I’ve been thinking about what kind of digital collection I can develop for my class this semester. At first I thought I might try to develop a collection of story-time podcasts like the Denver Public Library–perhaps choose a theme and make recordings of myself reading several children’s stories within that theme. But the Denver Library had to request permission from the publisher of each book they read and recorded to avoid copyright infringement. So unless I only record stories that are in the public domain, I would have to do the same. Who knows how long it would take to get permission for this project, so now I’m exploring other ideas.
Following a lead posted by a classmate, I’ve been looking over some guidelines from the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) in an effort to conceptualize this project. I found these collections principles helpful. Principle #3, continued curation, is an item the Peseus collection and the Internet Classics Archive need to work on. Here’s an interesting diagram of the Digital Curation Centre’s Curation Lifecycle Model.
An interesting point from the NISO source is that while digital collections require some form of collections development policy to be well organized and useful, some collections, such as “institutional repositories that encourage users to deposit their own intellectual property” may require more flexibility in such policy. Librarians and archivists sometimes face pressure to engage in mass digitization without careful attention to associating resources with their metadata in the process. Yet in order to make digital collections useful, it is very important to ensure users can access a resource’s metadata regarding details of provenance, subject matter, medium, copyright information, etc.
The Cuneiform Digital Library is a facinating collection that includes metadata relating to provenance, among other details. Although it is a collection based largely on format, the curators have organized the records so that researchers can search by provenance, language/region of origin, subject matter, etc. I only wish the collection included some translations of the texts.