D-Lib Magazine
The Magazine of Digital Library Research

T A B L E   O F   C O N T E N T S
M A Y / J U N E   2 0 1 5
Volume 21, Number 5/6

DOI: 10.1045/may2015-contents
ISSN: 1082-9873




Editorial by Laurence Lannom, Corporation for National Research Initiatives



Helping Members of the Community Manage Their Digital Lives: Developing a Personal Digital Archiving Workshop
Article by Nathan Brown, New Mexico State University Library

Abstract: It is estimated that over 90 percent of all new information is born digital. We create new digital materials practically on a daily basis. What can we as libraries do to help our users manage their personal digital materials? This article explores resources and methods that could be used in the development of a personal digital archiving workshop and how to best tailor it to your library audience.

An Assessment of Institutional Repositories in the Arab World
Article by Scott Carlson, Rice University

Abstract: Compared to those of the Western world, institutional repositories from the Arabic-speaking countries of the Middle East have been described by scholars of the region as occupying an "infancy stage". In this article, repositories from countries in the Arab world were selected and assessed in terms of accessibility and transparency from the viewpoint of an external user. A set of assessment criteria was formed by analyzing trends and similarities in established repositories from the rest of the world, in hopes of analyzing the "infancy stage" appraisal. The results provide not only a current view of digital scholarship and institutional memory in the Middle East, but may also provide a helpful set of criteria for developing repositories for the rest of the world.

Semantic Description of Cultural Digital Images: Using a Hierarchical Model and Controlled Vocabulary
Article by Lei Xu and Xiaoguang Wang, Wuhan University, Hubei, China

Abstract: Semantic description and annotation of digital images is key to the management and reuse of images in humanities computing. Due to the lack of domain-specific hierarchical description schema and controlled vocabularies for digital images, annotation results produced by current methods, such as machine annotation based on low-level visual features and human annotation based on experts' experiences, are inconsistent and of poor quality. To solve this problem, we propose a semantic description framework for content description, based on information needs and retrieval theory. The framework combines the semantic description with a domain thesaurus. In this paper we describe the relationship between the semantic levels under this description framework. We conduct a preliminary test with this method in the cultural heritage field using digital images of the Dunhuang frescoes. We discuss the effect of semantic granularity on the annotation cost, from the point view of image semantic description granularity, and control strategies for an image's semantic description quality. Our findings show that this framework is applicable to the description of cultural digital image content.

Facing the Challenge of Web Archives Preservation Collaboratively: The Role and Work of the IIPC Preservation Working Group
Article by Andrea Goethals, Harvard Library, Clément Oury, International ISSN Centre, David Pearson, National Library of Australia, Barbara Sierman, KB National Library of the Netherlands and Tobias Steinke, Deutsche Nationalbibliothek

Abstract: Accessing the web has become part of our everyday lives. Web archiving is performed by libraries, archives, companies and other organizations around the world. Many of these web archives are represented in the International Internet Preservation Consortium (IIPC) . This article documents goals and activities of the IIPC Preservation Working Group (PWG), such as a survey about the current state of preservation in member web archives and a number of collaborative projects which the Preservation Working Group is developing. These resources are designed to help address the preservation and long-term access to the web by sharing ideas and experiences, and by building up databases of information for support of preservation strategies and actions.

Linked Data URIs and Libraries: The Story So Far
Article by Ioannis Papadakis, Konstantinos Kyprianos and Michalis Stefanidakis, Ionian University

Abstract: The linked data movement is a relatively new trend on the web that, among other things, enables diverse data providers to publish their content in an interoperable, machine-understandable way. Libraries around the world appear to be embracing linked data technologies that render their content more accessible to both humans and computers. This paper focuses on linked data URIs that refer to authority data. We attempt to identify the specific MARC fields that are capable of hosting linked data information. Additionally, seven major national libraries are examined to determine to what degree they have adopted the fundamental linked data principles.

Metamorph: A Transformation Language for Semi-structured Data
Article by Markus Michael Geipel, Christoph Böhme, and Jan Hannemann, German National Library

Abstract: In this paper we present Metamorph, a data flow-oriented language for transforming semi-structured data. Its declarative style facilitates communication between programmers and domain experts. Metamorph is embedded in a pipes and filters framework implemented as a Java library. It is both format-agnostic and extendable. Metamorph has become an integral part of the IT-infrastructure of the German National Library, where it is used in several applications and services. Due to its publication as Open Source Software Metamorph has acquired a user community which actively supports further development.

Statistical Translation of Hierarchical Classifications from Dewey Decimal Classification to the Regensburger Verbundklassifikation
Article by Markus Michael Geipel, German National Library

Abstract: Classification systems are a cornerstone for knowledge organization as well as search and discovery in libraries, museums and archives. As different systems co-exist, translations are pivotal for cross-collection searches. This paper presents a novel approach for statistical translation of hierarchical classification systems. The translation is optimized for application in search and retrieval scenarios. Salient features are: efficient exploitation of the information implied by the classification hierarchy, scalability, and inherent protection against over-fitting. The approach has been used to translate the Dewey Decimal Classification to the Regensburger Verbundklassifikation based on a snapshot of German and Austrian library catalogs.


N E W S   &   E V E N T S


In Brief: Short Items of Current Awareness

In the News: Recent Press Releases and Announcements

Clips & Pointers: Documents, Deadlines, Calls for Participation

Meetings, Conferences, Workshops: Calendar of Activities Associated with Digital Libraries Research and Technologies

F E A T U R E D   D I G I T A L


The British Cartoon Archive


[Richard Willson, artist. Published in The Times, 13 May 1987. Copyright: British Cartoon Archive. Used with permission.]

Carl Giles' steel helmet when acting as 'official war cartoonist' for the Daily Express in 1944-45.
[Creator and date unknown. Copyright British Cartoon Archive. Used with permission.]


The British Cartoon Archive is located in Canterbury at the University of Kent's Templeman Library. Founded in 1974, it is dedicated to the history of British newspaper and magazine cartooning over the last two hundred years, and holds the artwork for more than 150,000 British editorial, socio-political, and pocket cartoons, supported by large collections of comic strips, newspaper cuttings, books and magazines. The artwork dates back to 1904, when the first staff cartoonist was appointed to a British national newspaper. The collection includes drawings by W.K. Haselden, Will Dyson, Sidney Strube, David Low,Vicky, Emmwood, Michael Cummings, Ralph Steadman, Mel Calman, Nicholas Garland, Chris Riddell, Carl Giles, Martin Rowson, and Steve Bell, amongst many others.

The BCA encourages and supports the study of cartooning in Britain, and has always made its material available for study and exhibition, at the University of Kent and elsewhere. But it has also been keen to place its material on the web, and had a website before the University created one. The BCA catalogue began in 1974 on index cards, but in 1988 the archive began developing a computer catalogue, and in 1990 it started digitising its cartoons. At first these images were added to its own cataloguing software, as an in-house visual index of its holdings, but in 1996 some 18,000 were released on CD-ROM.

Web publication followed in 1999, when all 30,000 images were made available through the BCA's website. Since then the archive has continued to digitise its holdings, and the website at www.cartoons.ac.uk now contains over 165,000 cartoons. Where the archive has both the artwork and the published version of a cartoon, both have been digitised, so that the current catalogue contains almost 200,000 images. Delivering these images online in different versions — thumbnail, medium-resolution, zoomable, high-resolution etc. — requires the University to store well over 1,000,000 separate images on its servers. Access to this material is completely free, without any need to register unless users wish to create a group of favourite cartoons which they can access whenever they log in.

The current BCA website was designed in 2007-8 as part of a JISC-funded project. It is designed not simply as an index to the archive's holdings, but as a research resource in its own right. The cartoons are all catalogued with artist, date and place of publication, caption, and any text within the image, but where possible there are also contextual notes on the cartoons, explaining references and allusions, and links to biographies of the cartoonists, written by BCA staff. The aim is not simply to identify cartoons relevant to the search terms entered by users, but to employ facets to indicate how the results of a search can be broken down by artist, publication, subject, etc.; to enable users to quickly see cartoons from the same date, by the same artist, or in the same publication; or to see the published version of a piece of artwork. It is also possible for users to create "groups" of favourite cartoons, and to publish these on the website with contextual or teaching notes, without needing to clear copyright.


D - L I B   E D I T O R I A L   S T A F F

Laurence Lannom, Editor-in-Chief
Allison Powell, Associate Editor
Catherine Rey, Managing Editor
Bonita Wilson, Contributing Editor

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