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Project Demonstrations Announced for 2010 WebWise ConferenceProject Demonstrations Announced for 2010 WebWise Conference

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Wednesday, February 3, 2010


IMLS Press Contacts
Jeannine Mjoseth,
Mamie Bittner,

Washington, DC—The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has announced the projects that will be demonstrated at the 2010 WebWise Conference on Libraries and Museums in the Digital World. Registration is now closed for the free conference, to be held March 3–5 in Denver, CO.

The 2010 WebWise conference is sponsored by IMLS and co-hosted by the University of Denver, the Denver Art Museum, and BCR, a multi-state library cooperative. The theme for this year’s conference, "Imagining the Digital Future," will address the successes and innovations of the past as well as the opportunities and challenges as museums and libraries navigate the future. Topics will include digital content creators and educators who are developing engaging learning spaces, digital repository management, sustainability of collaborative digitization programs, development and support of interactive online environments, new tools and services for discovery and access, and the professional development of a 21st century cultural heritage information workforce.

Each year, IMLS selects a variety of its cutting-edge, grant-funded projects to highlight at WebWise. This year, demonstrations will include the following projects:

The Apiary Project: Framework and Workflow for Extraction and Parsing of Herbarium Specimen Data: A Standards-Based Approach to Tool Integration and Metadata
William Moen, University of North Texas

Millions of specimens in museums and herbaria worldwide need to be digitized to be accessible to scientists. The Apiary Project combines human and machine processes to facilitate the transformation of herbarium label data into machine-processable parsed data. The workflow and framework integrate a variety of existing technologies and the application of standards, such as the recently approved Darwin Core metadata standard. Participants will access a Web-based application with interfaces focusing on four primary phases: layout analysis, text extraction, text parsing, and quality control. The technology platform is composed entirely of open source components; upon completion, the workflow and framework will be released as an open source project.

Art Conservation Database
Wynne Phelan, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

The Art Conservation Database (ACD) combines detailed text and image records of works on paper, paintings, and three-dimensional art; comprehensive condition reports; and collection care records into one database system, in conjunction with an advisory committee of professionals working in the field. The presentation will cover various standards and how they have affected the system design. It will highlight other art conservation documentation system projects and the commonalities and differences among the three conservation disciplines being addressed, as well as strategies to enhance communications among conservation professionals and IT professionals, especially database developers. It is hoped that these efforts will lead to an ACD that is a successful communication platform among conservators and others who are responsible for collection care.

Creativity Resource
Ellen Spangler, Denver Art Museum

Creativity Resource is a new Web site designed especially for teachers and hosted by the Denver Art Museum (DAM). Its purpose is to make the DAM collections useful in classrooms and to help educators teach skills for creativity in visual arts and language arts. The site features art and creative writing ideas and standards-based lesson plans for early childhood through grade 12; high-quality images and art information; and resources about creativity and divergent thinking. Development of the site was funded by a grant from the Morgridge Family Foundation.

Enduring Communities: Japanese Americans in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah – Web tools for K–12 Educators
Allyson Nakamoto, Japanese American National Museum

This project focuses on the World War II–era experiences of Japanese Americans in five states. It engages teachers, scholars, community members, and educational/cultural institutions in developing narratives that illuminate local, state, and national histories. Throughout the project, the project team has discussed the use of primary sources in teaching. Many teachers are interested in incorporating more primary sources into the standards-based curriculum, but they need assistance in locating them and incorporating them into their teaching. Working for more than four years with educators and museum professionals, the demonstration team has developed strategies museums and libraries can use to help K–12 teachers locate and incorporate a wide variety of primary source materials into their classes.

EthoSearch: The Ethogram Archive Project
Leah M. Melber, Lincoln Park Zoo

Modern zoological parks serve as valuable and unique resources for multi-institutional collaborative behavioral research by scientists and students at all levels, from elementary school through graduate school. EthoSearch: The Ethogram Archive Project (EAP) is designed to provide a tool of critical value to zoo managers, researchers, and students. Ethograms—species-specific lists of observable behaviors—are a fundamental underpinning of behavioral research, providing a standardized approach to collecting animal behavioral data. As the volume of multi-institutional research increases, the need for a searchable, clearly defined, easily used database of ethograms becomes more critical. EAP will fill a vital role for various constituencies and will ultimately become the core tool for behavioral research and collaborative study.

Media MashUp
Jennifer Nelson, Hennepin County Public Library

Media MashUp is a demonstration project designed to develop an approach to implementing technology-infused programs for youth in public libraries. The software application that undergirds the programs is Scratch, freely available, interactive digital media programs developed by the LifeLong Kindergarten Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Scratch is specially designed to teach 21st century literacy skills to youth. Media MashUp is testing program delivery and assessing critical factors that will determine the success or failure of programs in these libraries, as well as establishing a set of best practices for program implementation. The project is also identifying the critical skills library staff will need, if they are to implement high-quality technology-infused programs.

MacKenzie Smith, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The FACADE (Future-proofing Architectural Computer-Aided Design) project at MIT Libraries and the MIT School of Architecture and Planning has investigated how to archive the highly proprietary and complex datasets of building construction projects donated by prominent architecture firms. The project aims to prioritize metadata application efforts for the prime materials (e.g., 3D CAD models, presentations to clients, 2D design drawing sets) while preserving the mass of other files so end users of the repository system can access them. The project has also developed guidelines and best practices for archiving 3D CAD models for long-term digital preservation. The archive includes a catalog and a large searchable archive of each building’s collection in its entirety.

Oral Histories of the American South
Natasha Smith, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Documenting the American South, a digital publishing program at the Carolina Digital Library and Archives, involved a number of constituencies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (the UNC Library, the Southern Oral Histories Program, the Center for the Study of the American South, and the School of Education) to publish online oral history interviews using open source technology. These Web-based oral histories also underwent rigorous analysis by subject matter specialists, which adds considerable value to the interviews by combining the perspectives of historians and the firsthand experiences of southerners in a transitioning American South. The project includes a Web interface that simultaneously presents audio recordings and interview transcripts.

Rapid Imaging Project
Sam Quigley, Art Institute of Chicago

The goal of the Rapid Imaging Project was to increase public access to the Art Institute of Chicago’s permanent collection. Collections specialists and technicians tested various applications and workflow procedures to find the best solutions for issues related to image quality, recording metadata, and archiving files. Using off-the-shelf applications, studio and high-end consumer equipment, imaging workstations, and workflows optimized for production, the team digitally captured nearly 35,000 images. The coordinator used the Extensis Portfolio and Adobe applications to archive the images and handle technical metadata, and to upload derivatives to the collection information management system, the Chicago Imaging, Text, and Indexing system. The project dramatically enhanced the Art Institute’s ability to provide public access to its collections.

Mark McFarland, University of Texas

The Texas Digital Library (TDL) has produced Vireo, a statewide electronic submission and management system for theses and dissertations. Vireo provides a workflow system that incorporates all the steps in the thesis process, from student submission of the manuscript to processing by graduate school personnel, publication, and preservation. To create Vireo, the TDL developers reviewed the workflows of five graduate schools in Texas and developed a meta-workflow that can be adapted for use by any school. In addition to the student and graduate school staff functions, the system enables institutions to publish the documents in their institutional repositories and in the TDL Statewide ETD Repository, and to export documents into TDL’s planned preservation network.

Vogel 50X50
John Gordy, National Gallery of Art

The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States is distributing 2,500 works from the Vogels’ collection of contemporary art throughout the nation, with fifty works going to an art institution in each of the fifty states. The program Web site allows each of the museums to upload images of the works and its own independent research, essentially bringing the collection back together. The 2,500 works can be sorted by artist, date, medium, or keywords. The project is a joint initiative of the Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection and the National Gallery of Art, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

WGBH Media Library and Archives Vietnam Digital Library
Karen Cariani, WGBH Boston

The Vietnam Digital Library is a collaboration among the WGBH Media Library and Archives, the University of Massachusetts–Boston, and the Columbia University Center for New Media Teaching and Learning. The library contains material from the 1983 series Vietnam: A Television History, including rare archival footage and hours of in-depth interviews with key decision-makers and veterans. It enables scholars, academics, researchers, and the general public to access this historic collection of key primary source materials, and provides tools that allow user tagging, user annotations for specific video clips or photos, citations, faceted search, and video-transcript syncing. The demonstration will focus on the learning environment Columbia University has built to enable faculty to use digital media for classroom teaching.

A number of other projects funded by the MacArthur and Morgridge Foundations will also be demonstrated at the WebWise Conference. For more on WebWise 2010, go to the conference Web site at


About the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute's mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. The Institute works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development. To learn more about the Institute, please visit