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What's New

Now Available: Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts

Published: June 30, 2010 by Robin M. Katz

The CDI has digitized the libraries' medeival and renaissance manuscripts. This collection was created with the help of Travis Puller, curator of the library's 2009 exhibit Medeival and Renaissance Manuscripts: Witnesses from Our Written Past.

Based on Puller's previous work, we scanned and described 21 loose manuscripts and 10 bound items created across Europe and the Middle East and dating from the 12th to 17th centuries CE.

Later this year, we plan to add the manuscripts housed in UVM's Fleming Museum and to share our digital collection with the Digital Scriptorium.

Long Trail Photos On Display at Vermont History Expo

Published: June 18, 2010 by Robin M. Katz

Come visit the University of Vermont Libraries at the tenth annual Vermont History Expo.

Special Collections and Center for Digital Initiatives staff will join other research organizations in the Floral Hall at the Tunbridge World's Fairground to show off our new Long Trail photographs collection.

This year's theme is "Back to the Land Again! Vermont Heritage Ways for Today." The expo will include exhibits from local historical societies, museums, and cultural heritage organizations. There will be presentations, demonstrations, heritage animals, music, dancing and great food.

New this year, on Saturday the Tunbridge School Club will be offering a community dinner of traditional Vermont foods incorporating local, seasonal ingredients. After dinner, restored films on Vermont agriculture from the 1930s-1950s will be shown in the Tunbridge Library.

Vermont History Expo
June 26 - 27 :: 10 am - 5 pm
Tunbridge World's Fairgrounds

Item of the Month: June 2010

Published: June 15, 2010 by Jill Wharton

"Collections of Curiosities": Exhibitions of Circus History in Vermont

The Circus Day in America exhibit currently at the Shelburne Museum (May 16-Oct 24) emphasizes the cultural significance and the enduring fascination of the traveling circus presented to rural New England communities from the 1870s through the mid 20th century.

Our Louis L. McAllister collection complements this history with compelling images that capture both the humanity and exoticism of the circus performers who enlivened Northern Vermont summers during this era.

Browse the "Circus Performers" portraits or view early images of the Shelburne Museum in our McAllister collection here.

Balancing Barbells, McAllister Photographs

Vermont Catalogers Visit the CDI

Published: June 02, 2010 by Birdie MacLennan

Vermont Catalogers Roundtable Spring Meeting, May 20, 2010:
Focus on Center for Digital Initiatives Collections and Metadata Applications

More than thirty library colleagues from around the state of Vermont gathered in the Bailey/Howe Library on Thursday, May 20, 2010 to attend the spring meeting of the Vermont Catalogers’ Roundtable, which featured four presentations from CDI colleagues and collaborators, highlighting the UVM Libraries Center for Digital Initiatives collections and the metadata applications used to support them.

Robin Katz, CDI Outreach Librarian, opened the meeting with an overview of CDI, its mission to make unique digital collections available to researchers at UVM and beyond, its goal to serve an engaged and participative user community, its selection processes and collection development policy, and digitization methodologies and standards. Robin demonstrated CDI’s website and gave a synopsis of the collections, including the Maple Research Collection photographs and Agricultural Extension Bulletins, the Long Trail photographs, the Fletcher Family Letters, Vermont Hay Harvesting videos, and the Louis L. McAllister photographs of Burlington. Robin also discussed outreach strategies for raising awareness of CDI activities and collections, and promoting their use. She pointed the audience to a recent broadcast of “Live at 5:25” on CCTV – Burlington, which features Robin, Mary Van Buren-Swasey and Dan DeSanto discussing CDI’s Local History Resources Online.

Sibyl Schaefer, CDI Metadata Librarian, presented an overview of Metadata Applications in the description and presentation of digital collections in CDI and beyond, including METS (Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard), MODS (Metadata Object Description Standard), MADS (Metadata Authority Description Standard), Dublin Core standards, and TEI (Text Encoding Initiative), which are all in use in CDI. Sibyl also discussed techniques for cross-walking and linking metadata between systems, for example by linking geographical locations in the Long Trail collection of photographs to mapping coordinates in Google – so that users of the Long Trail photographs can pinpoint exact (or near-exact!) locations on related maps. VCRT participants thought that was really cool! Sibyl also discussed how CDI has done some “repurposing” of MARC records into MODS metadata for the description of fulltext digitized versions of the Maple Research Collection’s Technical Reports. Sibyl demonstrated the robust versatility of metadata applications in CDI, and also in general, and how they related to the semantic web.

Mary VanBuren-Swasey, a member of the Resource Description and Analysis’ Cataloging Group, is collaborating closely with CDI and Special Collections to apply descriptive and subject-based metadata to the Louis L. McAllister Collection of digital photographs of Burlington (c. 1920-1960). Mary discussed the research tools that she uses in Special Collections, and the contacts she has made in the Burlington community, to identify people, places and events in the photographs, and to promote the CDI collections in the community.

Wichada Sukantarat, Cataloging/Authorities/Metadata Librarian presented an overview her role in performing Authority work to add controlled name, geographic, and subject headings for CDI collections. Wichada creates MADS XML (Metadata Authority Description Schema) authority records that are compatible with the CDI database for unique Vermont headings or – where headings are already present in OCLC authority files – she downloads a MARC heading and converts it to MADS records that are compatible with CDI collections. Wichada provided an overview of MARCEdit and the Oxygen XML Editor, editing tools that she uses to complete her work in contributing controlled headings and associated cross-references for consistent vocabulary in the CDI indexes.

The meeting concluded with a tour of CDI offices and equipment.

Photograph: VCRT participants in CDI scanning room, with book scanner.
From left to right: Helen Linda (Godard), Leslie Rowell, Kate Schlueter (Vermont State Colleges), Lorraine Lanius (Vermont Dept. of Libraries), Arabella Holpatzfel (Middlebury College), Michael Warner (Middlebury College).