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Over 120 staff from libraries, archives, historical societies, museums, and other cultural heritage institutions attended the Minnesota Digital Library's 11th Annual Meeting on June 4, 2013. Michael Mouw gave the keynote presentation on the topic of digital storytelling and members of the Minnesota Digital Library Management Team gave an update on activities. Video recordings of these sessions are now available. The afternoon offered six breakout sessions on digital storytelling, digital preservation, Minnesota and the Digital Public Library of America, using tablets for museum tours, building connections with social media, and free and easy tools to create timelines (Timeline JS) and other visualizations of digital content (Viewshare and HistoryPin).
After some two and a half years in the making, the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) has launched!
DPLA will deliver millions of materials found in American archives, libraries, museums, and cultural heritage institutions to students, teachers, scholars, and the public. Represented in this unprecedented national aggregation of digital content is the rich contribution of the Minnesota Digital Library (MDL) through Minnesota Reflections.
As a special part of the DPLA launch, the MDL, under the direction of curator Leah Bowe from the Minnesota Historical Society, has created a fascinating online exhibit on the topic of Native Americans, entitled History of Survivance: Upper Midwest 19th Century Native American Narratives. This exhibit tells a story of extraordinary culture disruption, change, and continuity and the effect that has had on the Native population of Minnesota.
The MDL is a nearly 12-year old mosaic of its own, still in the making, by the collective efforts of Minitex, the University of Minnesota Libraries, the Minnesota Historical Society, St. Cloud State University, and many other organizations and individuals, and a growing community of now over 150 organizational content contributors throughout the state.
At the June 4 Annual Meeting, the keynote and some of the breakout sessions will focus on the theme of digital storytelling. Simply put, digital storytelling refers to a social movement to use computer tools to help everyone share their life or family stories. We have invited documentary storyteller Mike Mouw (pictured, right) to keynote the Annual Meeting, followed by an update on the activities of the Minnesota Digital Library. The afternoon will feature a total of six breakout sessions on these topics: strengthening professional connections with social media, integrating digital resources in group tours with tablets, using HistoryPin and Timeline JS, digital preservation progress in Minnesota, The Digital Public Library of America, and "Think like a Documentary Filmmaker."
Registration will be announced in early May. Visit the Annual Meeting webpage for more information.
John Butler, Associate University Librarian for Data & Technology, University of Minnesota Libraries, was interviewed by a staff member at the Knight Foundation about the Minnesota Digital Library's work with the Digital Public Library of America. The DPLA is the first national effort to aggregate records from digital collections across the U.S. so they can be searched from a single place. The Minnesota Digital Library is one of seven service hubs chosen to participate in the DPLA's pilot project.
In his interview, Butler discusses how the MDL became involved, the types of contributors the MDL is looking to reach out to, what's unique about the content in Minnesota Reflections, benefits to the MDL's participation in the national project, the effect the launch of DPLA will have nationally, and the future of DPLA. The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation awarded $1 million to the DPLA to establish its seven service hubs.
A new batch of Teacher Guides for Minnesota Reflections is available for teachers to use with their students. 24 additional guides were produced during Year 2 of this project to help teachers make more thorough use of this growing collection of primary resources about Minnesota. Social Studies topics are covered in 21 of the new guides, and there are two new mathematics guides and one new science guide. The collection now contains 73 guides written by 18 current and retired teachers from across Minnesota.
The Minnesota Digital Library was chosen to be a key early contributor to the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). The groundbreaking project aims to make our nation's collections of significance to the study of American life digital, searchable, and accessible to the public.
In the October issue of Digital Delights, Teika Pakalns (Commission of Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing Minnesotans) highlights materials in Minnesota Reflections from the collections of the Charles Thompson Memorial Hall, the Minnesota Association of Deaf Citizens, and the Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf Alumni Association Museum.
The November issue was co-authored by Greta Bahnemann (MDL Metadata Coordinator) and Marian Rengel (MDL Outreach Coordinator). The focus is on the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camps in Minnesota. Minnesota Reflections now includes more than 500 issues of weekly newsletters that capture stories of the CCC men in their own words as well as images that document camp life.
If you missed either the October 16 Collection Analysis of Minnesota Reflections webinar or the September 25 webinar, The Minnesota Digital Library, Minnesota Reflections, and Digitizing Your Collections, you can now view recordings from both events.
The final report of the Minnesota Digital Library's 2012 collection analysis of its Minnesota Reflections database is now available. The analysis, conducted by MDL Metadata Coordinator Greta Bahnemann, reveals strengths and gaps in the content of this online collection.
The Minnesota Digital Library is now accepting applications for Phase 9 of its Minnesota Reflections digitization project.
The MDL will accept applications until April 1, 2013, or until we have spent funds designated for this work. The full Call for Projects and the Application Form are available on this website.
New this year is a Specific Content Call for projects on a set of themes that will help develop and enhance the depth of Minnesota Reflections. The MDL is looking for projects on the following topics:
This Specific Content Call is paired with the General Content Call, which is familiar to contributors. In the General Content Call, organizations choose photos, documents, maps, and sound recordings from within their collections without regard to the themes in the Specific Content Call, but within the scope of the Minnesota Reflections project.
In the July issue of Digital Delights, Rich Lively of the Minnesota Geological Survey gives you a brief look into their amazing collection of maps in Minnesota Reflections.
In the August issue, Lawyers of Minnesota, Marian Rengel (Minnesota Digital Library Outreach Coordinator) introduces two fascinating volumes in Minnesota Reflections and the woman who added so much to their value.
The May and June Digital Delights are now available. Claudia Nicholson (Executive Director, North Star Museum of Boy Scouting and Girl Scouting) wrote May's digital delight about the Square Lake Boy Scout Camp and Heather Craig (Archivist, Basilica of St. Mary) wrote "Minnesotans Go Wild," a summary that features the various ways Minnesotans get out into the wild, and bring the wild home.
Digital Delights is a monthly glimpse into the collections at Minnesota Reflections, a project of the Minnesota Digital Library.
A leader in the Digital Public Library of America initiative will be the keynote speaker at the Minnesota Digital Library 10th Annual Meeting on June 18, 2012. Rachel Frick, co-chair of the content and scope workstream of the DPLA, and director of the Digital Library Federation Program at the Council on Library and Information Resources, will discuss the concepts, issues, and collaborations that are forming the vision of the DPLA. Frick is also interested in getting to know the people and groups that have come together to form the Minnesota Digital Library.
Minnesota Reflections is now running on CONTENTdm version 6.1 software and is easier to use and contains many new features:
We have created tutorials for using the new Minnesota Reflections. Follow the links on the right side of the homepage to learn about "Browsing & Searching," "Viewing an object," "Special features" and "Advice on newspapers."
In addition, we will be offering a live virtual overview (webinar) on the new features of Minnesota Reflections. Watch for announcements about this webinar, or check our training page.
The Minnesota Digital Library is now accepting applications for projects for Phase 8 of the development of Minnesota Reflections, our digitization and database project. We will accept applications through April 30, 2012, or until we have committed all of our digitization funding.
Consult with Marian Rengel, MDL Outreach Coordinator, as you consider applying for a Minnesota Reflections digitization project. She will answer questions on all aspects of digitization projects with the Minnesota Digital Library, including funding opportunities and project scope.
This is an open call for projects. Later this year, we will be issuing a second call for projects that address specific collection development subjects. Watch for the announcement of that special call.
The Minnesota Digital Library is pleased to provide K-12 teachers with guides into Minnesota Reflections. More than 35 guides are now available. An additional 15 will come online this month.
The guides were written by K-12 teachers from across the state. Each guide focuses on a specific academic standard from the arts through the social sciences, and features between 8 and 20 links into Minnesota Reflections. Guides also cover all ages of students from kindergartners to seniors.
In June 2011, Minnesota Reflections contained more than 75,000 individual objects, a 50% increase from June 2010.
Minnesota Reflections, our online collection of digitized cultural heritage resources from across the state, has grown dramatically in the past 12 months and will continue to grow over the summer.
In June 2011, the collection contained more than 75,000 individual objects, a 50% increase from June 2010. Approximately 30% of the organizations making contributions during FY11 (July 2010-June 2011) were new to Minnesota Reflections. More than 15,000 document pages have been added during the year, and more than 20,000 document pages from eight groups will be added this summer.
The Minnesota Reflections Metadata Guidelines were revised in 2010. In order to help our Minnesota Reflections contributors make sense of the changes to the Guidelines, our staff developed a series of instructional tutorials. They are available at the new Tutorials page on our website.
During Fall 2010, the Minnesota Digital Library (MDL), using funds from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, developed and implemented a digital preservation pilot project to begin exploring ways to ensure that the content from Minnesota Reflections and other institutions, including the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Historical Society (MHS), will always be accessible to Minnesotans.
From September through December, MDL staff and consultants worked with HathiTrust, a national shared digital repository, to develop a prototype project to add content to HathiTrust as a preservation archive. During the project period, nearly 50,000 images from Minnesota Reflections and 8,000 MHS images were shipped to HathiTrust.
Check out our Guides to Minnesota Reflections, a new resource for K-12 teachers and their students. The guides were created by teachers who are very familiar with the Minnesota K-12 teaching standards. They include tips on how to search Minnesota Reflections and ideas of how to develop lesson plans from the guides. We expect this site to grow, so check back often to look for more guides. Everyone is welcome to explore these guides.
The Minnesota Digital Library's newly revised Minnesota Reflections Metadata Guidelines are now available.
The new version provides better explanations of the metadata fields the Minnesota Digital Library asks contributing organizations to provide in their projects. The revised guidelines also contain advice on writing titles and descriptions and on assigning terms in many more categories than did our first version of the guidelines. They contain more examples and best practices. They also include extensive appendices to help explain and illustrate the metadata categories.
The Minnesota Digital Library is embarking on a prototype project with HathiTrust to demonstrate the feasibility of the long-term preservation of digital images. The MDL is exploring a way to ensure that the master images created for its own Minnesota Reflections database, masters from the Minnesota Historical Society, and digital objects from other projects will always be available to contributors.
The MDL is developing the process for depositing images into the HathiTrust's storage system. HathiTrust, a collaboration of universities across the nation led by the University of Michigan, is interested in exploring ways to expand their work with preserving scanned books to a wider array of digital objects. Test collections in this prototype project include all of Minnesota Reflections and a small portion of the Minnesota Historical Society's digital image collection.
The Minnesota Digital Library has recently added eight online collections and expanded on 13 collections as part of its Minnesota Reflections databases during its Phase Six digitization project. These collections, now accessible on the Minnesota Reflections website, offer a wide variety of historical resources for public viewing and use.
The Minnesota Digital Library is pleased to open Phase 7 of digitization work for Minnesota Reflections.
We will once again have Library Services and Technology funds to provide digitization services at MDL digitization centers. As in earlier phases, the MDL will digitize photographic collections, documents and maps. This year, we are adding audio recordings (tape only) to our digitization project list. Projects for which the MDL provides digitization services are considered Type A.
The MDL also accepts for inclusion in Minnesota Reflections projects which organizations digitize themselves. While we cannot spend LSTA grant dollars on these projects, we do welcome applications for them. These are Type B contributions.
Contact MDL Outreach Coordinator Marian Rengel to discuss your ideas for projects. She will guide you through the process and help you make decisions.
Watch an informational session that will introduce you to contributing to Minnesota Reflections, an online collection of more than 40,000 photographs, maps, journals, and documents contributed by over 105 cultural heritage institutions. Learn how to get started, how to plan new projects to digitize photos, documents, sound, and more. You will also learn about the Minnesota Digital Library Coalition (MDLC) and the benefits of collaborating with the MDLC on your digital projects. You will learn about funding possibilities and options. This presentation will help you decide if the time is right for your institution to begin a digital project with the MDLC.
If you have the latest version of Adobe Flash Player installed on your computer, click on the link above to view the tutorial.
Listen to St. Cloud State University Archivist Tom Steman and Minnesota Digital Library Outreach Coordinator Marian Rengel talk with the Saint Cloud State University Small Bytes crew about the Sinclair Lewis letters to Marcella Powers, which are now part of the Minnesota Reflections collection.
The Minnesota Digital Library issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for digitization vendors and organizations capable of providing digitization services to historical, cultural heritage, and library organizations in Minnesota. The RFQ was designed to provide information to organizations across the state that hold cultural heritage collections and that are seeking to digitize those collections.
Organizations seeking digitization services: Vendors and organizations have completed their responses to the RFQ. Their replies are now available at our main RFQ page. You will also find a quick guide to the responses. Included are links to three documents to advise organizations on how to work with a vendor to digitization projects. We strongly encourage organizations to read these guides.
Respondents: The Request for Qualifications remains open for responses. Vendors and organizations interested in submitting responses should read the RFQ carefully then submit information to the MDL according to the guidelines and requests in the document.
Organizations seeking digitization services and people completing the RFQ may consult directly with the MDL's Outreach Coordinator for more information.
Type "Minnesota Reflections" and your institution name in the WorldCat.org search box.
In 2008, the Minnesota Digital Library began a project to add the content in Minnesota Reflections to the OCLC WorldCat database.
WorldCat is a database of more than 135 million bibliographic records used for cataloging, reference, and resource sharing in the region and throughout the world. WorldCat content is accessible through major search engines like Google and Yahoo! If a person begins a search in Google, they may be directed to the WorldCat.org website and from there can see which library or cultural heritage institution owns the item they are looking for.
By adding Minnesota Reflections content to WorldCat, institutions participating in Minnesota Reflections gain greater exposure to their digital collections.
Try searching for your collection by going to WorldCat.org, the public Web destination for finding content in the WorldCat database.
Type "Minnesota Reflections" and your institution name in the search box, or search for a known title. Each result that is displayed links you back to the record in Minnesota Reflections.
As of April 1, 2009, we have added 60 Minnesota Reflections participant collections to the WorldCat database (about 9,700 items) and are well over halfway done with the project. If you don't see your collection yet in WorldCat it will be added soon!
If you have questions about your Minnesota Reflections content in WorldCat, contact Marian Rengel, Outreach Coordinator, MDL.
Minnesota Finder lets you search for images in four of Minnesota's online collections from the MDL site.
Minnesota Finder, a beta search project of the Minnesota Digital Library, is now available for MDL users.
Minnesota Finder lets you search for images in four of Minnesota's online collections from the MDL site. Included in the project are:
For example, if you search for "rabbit" using Minnesota Finder, you will retrieve 12 pages of search results with 20 results per page. The retrievals include pictures, photos, and maps (even a photo of a sculpture) from these four collections. Click on the image or images you want to explore, and you will be transferred into the contributing organization's database to see the full image.
Minnesota Finder, which is powered by a Google Mini search appliance, is still under development.
We encourage everyone to try it and provide us with feedback.
Creation and development of Minnesota Finder is supported by Library Service and Technology Act grant unding from State Library Services in the Minnesota Department of Education.
Applications are now available for Phase 5 of Minnesota Reflections.
Round 2 of digitization work for Minnesota Reflections is underway. We are accepting applications at any time.
If you are working on an application for a digitization project, please submit it as soon as possible. Preliminary interest is high, so apply yet this fall. That way you will ensure your project a place in line once your application is approved.
If you are considering a project but still have questions, contact Marian Rengel, MDL outreach coordinator, to talk over your ideas. She will help you think through projects and sort through your ideas.
We have already committed 33 percent of our digitization funds to projects.
If you are new to the Minnesota Digital Library and its digitization efforts, contact Marian too. We'd love to work with new organizations to digitize their collections and provide access to them to the people of Minnesota.
Marian Rengel, outreach coordinator of the Minnesota Digital Library, was the guest on a recent episode of St. Cloud State University's Small Bytes podcast program. Small Bytes features discussions of technology-based issues. Hosts are Mark Monn, Bob Lessinger and Brad Graham from SCSU's information technology staff.
Fire tug torrent in action—Two Harbors, MN, circa 1912. Image courtesy of Minnesota Reflections.
Minnesota Reflections has grown a lot in the last year. The Minnesota Digital Library digitized more than 10,000 photos, maps, and document pages in 2007-08. Among the highlights of the collections added are:
Organizations contributing for the first time brought more plat books and photographs to the collection. First time contributors include:
Screenshot from "Native Americans' Role in MN's History".
In March of 2008, the Minnesota Digital Library provided training to eight teachers to help them create learning objects using the collections from Minnesota Reflections and Pachyderm, a new multimedia authoring program. The teachers, some K-12, some higher ed, and one from a contributing historical society, created teaching units. We are proud to make those objects available at this website.
Screenshot from the History Mysteries interactive resource.
The MDLC presents two new interactive curriculum resources for educators to use with students. These curriculum resources were developed by Sandbox Studios in coordination with K-12 teachers with funding from the MDLC through LSTA grant administered by the Minnesota Department of Education.
The Minnesota Digital Library Coalition received a National Leadership in History Award of Merit from the American Association of State and Local History at that organization's annual meeting on September 16, 2006 in Phoenix, AZ. Ben Leonard, director of the Nicollet County Historical Society and a member of the MDLC steering committee, accepted the award, which recognized the MDLC for "broadening access to historic images through Minnesota Reflections."
The AASLH selection committee chose the MDLC for this award because of its "ability to collaborate with so many institutions to improve public access to historic images using the highest digital standards."
Screenshot from the "Immigrants in Minnesota" interactive resource.
The MDLC is pleased to release three resources to support educational use of Minnesota Reflections. All three resources take a look into a theme identified previously, "Immigrants in Minnesota," and use selected historic photographs and documents drawn from the collections in Minnesota Reflections.
Each resource is intended to show how digital resources can be integrated into the curriculum through student-centered projects through Teacher Guide, a PowerPoint presentation, and a Pachyderm presentation. Pachyderm is a new multimedia authoring tool developed through a partnership led by the New Media Consortium and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and funded by a grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The MDLC is interested in expanding opportunities for using digital resources in learning and instruction; we invite your comment.
The "Immigrants in Minnesota" resources were authored by Kris Wetterlund and Scott Sayre of Sandbox Studios under a contract with the MDL. We thank them for their continuing interest in and support for the efforts of the MDL.
At its June 2006 meeting, the MDL Steering Committee adopted Grace Lee Nute's "Transcribing Manuscripts: Rules Worked Out by the Minnesota Historical Society" to guide transcription of handwritten documents that are digitized by the MDL.
Nute's original pamphlet was published in 1935 and adopted by Lydia Lucas in 2004. During the current documents digitization project, the MDL will address areas where the guideline needs to be revised to accommodate the online environment and retain a truthful representation of the original; a revision to meet MDL standards will be published later.
In Minnesota Digital Library—An Update, Bill DeJohn, Director of Minitex, discusses the administrative changes for the Minnesota Digital Library. The changes will take effect on July 1, 2006, the start of the next LSTA grant.
The 4th Annual Meeting of the Minnesota Digital Library attracted 140 people who came together to discuss the use of MDL resources, contributing to the MDL through Minnesota Reflections, and the continuing work of the Minnesota Digital Library Coalition.
Session topics included:
See the complete program (available in Adobe PDF or MS Word) for a list of speakers.
The Minnesota Digital Library Coalition held its 3rd annual conference on Monday, June 6, 2005, at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul. The conference attracted 106 librarians, archivists, educators and museum staff from around Minnesota.
Conference presentations online: