All posts by Rich Murray

Secrets of Duke Digital Collections … Revealed!

Her secret is glamour

How do we make Duke Digital Collections happen?  Well, obviously, our secret is glamour, which comes as no surprise to those of you who know us.  But as with Miss Denney in this advertisement from our Ad*Access collection, there’s a bit more to it than that, and it takes a lot of work to get there, especially since we try to avoid disturbing fatigue lines and “crepey throat” along the way.  (We know this ad is tiny here, but trust us, it’s worth clicking on to experience its full glory.)

We were recently asked to write about the Duke Digital Collections program for the Duke University Libraries Magazine.  The results appear in five articles in the Fall 2009 issue of the magazine, and you can read them online here.  Among other things, you can read about the history of digitization at Duke, the global reach of our digital collections, the creative interfaces we use to open the doors to our collections, the behind-the-scenes steps in the creation of a new digital collection, and how our digital collections are being used in the classroom.

Thanks to our friends at the magazine for giving us the opportunity to talk about the Duke Digital Collections program!

You Know What We Did This Summer

I’ve been working in academic libraries for fourteen years now, and I still haven’t been able to convince my grandmother that working for a university doesn’t mean you get the summers off.  We certainly haven’t been taking the summer off in the Digital Collections Program here at the Duke University Libraries, even though you haven’t seen most of the results of our summer work yet.

We premiered the Duke Digital Collections iPhone app back in June, which has been getting positive and enthusiastic feedback (thanks!), but otherwise most of our work has been behind-the-scenes stuff that will pay off in the future.  Among our projects:

  • The metadata phase of the Broadsides & Ephemera digital collection has begun in earnest, with a team of eight catalogers and archivists using our new metadata editor to describe these rare and valuable resources.
  • Work continues on Trident, our digital collections system.  With a new repository, a new metadata editor, and all sorts of other new developments, we’ll be able to create and manage digital collections better, faster, and more seamlessly than ever before, and deliver content in new and exciting ways.
  • Our Digital Production Center continues digitizing materials for future collections at a furious rate.  As usual, they’re very speedy and the rest of us sometimes feel like we’re trying to play catch-up with them….
  • We’ve introduced new ways to keep up with the Digital Collections Program, including a Facebook page (come be our friend!) and more frequent Twitter updates, where we’ve been tweeting highlights from the Duke Digital Collections since the spring.  We’ve also been posting with our digital collections colleagues from across the state to the North Carolina Digital Collections Collaboratory blog.
  • Last but certainly not least, we’re about to launch a huge, fantastic, exciting, FUN new digital collection — hopefully next week — that we’re going to have to keep secret a bit longer.  We hate to tease you … well, maybe we want to tease you a little bit.  It’s completely different from anything we’ve done before in several ways that will become clear when it’s published.  We’ve been working like fiends on this one, but we think it’s totally going to be worth it, and hope you will, too, when you see it.  Stay tuned.

As always, thanks for reading, and for your support and interest.  We hope you’re having as good a summer as we are.  Don’t forget the sunscreen and the frosty beverage of your choice….