A few weeks ago I was talking to a student about how the Digital Library Center grew out of the Preservation Department and its work in microfilming. The student asked me to explain what microfilm was because she’d heard of it, but didn’t know. I explained through older movies when people are researching crimes and go to the library and sit in front of a big screen and use a knob to flip through pages. Later on, I thought about how others unfamiliar with microfilm will need to know what microfilm is and why it’s important, so I went to YouTube to try and findRead More →

Books based on Girl and Boy Scouts have grown popular recently with the release of The Daring Book for Girls and The Dangerous Book for Boys. Complementing those scout-style guides are the actual Scout materials, like the Eagle Scout Book of Gold from which the page above comes. This wonderful artifact, the Eagle Scout Book of Gold is from the Alachua County Public Library’s Heritage Collection. The book shows Eagle Scouts in Gainesville, Florida from 1941-1965 (the cover says it only goes until 1955, but the contents cover through 1965). The pictures of each of the Scouts and their short letters on what becoming anRead More →

Some of UF’s video archives are now online. While most of the sports videos are in copyright and can’t be loaded online, there are tons of great videos that can be and we’re starting to slowly load them. We don’t have that many yet, but what we do have is here: http://www.youtube.com/user/laurientaylor http://www.youtube.com/user/lntaylor78 http://www.youtube.com/user/UFlibraries I switched to the new name so that it was clear that these are UF Libraries’ archival videos, but I don’t yet know how to transfer the videos from the other two accounts, so if anyone knows an easy way to do this, please let me know. Progress on loading theseRead More →

The Gainesville Sun has an article on the Sanborn Maps of Florida. The maps in public domain (prior to 1923) are online in UF’s Digital Collections and the Map Library–which houses all sorts of fabulous antique, literary, flood, and other maps–holds the rest. The Map Library is a treasure trove of wonderful, playful materials and this page lists some of the main categories for all of the wonders. The image to the left is from one of those wonders.Read More →

UF’s Libraries is a great work environment, as is the Digital Library Center in particular. We’re all friendly and fun, and this week we’re having a triple birthday celebration with three people having birthdays within the week. In light of our collective birthdays, and our hard work with nearly 1.5 million pages in the Digital Collections and more loading each day (and many audio and video files that can’t be counted in pages), these pictures are for us! There are more birthday-related pictures here.Read More →

“This is crucial, the fact that a book is a thing, physically there, durable, indefinitely reuseable, an object of value.” The quote above is from page 38 of “Staying Awake: Notes on the alleged decline of reading,” by Ursula K. Le Guin in Harper’s Magazine (Vol. 316, No. 1983, February 2008, p. 33-38), and it speaks to the issue of materiality for digitization. Digital initiatives have rightfully focused on access to book contents, or access to information. Given the technological limitations for even this, with the difficulties from copyright and costs of mass digitization, access to information has been a lofty goal alone. Now however,Read More →

In working toward the new virtual libraries pages, the UF Libraries’ Library 2.0 Group is also working on tools so that users can use library services more easily. These tools are on the new tools page, and include links to a Firefox toolbar that searches the library catalog, library services related to games, and how to get RSS feeds from the catalog for use in readers and how to add them to web pages. These are small, useful tools for users and we’re also working on the larger virtual library pages which will incorporate these and loads of other resources. Other libraries have tons ofRead More →

Librarian subject specialists build guides based on subject area to help students and researchers quickly find all of the most relevant resources available at a particular library easily. Given the cost of commercial databases, different libraries will necessarily have different databases, and some of the most popular resources are in multiple databases. Thus, researchers going to a new school may find their key journals in a different database, in different databases, or in the same database but one with such an updated interface that it’s basically a new database. Finding the right resources in the right way becomes a complicated act of mapping needs toRead More →

Like the Library of Congress, the National Museum of Health and Medicine has also been exploring using Flickr to share images. The images are great and include historical photos and documents. Some, like the Malaria Joe comic are humorous images from their eras, but some of the photos are strikingly beautiful, painful, haunting, and inspiring snapshots of life, offering glimpses into their time and into people’s lives. Everyone should be able to wander through these images, and it’s an amazing gift to have them online for us to see: http://www.flickr.com/photos/99129398@N00 http://www.flickr.com/photos/7438870@N04 http://www.flickr.com/photos/22719239@N04Read More →