One of the projects in UF’s Digital Collections is Ephemeral Cities. The project is like Google Earth in that it spatially and contextually situates data and allows that data to be searched by term and category. The really neat part is that Ephemeral Cities does so using maps from around the turn of the last century (1890-1920). The old maps contain a great deal of information, and a lot of it relates to the local environment, culture, politics, and even the constraints of the time (like the way Key West developed in relation to water travel and then the overseas railroad). Eventually, it will beRead More →

UF Libraries now has a Library 2.0 Working Group and we’re investigating what Web 2.0 apps/concepts best map to libraries. Our wiki will hold our notes and progress, so it may be helpful to others. Of course, our use of any technology is directly in relation to our current systems – how we work, what we have, what we most need – so it also may not be useful as other than a case study. At any rate, it’s very interesting and useful for us.  Plus I get to chair the committee, so I’m sure I’ll be thinking and asking about all sorts of randomRead More →

There’s a new article in First Monday that surveys Google Books by looking at multiple versions of Laurence Sterne’s The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman.* The intent of the article is that the oddities of the book form make it difficult to digitize; however, this good and useful point gets a bit lost in the details. The article argues that many of the books in Google Books have issues with quality control and it argues that “quality assurance on the Web is provided either through innovation or through “inheritance” and that the inheritance for Google Books comes from the quality of the libraries.Read More →

I posted on this on the main Gameology blog, but MIT Technology Review has a video of a multi-touch interface design. This is like the user-end next step in the same way that Photosynth, which maps pictures and then allows users to see and explore them spatially, is a next step for visual displays. For libraries, and almost everyone else, this won’t mean much in the near future, but it’s really important to the trajectory of where the massive data stores we’re building can go. Digital initiatives have largely (and rightly) focused on making materials digital. This is a foundational step in creating access, butRead More →

I remember hearing a whole lot about Picasa when it first came out, but most of the interest seemed to be from people using Picasa for personal photos or from photographers. Now that I’m working with it, I’m astounded with how useful it is for academics. The ability to have local and web albums that can be shared with everyone, and that generate slideshows, and that can do embedded slideshows on websites is really wonderful for what many academics do. I’ve always saved my images to my website and just worked with webpages in general, but many people feel like they’re not good at technologyRead More →

I’m now on the Library 2.0 Working Group and I’m trying to make a few fun things for people to see and use that are Web 2.0 style and that apply to the library. So, I’ve started experimenting with Picasa which I hadn’t used before. Now, I have a couple of Picasa albums online with images from UF’s Digital Collections. Picasa’s interface is extrememly clean and convenient, but I can’t seem to find a way to auto-sync the web and desktop albums. That minor complaint (or request) aside, the ability to quickly make and organize albums and screenshows makes Picasa a really wonderful resource forRead More →

Right now, I’m working on digitizing multiple versions of books about characters from the golden age of children’s literature, and this is one of the first Pinocchio books I’ve gotten online. I hope to have a number more soon. The variety of book forms and illustrations is extremely interesting, as each book offers a slightly different look at Pinocchio as a character.Read More →

One of my current goals is to get materials online from awesome scholars who have the copyright to their work (often academic books return the copyright to authors after a set period of time). I’m extremely happy that the first book I’ve gotten to do this with is Donald Ault’s Narrative Unbound. Not only is Narrative Unbound important for Blake studies and imagetext/visual rhetoric/comics/textual studies, it’s also an important book because of what it shows about copyright and because it’s by Donald Ault, a great scholar who I’ve been lucky enough to work with. There’s so much more that I could say about Narrative Unbound,Read More →

This is the biscuit from 1913 referenced in the last post. As the story for this biscuit goes, in 1913 a UF student was so displeased with campus food that he mailed a biscuit to a friend to show how inedible the food was. The biscuit, stamped and addressed, has survived these many years and the libraries’ Preservation Department has ensured it will survive many more. The actual biscuit can be seen in Special Collections, inside its protective housing, or online in black and white and in color and zoomable. I love the fact that UF has a digitized biscuit–it’s a great object to showRead More →