Six Metadata Mini-Grants Awarded To Expand Access to Ohio Library Digital Collections
The State Library of Ohio has awarded over $28,000 in Ohio LSTA Metadata Mini-Grants to enable six libraries to prepare their collections for the Ohio Digital Network (ODN) and Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). Libraries of all types, museums, and cultural heritage organizations were eligible to apply for a State Library Metadata Mini-Grant for up to $4,999 in federal LSTA funds. The awarded funds may be used to pay metadata contractors, vendors, or obtain other services (including digitization) needed to ensure their collections meet the ODN and DPLA metadata application profile guidelines.
The six institutions awarded Metadata Mini-Grants are: Cincinnati and Hamilton County Public Library, Columbus Metropolitan Library, Perry Cook Memorial Public Library, Shaker Heights Public Library, The Ohio State University, and University of Akron. They will work on their collections from October 2021 through June 2022, then the metadata for these collections will be added to DPLA as a part of the Ohio Digital Network.
“Ohio’s libraries and cultural heritage institutions have such enriching and unique collections to share beyond their local users,” expressed Evan T. Struble, Associate State Librarian for Library Development. “Building upon the success of the first round of Metadata Mini-Grants in 2020, I’m thrilled that this LSTA grant initiative will allow for six new collections to ultimately be easily accessed worldwide by students, researchers, and all history enthusiasts via DPLA.”
As Ohio’s service hub for the DPLA, ODN is working to make digital collections from all ODN cultural heritage institutions more accessible to the world. DPLA serves as a portal to over 40 million cultural heritage items from libraries, museums, and archives across the country. Freely accessible to all, DPLA empowers people to learn, grow, and contribute to a diverse and better-functioning society by maximizing access to our shared history, culture, and knowledge. The Ohio LSTA Metadata Mini-Grants awarded will be used both for digitization and for metadata remediation, all for collections to be added to DPLA.
The awarded grants include:
Cincinnati and Hamilton County Public Library
Newsmakers was a local public affairs television show on Local 12 WKRC TV in Cincinnati, Ohio. The show consisted of interviews of candidates, officials, and others involved in the important local news of the day. This Cincinnati and Hamilton County Public Library collection is the best video representation of local news and events as seen, understood, and experienced by the newsmakers themselves. Dan Hurley, a local historian and seasoned host, has a unique way of getting at the heart of an issue through his long form interviews. He hosted the show for 20 years and has donated 18 years of tapes (399 in total) consisting of unedited interviews of show participants beginning in 1997. Providing access to this material on DPLA will give the collection discoverabilty worldwide for students, researchers, and anyone interested in local Cincinnati and tri-state news and current events from 1997 through 2017.
Columbus Metropolitan Library
Columbus Memory and Columbus in Historic Photographs contain many of the city’s most recognizable images and books. Some of the city’s most iconic photographs are part of this collection: the oldest known aerial photograph of the downtown skyline, Lazarus department store at Christmas, and a World War I homecoming parade are a few examples. Since this was a circulating collection for many years, some of the photos no longer exist in physical form. Today, Columbus in Historic Photographs consists of 24,011 digital objects and 9,205 distinct metadata records. In 2004, Columbus Metropolitan Library established Columbus Memory to reach out to individuals and other organizations to gather historical materials for digitization. In addition to photographs, the collection includes publications, maps, and ephemera. Books included in the collection are eclectic and include the Centennial History of Columbus and Franklin County (1909), A History of the Columbus Police Department (1900), and We Too Built Columbus (1936). Manuscripts include the Brown Township Records and the New Perry Coal Company Ledgers. Today, Columbus Memory consists of 96,693 digital objects and 11,210 distinct metadata records.
Perry Cook Memorial Public Library
The Community Heritage Collection is a composite of items that are culturally and historically significant to the Johnsville area where Perry Cook Memorial Library is located. Many of the items that have been entrusted to the library in the past and that are included in this collection are handwritten or hand-typed. Johnsville has the distinction of being considered a village within Perry Township, although since its inception in 1834 it has never been officially incorporated. Because of this unincorporated status, the village no longer technically exists on maps or in state and county records. Perry Cook Memorial Library is the owner of the only known historical records for this organization dating back to 1888. The Community Heritage Collection is one of the only places that historians, genealogists, and local residents can find original Perry Township Trustees records, personal journals dating back to the 1800s, Otterbein student workbook journals, and historical Johnsville School records.
Shaker Heights Public Library
Shaker Heights Library’s Local History Collection contains over 12,000 photographs, negatives, stereoscope images, and slides; ninety-four cubic feet of processed paper archives; and maps, scrapbooks, microfilmed blueprints, and audiovisual content on DVD, VHS, U-Matic, and film. 590 photographs and documents from the Local History Collection have been digitized and uploaded to Cleveland Memory. Most of these photographs were digitized and added to Cleveland Memory several years ago by Cleveland Memory staff. More recently, some additional images have been digitized and added to Cleveland Memory by Shaker Library’s Local History Librarian. Shaker Library’s digital image collection is online in the Cleveland Memory Shaker Heights Collection.
In 2018, the Local History Librarian joined neighbors to research the history of an overlooked, predominantly black neighborhood, and manages the resulting Moreland Neighborhood History web content. Similarly, this LSTA grant-funded digitization project will continue to support the development of a more inclusive and representative community history of Shaker Heights. Making Shaker Heights’ diverse history more visible and accessible will benefit the entire Shaker Heights community.
The Ohio State University
The John H. Mercer Papers has more than 2,000 records in The Ohio State University (OSU) Libraries Digital Collections. This significant legacy collection is a target for metadata remediation. Mercer was a prominent scientist who recognized the importance of climate change before the concept became well-known. His research represented in this digital collection includes a significant amount of photography by Mercer and his associates that supported his research. Researchers across the globe benefit from their collections. Providing access through DPLA will expand their reach to potential researchers who are not aware of their Digital Collections.
University of Akron
The Cushing Memorial Library Collection of Asylum Reports is the largest multi-region collection of institutional reports held at a single public repository in the United States. It includes 544 reports from psychiatric institutions— “asylums” —representing 33 of the United States and dating back as early as 1832. Most of these reports have been digitized and are accessible to the public in their entirety on The University of Akron’s CONTENTdm repository. These reports contain financial records, floor plans, patient statistics, and day-to-day details from asylums throughout the nation. They provide information on the historic classifications of diseases and their treatment, from melancholia to depression and dementia praecox to schizophrenia. They are a vital resource for scholars of institutional care throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries and anyone with an interest in the history of psychology, psychiatry, and medicine, as well as American and social histories.