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Monday, October 27 • 10:45am - 12:00pm
An All Purpose Archives Viewer: Displaying Large Scale Archival Collections in Digital Libraries + Spotlight: A Self-Service Tool for Showcasing Digital Collections

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An All Purpose Archives Viewer: Displaying Large Scale Archival Collections in Digital Libraries
Community Notes
For several years, many academic and research libraries have been exploring ways to scale-up their digitization and web publication of archival collections. These initiatives sought to transfer the methods of mass digitization developed for published materials with the unique, local special collections. 

At UCLA, digitization of complete archival collections has been a goal for a number of years. However, we still didn't know how best to display these digital archives on the web. This spring we decided to draw up functional requirements for an archival collections web interface. Our digital library system is Islandora, so we worked with Discovery Garden, Inc., to build a "Manuscripts Solution Pack." While the solution pack is Islandora specific, the functionality and concepts are not. In our presentation, we will outline the functionalities we chose as integral to an archival interface and then outline the way we technically designed the solution pack. The focus will be on functions and development that are agnostic of the underlying system. In particular, we decided on a content model for archival collections, a web display interface for finding aids alongside digital images and page turning. The page images are zoomable inside the webpage using Open Sea Dragon. 

The goal of our presentation is to offer a conceptual model for the display of archival collections on the web. We will present our findings on the interface's usability and plans for future refinements. We hope during a question and answer period to garner criticism and responses to our approach as well as discuss other models that might be appropriate for this material.

Session Leaders
Elizabeth McAulay, University of California, Los Angeles
Kristian Allen, University of California, Los Angeles


Spotlight: A Self-Service Tool for Showcasing Digital Collections
Community Notes
Like many institutions, Stanford University Libraries (SUL) have a rich and diverse collection of content in its digital repository. While this repository content is accessible through an integrated discovery environment, librarians, curators, and collection donors often want to showcase individual collections, and faculty, students, and researchers want to work with these collections in a more focused, feature-rich environment that supports their scholarly goals. Purpose-built digital library websites can satisfy these goals, but the time and development resources required to create them limits how often an institution can commit to producing them. 

In this session, we'll describe how SUL addressed this problem by developing a digital library product called Spotlight. Spotlight is a plug-in to Blacklight, an open source Ruby on Rails gem that provides a discovery interface for any Solr index. Combined with Blacklight, an institution can use Spotlight to establish a self-service environment in which librarians, curators, faculty, and others can easily create attractive, feature-rich websites that showcase digital library content of their choosing.

As we'll demonstrate in this session, curators build a Spotlight exhibit completely through web-based forms, using an intuitive workflow of selection and indexing, arrangement, curation, and presentation. Spotlight-based exhibits can include multiple types of media and provide curators with a wide range of "widgets" with which to build pages composed of both digital objects and curatorial content.

Because we believe it has potential value to many institutions, we intentionally designed and developed Spotlight in an open and transparent way. As the project evolves, we're especially interested in facilitating community contributions. We'll conclude this session by describing the steps we're taking to seek regular feedback from peers and stakeholders, generate interest among potential future development partners, and position Spotlight as an open source project that other institutions will adopt and help grow.

Session Leaders
Gary Geisler, Stanford University
Jessie Keck, Stanford University
Stuart Snydman, Stanford University


avatar for Kristian Allen

Kristian Allen

Programmer Analyst, UCLA
Software Developer - UCLA Digital Library

Gary Geisler

UX Designer, Stanford University

Jessie Keck

Software Developer, Stanford University
avatar for Elizabeth McAulay

Elizabeth McAulay

Head of the Digital Library Program, UCLA
McAulay is the Head of the Digital Library Program at the UCLA Library. She directs the development of collections and underlying technical infrastructure to offer rare and unique cultural heritage materials to support learning, research, instruction, and creative expression. She... Read More →
avatar for Stuart Snydman

Stuart Snydman

Associate Director for Digital Strategy, Stanford University Libraries

Monday October 27, 2014 10:45am - 12:00pm EDT
Salons 4,5,6 Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center

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