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Digitization: Home

The New Hampshire State Library supports digitization efforts by the state's public libraries.

At a Glance

The New Hampshire State Library supports local digitization efforts with training, software, and (coming soon!) scanning and other digitization equipment. 

Contact Bobbi Lee Slossar to set up trainings or consultations. 

Print Resources

HOW NEW HAMPSHIRE STATE LIBRARY SUPPORTS DIGITIZATION EFFORTS

The New Hampshire State Library supports digitization efforts through the following activities in its 5 Year Plan goals: 

  • Activity 1.8: Collect, curate, and protect historic NH printed materials, including through participation in digitization and microfilming projects to support the preservation of knowledge in multiple formats for increased public access. 
  • Activity 3.1: Partner with libraries and other local/national organizations to support the infrastructure and development of local projects for the digitization and technological sharing of collections and information 

Metadata: Describing Digital Objects 

This presentation was provided to NH public librarians by Jay Colbert, UNH Metadata & Discovery Strategy Librarian in March 2022. 

NEW HAMPSHIRE LIBRARY ARCHIVES COLLABORATIVE
Purpose & Scope 

The New Hampshire Library Archives Collaborative will allow the New Hampshire State Library and the state’s public libraries to document and preserve the events of their communities during the COVID-19 crisis for future generations and provide digital access to important historical items, such as records and photos relevant to the town history, by the public during a time of increased digital needs. Preserving the extraordinary events of this year and increasing accessibility to our state’s history benefits all New Hampshire residents today and in the future.

Definitions 

Omeka.net: The hosted version of Omeka, a platform for managing and sharing digital collections.

Background 

New Hampshire Library Archives is a collaborative statewide initiative with the dual purpose of documenting life in New Hampshire during the COVID-19 crisis for future generations and providing digital access to important historical items held by libraries or community members. New Hampshire public libraries are invited to participate with the NH State Library by contributing to a statewide site with collected and shared stories, images, and other items from their communities about the COVID-19 crisis. New Hampshire public libraries are also invited to create an Omeka.net site to share digitized historical content in the form of photos, records, documents, etc. owned by the library or in participation with their community members and organizations. New Hampshire State Library commits to funding the Omeka.net sites for a period of two years (December 2022). Continued funding will be based upon the availability of funds from LSTA or community contributions. Benefits Preserving the extraordinary events of this year and increasing accessibility to our state’s history benefits all New Hampshire residents today and in the future.

Limitations

The Omeka.net “Platinum” platform is limited to 50GB of storage. An additional 50GB of storage capacity can be purchased at $500/year.

While the Omeka.net platform increases accessibility to digital objects, it does not serve as a preservation platform. Librarians are strongly encouraged to develop preservation strategies, including maintaining copies of their metadata and digital objects in multiple secure locations.

Responsibilities 
The New Hampshire State Library will:
  • Provide two years of funding for the Omeka.net Platinum plan.
  • Provide training and technical assistance to New Hampshire librarians.
  • Maintain a list of participating libraries and their sites.
  • Coordinate and share training materials and guidelines.
  • Provide a logo for libraries to place at their site to reflect the federal funds that support the project. Wording provided is optional.
Participating libraries will:
  • Ensure that current COVID-related content documenting the impact on their community is directed to a statewide and/or regional site.
  • Libraries who anticipate larger quantities of COVID-related content can request a stand-alone site, but they are encouraged to share their content with the statewide or regional sites.
  • Add historical content in the form of pictures, records, documents, oral histories, etc. to the library’s Omeka.net site.
  • Abide by copyright law:
    • Obtain the necessary releases and permissions for oral histories;
    • Obtain a Reproduction Permission Form from community donors for use of their images; providing a copyright statement for each item in the collection.
    • Display a Takedown Policy on the site and provide an actively monitored email address to accept such requests.
  • Follow standard metadata rules as outlined in the New Hampshire Digital Library documentation.
  • Assign a project lead to be in charge of the Omeka.net site at a local level and to participate in statewide discussions and email communications.
  • Help to share and promote the New Hampshire Library Archives project.
Participation Agreement:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1RMug261NUzE1DtxVlCG1fZk3fzocXE92IFgIj2B7_2c/edit?usp=sharing

Tutorial: Introduction to Creating Metadata:

https://my.nicheacademy.com/nhsl-staff/course/15541

Tutorial for Creating Metadata and Importing the Metadata to Omeka.net:

https://my.nicheacademy.com/nhsl-staff/course/23271 

Oral History Release Form:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1o02biefCUbckjT0jfmZhCWaKjIqXERse0StCfCkyq5I/edit?usp=sharing

Reproduction Permission Form:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/18f0uGBxjYiSthyegqkY3t8nsPuDkCaO0_m95LzneOcs/edit?usp=sharing

Read more about NH Digital Library metadata and digitization standards:

https://nhdiglib.org/

REQUIRED METADATA

The New Hampshire Digital Library metadata committee has provided the following guidance for metadata (see chart below). 

Training Resources:

Identifier dc.identifier Required An unambiguous reference to the resource.
Title dc.title Required Include the creator of the item (if known) and the subject matter in the title, particularly the location if known.
Creator dc.creator Strongly Recommended The person or organization responsible for creating the item, such as an author or photographer
Contributor dc.contributor Optional an illustrator of a book, or a curator of a collection. If a personal name, enter in Lastname, Firstname format.
Publisher dc.publisher Optional Name of the person, organization, or service responsible for publishing the original resource.
Rights dc.rights Required No Copyright; etc. 
Description dc.description Strongly Recommended A free-text description of the resource.
Subject dc.subject Strongly Recommended Topic of described resource.
Location dc.coverage Strongly Recommended The location or area that is described or represented by the resource.
Date dc.date Strongly Recommended YYYY-MM-DD, YYYY-MM, or YYYY for a single known date.
Type dc.type Required StillImage; Text, etc. 
Format dc.format Optional A description of the physical manifestation of the resource.
Language dc.language Required English: eng French: fre
Physical Repository dc.provenance Required Who currently has possession of the item
INSTRUCTION: HOW TO CREATE ORAL HISTORIES

Using little more than the technology we walk around with every day, collecting oral histories is easier than ever.

For more information on oral histories and podcasting, please see the compiled “classwork” on Google Classroom, course code: vu10li

Here are the steps I took to record and post an oral history with New Hampshire State Librarian Michael York. Find the interview here.

  • Consider your purpose for the oral history.
    • In my case, I want to capture memories from State Library staff.
  • Consider copyright issues and obtain permission in the form of a release form from all parties on tape. There are various releases available in books and websites about oral histories. I have compiled some of these in the Google Classroom section under “Legal and Ethical Issues.”
  • Test, test, and retest your recording app, microphone, and equipment. There are plenty of recording options.
    • For this recording I used Audacity on a Mac computer. However, the software is no longer supported for Macs running Catalina OS, so I will move to a voice recording app, such as Voice Memos or Garage Band on my iPhone.
    • I used a dual-head lavalier microphone to allow for a better recording quality (highly recommended, ~$22).
    • Record yourself and listen. Do you cringe with every “ummm” or “well…?”
  • Conduct research or a preliminary interview with your subject and compile questions in advance of the interview.
  • Edit the recording, if needed. Aside from clipping the start and finish, I did not do much editing.
  • Transcribe the finished recording.
    • I tried different (free) methods — including listenng and then quickly reading the audio back into Google Docs’ voice recognition — but ultimately found that listening to a sentence, pausing, and typing was most efficient for me.
  • I converted the audio file to an MP3 file by simply importing the file into iTunes, editing the metadata, and saving a copy as an MP3. Note: On a Windows computer, iTunes will still be the easiest way to convert an m4a file to mp3. However, WordPress is able to handle m4a files natively. (Omeka’s ability to handle m4a is unknown at this time.)
  • Content management systems, like WordPress and Omeka, natively provide audio controls for the uploaded MP3 file.
INSTRUCTION: WHEN TO USE A SCANNER V. CAMERA APP

How many times do we whip out our mobile phones to take photos of family photo albums and think, “well, that was easy” or “better than nothing.” I am guilty of doing this myself…

A digital photo of an old family photo…

But what about cheating a bit and taking photos of materials for your digital libraries? Well, that probably depends on the objects you wish to capture. The text image here taken with my iPhone X looks pretty good at a readable level.

Click to enlarge — it’s still pretty crisp.

But what about taking photos with your iPhone of old photographs? Hasn’t the iPhone replaced your family camera? The image below looks pretty good. It was taken with an iPhone X and exported in full size at a file size of 1.2MB.

Let’s compare two items: the photo on the left was scanned with an older Epson scanner at 400 dpi. The photo to the right was captured with an iPhone X.

Here are the two images with some zoom.

And here is an extreme zoom. You can tell that the image captured with the scanner does a much better job of capturing the image.

And here is a photo taken with a higher-end Sony DSLR. Note that while the image does not look pixilated, it lacks the definition found in the scanned image.

Check out the NH Digital Library imaging guidelines for more information.

Of note: Perhaps I am missing an important setting to capture images better on the DSLR.

INSTRUCTION: SCANNING SLIDES
Why Slides?

One question I get from time to time is how to digitize slides. Anyone of a certain age (ah-hem) will remember family slide show evenings. In my case, most of my childhood was archived to slides with very few actual photos remaining, so digitizing the slides became very important to recapturing those memories.

Equipment

I have been using the same low-cost scanner, an Epson Perfection V330 Photo ($180), for more than a decade now. The scanner has an attachment to nicely handle four slides per scan or a strip of film negative. If you have a few dozen slides — or have the time to slowly digitize a collection — this might be a good solution for you. But if you have boxes of slides, it might be worth sending the entire batch to a professional digitizing service.

This seems obvious, but have an eyeglass cleaning cleaning cloth handy to wipe down your scanner glass and the slides themselves before starting and throughout the process. Every time I picked up slides from the glass I left dust and fingerprints behind.

Image Quality

In order to capture as much detail as possible on this drawing, I set the pixels to the (near) maximum of 1200 and set a custom output to a ridiculously high size of 3000 by 4000 pixels to get as much detail as possible. Even then, when you zoom into the images, the images are somewhat pixelated.

Preferences for Digitization

The State Library holds a large print copy of these images. If given the choice of digitizing slides or large print images, I would certainly choose to digitize the print images. But in the case of my personal family photos — like many family photos — I have no choice but to digitize the slides.

Click and scroll to zoom in on the image.

This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the New Hampshire State Library.