Monday, August 31, 2009

Pierre and Wright Architectural Records

The Pierre and Wright Architectural Records collection from the Drawings and Documents Archives is now available in the Digital Media Repository http://libx.bsu.edu/collection.php?CISOROOT=/PieWri. There are 158 items currently in the digital collection, but many more will be added over the next few months.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Star Press Highlights Archive Treasures

Muncies' local newspaper, The Star Press, has published two pieces highlighting the Archives and Special Collections. Some of our materials are discussed in "Bracken Library Houses Hidden Treasures" and our current exhibit is highlighted in the piece "Railroads Largely Responsible for Developing Area."

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Participation in Professional Organizations

Carol A. Street, Archivist for Architectural Records, has been invited to serve on the Landmarks of the Recent Past Committee of the Indiana Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana. The organization is dedicated to preserving Indiana’s architectural heritage. Carol was selected by the organization to represent Indiana archivists because of the work she is doing with the Drawings and Documents Archive.

Ball State University Libraries Create Middletown Women’s History Digital Collection

by Maren L. Read, Archivist for Manuscript Collections and Amanda A. Hurford, Digital Initiatives Multimedia Developer

Ball State University Libraries announce the completion of a 2008-2009 Library Services Technology Act (LSTA) digitization grant to create a digital collection of local women’s history materials from its Archives and Special Collections. Digitized photographs, letters, club minutes, and other documents are now available as part of the Middletown Women’s History Digital Collection in the Ball State University Digital Media Repository, a project of the University Libraries.

The selected materials document the experiences of women and women’s organizations in Muncie, Indiana from the 1880s through the 1930s. The organization of this online resource is based on the six areas used by Helen and Robert Lynd in their seminal sociological study of Muncie, or “Middletown,” in the 1920s and 1930s. This digital collection provides a unique resource for information on women’s history. It is expected to expand research opportunities in women’s studies, women’s history, U.S. history, sociology, and other disciplines.

The Middletown Women’s History Digital Collection is a subject-based collection. It contains 318 assets from varied original items such as books, correspondence, photographs, and clippings, all centered on the theme of women’s history. In total, more than 12,000 individual objects were digitized from almost twenty different archival collections.

Both optical character recognition (OCR) and transcription techniques have been utilized in this project to capture full-text transcripts of typed documents and handwritten materials. A total of 75 handwritten items were transcribed by University Libraries’ staff, with more to come. Other documents, like newspaper clippings and printed programs, include OCR-generated searchable text. Capturing full-text provides increased search capabilities and assists students and faculty in deciphering handwritten text. For more information, contact Maren L. Read, Archivist for Manuscript Collections at MLRead@bsu.edu, or Amanda A. Hurford, Multimedia Digital Initiatives Developer at AAHurford@bsu.edu.

Ball State University Libraries Offer New User Experiences in Second Life


by Carolyn F. Runyon, Archivist for Digital Development and University Records

Bracken Library now exists virtually as well as being a brick-and-mortar facility. The University Libraries’ collaboration with the Center for Middletown Studies and the Institute for Digital Intermedia Arts and Animation has resulted in the creation of Bracken Library in the virtual world of Second Life. Within this virtual world, archivists, historians, and virtual world modelers created the Middletown Studies Library and Archives.

Animation has resulted in the creation of Bracken Library in the virtual world of Second Life. Within this virtual world, archivists, historians, and virtual world modelers created the Middletown Studies Library and Archives.

Second Life is an online three-dimensional virtual world where users or “residents” use avatars to interact with one another. Ball State University Libraries Archivists Maren L. Read and Carolyn F. Runyon offer virtual reference services three times a week to support “in-world” researchers.

To chat with Em Ziplon, a.k.a. Archivist for Manuscript Collections Maren Read, visit Bracken Library in Second Life on Mondays and Fridays, from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. To chat with Carolyn Runyon, a.k.a. Archivist for Digital Development and University Records, visit Bracken Library in Second Life on Tuesdays, 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.

The Middletown Studies Collection Library and Archives features exhibits displaying the unique resources available from Ball State University Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections. Based on Robert and Helen Lynd’s sociological study of Muncie, Indiana, conducted in the 1920s, the exhibit features materials that revisit the six areas of life and culture studied by the Lynds:

1. Getting a Living
2. Making a Home
3. Training the Young
4. Using Leisure
5. Engaging in Religious Practices
6. Engaging in Community Activities

Materials exhibited include excerpts from oral histories and photographs, many of which are available from the Digital Media Repository, which is a digital resource available from the University Libraries at http://libx.bsu.edu/.

Additionally, the collection features the Bracken Library Theater that will play film footage available from Archives and Special Collections, including The Man Haters, a silent movie produced in Muncie, Indiana in 1915.

The new resources and services available from the Middletown Studies Collection Library and Archives in Second Life have been made possible through an Innovative Library Program Grant awarded to the Ball State University Libraries for 2008-2009. This grant is part of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), which is administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Indiana State Library.

For more information, contact Maren L. Read, Archivist for Manuscript Collections, or Carolyn F. Runyon, Archivist for Digital Development and University Records, libarchives@bsu.edu, 765-285-5078.

Summer Workshop Students Introduced to University Libraries’ Unique Architectural Resources

Carol A. Street, Archivist for Architectural Records and Amy E. Trendler, Architecture Librarian

Each summer the College of Architecture and Planning (CAP) welcomes outstanding high school juniors and seniors to the CAP Summer Workshop. One of the highlights of their work at Ball State is learning how to access the dynamic resources the University Libraries have to offer.

This summer, Amy E. Trendler, Architecture Librarian, and Carol A. Street, Archivist for Architectural Records, introduced the students to digital and print resources in the Architecture Library as well as unique architectural collections from the Drawings and Documents Archive.

Over the course of an afternoon, the students met in small groups to explore a wide range of materials, such as books on vertical gardens, resources on urban planning, and original Cuno Kibele architectural drawings from 1917.

The session prompted students to consider how architectural drawings are used and introduced them to the wealth of current material available to them at Ball State University. For more information, contact Amy E. Trendler, Architecture Librarian, AETrendler@bsu.edu, 765-285-5858 or Carol A. Street, Archivist for Architectural Records, CAStreet@bsu.edu, 765-285-8441.

Collaboration Key to Success of the University Libraries’ Grant Projects

Building rich digital collections requires both internal and external collaboration. The evidence is in the successful grant projects that the University Libraries have conducted over the past few years. These projects, which have resulted in a broad range of new digital resources for students, faculty, and researchers, would not have been possible without the coordinated efforts of librarians, archivists, and other personnel throughout various units of the University Libraries, and the valuable input of external collaborators as well.

The successful and timely completions of the latest two projects funded by Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grants are great examples of the professional interactions within the University Libraries and with outside partners in the creation of new digital research assets and use of emerging media.

The development of the Middletown Women’s History Digital Collection, described in this issue in an article by Amanda A. Hurford and Maren L. Read, was a Librarieswide effort. Its completion by the end of the grant period on June 30, 2009, was a result of the collaborative work of personnel in Archives and Special Collections, Cataloging and Metadata Services, Library Information Technology Services, Metadata and Digital Initiatives, and Public Services. In addition, the Center for Middletown Studies and the Women’s Studies Program were external partners on the grant.

Creation of a virtual Bracken Library in the 3-D world of Second Life, described in this issue by Carolyn F. Runyon, received funding by an LSTA Innovative Library Program grant this year. This project could not have been accomplished without our excellent partnership with the Center for Media Design’s Institute for Digital Intermedia Arts and Animation (IDIAA). The Institute’s director, John A. Fillwalk and Jake Baxter, IDIAA Virtual Worlds Modeler and Animator, provided the critical expertise for building and scripting in Second Life that made the construction of the virtual library possible.

Professor James J. Connolly, Director of the Center for Middletown Studies, and Maren L. Read, Archivist for Manuscript Collections in the University Libraries, worked together to create and curate the virtual exhibits and resources in the Middletown Studies Archives and Library constructed within the virtual Bracken Library.

The LSTA digitization grant project underway for this year is another example of collaboration between the Libraries’ personnel in different units and an external partner. Development of the Delaware County Aerial Plat Maps Digital Collection in the Ball State Digital Media Repository (DMR) is possible through a successful partnership with the Delaware County Auditor’s Office. They supplied the aerial plat maps that are being digitized.

These collaborative grant projects have and will reap digital rewards in the form of new educational, research, and instructional assets and emerging media venues for the students and faculty of Ball State, researchers worldwide, and other users of the University Libraries. Thanks are due to many cooperative individuals within the University Libraries and external partners who make these efforts so successful.