Cook Memorial District Public Library volunteers diligently captured index records about their community newspaper content in word-processing documents for access through their local website. The Library decided to digitize a range of local newspapers from microfilm and combine them with their index records in the VITA Toolkit. Our team took more than 2,000 index pages and cleaned them until over 37,000 records from 1906 to 1922 were normalized for mapping into VITA.
We develop and host a transcription tool that allows users to participate in the transcription of digitized documents – that is, add searchable text where OCR is incomplete or unavailable, as is the case for handwritten or heavily damaged materials. The tool includes fields for the user to enter a transcription of the displayed page, along with pertinent metadata, such as dates, structural information, and geographic location.
For a number of years, the GreatLakeShips.org database was served from a custom-developed site and a locally-managed server. When the server failed, the site went down. We created a custom template for the complex vessel data and history that leveraged the wide range of other services that VITA offers, including fast keyword searches, links to mapping, zoom-able image presentation, comments, and local branding. The Alpena library combined this service with new sites promoting their oral histories and other regional archival material.
A growing number of organizations from Illinois are using the VITA Digital Collections Toolkit for their digital newspaper collections and indexes. We use the VITA Toolkit to build a regional site that brings together BMDs, full-text searchable newspapers, and more from the Greater Chicago Area. The aggregation of their materials drives site traffic higher and increases access via search engines to the news portal and the individual sites.
Increased accessibility, enhanced displays – we endeavour to meet our members’ needs. When a group came to us with a collection of digitized audio recordings and full-chapter transcriptions, we built a display that lets users read along with full-text-searchable transcriptions. Another migration brought us thousands of JP2000 files. Instead of converting them to JPG, we upgraded our pan-zoom viewer to a IIIF viewer for dynamic views, built-in watermarking, and more.
Other services include:
- customized training for staff (project management, indexing best practices, etc)
- collection assessment and project consultation (on-site evaluation)