Monday, August 7, 2017











The decision to build rather than to buy is not always easy!

 --- Marriott Library’s Migration from CONTENTdm to SolPhal - MWDL Webinar Series


MWDL appreciates the research and initiatives launched, and progress made by its partners.  These partner endeavors lead to amazing teachable moments we can all benefit from as a community that strives to share information in the most flexible, useful, and uncomplicated way possible, given the resources at hand. 

MWDL’s host institution, and partner, J. Willard Marriott Library, at the University of Utah, recently adopted a home-grown platform, using open source applications as their new Digital Asset Management system, SolPhal.  This effort was launched through a 2013 kick-off planning session that embarked on a two-year collaborative effort involving majority of Marriott’s constituents that proceeded to form a ‘systems evaluation’ committee.  The committee got busy exploring alternatives to the vendor solution (CONTENTdm) the digital library had clearly outgrown after a long, 15-year stint. 

The pursuit of a system that would meet the needs of not only Marriott’s digital library, but also of Marriott’s content contributors that run the whole gamut from public, state, private, and academic institutions resulted in the decision to build, rather than to buy.  

The formal migration plan began with a comprehensive inventory of all digital assets. Marriott Library waited eagerly until appropriate resources were identified for planning, developing and migrating their almost 22 million newspaper records database, as well as another million records from their non-newspapers server.  Formal coordinated efforts were launched in July of 2016.

The journey was not without hurdle or pain, but it resulted in the development of a system that is robust, and one that sits on a sturdy architecture comprising of Solr (indexer), Phalcon (PHP framework), and NGINX (webserver).  The ingestion of content into the system is facilitated through the SIMP (Submission Information and Metadata Packaging) tool, which is another home-grown initiative of the Marriott Library.  

To learn more about this migration project and for a demo of the SIMP, please click on the archived link or by going directly through the MWDL website.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017





Congratulations to Cory Lampert!  Cory has been elected and has also accepted the role as in-coming co-chair of the MWDL Digitization Committee.  This committee has been collaborating with the MWDL members and community for over a decade and has many important and impressive projects and initiatives to boast!  The MWDL community through its collaborative nature has made a huge impact in the domain of digital libraries and has worked together (with its members) to conduct research and make important contributions in areas like copyright, geo-spatial metadata coverage, digitization best practices, system migrations, digital exhibits, metadata application profiles, and many other educational and service oriented community endeavors and engagements!

Cory Lampert has the rank of Assistant Professor and is also the Head of Digital Collections at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.  She has been deeply engaged with the MWDL community for over a decade.  We look forward to working closely with Cory on MWDL's Digitization Committee projects and engagements in the MWDL community!

Jeremy Myntti, Head of Digital Library Services at the Marriott Library, University of Utah has been serving as co-chair of the Digitization Committee for the past year and half.  His experience and background in Digital Libraries has been a tremendous help in leading MWDL community projects and events. Jeremy plans to continue to serve as co-chair until the end of the year and will help with the planning of the MWDL Fall Virtual meeting as well.   Thank you Jeremy for all your contributions!
2017 MWDL Digitization Committee Summer Meeting

Jeremy Myntti MWDL Digitization Committee co-chair (2016-2017)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

June 2017 MWDL Hubs & Partners Meeting

Hello all, it's been a while!  After a major staff change, a new director, and a few kinks we are now ready to really market MWDL and its partners.  A big thank you to all of the partners that have been patient with us as we transition, we greatly appreciate your support.  Now on to news!




Thank you to all of the representatives that joined us for our MWDL Hubs Meeting in June.  It was a very full two days and a lot came out of it.  Here are some details...


  • MWDL is currently sitting at 980K records!  Hoping to reach 1M by year's end.  
  • Still working on getting Oregon harvested but it is slow going because of ingest issues.
  • Need for another working group on archival metadata, metadata app profiled needs to be updated. All of this is on hold until metadata librarian position filled. 
  • We now have a Governing Body and are working on hiring a Metadata Librarian at 1.0 FTE
  • Outreach/Promotion: Relaunched social media efforts. Avalon Snell has been working on it; now events/photos posted. Had a booth at ALA Midwinter, RootsTech, ULA, and UELMA. Catherine McIntyre has been helping with outreach. Now on Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook!
  • We are working on continuing the webinar series like one Cory Lampert and Silvia Southwick did on Linked Data.
  • Financial overviews
  • CONTENTdm...enough said
For those who couldn't attend here is the list of presentations:


Outreach: https://stream.lib.utah.edu/index.php?c=details&id=12910

Or you can click here to view the agenda, minutes, and surveys associated with this meeting.

Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

New collections from the Utah State Historical Society

Today we have some great new collections from the Utah State Historical Society to celebrate, ranging from pioneer history, portrait studio photographs, a diary from the Topaz relocation center, and much more. Read on for more details about these collections!

Larson Studio Negative Collection - Over 22,000 images from the Larson Studio in Provo, including portrait and landscape photographs.
J. Lewis Bird
Carbon County Cookbook - Take a trip back to the 1920s and explore the foodways of Carbon County in this community cookbook that features recipes for Boiled Salad Dressing, Good Raisin Bread, and Mock Lemon Pie.

Our Daily Diary, Topaz Relocation Center - This fully illustrated diary tells the story of third graders at Mountain View School at the Topaz Relocation Center from March 8 - August 12, 1943. An important primary source document for researching Japanese American internment during World War II.

Our Daily Diary, Topaz Relocation Center


Ellis Reynolds Shipp Papers - Collection documenting the history and correspondence of one of the first female doctors in Utah. 

Works Progress Administration Biography Sketches Collection - Interviews with pioneers and other people of note from the WPA. 

Charles Raymond Varley Slides 1868-1986 - This collection of building photos highlights historical architecture of Salt Lake City. See how street views have changed through the decades with photos taken years apart in the same location.

West Side of Main Street

Thanks to the Utah State Historical Society for sharing these new collections!






Tuesday, September 6, 2016

New Collections from the University of Utah

These collections were previously harvested into MWDL, but we just created some web pages to showcase them. Check out some great oral histories, missionary diaries in Japan, manuscript collections focused on Utah history, architectural drawings, and more!


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Welcome Buffalo Bill Center of the West - McCracken Research Library

MWDL recently harvested several collections from the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, McCracken Research Library. With the addition of the McCracken Research Library, MWDL has added a repository located in Wyoming!

The digitized collections cover a variety of topics for researchers interested in the history of the western united states, with collections covering a variety of topics such as Buffalo Bill and his Wild West show, records of guns and ammunition companies, historical Native American photographs, works of Wyoming photographers, and much more.

MWDL will continue to add more collections over the coming weeks, but collections from the McCracken Research Library currently available via MWDL are:

  • MS 007 George Armstrong Custer Collection  - This collection contains various documents concerning the Battle of the Little Big Horn. Most prominent are two original reports of General Alfred H. Terry to General George Crook, the first official reports of the defeat of Custer at the Little Big Horn battlefield.
  • MS 010 Count Otto Franc Von Lichtenstein Collection  - Collection consists of four journals by Count Otto Franc von  Lichtenstein relating daily activities as he ran the Pitchfork Ranch on the upper Greybull River west of present day Meeteetse, Wyoming. 
  • MS 017 Charles Rapp Collection  - This collection consists of the 15 letters from Charles Rapp to Eva Shepard written from various locations in Wyoming Territory. Mr. Rapp, of New York, discusses gold mining, women homesteaders on the frontier, Mormon immigration, Shoshone and Sioux Indians, and a description of a visit to the Little Big Horn battlefield three days after the battle.
  • MS 034 Schuyler, Hartley, and Graham  - Among the items in the collection are letters and shipping orders from Schuyler, Hartley and Graham to H. K. White, correspondence from individuals and companies offering goods and services, business records such as bills, receipts, calling cards, etc., bound memo books, ledger books, inventory books, and a large collection of advertisement materials.
  • MS 037 Mrs. George Bird Grinnell Indian Photographs  - Images of Northern Cheyenne Indians, early 20th century. Black and white prints, photographed by Mrs. George Bird Grinnell.
  • MS 047 David R. Phillips  - A group of glass plate negatives from the collection of David R. Phillips focusing on William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody and the Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show.
    William F. Cody with lariat, saddle, and rifle
    • MS 056 Frank A. Rinehart - The F.A. Rinehart Indian Photographic collection consists of 33 standard size images, and 118 oversize images of Native American Indians in a photographic studio setting, with approximately 10 images taken outside of a studio setting.
    • MS 165 Thomas Marquis Native American Nitrate Negatives  - These photographs were created by photographer Dr. Thomas Marquis, a physician and author, who lived on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation in the early 20th century.
      Richard Wooden Leg sitting with boy
    • MS 247 Fred R. Meyer Photographs- 46 black and white photographic prints of Blackfeet, Cree, Crow, and Sioux peoples taken 1902-1904 by Fred R. Meyer, a photographer from Buffalo, NY.


    For more resources, visit the Digital Collections of the McCracken Research Library.