Minnesota Digital Library 15th Annual Meeting

The Minnesota Digital Library (MDL) and other Minitex staff welcomed 101 attendees to the MDL's 15th Annual Meeting, held on Wednesday, May 31, 2017 at the Continuing Education and Conference Center on the University of Minnesota's St. Paul campus. This year's keynote was given by the University of Minnesota's Cecily Marcus and Jason Roy, and Free Black Dirt founder and artist Junauda Petrus, who each played crucial roles in the creation, launch, and success of Umbra Search African American History. Umbra Search African American History is a project to facilitate access to African American history through a website and search widget, digitization of over 500,000 items, and by holding workshops and public forums locally and around the country about access to culturally diverse collections.

An MDL update followed the keynote presentation in the morning, and in the afternoon there were six breakout sessions on a variety of topics, detailed below.

Welcome and Minnesota Libraries Publishing Project (MLPP) Introduction

Minitex director Valerie Horton opened up the meeting and introduced the Minnesota Libraries Publishing Project (MLPP).

Keynote Address

Umbra Search African American History

Umbra Search team members Cecily Marcus, Jason Roy, and Junauda Petrus discussed the origins and development of Umbra Search; the role of partnerships and collaboration across institutions; challenges around metadata, archival processing standards, and culturally specific content; outreach and community engagement efforts; and opportunities to align special/digital collections with educational priorities and audiences in higher and K-12 education.


Minnesota Digital Library Update

MDL staff and others gave brief presentations on the diverse projects going on within the Minnesota Digital Library program.

Mapping (and) Digital Collections: Leveraging Geospatial Technologies and Tools for Digital Projects

Two University of Minnesota Librarians talked about recent geospatial projects. Ryan Mattke, Map & Geospatial Information Librarian, led things off with an overview of recent projects and possibilities offered by geospatial technologies and techniques, including a variety of projects completed and/or underway in the Map Library. Greta Bahnemann, Metadata Librarian for the Minnesota Digital Library, provided an overview of a recent geospatial metadata enhancement project in Minnesota Reflections. She discussed the project’s parameters, established the workflow, and demonstrated the project’s outcomes.

Minnesota Reflections: Contributor Stories

Speakers from a range of organizations representing different parts of the state shared stories about what it is like to contribute to Minnesota Reflections and how their organizations have benefited from being involved. The speakers were: Sarah Hawkins, East Central Regional Library; Qin Tang, Minnesota Department of Transportation; Corrie Hackbarth, Lake Superior Railroad Museum; and Shelley Harrison, Blue Earth County Historical Society.

The Many Faces of Wikipedia: Learning, Activism, and Social Archive

This two-part session began with, "Village Stone Soup: Wikipedia Edit-a-thons at Mia: A Recipe for Learning," where Mia librarians Janice Lea Lurie and Meg Black discussed their museum's recent experience with hosting two Wikipedia Edit-a-thons and the tools they used to develop compelling learning experiences and make each of them a success. In the second part, "Wikipedia as Activism and Archive," St. Cloud State University librarian and Wikipedan Rachel Wexelbaum presented some global Wikimedia projects involving the uploading of images, as well as a recap of the April "Wikipedia as Social Activism" edit-a-thon at St. Cloud State University that brought faculty, students, and community together for a common cause, and the successes and challenges that Wikipedia faces in providing an idealized archive of truth.

What You Can Do With TimelineJS: A Case Study

TimelineJS is an open-source tool that allows users to create visually appealing interactive timelines on websites. Staff at Northwestern Health Sciences University are using TimelineJS currently to create a timeline of the history of chiropractic education in Minnesota for researchers, including chiropractic students and practitioners. Monica Howell, Northwestern's Serials Librarian and Archivist, was unable to present, but provided a handout about her work.

Partnering with Northfield's Past: Ten Years of the Northfield History Collaborative (NHC)

The Northfield History Collaborative (NHC) was established in 2007 as a forum for local libraries, archives, museums, and others to collaborate in identifying, describing, digitizing, and making materials accessible related to the history of Northfield. Together, they share metadata standards, a technical platform, a web-based portal, and, most importantly, a collaborative commitment toward providing comprehensive access to the records of Northfield history. In this session, Susan Garwood (Rice County Historical Society), Stephanie Hess (Northfield Historical Society), and Hsianghui Liu-Spencer (Carleton College) reviewed the activities of the NHC over the past decade and discussed lessons learned. They also talked about NHC's plans going forward and their ideas for future growth.

Minnesota Reflections' Primary Source Set Project

This session provided an overview of the recent work MDL has done with primary sources and the development of the Minnesota Reflections Primary Source Sets. Each Primary Source Set is comprised of a set of images selected from across Minnesota Reflections collections focused on a single topic—and are designed for teachers, students, and the general user. MDL Metadata Librarian Greta Bahnemann discussed the project's inspiration, goals, and next steps, in addition to highlighting the currently available Primary Source Sets.