Digital library services news - winter 2019

Turk Murphy Jazz Band publicity photograph, with birds, at the Palace of Fine Arts: Bill Carroll, Pete Clute, John Gill, Bon Helm, Leon Oakley and Turk Murphy


We are very excited to announce the publication of the San Francisco Traditional Jazz Foundation Collection exhibit, a culminating milestone for the completion of the SFTJF digital collections project. The exhibit documents the history and many stories of traditional jazz in the San Francisco Bay Area, from the Barbary Coast through the 1980's, via historic images, recorded sound, articles, scores and film. The exhibit contains close to 2,000 objects, and has a total of 76 feature and about pages. As with any project of this scope and complexity, the number of hands who have touched it and cooperatively supported the management, assessment, conservation, arrangement, description, metadata creation, copyright research, digitization, preservation in the Stanford Digital Repository, and exhibit creation -- whew! -- stand as a testament to the incredibly professional, diligent and patient staff here at Stanford Libraries. Huge and heartfelt thanks to all -- please see the extensive list of staff credits that recognizes the work of our talented colleagues.


Amos Gitai Collection

News from the Amos Gitai collection

Starting in 2018, Special Collections, the Born-Digital Forensics Lab (BDFL), and the Stanford Media Preservation Lab (SMPL) have been collaborating to process and provide access to materials related to Amos Gitai’s 2007 film, Plus Tard Tu Comprendras. The Gitai archive contains approximately 10.5 TB of data including video, audio, word processing, and image files, along with some more obscure formats specific to video editing. The Gitai archive is not only large, much of the material that is of greatest interest to researchers is difficult to access as the video editing files for Plus Tard Tu Comprendras are saved in a version of Final Cut Pro that is no longer supported or compatible with modern operating systems. To address this challenge and provide access to these files, Special Collections, BDFL, and SMPL worked to determine the required computing environment for these files, acquire the necessary equipment, and install it in the Special Collections reading room. Researchers can now access these files in the same environment that was used by the film’s editors and we are eagerly anticipating our first class use of these materials slated to begin in February 2019.


Photograph of a cake to celebrate SMPL's 10 year anniversary

SMPL celebrates 10 years and 30,000 media items preserved

Time for some celebratory cake! Stanford Libraries has enjoyed a full decade of audio, video, and film preservation services since the Stanford Media Preservation Lab (SMPL) officially opened its doors in December 2008. It all started with a single digital audio workstation installed in a retrofitted office space at 1450 Page Mill Road, where we digitized an audio cassette at the request of a Special Collections patron. Since then, we have expanded to a team of 3 dedicated full-time experts operating 6 specialized working spaces in a 2,000 square foot, specially-designed facility in Redwood City. With a growing inventory of playback equipment and systems capable of capturing 27 different audio formats and 27 video format formats in house, we have digitally preserved over 30,000 pieces of media and captured 775 terabytes! It’s a genuine pleasure to support the goals of the Archive of Recorded Sound, Special Collections, University Archives, and Media & Microtext -- as well as the GSB Library, Crown Library, and Hoover Institution Library and Archives -- to collect and provide ongoing access to media collections for researchers at Stanford and beyond. Here’s to our continued, collective success!


Preassembly App

DLSS has introduced a new way to get your content into the SDR - the creatively-named Preassembly App. In response to the growing need for our stakeholders to put content, in bulk, into the digital repository, the new application provides a simple interface for approved depositors to manage their materials. If you or your team are interested in using this new tool, please contact <>. Look for a blog post on use of the tool in the near future.


Graph of accessioning 2010-2018

Half a million new digital objects added to the SDR in 2018

Nearly half a million new digital objects added to the SDR in 2018! It took us six years to get our first million objects into the repository, but our capacity and process has grown and now we barely blink at 443,390 objects in a single year (our biggest accessioning year to date). Thanks to all who have contributed content, preparation, metadata, and accessioning work to make the SDR a MUCH bigger repository! 


Stanford joins the Software Preservation Network

Stanford recently became a member of the Software Preservation Network. SPN is emerging as an important hub of advocacy and technical leadership for the critical issue of effective stewardship of software for cultural heritage collections. Among other accomplishments, SPN published the Code of Best Practices for Fair Use in Software Preservation and helped to secure an exemption from the Copyright Office removing legal obstacles from copying software for preservation purposes. Hats off to Michael Olson, Henry Lowood, Nicholas Taylor, and Glynn Edwards for their work related to SPN's exciting initiatives.


3D Materials in the SDR

The development teams have made it possible to show off 3D content in our sul-embed viewer. There are currently 69 objects available, with more on the way soon! Play with a frog skull here.

Stanford University Archives becomes Goobi Service Partner
Stanford University Archives has begun using Goobi Workflows, automated image processing and management software developed by Intranda, to accession and broaden public access to the Archives’ digitized and born-digital textual content.

Goobi incorporates a mass upload tool and batch processing functionality that support the Archives’ bold digitization and access goals. The software also includes OCR functionality that produces Alto XML transcripts for supported textual objects. The OCR transcript is accessioned with the digital object, enabling users to search within the full text of the object within a viewer on an object’s purl page, or on the object’s item details page within a Spotlight exhibit. Users can also search across the full text of all supported objects within a Spotlight exhibit. See the Stanford Publications exhibit for examples of some of the content pushed through Goobi in January that is now accessible to text search.

Training for the software and support for its use has been provided by Digitization Services Manager, Dinah Handel, and the staff of the Digital Production Group (DPG), including Astrid Smith, Tony Calavano, and Deardra Fuzzell, who have employed the Goobi software to manage all digitization through the Libraries’ digitization labs since last spring.


Link Roundup

State-of-the-art audio cylinder digitization comes to SMPL

SDR Deposit of the Month: AI dissertation stands out

SDR Deposit of the Month: Making news the Big Local way

Nathan Coy appointed Sound Archives Librarian

Beautiful Books - A collection of some of Stanford’s rare and antiquarian books  

Becoming Stanford - The History and Meaning of Stanford’s Insignia  

The Urban Legacy of Ancient Rome - Photographs from the Ernest Nash Fototeca Unione Collection

Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps

Sunset Magazine - A recreation of Stanford Libraries’ 1998 website