Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Keeping Collections Open: The Boston Library Consortium and the Open Content Alliance.

Keeping Collections Open: The Boston Library Consortium and the Open Content Alliance.
Wednesday 2:45
Barbara Preece, Executive director BLC. Maura Marx Digital Services Manager, BPL, and Cathy Norton Director MBL/WHOI

Internet Archive Scanning Eperience.
13 sites, doing projects via the Open Content Initiative @ BLP

Why OCA, not google? 2005 GoogleBooks approached BPL. Harvard, Michigan, Oxford , Stanford, NYPL all signed to indivitual restrictions. Google access only. BPL could not put collections out on their web or in any other way than through Google.

· Bibliographic accuracy
· Worked with Mission – FREE TO ALL Everything should be openly available.
· Working with Google was like feeding a fire brigade. Google’s pace, Google’s profit.
· Ability to repurpose/reuse as needed
· Ability to make freely available via web, OAISTER etc.
· The consortium has freedom of self determination

COST to Consortium 10 cents/page
1. $170,000 Sloan Foundation to scan John Adams persional library - at own library site and at LibraryThing (as part of the DeadPeople group) – scholars can compare what John Adams had to what Thomas Jefferson had. (and LibraryThing has more storage)

2. 2nd big project. Kehle/Austin project Government documents -- (Brewster Kehle and wife) Cost: 60 million dollars.

3. They are paying out of BPL budget $100,000 genealogy and local history. The archives built a download tool to check usage.

Information for potential participants
· Lifetime management, access and storage forever. You can serve them up or download them.
· They are offering scanning to groups outside the BLC. Interested libraries should contact Barbara Preece.
· There is a “basecamp” group of 90 interested persons who receive regular email
· Each book has its own metadata scanned in Boston, scanned in the Internet Archive at Cal State Library
· BPL 18 libraries. They do about 1000 books/weeks.

Each institution has a point person.
Libraries pay for transportation for the materials.

The archive hires the staff and implements. There are over 10 SCRIBES. 2 shifts per day do the digitization.

Scan on demand. BPL does this for the BLC. (of which MBL/WHOI and Umass Dartmouth are partners)
BPL wants to digitize orphan (pre23) materials.
Orphan materials bill now in congress.
Consortium raised money for the materials and equipment.

NYT “Libraries shun deals to place Books on the Web” Front page 2007.


The Encyclopedia of Life, Biodiversity Heritage Library, Biodiversity Informatics from MBL/WHOI
See this presentation
See their Portal: They use tag clouds in their portal

They partnered with 10 major museums including the Field Museum, Smithsonian, British Museum… To get the old Taxonomies up on the web. 80% of these holdings were Unique! Researchers before open access had to go to individual museums. 50% is Pre-1923!

The concept and the initial $$$$$
E. O. Wilson won the TET award. His wish was to create an encyclopedia of every species that lives/has lived on earth, which would be authoritative. Single website for every $50 Million Dollars from The Sloan Foundation. Lauch was in MAY beginning with Fish.

Now there is a separate Longevity project mapping genes implicated in the aging process.

· They made a name bank for authoritative taxonomic nomenclature
· Everything scanned can now be stored off site.
· Scientists have access at desktop and in the field.
· Science libraries need to focus on informatics.
· Portal blog

Taxonomically intelligent scientific text parsing can increase retrieval dramatically from any name bank.
MBL WHOI has a tool which is open source which can import to ExLibris. Example: There have been many names used for the Blue Fish which are mapped via metathesaurus to the taxonomic authority file. They are developing open source bioinformatics tools.

Also of interest
UIUC is doing harvesting at University of IL

Umass Amherst – Fruit notes – another project


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