Archive for the ‘Academic libraries’ Category

If there is one lesson that I have “learnt” as an adult is that it is okay to ask for help. Yet that can be real hard, especially when the area you need help in is linked to your profession. Who want’s to admit that you struggle with something that is fairly important to your professional identity?

For me  this is framing search requests. It’s not something I have to do since I don’t work in the reference side of librarianship, but still, I don’t really like to admit that when it comes to working out effective search strategies I struggle.  This is doubly so when I want to do my own research.

One of the “things” I want to do this year is to do preparatory reading around a topic that I want to turn into a Master of Arts by thesis. I started earlier but my inability to find good reading material has caused me to let that slide. And so I am asking for guidance. Can any of you kind folks help me with developing search strategies?

The topic I am reading about is: What thought’s/planning around digital preservation, life cycle management, has gone into developing digital humanities web sites and resources. I am interested in finding research that discusses whether in the development stage of a project like the NZETC any thought was given to how long it should be maintained, how it would be preserved, what sort of development should be ongoing?

So far I have found oodles of research around digital preservation but nothing applicable to what I am looking for. It may be there is nothing out there but I am worried my searching is at fault.

My searches so far have encompassed “digital preservation” “Life Cycle Management” “Digital Humanities” “Digital projects” “website” “planning



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So my activity in this space has not proven to be very diligent in recent times. In 2014 I intend to change this.

One of the things I am looking to do is to prepare to apply for admission into a Master of Arts with Thesis. As part of this process I need to to do some reading and research. My intention is to reflect on that reading and research here as I go. This will act as a form of note taking but also might allow you gentle readers to give me pointers if you see something that might be of interest.

So the general form of the project at hand.

In my day job I am currently writing a Digital Preservation document and at the same time dealing with a platform (the NZETC a legacy Digital Humanities resource from before Digital Humanities was trendy) which is coming to the end of it’s viable life in it’s current form. By the end of the year the intention is to have transformed the NZETC into a newer and more robust platform.

This has raised my interest in the planning around resources like the NZETC. My rough idea for the MA is to do research into what planning has gone into the end life and life cycle of Digital Humanities projects/resources/platforms. My initial idea is that I will need to identify a number of such projects, contact the administrators and survey them around their plans.

I need to read even more around digital preservation, life cycle management, web site management, digital humanities research.

As the year goes and the research firms up in form I will post updates and also what I have been reading.

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I am reposting this email I sent to the NZ-Libs mailing list. 🙂

Dear Colleagues

Victoria University Library has recently digitised the research reports held by the library that were submitted when you completed your Masters of Library and Information Studies.

We would like to make these available openly on the internet through our http://researcharchive.vuw.ac.nz/ Institutional Repository.

Can I ask you to fill in as much of this form as possible: http://library.victoria.ac.nz/library/sites/default/files/thesis_alumni.pdf and return this to me, either by email or in hard copy. Please leave the Research Code field blank.


I should point out that if you have completed a MLIS or MIS in recent years and your Report was submitted electronically then you need not do anything further.

This is for those MLIS reports written from 1995 – 2010.

If you are unsure you can search for your report on the library catalogue http://library.victoria.ac.nz/library/ where there will either be a link to the http://researcharchive.vuw.ac.nz/ which is the open access archive [no action required], a link to the RestrictedArchive which is for staff and students or no link as of yet. If it is either of the latter two options please contact me.

Kind regards


Michael Parry

Digital Initiatives Co-ordinator

Technology Services

The Library

Victoria University of Wellington

PO Box 3438, Wellington, New Zealand

e-mail: michael.parry@vuw.ac.nz

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One of the resources for which I am responsible at the library is the New Zealand Electronic Text Collection [NZETC]. Over the last couple of years we have tinkered around the edges giving it a new url, rebranding and shifting to a new server environment. We are now however due for an overhaul of the site from the bottom up.

We have a number of aims with this overhaul:

  • Presenting our information in a better more user friendly manner.
  • Making the site more responsive to corrections.
  • Ensuring the future of the environment so that the underlying core infrastructure is robust and flexible.
  • Enhancing the usability of the resources.
  • Engaging with the users through the ability for community annotations and comments.
  • Ensuring that the site delivers metadata in a way that engages with the semantic web.
  • Better integration with the library web presence

So nothing too ambitious there. 🙂

What I am looking for with this post is twofold.

Firstly I am looking for comments from users about what they currently use the NZETC for and also what they dislike about the NZETC.  What would users like to see the NZETC do?

Secondly, as I am researching our options for the NZETC, I am interested in other sites that are doing similar things.  If you know of any cool sites let me know. Also I would be interested in hearing about people’s experiences with different types of infrastructure.

If you don’t want to leave a comment my email address can be found here: http://nzetc.victoria.ac.nz/tm/scholarly/tei-NZETC-About-contact.html. 🙂

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This is a way cool. It’s my happy work win of the week 🙂

There are many advantages to the digitisation of important collections. One such advantage is the acquisition of new materials. That’s not something that often occurs to folks as they plan the digitisation  projects.

We have had just one such example with Heels. Heels is the magazine of the Victoria University of Wellington Tramping Club. We thought it started in 1968 and we digitised our complete run: http://nzetc.victoria.ac.nz/tm/scholarly/tei-corpus-heels.html.

Well it turned out we were wrong. A colleague had been in communication with a member of the Victoria University of Wellington Tramping Club and it turns out he had earlier editions of Heels. Putting the word out to other members of the club it looks like we will be getting one physical copy of a issue we don’t currently hold and digital copies of around 6 other issues we don’t hold. In fact since the emails started flowing yesterday I already have two digital copies of issues in my inbox!

This is made of win.

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altmetric_logo_business_card-300x106The following came through my inbox today promoting a service which seems to try to capture how Academic works are being discussed in Social Media. There is a free login for librarians (I am guessing they want us to wax lyrical about so that the institutions we work for will then subscribe.) I will be interested to see what others think about this service.

The Altmetric Explorer is a powerful, intuitive tool for measuring the attention that scholarly articles receive online

Each week Altmetric captures hundreds of thousands of tweets, blog posts, news stories and other pieces of content that mention scholarly articles.

The Explorer can browse, search and filter this data. Use it to deliver insights, track conversations and measure levels of attention over time or compared to your competitors

Altmetrics in libraries and institutional repositories

Explorer access – free for individual librarians, paid site licenses for researchers If you’re a librarian at an academic institution we’d love for you to sign up for a free librarian account for the Altmetric Explorer, our analysis and discovery tool. Poke around, check out the data, set up some reports, use it to help patrons… and keep it for as long as you like. Just drop us a line at support@altmetric.comusing your institutional email address and we’ll get you set up with a login and a quick demo, if desired. If you think access would be useful to your researchers or students too ping us about sorting out a paid site license which’ll enable us to keep developing the service.

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One of the activities my team at Victoria University Library recently has been carrying out is  the digitisation of the Robert Stout Pamphlet Collection.  We have been steadily working through uploading them into the NZETC and now nearly forty volumes are available. If you want to spend some time heading down a rabbit hole then have a browse.

An example of the eclectic mix of Pamphlets in the collection

An example of the eclectic mix of Pamphlets in the collection

The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout

This project aims to digitise the Sir Robert Stout Pamphlet collection currently held by the J. C. Beaglehole Room. The Stout Pamphlet collection contains around 1000 early primarily New Zealand pamphlets collected by Stout and donated to the Victoria University Library. The pamphlets were then bound into their present volumes.

The collection represents Stout’s interests at the time which included evolution, land reform, law and the temperance movement.

To complement the pamphlet collection we have digitised K. A. Coleridge‘s catalogue with indexes. This catalogue contains valuable information on the history of the collection, the process of binding the collection and Stout’s relationship with the Victoria University library. You can find the catalogue here.

Some notable ones I have read:

Is Man An Automaton? A Lecture Delivered in The City Hall, Glasgow, On 23rd February 1875

Science and the Soul Telepathy Scientifically Demonstrated

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