Monday, May 18, 2015

So many new collections!

We've been adding a ton of new collections in the past several weeks, thanks to the grant programs (Digital Services Mini-Contracts and Public Library Partnerships Program) that provided additional support for new digitization programs from the Digital Public Library of America, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Many MWDL partners were also adding new collections as part of their regular spring work as well! For a quick overview of what's been happening recently, you can take a look at the recently updated Ingestion Status page, scroll down for current activity.

I usually take the time to feature some of my favorite new items from new collections, but there are so many to post right now, I'm just going to list the collections individually. But I encourage you to click through and visit these great new digital resources!

Arizona Memory Project 

Robert Lenon Map Collection 
Posters and Artwork of the Federal Government - World War II

J. Willard Marriott Library

Utah Administration Code - with the Utah Division of Administrative Rules - Digital Services Mini Contract

Montana Memory Project

History of the Missoula (MT) Public Library - PLPP Project

Salt Lake Community College

Additional items added to Salt Lake Community College Photograph Archives - Digital Services Mini Contract

Southern Utah University PLPP Project 

Dwellings in the Bosom of Emery County (UT) with Emery County (UT) Public Library and Emery County (UT) Archives PLPP Project

Additional items added to Emery County (UT) History Photographs - Digital Services Mini Contract

Weber State University

Ogden (UT) Buildings by Street 
Weber State Student Oral History Projects 
Civilian Conservation Corps Camp Photos
Weber State University History in Your Attic Collection 
 Como Springs (UT) Resort with Morgan County (UT) Historical Society and Morgan County (UT) Public Library - PLPP Project
Tremonton Historical Photographs with Tremonton City (UT) Library- PLPP Project

Utah State University

Lewiston City (UT) History Collection with Lewiston City (UT) Public Library -  Digital Services Mini Contract Project
Newton and Cache Junction (UT) Historical Collection with Newton Town (UT) Library - Digital Services Mini Contract Project
Cache County (UT) Aerial Photograph Collection - Digital Services Mini Contract Project
North Logan (UT) History Collection with the North Logan City Library - Digital Services Mini Contract Collection  

Utah Valley University 

Utah Technical College Women's Association Scrapbooks 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

New Collections from the Salt Lake City Library and the Lifestory Library Foundation

Today we have two more new collections to highlight. Both of these collections were supported by expanded funding offered to MWDL partners through DPLA, with one being a Public Library Partnerships Collection and the other from our recent round of Digital Services Mini Contracts.

Both of these partners worked with the great team in Digital Operations at the J. Willard Marriott Library.

The Salt Lake City Library collection features postcards, a historical reflex of Salt Lake City, and the Official Coat of Arms of Salt Lake City!

If you like oral histories, you will enjoy browsing the Life Story Library collection of audio files, photos, and documents that tell personal histories.

Congratulations to everyone who worked on these collections!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Recently Added Public Library Partnerships Project collections from Montana Memory Project

Working with Digital Public Library of America and Mountain West Digital Library service hubs to develop a curriculum and support for new collections from public libraries was a large focus of MWDL work for the past several months. It is great to celebrate the work that went in to creating these wonderful new collections, now available in the MWDL!

Here are new collections from the Montana Memory Project cohort of the Public Library Partnerships Project.

From the Hobson Community Library, Early Agriculture and Homesteading in Judith Basin County (MT)

As you would expect from the name of the collection, there are some great photos of agricultural work and homesteading families in this collection. Here is my favorite photo from the collection, because the description on the back of it is so wonderful:

Child Riding On Calf
 The description for the photo is,  "Jamie rides every calf we have regardless of how many times they throw him."

The Roundup School-Community Library partnered with the Musselshell Valley Historical Museum to curate a collection of historic photos that cover the range of activities for people living in the Musselshell Valley area. Browse photos of mining, ranching, and farming, as well as photos of local schools and events in the Musselshell Valley Historical Museum Photographs collection.

Oxen drawn Wagon in Parade on Main Street

The third collection from Montana that we have to highlight is from the Judith Basin County Free Library. This collection focuses on sheep ranching in the Judith Basin area.

Lambs Grazing in the Little Belt Mountains

Monday, April 6, 2015

Recently added collections from Utah Valley University and Arizona Memory Project

We've been adding a bunch of new collections and partners to MWDL recently! Here are some new collections for you to explore.

From Utah Valley University Library:

Utah Valley University Course Catalogs - Explore some institutional history with these course catalogs. Just how many names has Utah Valley University had since it was founded?

J. Clayton Tullis Utah State Capitol Collection - Wonderful historic postcards of the Utah State Capitol.

Eagle Gate looking towards Utah State Capitol Building in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Harry Bolam Saltair Photographs -Take a trip back in time to an abandoned place with this collection of 9 photos of the Saltair resort on the Great Salt Lake in 1965. The resort was destroyed by arson in 1970.

'Saltair Land' remnant at Saltair Resort.

We also added some wonderful art and architecture collections from the Arizona Memory Project!

Selections from the Heard Museum Masterworks Arts and Artists Series - Explore Native American Fine Art with this selection of items from the Heard Museum.
Rena Begay and Martha Albrecht
Jane Karl Mid-Century Modern Architectural Renderings - Mid-Century Architectural Renderings from a trailblazing woman.

Arizona City Ranch C Elevation, Terra Cotta Tile Roof with Person in Carport

Chris-Town Shopping Center - 24 Arizona Heritage Portraits - Arizona Heritage Portraits by Roger Whitney. These portraits were originally displayed in the Chris-Town Shopping Center and were then donated to the Arizona State Capitol Museum.

Portrait of Juan Bautista de Anza
Check back soon for more new collections!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Two New Collections from Utah Valley Univesity - Visit Historic American Fork and Fillmore

The folks at Utah Valley University have been hard at work digitizing new collections!

The American Fork City Public Library created a great collection for the Public Library Partnerships Project, the American Fork City Royalty Collection. Now you can learn more about the history of American Fork in the newly available Historical American Fork collection.

Main Street American Fork, Utah, Looking toward Mount Timpanogos 1957

UVU also worked with the Utah Territorial Statehouse State Park Museum to make available treasures from their collection. Browse photos from family albums, historic buildings, and more when you explore historic Fillmore from the early to mid 1900s in the Utah Territorial Statehouse State Park Museum Collection.

Young Woman on 'Miss Pioneer of West Millard' Parade Float.

These collections were made possible with funding from the Digital Public Library of America and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

New Collections from the University of Idaho

We recently added three new collections from the University of Idaho!

The Idaho Forester - This publication from the University of Idaho's Forestry Department contains research articles, forest industry information, and much more.

The Idaho Forester, 1923

Kyle Laughlin Photographs - This collection features photos of the Laughlin family, as well as historic and natural sites from Idaho and the northwest United States.

Snake River across the mouth of the Palouse River showing the Northern Pacific bridge

Lee Morse Collection - Learn all about one of the most recorded female singers of the 1920s.

Lee Morse Headshot

Friday, February 6, 2015

Monsters and Earthquakes from Utah State University

We have just added two very interesting collections from Utah State University Merrill-Cazier Library!

San Francisco (CA) Earthquake Snapshots - This collection of 25 photographs taken by John Lorin Taylor document the aftermath of the earthquake of 1906.

View of the Hall in ruins from Market Street after the San Francisco Earthquake, San Francisco, California, April 16, 1906
Bear Lake Monster - Learn about the Bear Lake region's legendary monster in this collection which includes folklore, interviews, and many other materials from Utah State University Special Collections.

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster book

Friday, January 30, 2015

Making that pesky "Rights" field a little less pesky

Those of you who have submitted collections to the Mountain West Digital Library know that "Rights" is one of MWDL's eight required fields according to the MWDL Dublin Core Application Profile. The reason for this is that it's incredibly important for users to know if there are any copyright restrictions on the items available through our library. The copyright status of an item determines whether or not an item can be used and how. Can it be downloaded? Shared? Reproduced? Remixed? Used in a PowerPoint?  Posted to social media? The rights of an item determines those things.

Unfortunately, rights statements in digital collections don't always give the user much guidance on how the item can actually be used. Sometimes the Rights field just says, "All rights reserved. Contact [holding institution] for permission to use." Sometimes it says, "©1978. Smithsonian Institute." In an ideal case, it may say, "Public domain. May be used freely without permission or restriction." Really it can say anything because the Rights field is a free-text field.

Recently the DPLA did an assessment of 1.4 million rights statements from their service hubs as part of one of their new projects "Getting It Right On Rights." They determined that almost 50% of the statements that they looked at said "All Rights Reserved" and 13% of the records were in the public domain. Only 3% of records had a Creative Commons license on them and 7% had no copyright statement at all.

At MWDL we are encouraging our partners to pay close attention to the Rights field and to create rights statements that help users to know what they can do with the items they find online (this is often referred to as an "access statement"). For instance, yesterday I recommended this language to a partner who wants to start using a Creative Commons license on her materials. It's the most restrictive CC license but it's still light-years better in the information it conveys to users.

Here was the suggested language that I gave to our partner:

 ©[copyright holder’s name], [date of creation for the work]. This item is available under a Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND license. The license allows this work to be downloaded and shared with others with proper attribution to the copyright holder, but this item cannot be changed in any way or used for commercial purposes. For more information about this license go to

Any user who finds this partner's items online now knows exactly what they can legally do with the work. They can share it and use it for scholarly/ educational purposes. They cannot however alter the items (sorry, no funny memes) and they can't profit off the item commercially (e.g. You can't print the items on aprons and sell them).

Inspired? Want to learn more about copyright? Check out this great list of resources below, compiled by our friends at DPLA: 

Articles, blog posts, and presentations
Blogs to follow 

Monday, January 26, 2015

January Harvesting Update

We've been adding a bunch of new collections in January and have a few more on track to be added this week! Here's what we've added recently:

From Salt Lake Community College:

Salt Lake Community College Culinary Arts Program Archives - There are over 800 menus in this impressive archive!

From the Montana Memory Project:

Books, Pamphlets and Ephemera from the University of Montana 
Bud Moore Photographs and Sound Recordings - experience the Montana landscape
Char-Koosta News - Local newspaper from the Flathead Indian Reservation
Chipppewa Cree Tribe Water Rights Settlement Record
Diaries, Letters and Ledgers from the University of Montana
Charles M. Russell Research Materials from the James B. Rankin Collection
Justice Under the Big Sky
Bozeman and Gallatin Valley (MT) Photographs 
Northern Montana College (Montana State University Northern) Yearbooks 
Missoula County High School - The Bitterroot Yearbooks 
John J. Powers Safety Poster Collection - Great examples of graphic design in this collection!

From the Arizona Memory Project:

Town of Carefree, Arizona - Check out the photos of their landmark sundial!

From the American Fork City Public Library, working with Utah Valley University, we have our first PLPP collection:

American Fork City (UT) Royalty

As always, if you are curious about what we've been working on, you can check out our ingestion status page. Feel free to submit any new collections you have to add to MWDL too!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Diversity of cultural heritage items: We can do better

We have done some good

Our colleagues at the Digital Public Library of America reviewed harvesting statistics from 2014 in a recent post, "Tracking DPLA’s growth in 2014." 
See full-sized graph.
Of the hubs serving up metadata to the DPLA, the Mountain West Digital Library had the largest number of cultural heritage materials about diverse groups in America (see graph). With over 30,000 items from MWDL representing America's underrepresented groups, we can be proud to be reflecting some of the diversity of our region and its history. Thanks to our many collection partners who are building these collections and sharing them with MWDL and DPLA.

We can do better

With access to almost 1 million items in MWDL, however, the number of items about diverse groups ought to be much higher. Do you have collections of photographs, diaries, films, oral histories, books, and artifacts from any of these groups in the Mountain West? If so, we encourage you to work with one of our partners -- a library, museum, or archive in any of the six states of the region -- to digitize and share unique perspectives of our history, from all our region's citizens, including these groups identified in the DPLA review:
  • historically non-white racial and ethnic groups
  • cultural/religious minority groups (Jews, Muslims, Hindus, etc.)
  • women
  • LGBTQ communities
  • disabled communities (including the physically, sensorily, and developmentally disabled)
  • rural communities
  • populations with lower socioeconomic status (focusing on poverty, working class issues, labor issues)
  • elderly populations
Let's keep working together to reflect the full history and heritage of the Mountain West.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

New Collections in MWDL for November and early December!

Here is a quick summary of the great new collections that we've been adding to the MWDL over the past few weeks!

From Salt Lake Community College, we have the Salt Lake Community College Audiovisual Archives and the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art Collection.

SLCC: The Bottom Line Advertisement

We've added new collections from Utah State University, the Barre Toelken Fieldwork Image Collection and a oral history collection, Central Utah Project: Capturing Utah's Share of the Colorado River. This collection nicely complements the other water-related collections we have in MWDL.

Bob Bennett Interview, May 10, 2013

We also recently added three new collections from the Arizona Memory Project, Marshall Trimble on Arizona, Southwest Airways and Thunderbird Field #1, and Civilian Conservation Corp in Patagonia, Arizona.

School Canyon Looking from Top of Earthen Dam to the West

MWDL is getting even more jazzy with new collections from the University of Idaho, including the Al Grey and Rosalie Soladar Memorial Collection, Ray Brown Collection, and the Leonard Feather Jazz Collection.You can also explore some wonderful photos of Idaho with the Stonebraker Photograph Collection.

Pack train near Monumental Creek
If you're curious about what we've been working on recently and our upcoming projects, you can check out the MWDL ingestion queue page.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

UVU's Pioneers in Your Attic Collection

Last fall, many of the people in the MWDL network participated in the Pioneers in Your Attic project. The premise of the project was to have representatives from different digital libraries take their scanners on the road and encourage people to bring their family histories out of their attics to be scanned and added to online library collections. Over the course of several months, members of the MWDL network held 42 scanning events all around Utah.

I had the chance to participate in four different events, and it was a librarian's dream to see the items that came through: old photographs, letters, a boat ticket from Europe to America, pioneer journals, and maps of the Mormon trail. Donors would come in with items and tell family stories that have been passed down from generation to generation.

Two of my favorites at the Spanish Fork PIYA event

Of course we all eagerly awaited having some of these items available online so I was thrilled when Utah Valley University had their first 29 items from PIYA go live a few months ago. Pioneers in Your Attic by Utah Valley University is a collection of items -- mostly photographs and journal entries -- scanned by Catherine McIntyre and Brent Seavers at UVU. For anyone that doubts the quality of items you can get from mobile scanning projects, I encourage you to check out the gems in their collection.

Snippet of homepage for UVU's PIYA collection

One of my favorite items in the collection is "Briggs, Rachel Amelia Tuttle, Remembrances" which is a series of captured recollections from Rachel Briggs, particularly about the many serious injuries she incurred throughout her life. Rachel's parents were among the early settlers in Utah, and she was born in Bountiful in 1858. Among her many accidents, Rachel was hooked by cow horns twice, burned severely in a fire, run over by a double-bed wagon, she fell through a trap door and broke three ribs, and was partially blinded while chopping wood. Although the tone is somewhat humorous, it also emphasizes how difficult life was for early Utah settlers.

Opening paragraph from the remembrances of Rachel Amelia Tuttle Briggs

Another interesting item from UVU's PIYA collection is the hand-written journal of Daniel Crook, an early convert to the Mormon church. Daniel joined the LDS Church in England and sailed to America with the hopes of making his home in Salt Lake City, UT. Unfortunately for Daniel, he was a skilled wheelwright and was asked by Church authorities to stay in Council Bluffs, Iowa to help others prepare for their journey to Salt Lake City rather than travel there himself. Daniel Crook never made it to Utah and his family said that because of this, he died of a broken heart.

In one of his drawings, Daniel shows how to tell time by holding a stick in your hand. 

I hope you enjoy Utah Valley University's well-curated collection of PIYA items and, like me, eagerly await everyone else's PIYA collections!