bookbags and portfolios between sessions for logged-in users). Expanding metrics-gathering software to incorporate UT Catalogs Online and non-DLXS collections. Creating dynamic, extensible metrics display software to allow data to be viewed graphically (this system gathers statistics for the ARL).

Web Services

A group of librarians and staff completed the process of customizing and configuring MetaLib software from ExLibris. The cross-database search service, dubbed MetaSearch, was introduced to the public for the fall semester of 2004. The SFX linking service was improved by adding more source databases and designing a user-friendly "Find Text" tool button. Another team worked to improve the measurement of electronic use by refining NetTracker web log analysis software to collect needed statistics about databases.

Institutional Repository Development

Progress towards creating an institutional repository for the University included planning for the scope and content, software evaluation, and the launch of a pilot Web site (The Scholars Archive). Digital Library Center staff prepared a report evaluating the currrent systems available for repositories, and wrote a survey of posting trends at the University. The Center also arranged with OCLC for a two month test of the Content DM System, and hosted a demonstration of Digitool ( See also, institutional repository, in other sections of this report.

Weblog Communication

While email continues to be the most flexible method of communication between librarians, an interdepartmental trend in adopting blogs has become apparent. Some examples include: a Life Sciences Blog; Science/Technology and Database Blogs to replace their newsletter counterparts; and a Digital Library Center Blog.


Systems personnel had several changes of note. The Digital Initiatives Librarian was promoted to the position of Digital Library Center Coordinator, in order to make one person responsible for the expanding activities associated with this unit. A temporary faculty person was hired for one year to help with improving user access, and tasks related to developing an institutional repository. A full time Systems Administrator for Technical Services in Aleph also joined the team.

II. Projects and programs

A. Projects

New Project Announcements

The UT Scholars Archive

The Scholars Archive (an embryonic institutional repository for the University of Tennessee) has been created by the efforts of Collection Development and the Digital Library Center. It currently contains: the UT Electronic Theses and Dissertations; back issues of The Journal of Economic Issues; and a variety of digital content created by faculty and students (including technical reports, books, and items related to campus culture). The Digital Library Center will soon be obtaining self-archiving software to further develop the Scholars Archive (see also, institutional repository in other sections of this report).

Roth/Thompson Exhibit

The Digital Library Center has approved a project to showcase the photographs from two of its collections in an exhibition. The initiative seeks to enlarge at least fifty images from the Roth/Thompson digital archives (two important photographers of life and nature in the Great Smoky Mountains of the early Twentieth Century), and create 16X20 art quality prints on canvas. The prints will be first exhibited in a campus gallery in the summer of 2005, and opportunities to take the show to other galleries will be explored. This unique and creative effort will give a sense of what these men loved about the mountains and their inhabitants, and demonstrate how a digital project can come full circle and restore old photographs as both art and historical statement. The Albert "Dutch" Roth digital collection is currently online and can be searched or browsed.

Digital Archive of University Honors Theses (DAUHT)

The Center is in the planning stages for a proposal which will archive 30 to 50 honors theses in electronic format each year. The archived collection will serve undergraduate and graduate students in various University of Tennesee Colleges, Honors Alumni continuing their graduate work, current honors students, and students worldwide.

Catherine Wiley Project

The Center accepted a proposal to digitize and present online, some 100 pencil and ink drawings by the American painter, Catherine Wiley. Wiley was an early Twentieth Century Impressionist, who was a resident of Knoxville, and a faculty member of the University of Tennessee. Much of her work currently resides in the University of Tennessee Special Collections. This project seeks both to expand access to Wiley's art, and give recognition to her struggle to gain acceptance in an art world, which in her times, was largely dominated by men.

Map Digitization Pilot

A pilot to demonstrate the feasibility of creating a digital map library with segments of the University of Tennessee Map Library's holdings is now underway. A graduate assistant has been employed to make an assessment of the current holdings, determine which materials are worthy of digitization, and scan the selected sheet maps. The project, if undertaken, will create greater public access to historical maps, which are of practical interest to such professionals as urban planners, infrastructure engineers, and real estate developers.

Digital Monographs

The Center has begun a project to identify, digitize, and make available online, monographs that have a record of high use, qualify as public domain items that are free from copyright restrictions, and are not available in digital form elsewhere. In collaboration with collection development and preservation, a list of candidate books has been identified by analyzing their frequency of use with circulation statistics. Digitization of these items is now underway.

XML/Worldcat/OPAC Records Pilot

In collaboration with OCLC, the UT Digital Library Center is participating in a unique records conversion pilot project. XML records from the Tennessee Documentary History Project are being sent to OCLC, which will transfer the metadata to MARC format, and load them into WorldCat. Finally, an attached holdings symbol will allow the records to be inserted into the UT Libraries online catalog. If this experiment proves successful, it will establish a formal process that other libraries can similarly use, to increase the access and distribution of their digital library content.

Electronic Resources Models Research

With the support of a three year grant from the IMLS, the University of Tennessee School of Information Science, in collaboration with several University of Tennessee Libraries Faculty, will provide models to help librarians maximize their use of data about how electronic resources are being used. The research will measure the cost and benefits of different methods of data collection and use, including different levels and techniques of usage log data analysis, and different kinds of surveys. The Centre for Information Behaviour and the Evaluation of Research (CIBER) of the City University of London will analyze the usage log data, which will be provided by the multi-library consortium OhioLink and the University of Tennessee.

UMATIC Conversion Project

The Media Center, the primary location of media holdings in the Hodges Library, is embarking on a project to migrate a technologically obsolete segment of its collection to a digital format. A recent assessment of the department's holdings, revealed some valuable titles produced in UMATIC (an early cassette videotape format that is now defunct). An assessment identified many unique theatrical and non-theatrical titles in this collection that were never reproduced in a modern format, and consequently can no longer be viewed. This project intends to reformat these items and make this content available to the public.

Newspaper Digitization Grant Proposal

The UT Technical Services Department has submitted a grant proposal to the National Endowment for the Humanities to be one of the test bed sites for the National Newspaper Digitization Project. The proposal would digitize 100,000 pages of newspapers published in Tennessee between 1900 and 1910.

Update on Existing Projects


A grant that will fund the Arrowmont project, which seeks to present an online archive of materials from an arts and crafts school in Gatlinburg Tennessee, has finally been awarded to the University of Tennessee Libraries. The two year grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services, will enable the Smoky Mountain Regional Project to hire several new people to select, organize and digitize items from this archive. The content features photographs and records chronicling life in early 20th Century Gatlinburg. Accompanying the digital images will be essays and a curriculum designed from K-8. The online presentation and search capabilities will be provided by the metadata and programming services of the Digital Library Center.

Thompson Photos

Progress has been made on this project, which seeks to mount an electronic archive of the work of James Thompson, a mid 20th Century photographer of the Knoxville area and the Great Smoky Mountains. The Digital Library Center, in collaboration with the Knox County Public Library's McClung Collection, obtained permision and began a pilot digitization of selected images from the collection. The Center hopes to build on this foundation with a grant that will cover the cost of mounting the entire collection of over 40,000 items. The digitization of materials like the Thompson photographs is part of the digital library's commitment to provide open access to content that describes the rich cultural and natural legacy of East Tennessee.

Tennessee Electronic Library (TEL II)

A grant to fund the Tennesseee Electronic Library (phase II), a state-wide task force that is charged with developing the technical infrastructure for a state digital library, is being prepared for submission to the Institute of Museum and Library Science. The project seeks to provide online access to the visual and oral record of Tennessee's history, and will also assist institutions in the digitization process through training, tools, technical guidance and documentation.

Tennessee Documentary History Project

Development of the Tennessee Documentary History project continued during the past year. Over 2,000 items from antebellum Tennessee, selected from seven archival repositories across the state, have been scanned, transcribed, and made searchable through the Digital Library's website. The project will conclude at the end of October 2004, as staff fine-tune the database and continue outreach to the K-12 audience. A number of inquiries related to this project emerged during the past year as 18th and 19th century scholars discovered these important primary sources.

B. Programs

Electronic Forums Series

The University of Tennessee Library's E-Forum Series features programs for the university community on the convergence of sholarly communications and emerging technology. Started in 1996, the E-Forums series presents leaders and innovators in the world of digital information dissemination. This year, the forum hosted several noteworthy events. On February 19, 2004, the now famous University of Tennessee Law Professor, Glenn Reynolds, gave a humorous and insightful presentation about blogs, and the remarkable impact that his Weblog, Instapundit.com, has had in the birth of this new medium. On March 11, 2004, Joe Branin, Director of Libraries at the Ohio State University, spent a day at the library, talking to different departments about his experiences in the creation of "Knowledge Bank", OSU's campus institutional repository.

The Book and the Scholar Symposium

On September 23-24, 2004, the University of Tennessee Libraries, and the University of Tennessee Press, sponsored a symposium for the academic community to celebrate the Year of the University Press. Librarians, University Press leaders, and faculty of all disciplines, gave presentations that ranged from Book Publishing in the Digital Age, to The Dissertation Becomes the Book. Speakers included: Peter Givler, Executive Director, Association of American University Presses; Linda Phillips, Head Collection Development and Management, University of Tennessee Libraries; Jennifer Siler, Director of the University of Tennessee Press, and Steve Wrinn, Director, the University Press of Kentucky. It is hoped this event will stimulate collaborative digital projects between research libraries and their corresponding university presses.

Faculty Retreat

This year's Faculty Retreat, held on the morning of August 17, was entitled, The Role of the Research Library in a Google World. It made for a stimulating brainstorming session about what librarians can learn from the remarkable success and popularity of the leading commercial search service. Conclusions of the working groups centered around trying to create more seamless, one-stop-shopping portals to library resources.

University of Tennessee and Makerere University Exchange Program

In April 2002, The University of Tennessee and Makerere University Library Services, Kampala, Uganda, initiated a three-year program bringing the two campuses together with cooperative endeavors. Current programs include: Electronic Document Delivery and Resource Sharing; Faculty Exchange and Training; and Digital Library Initiatives. During April, 2004, our Digital Library Center Coordinator, traveled to Uganda and spent several weeks with Makerere staff helping them develop their digital initiatives.

III. Specific Digital Library Challenges

Supplemental Funding

The Digital Library Center was initially funded by a five year grant from the University of Tennessee to help selected Centers of Excellence with start-up money. In June, 2005, the term of this grant will expire. The Center must seek other means of support, if it is to continue expanding its activities. The library has helped by assuming responsibility for the salaries of two additional full-time employees (a programmer and a metadata librarian), but other expenses, previously covered by the grant, will need to be met. The Digital Library Steering Committee is looking into private funding sources (including endowments), and mainstreaming expenses for some of its projects into the traditional collection development budget.

Organizational Structure

Currently, The Digital Library Center operates as a unit with employees who are part of different departments (systems and technical services). The Center will need to make a decision about whether to continue with this structure, or to adopt a different organizational scheme. Library management is considering the possibility of reorganizing the Center as one department, with a common working space, and a discrete chain-of-command.

Institutional Repository

In spite of much discussion, investigation, and pilot activities related to developing an institutional repository at the University of Tennessee, many bridges along this road still remain to be crossed. The Center needs to resolve such issues as: repository scope and content-focus; the best way to achieve faculty buy-in; whether to operate on one, or multple systems; and how this initiative best fits into the organizational structure of the library. The Digital Library Steering Committee has designated an Instituional Repository Task Force to help find answers to these questions.

IV. Digital library publications, policies, working papers, and other documents


  • Dewey, Barbara I. "Portals and the Human Factor: Bringing Virtual Services to the Life of the Mind or the Scholarly Stargate," Journal of Library Administration 2003, vol. 39, no. 4, 89-101, 2003.
  • Mack, Thura, Maribeth Manoff, Tamara Miller and Anthony Smith. "Designing for Experts: How Scholars Approach an Academic Library Web Site," Information Technology and Libraries, vol. 23, no.1, 16-22, March 2004.
  • Manoff, Maribeth. "Full Text Here and Now: The Promise and Reality of Link Server Software," The Tennessee Librarian, vol. 54, no. 2, 2004. http://www.tnla.org/TL/v54n2/manoff.htm
  • McDonald, Robert H., Anthony D. Smith, Charles F. Thomas, and Tyler Walters. "The New Frontier of Institutional Repositories: A Common Destination with Different Paths," (forthcoming in The New Review of Information Networking).


  • Hutt, Arwen. "Understanding Metadata: What is it Really?," Tennessee Library Association 2004 Annual Conference. Presentation write up published in The Tennessee Librarian, vol. 54, no. 2, March 2004. http://www.lib.utk.edu/~tla/TL/v54n2/hutt.htm
  • McDonald, Robert H., Anthony D. Smith, Charles F. Thomas, and Tyler Walters. "The New Frontier of Institutional Repositories: Three Libraries, Three Plans, One Goal," Educause 2004 Annual Conference, Denver, October 20, 2004.
  • McDonald, Robert H., Tyler Walters, and Anthony D. Smith. "The New Frontier of Institutional Repositories: Three Different Libraries, Three Different Plans, One Common Goal," Coalition of Networked Information, Fall 2003 Task Force Meeting, Portland, December 8, 2003.
  • Phillips, Linda. "Defining Institutional Repositories," panelist at the Information Alliance Annual Conference, October 21, 2003.
  • Phillips, Linda. "The Future of TEL: The Next Step in Expansion of TEL Databases," TENN-SHARE 2004 Fall Conference, September 17, 2004.
  • Purcell, Aaron. Plenary Session co-presenter with Kenneth Middleton, "Tennessee Electronic Library Phase II: Strategic Plan for Digitization, Preserve and Share Tennessee History and Culture," 2003 TENN-SHARE Fall Conference, September 19, 2003.
  • Purcell, Aaron."Decisions, Decisions: Selection Criteria for Digitization," Breakout Session Moderator, two sessions, 2003 TENN-SHARE Fall Conference, September 19, 2003.
  • Smith, Anthony D. "Digital Librarianship," Guest Lecture, Makerere University Library, Kampala, Uganda, April 2004.
  • Smith, Anthony D., and Chris Hodge. "University of Tennessee MetaScholar Activities," A Report to the Mellon Foundation at the MetaScholar Workshop, Emory University, Atlanta, October, 2003.
  • Smith, Anthony D., Linda Behrend, Joan Dolence, and Kawanna Bright. "The Life and Times of TED: A Fun Look at the Life of an ETD," Electronic Poster Session, 7th International Symposium on Electronic Theses and Dissertations, University of Kentucky, Lexington, June 2004.
  • Smith, Anthony D., Linda Behrend, Joan Dolence, and Kawanna Bright. "Why Mess with a Good Thing?: The Search for Improved Efficiency within the ETD Workflow Process," presented at the 7th International Symposium on Electronic Theses and Dissertations, University of Kentucky, Lexington, June 2004.

Working Papers/Internal Documents

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