LSTA Grant 2017-2018

The project described below ended June 30, 2018.

In continued partnership with the Washington State Library, and continuing the successful work of 2016-2017, the Oregon State Library’s LSTA program has funded the Alliance in 2017-2018 to extend its documentation, training, and support to cultural heritage institutions in Oregon and Washington that have digital collections in a structured system. By also cooperating with the Oregon Heritage Commission, we look forward to understanding and meeting the needs of the institutions in addition to the Alliance membership. Along the way, we’ll gain information that would be required for creating a Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) hub for all cultural heritage institutions: the number and type of institutions, digital collections, and types of support needed to digitize and describe collections.

What We’re Doing This Year

The specific activities of this year’s project are:

  • Identify and contact institutions that meet the criteria below;
  • Interact with those institutions to assess what needs they have to support standards-compliant, shareable digital collections;
  • Create and/or revise existing documentation to meet those needs;
  • Create and/or revise existing training to meet those needs;
  • Provide and promote that documentation on a publicly accessible website;
  • Provide and promote training online (no travel required!)
  • Provide support to individual and/or institutions who are using documentation and attending training;
  • Describe or redescribe 10,000 digital objects by June 30, 2018;
  • Assess the effectiveness and impact of the project.

Who We’re Working With

This project will focus its work in 2017-2018 on institutions that fit all of the following criteria:

  • Have unique digital collections. These can include cultural heritage materials that have been scanned (reformatted digital) or that originate in digital form (born-digital). The project is not focused on published digital content (like ebooks), but is instead focused on unique and local content.
  • Have collections that are in a system with descriptions structured according to the Dublin Core standard. (Thus, a Flickr page or photo gallery on your website does not qualify.)
  • Have a system that is shareable through the Open Archives Initiative (OAI-PMH) protocol for metadata harvesting. (Examples of systems that have this in place include CONTENTdm, Islandora, and some homegrown systems. Alas, the popular PastPerfect system does not have that capability.)
  • Want to share information about those collections in support of education, government, and business. Part of the philosophy of the DPLA, and this project, is that making collections widely accessible is a public good, and that standardized description enables that. Institutions that depend on fees for access to their collections, or that do not wish their collections to be communicated beyond their branded space, will find the initiative incompatible with those goals.
  • Have staff with capacity to attend training and make use of it this year. In order to fulfill the conditions of the LSTA funding, participating institutions will–as a group–need to describe or redescribe 10,000 digital objects by June 30, 2018. We ask that institutions that participate commit to describing or remediating between 200 and 1,000 digital objects, proportional to the size of their collections.

What if your institution has no content digitized, no shareable system, is particularly short staffed right now, or doesn’t really wish to share content in this way?

You’re welcome to use the documentation that we have and that we will create, but we will not be able to include you in training and support. The two state libraries are laying the groundwork for a shared system that can serve many institutions and training on scanning collections. If those efforts bear fruit, we expect that future work will focus on those institutions.