Sinking our Teeth into Metadata Improvement

Advertisement for porcelain teeth by S.S. White Dental Manufacturing company

Like many attempts at revisiting older materials, working with a couple dozen volumes of dental pamphlets started very simply but ended up being an interesting opportunity to explore the challenges of making the diverse range of materials held in libraries accessible to patrons in a digital environment. And while improving metadata may not sound glamorous, having sufficient metadata for users to be able to find what they are looking for is essential for the utility of digital libraries.

Collaboration and Generosity Provide the Missing Issue of The American Jewess

Image of The American Jewess periodical heading from the issue provided by Princeton

What started with a bit of wondering and conversation within our unit of the Library led to my reaching out to Princeton University with a request but no expectations of having that request fulfilled. Individuals at Princeton, however, considered the request and agreed to provide us with the single issue of The American Jewess that we needed to complete the full run of the periodical within our digital collection. Especially in these stressful times, we are delighted to bring you a positive...

Combine Metadata Harvester: Aggregate ALL the data!

A tree and a wheat field in Röe, Sweden. The wheat field is filled with pretty white flowers.

The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) has collected and made searchable a vast quantity of metadata from digital collections all across the country. The Michigan Service Hub works with cultural heritage institutions throughout the state to collect their metadata, transform those metadata to be compatible with the DPLA’s online library, and send the transformed metadata to the DPLA, using the Combine aggregator software, which is being developed here at the U of M Library.

Hacks with Friends 2020 Retrospective: A pitch to hitch in 2021

Image of event details: March 5-6, 2020. Hack with Friends. 4 - A Pangeo State of Mind. Developing a Python stack and repository for access, analysis, and management of big data

When the students go on winter break I go to Hacks with Friends (HWF) and highly recommend and encourage everyone who can to participate in HWF 2021. Not only is it two days of free breakfast, lunch, and snacks at the Ross School of Business, but it’s a chance to work with a diverse cross section of faculty, staff, and students on innovative solutions to complex problems.

Drill-motors, Lexicography, and the Middle English Dictionary

Drill motor caption in a newspaper

For the past three years the Text Creation Unit, a small group within the Digital Content & Collections department of LIT, has been busy revising one of the University's oldest and most famous products and projects, the Middle English Dictionary. This post will not address the now 90-year history of the project, nor the technical or design aspects of our new interface, nor even the problems attached to sustaining a project like this over nearly a century. In fact, this post will seem a...

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