Internment Camp Correspondences, Gestapo Camp Correspondences, updates, and Russell Library

More updates on the World War, 1939-1945, German Concentration Camps and Prisons Collection. The Internment Camp Correspondences are now finished. There weren't too many of them - only 56 to be exact. With the internment camp letters finished, we have moved on to the Gestapo Camp Correspondences.

I have also added the "Related Information" feature to the World War, 1939-1945, German Concentration Camps and Prisons Collection and Russell Library Collection. It is just a block in the right column, which is an extension of the faceted search module. Also, in somewhat related news regarding the Russell Library Collection, I have inherited another worker who will be going through the records and added cover images, title page images, and book plate images to records without them.

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Concentration Camp Correspondences

After an entire year of scanning and meta data entry by a couple of amazing students, we have finished a portion of the World War, 1939-1945, German Concentration Camps and Prisons Collection. The entirety of the Concentration Camp Correspondences [http://digitalcollections.mcmaster.ca/concentration-camp-correspondence] - 1031 to be exact - are up online with full meta data records. Also, a *very* help volunteer has been going through and translating/summarizing the records. If anybody knows German, Yiddish, Polish, or French and would like to volunteer, please contact me.

Now that all of the records are up, some new discovery features will be added this week. *Hopefully*

The next section of the collection to be scanned is the Internment Camp Correspondences. We got a few done today, and they can be previewed here: http://digitalcollections.mcmaster.ca/internment-and-transit-camps-corre...

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2009 OLITA Digital Odyssey

I must say that the Digital Odyssey was the best one day event I have been to. Just a fantastic day with fantastic people talking about awesome projects. It cheered me up and gave me hope in these crap times. Best part of the day had to be Mike Ridley's keynote speech - The Age of Information is over. It is time for the Age of Imagination. It will be the library's job to nurture and foster creativity.

Workshops attended:

Walter Lewis - The Perfectibility of Data. I must say that Walter may be a bigger metadata fascist that I am. He showed some cool stuff that I didn't know about - media rss feeds! Then using Cooliris to visualize said feed. Also, finally realized how simple it is to provide proper data to interact with google earth & google maps. Just latitude and longitude coordinates!!!

Loren Fantin - Planning and Managing a Digitization Project. Lots of great stuff in Loren's talk. Don't see a blog entry on the Digital Odyssey site yet, so no link. Biggest lessons learned - scope creep!!! & digitization should be apart of collection management.

Art Rhyno - OCR Options for Scanned Content. Great session on the basics & overview of OCR, and OCR software options. Provided many examples from a variety of OCR software packages. Mostly ABBYY & Ocropus.


The text to my presentation, pdf of slides, keynote file, and powerpoint file.

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Richard Sylvan - Life and Works

We have launched a new (small) collection - Richard Sylvan - Life and Works. This is an ongoing collection, so materials will be added as they are digitized. The materials in this collection consist mainly of publications by the Australian philosopher Richard Sylvan/Routley. Additionally, we have tied the collection in with the IR. A community and series was setup for this special collection.

The collection was put together during an independent study course by Alex Alvarez, and Nicholas Griffin. Griffin is also the Literary Executor of Richard Sylvan/Routley.

Richard Sylvan/Routley

library clouds in the sky with [diamonds]?

Bacon...

Sorry, had to get that of the way. Those who know, know. Those who do not, oh well. I will address it later... subtly???

Awhile back we got hit with the perfect-downtime-storm. A RAID controller battery randomly failed, and I was down for quite a few hours. Then a day or two later ... a brown-out occurred. Somehow, some way, this killed the brand new RAID controller on the DB server, and disemboweled the RAID controller on the web server. I was down for almost a week awaiting repairs vendors and IT. During this period of utter embarrassment and fury, I finally took somebody up on a long-standing offer to put all of my digital collections stuff on a BEEFCAKE server. I ordered my [twin node] BEEFCAKE and decided that high availability and redundancy was the way to go.

So, I began building a proof of concept: Tomax & Xamot [LAMP with hint of wonderful Tomcat, Java, Solr, and Djatoka for blooming ideas] are my sinister production machines with Heckle & Jeckle [HAProxy & KeepAlive] providing the load balancing. After many hours, the proof of concept succeeded. Kill apache and/or mysql on Tomax, Xamot will be right there still fighting for the Cobra Commander.

I've been sitting on BEEFCAKE for a week or so, almost ready to go to production. But for the last week, I have been diligent with my 99-part hearty diet of bacn, Batman, Green Lantern Corp, and Promethea. Combined with the nicotine patch, my head has been in the clouds - in a good way. I was pretty undecided about the Cloud for a long time and Stallman's talk at U. of T. threw me even farther to one side of the fence {GPL loophole], but Fink's idea-machine-brain rambling on about creating a Cloud at LibMac (another possible proof of concept) started turning gears. (Side note, Fink is more rabid about Open Source than I). The collections within the Digital Collections, (namely PW20C, Concentration Camp Correspondences, Bertrand Russell, Canadian Publishing, et al) are sitting on a fair chuck of metadata begging for something to be done with it. Add that to the Mass Digitization Project (DC, METS/ALTO, and fingers crossed TEI), and EVERGREEN!!! Oh what to do, what do to???

Nexus: The Canadian Student Journal of Anthropology

We are launching another student journal in Digital Commons - Nexus: The Canadian Student Journal of Anthropology. The first few issues of the journal have been loaded today. The journal goes all the way back to 1980, so it will be a bit before it is all up online. Also of note, this is an open access journal.

Nexus is a graduate student-run publication from the Department of Anthropology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. For nearly thirty years Nexus has provided a forum for quality student work from Canadian and international colleges and universities.

Nexus attempts to present a cross section of current student work from any area of anthropology, and to advance scholarship through anonymous peer review.

The journal is located at http://digitalcommons.mcmaster.ca/nexus - check 'em out!

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Bad Apple!

Is Apple in lowering itself to Zango Cash style opt-outs?bad-apple1

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New Journal - ESURIO

We have launched another new journal in Digital Commons - ESURIO - which features refereed content by undergraduate and graduate students on the issues of hunger and poverty. They also officially live at esurio.ca, but wanted to be apart of the institutional repository here at Mac. Check 'em out!
ESURIO

Drupal/Digital Collections/Images

The Image API was recently released for Drupal 5, and changed a lot of things. During my updates (and redesign), I thought it might be a good idea to provide a sort of "how to" for images in Digital Collections. First thing first, make sure you have CCK! Also of note, for each collection that I've setup with CCK, I created a new imagefield for each one, and provided it with a directory in the "files" directory. So for example, the Peace and War collection has its own image set, and the concentration camp correspondences have their own set.

Modules needed:
ImageAPI
Imagecache
Imagefield

Eye Candy Modules:
ImageAPI Reflect
Thickbox
Lightbox2

So, install and enable all of the modules listed above, then run update.php. After you update, browse to Administrator > Site Configuration and select ImageAPI. From here you can choose to use GD or ImageMagick. Then proceed to select Image Toolkit under the same section to select your image quality.

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Next you just setup your image field for you content type (Administrator > Content Management), and select how you want to display it.

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If you want to do the fancy eye candy like this:
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Browse to your Imagecache settings (Administrator > Site Building > Imagecache) and setup a scale, and setup a reflection. If you have a white background, change the background RGB color to 255,255,255.

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