Friday, December 19, 2008

Grant-Supported Projects Build Digital Resources

from the Library Insider, December 2008

The Ball State University Libraries have received several Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) digitization grants over the past five years to develop digital resources to support the academic pursuits of Ball State students and faculty. These grants have made it possible for the Libraries to provide 24/7 access to rich research materials for the citizens of Muncie, the state of Indiana, and scholars around the world.
As a result of the current LSTA digitization grant, the University Libraries have acquired a BookDrive DIY scanner that is being used to digitize deteriorating minute books of women’s organizations and diaries of local women as part of the Middletown Women’s History Digital Collection project.

This high performance book scanning platform allows personnel to scan the fragile pages of the volumes in a safe manner that protects the historical documents and provides a high quality digital image. The scanner is like a double copy stand with two digital cameras set at 90 degree angles so that books can be photographed in a cradle rather than laid flat like they would be with a traditional flatbed scanner. This “cradling” protects the spines of fragile books by putting less stress on them.

Items being digitized with the book scanner for the LSTA grant project include:
Muncie Business and Professional Women’s Club History, 1919-62, and scrapbook, 1919-36
Altrusa Club scrapbook, 1933-45
Story of the Life and Character of Lida A. Ryan, 1902 (book)
Mina McCormick diaries, 1933-34
Grace Arthur school memory book, 1926-32
McRae Club minutes, 1904-11
Riverside Culture Club minutes, 1913-28
• Women’s Universalist Missionary Association minutes,1923-42
Women’s Franchise League programs, 1914-17

The book scanner will be used for future digital projects to scan rare books, atlases, and other items in the University Libraries’ rich special collections that it would not be possible to scan without the benefit of this grant-funded equipment. As a result, look for many exciting new types of digital resources to be available in the Digital Media Repository.

For more information, contact John B. Straw, Assistant Dean for Digital Initiatives and Special Collections,, 765-285-5078

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