Skip to main content

Russian doll effect in digital libraries


I've heard a few presentations from Jim Bradley (Head of Metadata and Digital Initiatives at Ball State) over the years on the idea of the Russian Doll effect in digital libraries. This has been an intriguing premise to me- How can we effectively assess and track how our digital collections are living beyond the scope of the repository, and further, how can we track this type of scholarship? Surely this process would display the value and importance of open digital collections, and also indicate how scholarship is influenced and created through these collections.

The elusiveness of digital media can be a curious one to try to ponder and capture effectively, but I think what is interesting to me, is how users can repurpose, repackage and bundle information into new contexts. Bradley has spoken about a project where students used drawings from the Pierre and Wright Architectural Records and created new designs and 3D objects from the original drawings. The digital library then sought to collect these new creations in their own new (but related) collections.

In a similar vein here at Kent, I was thrilled to see our student newspaper (who we've recently been meeting with) start to highlight content from our digital archive. Example here, telling us that in 1942 Kent State freshman were made to wear dinks, give up their seat to upperclassmen at any given time and know the alma mater by heart.

Coeds Receiving Dinks, Kent State, 1940s
Image from: Kent State University Libraries. Special Collections and Archives.

My hope (and goal) looking to other collections is to find these threads of use and find a way to effectively put in a metrics frame to capture this kind of information. This kind of information may help guide future project decisions and also gauge interest in what users are looking for.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

New image viewer in place for Omeka content

In anticipation for the addition of a large number of textual documents to be added to our online digital archive in the next year, we've added a new image viewer that allows for much more interaction with the digital items. Now a user can zoom in and navigate through an image or document. Here is an example:

http://omeka.library.kent.edu/special-collections/items/show/1458

One feature that we are excited to have in place with this new viewer is to provide a slideshow/scroll view of items with multiple pages or images. Thanks to Project Mirador!

Check back for more additions in the coming months.

Digital Scholarship

Digital Scholarship is a term that could probably defined in a dozen different ways if you asked a group of people to define it. It's a somewhat elusive concept, but for me, it's finding new connections between ideas that were previously unknown, using a tools and techniques that were not previously available using a little expertise from programmers, digital librarians and an array of other folks. What does this look like?

I've put together a few samples below. Some make use of data analysis, while others apply newer metadata applications to bring an idea into a new level of understanding and research. This goes beyond a digital repository that simply provides access to material, but allows a whole new level of interpretation and use.

Here are a list of some of my favorites:

Belfast Group Poetry Networks: showing an interactive network of a group of writers, and how we can now make new mappings of the connections within the group

Linked Jazz: a research project that uses L…

New video capability to our digital collections

This week, we have added a handful of video content into our digital repository from the May 4 Collection. This represents just a small portion of the video collection that is out of copyright that the library is able to share openly, and was transferred from VHS over the last year. Please take some time and give it a look:

http://omeka.library.kent.edu/special-collections/kent-state-shootings-digital-archive/

We are looking forward to adding video content from the May 4 Oral History Collection down the road as well, so check back for more updates!