I’ve been so busy the past year (or 14 months to be completely accurate) since joining UF’s Digital Library Center that it’s hard to see what all we’ve accomplished. The time has flown by with loads of wonderful work, and wonderful progress. I decided to review some of our documentation and to note a few of the highlights:
- More stuff! We hit the 1 million page mark in September 2007, and as of today we’re at 2.12 million with so many more to load!
- More types of stuff! Improvements to UFDC that include support for audio and video files, better multi-language support!
- Better ways to see the stuff! Optimized code for a faster UFDC, thumbnails for new all book images for faster quick-viewing, a better interface for usability!
- Better connections to find stuff! Optimizing UFDC for search engines so we’re crawled properly, created RSS feeds for the collections within UFDC, set up external accounts to share content and to connect users to UFDC (this blog, our Flickr account, our YouTube presence, Wikipedia links for items and entries on authors, books, people, and places related to the collections connecting context with actual items).
- More work to tell people about our stuff! Multiple presentations internally and at national and international conferences, interns, class tours, working with faculty, students, staff, and organizations to tell them about UFDC and to show them how it can help their work. We made exhibits, contributed digital materials to exhibits and other events and publications, and worked with the Libraries’ Public Information Officer to write and distribute press releases and other materials.
- More projects to keep going! Working with other groups at the UF Libraries for particular collections, including: Retrospective Dissertation Scanning; Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Collection; Romanies Collection; Gainesville Bands; British Parliamentary Debates; Asia Collection; Women in Development; and many more, including further developing existing collections like the Florida Digital Newspaper Library and the Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC) with partners at the UF Libraries, at UF, and elsewhere. In addition to projects based on partners, we’ve also defined some projects chronologically with grant and time-based projects and this we’ve finished some grants, started new ones, applied for others, are preparing to apply for even others, and migrating some of our older projects from other technology to UFDC.
All of this and much more happened during the past year, but the Digital Library Center has been around since 1999 so it all grows from that ongoing work. That’s still the more recent history because the Digital Library Center grew out of the Preservation Department (founded in 1987, I think, based on the “News from the Preservation Office” newsletters now online in UFDC). By 1993, the Preservation Department was already looking toward a comprehensive method for preservation, around the same time that the Mosaic browser was helping generate interest in the World Wide Web, heralding the promise of the digital revolution to come. There’s so much more to the history and the future of the Digital Library Center, but it’s too much to try to put in one blog post so it’ll have to wait for later.