You’ve seen them in libraries, and you may have even helped build one. Christmas trees made of books are all the rage among bibliophiles. At the James P. Boyce Centennial Library, we’ve built one too. It looks like this.
This year, though, our staff decided to take the holiday decorations up a notch. They demonstrated their mad book sculpting skills by creating Frosty the Bookman.
Frosty is constructed entirely of library materials. His body is made of books turned spine in with a piece of white paper from the recycling bin on top. His eyes are made of old library stamps. His nose is a rolled up New York Times Magazine with carrots on the cover. His arms are newspaper displayer sticks, and his scarf is a blanket one of our librarians uses to keep warm in her office on chilly winter days.
Here’s wishing you a Merry Christmas and a blessed holiday season from the Frosty the Bookman!
Yesterday, I presented to the Kentucky Council on Archives‘ User Group for Content Management and Open Source Archival Software on our use of Archon at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Archives. I gave my presentation just prior to the group participating in the SAA’s “Archon…making it work for you!” webinar that was led by Archon creators Chris Prom and Scott Schwartz. I am very thankful to the user group for inviting me to talk about Archon, and I was really excited to do so because we have had a great experience with the product. Our Archon installation can be found here. I would recommend Archon to anyone who wanted to manage and provide access to archival collections.
The user group asked that I discuss why we decided to use Archon and how we use it. Below are my ever-so-brief notes on the topic.
Why we selected Archon
- It had a really nice web interface (both public and administrative)
- Chris Prom’s user interactions articles in American Archivist gave me hope for the project at its earliest stages
- It was easy to train student workers to use (contextual DACS help)
- It runs on LAMP stack (No Java, XSLT)
- It makes the migration of the types of legacy data we had relatively easy (MARC, EAD, CSV)
- It is fast (my initial tests with Archivists’ Toolkit reports were somewhat slow)
- It is free (no cost, license allows for adaptation )
How we use Archon
- We provide web access to finding aids for collection
- We keep track of accessions
- We process collections (We feel that it facilitates MPLP and processing large collections)
- It allows us to describe yet hide closed collections (visible to us, not the world)
- It provides us with smart searching (records are returned in a hierarchical context, so it’s not just Google style searching)
- It allows us to supply virtual arrangement
- We use it to keep track of our offsite collections (user defined field mapped to EAD UnitID)
- We use it to export to our online catalog (MARC, EAD)
- We use the digital library for some digital objects
- It has no real reporting suite
- Accessioning seems more robust in Archivists’ Toolkit
- It does not support OAI
- It does not support Premis
- It does not support a multi-site or collaborative setup (in the way I would envision it)
- I am unsure of what the final ArchivesSpace product will be like
- The user community does not seem as active as some OSS projects
It goes without saying, I’ve been on a bit of a blogging hiatus. Other pursuits have kept me from writing on the blog for nearly a year. I plan on continuing the hiatus for the foreseeable future. I may get back to this blog in the future. I may repurpose it. I may just retire from it. But, for the present, I will happily leave it up for whatever use it may be to anyone. For those who have read and commented here, thanks for stopping by.
Trevin Wax, an alum of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (the institution for which I work), is giving away 10 free books during the Christmas season. One of them is the stellar history of SBTS written by Dr. Greg Wills and published by Oxford University Press. Dr. Wills was a frequent user of our archives as he was writing. In fact, He worked here so often, I considered purchasing a cot for one of our storage areas to name “The Greg Wills Cot of Historical and Archival Dedication.”
All that to say, if you would like to win a copy of Wills’ superb institutional history, stop by Trevin’s blog and register to win.
I posted the following today on the DSpace wiki as a proof of concept for using the HTML 5 video tag within DSpace using Manakin. The original post can be found here.
- [manakin-source]/themes/[theme-dir]/template.xsl (The theme’s stylesheet)
- [manakin-source]/themes/dri2xhtml/DIM-Handler.xsl (The theme’s stylesheet)
- Caution: This is really just a proof of concept for adding support for the HTML5 video tag to xmlui. It’s based on the Classic XMLUI theme, so some things may be different for your application.
- Add the OGV to the metadata registry using the instructions found here —> Add a new format to the bitstream registry
- Create an OGV video. If you have Firefox, you can use Firefogg to do it.
- Upload your video to your DSpace install.
- If you haven’t already, you need to Create a new theme (or don’t, if you don’t want to).
- To modify the header, locate the section of DIM-Handler.xsl that begins with
<xsl:template match="dim:dim" mode="itemSummaryView-DIM">
. Copy this section into your theme’s local template.xsl and modify the XSLT as noted below.
- Immediately following the line that reads
<table>add the following code:
<xsl:choose> <xsl:when test="ancestor::mets:METS/mets:fileSec/mets:fileGrp[@USE='CONTENT']/mets:file[@MIMETYPE='video/ogg']"> <tr class="ds-table-row odd"> <td><span class="bold"><i18n:text>xmlui.dri2xhtml.METS-1.0.item-preview</i18n:text>:</span></td> <td> <xsl:attribute name="href"><xsl:value-of select="@OBJID"/></xsl:attribute> <video> <xsl:attribute name="src"> <xsl:value-of select="ancestor::mets:METS/mets:fileSec/mets:fileGrp[@USE='CONTENT']/mets:file/mets:FLocat[@LOCTYPE='URL']/@xlink:href"/> </xsl:attribute> <xsl:attribute name="width"> <xsl:value-of select="320" /> </xsl:attribute> <xsl:attribute name="height"> <xsl:value-of select="240" /> </xsl:attribute> <xsl:attribute name="controls" /> <xsl:attribute name="autobuffer" /> </video> </td> </tr> </xsl:when> <xsl:otherwise> </xsl:otherwise> </xsl:choose>
- Of course, stop and start DSpace for good measure.
- Visit the Item Summary View for the item you uploaded with a Firefox 3.5 or greater browser, and you should have pseudo-streaming enabled.
Recently, I had reason to install xpdf on RHEL 5 for use with DSpace. I had already installed freetype, but for some reason, the xpdf configure file was not able to find the freetype2.
I finally got this configured after running the following
This gave the output of -I/usr/include/freetype2
Next, I used that path with the configure command as follows:
After that, it configured perfectly.
It was announced today within the Archon forum that Archon and the Archivists’ Toolkit will be integrated in order to combine the best features of both. I will be watching this project with much interest. I have tried both applications, and I have a definite preference for Archon. I sincerely hope that this strengthens Archon, rather than weakening it.
I can think of strengths that could be gained from this integration. A GUI could be a nice addition. The folder view in Archivists’ Toolkit is nice as well. I also hope that these development efforts will also lead to a new platform that supports union catalogs from the outset.
There are dangers in the combined efforts as well, in my opinion. I hope that the nice, clean PHP code used in Archon doesn’t get mucked up with some sort of integration with Java, which I hate with a passion. I think using a great deal of Java would slow development and reduce the ability of many to do customization. Did I mention that I hate Java? I also hope that development isn’t stymied due to a lack of competition. Competition is always good, even when it’s between open source products. I also hope that Chris Prom’s influence on the project is undiminished. Chris’ two American Archivist articles on the EAD Cookbook and user interactions with finding aids set up a solid research foundation for the entire Archon project. Without his research, the project would not have been as good as what it is.
Still, this project holds promise, and I think the outcome will probably be good for archivists.