Virtual Motor City Updates: Titles

June 8th, 2009

In our ongoing effort to improve the searching and browsing of the Virtual Motor City collection, we’ve just reloaded the collection’s metadata, updated with the latest additional information: descriptions of photographs, Library of Congress subject headings, and our brand new field, titles.

With the new title field, you’ll notice that some records contain two titles: Historical Title and Title.  You may ask, well, what’s the difference? Here’s our explanation.

vmc-titles

There are two title fields, Historical Title and Title.  Historical Title is the name given to the photograph by the Detroit News Photographer who took the photo(s).  This field, while historically significant and interesting, is riddled with problems when it comes to searching because a lack of consistency.  The photographers did not use an authority list, so photographs that are similar, such as three pictures of cars, might be labeled totally different.  One might be simply “Autos” while another might be the model and brand, while another might be “Street Scenes.”  The NEW title field is original metadata added by a metadata librarian, that looks to give some consistency back to the titles and also add titles to records that never had one.  Once we’ve reached a significant number or records with this new field, users will have the ability to browse by title.

Visual Resources + Flickr (Part I)

May 26th, 2009

Did you know you can search and add images from Flickr into your Visual Resources Collection media groups? Flickr is a rich resource with millions of images to choose from, ranging graphic design to scientific imaging to historical artifacts. Or perhaps you have your own Flickr account? You can use your Flickr account as a quick way to load your own images into your Luna presentations.

3-Easy Steps: Accessing Your Flickr Account in Luna

1) After logging in or creating an account,  under the “Explore” tab, select “External Media Search”

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2) Under the username search field, simply enter your Flickr account username and select search…easy.

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3) Find the images you’d like to incorporate into your presentations, and add them to your default media group by clicking the icon in the upper-left corner.

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Alternatively, you can use the username search to find the collections of participants in the Flickr Commons, a collection of unknown or out of copyright images from libraries and archives across the world.

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Quick Guide to Digital Collections@WSU

May 6th, 2009

With the release of a brand-new library website, we’ve worked hard to create a new face for the Library System’s digital collections.  We’ve added tons of new content, so here is a guide to bring you up to speed:

  • Added pages that highlight both past and current projects, past project pages include project information that might be helpful for those pursuing similar types of projects.
  • Developed a list of web-resources for the library community and those interested in digital projects covering topics like copyright, metadata, imaging, and preservation.  This list will continue to grow and you can keep in touch with it by subscription.
  • We’re working on developing tutorials for our Visual Resources Collection.
  • Obviously, we’ve added a Digital Collections Blog that will serve as a place to get news and updates, tips, and read about interesting items in our digital collections from a number of librarian’s that work with the collections.  Subscribe or bookmark us to stay in touch with what we’re doing and perhaps pick up a thing or two that will help your research.

We welcome feedback and input on what you’d like to see here in the future.  Just send a note to Jon McGlone.

DLXS Upgrade Coming

April 28th, 2009

If you’re a regular user of our Digital Collections–like Virtual Motor City–you’ll be happy to learn in the next couple weeks we’ll be upgrading to the most current version of DLXS.  While you wait, here’s a few improvements the DLXS folks have made that you can look forward to:

  • Improved relevancy ranking for searches
  • Bookmarking, commenting, and downloading tools for every record
  • Improved image navigation tools (zooming, panning, image sizes)

DLXS Improvements

About DLXS:

The Digital Library eXtension Service (DLXS) is a digital library system designed to help educational and non-profit institutions mount a variety of types of digital library collections. Since 1996, the University of Michigan Library has worked to serve a growing need for institutions like Michigan to put digital library collections online. more @ http://dlxs.org

WPA Music Manuscripts, 1935-1943

April 16th, 2009
Copyists from the Detroit Music Project, taken on 8/4/1938. Photo courtesy Walter P. Reuther Archives

Copyists from the Detroit Music Project, taken on 8/4/1938. Photo courtesy Walter P. Reuther Archives

Interested in graphic design, fonts and typography? Unique Michigan histories? We’ve just added a new collection, WPA Music Manuscripts, a digitization and access project that digitized and cataloged detailed and ornate hand-copied music manuscripts produced by Michigan men and women under the WPA during the Great Depression.  The collection and accompanying resources highlight the people and work that were a part of the Music Copying Project, supported by the Federal Music Project and WPA.  The Federal Music Project employed men and women to copy music for WPA orchestras, bands, and choruses to perform.  The collection is currently housed at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s archives.

WPA Music Manuscripts is a collaboration between WSU Music Department, Art and Art History Department, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and the Library System.

NEW! Visual Resources@WSU

March 30th, 2009

We’re happy to add to our digital collections–and make available WSU wide–the new Visual Resources Collection.

This collection is an outgrowth of a project to digitize, catalog and make available portions of the Art and Art History Department’s analog slide library.  These efforts by the Art and Art History department have increased access to the collection along with preserving the slide library in digital format.  Most importantly, the Visual Resources Collection contains over 100,000 images from other resources: licensed images from Scholars Resource and AMICA, Art Images for College Teaching, and faculty slide collections housed in the Art and Art History Department.

But what can you do with these images?  The Visual Resources Collection is powered by the latest web-version of Luna, which provides a host of viewing tools, image management, and presentation tools that allow you to embed images in Blackboard and search for images in Flickr.

The collection is available to all WSU faculty and students.  We’re planning to add flash tutorials in the future and the OTL is creating training workshops for Luna, so stay tuned for more.  In the meantime, create an account and start exploring the endless possibilities with the Visual Resources Collection!