Local History Digitization Project, Take 1

For the last few months, I’ve been haunted by these 234 headstones images from the Wellsville Cemetery lingering on my desk (on USB).  Well, I had an epiphany – I asked Liz we should do.

She suggested setting up a Gallery account, uploading the pics, setting up the system for moderated comments and assisting libraries with purchasing Web hosting (with unlimited file storage and up to 50 MB backup).

While this is still a test project that we’ve spent a whopping 3 hours on, I’m excited.
See what you think:  gallery.nekls.org (or watch a silent screencast, if that doesn’t want to work)

Still want to find the best way to connect the image gallery to a KLOW site – the plug ins don’t seem to want to play well with WP 2.9.

So can it really be this simple?

  1. Purchase and set up Web hosting to store and back-up files.
    • Dreamhost costs $8.95 a month, includes unlimited downloads, and backs up 50 MB of data.
  2. Have us set up and configure a Gallery site on the newly-purchased domain to manage the files (images, documents, movies, PDFs, powerpoint presentations, etc.).
  3. Have Liz configure a new domain for the Gallery site, for example “gallery.wellsvillelibrary.org” or “history.wellsvillelibrary.org”
  4. Upload images, add titles and metadata*
  5. In WordPress/KLOW Web site, add a link to the new Gallery site (most simple solution)

* Metadata – According to the great information David LaCrone shared with us as Tech Day Last year in his presentation “Digitization on a shoestring: The basics of scanning for small libraries,” the metadata should keep in mind:

  • Schema: The goal here is consistency, not complexity.  At the bare minimum you probably want each item to have a title, description and some subject headings.  Best practices call for more fields.  Look to the Simple Dublin Core as a standard.
  • Controlled Vocabularies: Use controlled vocabularies whenever possible, but shy away from developing your own taxonomy unless they already exist.  Use standards like Library of Congress Subject Headings or the Art & Architecture Thesaurus to increase interoperability.
  • User-generated: You may want to incorporate the ability for users to add value to the items in your collection by enabling comments and tagging.  these require very little oversight and can be helpful and insightful.
  • File-Naming: Each digital image rendered by the scanner should be given its own unique identifier.  The purpose of this number is to associate the image with the original, and also its cataloging information.

I would like to see about creating (have Liz create) a Gallery search widget that can be added to a sidebar, or finding a plugin that allows WP 2.9 to play with Gallery 2.  I will be sharing this possible solution with the Director at Wellsville this Thursday.  We’ll see what she thinks.


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