CRRA Update September 2010

CRRA Update
SEPTEMBER 2010

In this update …

  • CRRA Welcomes Three New Members
    • Duquesne University, Laverna Saunders
    • Loyola Marymount University, Kristine Brancolini
    • University of St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto & Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, Jonathan Bengtson
  • Digital Access Committee (DAC) News
  • Member meetings in January and March – Mark your calendars!

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Preparing EAD files for indexing

This posting outlines how I plan to prepare EAD files for indexing with Solr, the underlying indexing technology of VUFind.

The problem

I am aggregating sets of EAD files from Catholic Research Resource Alliance members. I am expected to index these files at the most granular level possible — meaning at the did level. In order to satisfy both human and computer requirements, each indexed record needs at least a unique identifier, a human-readable descriptor, and a location code. The unique identifier can be gotten from the unitid element. The human-readable descriptor can come from the unittitle. The location code can be inferred from the url attribute of the eadid element.

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Adding unitid elements to did elements

This posting outlines how I believe I will add unitid elements to did elements of EAD files.

The problem

As the CRRA matures, I expect a greater amount of the metadata ingested into the “portal” will come from EAD files. In order to index EAD files meaningfully, I need to extract unique identifiers from each container-level element, a human-readable description of the container, and a location code. The identifier and human-readable description can easily come from unitid and unititle elements of did elements.

Unfortunately, unitid (and maybe unititle) are not required elements of did elements. While the CRRA could mandate the creation of such elements, it turns out to be almost just as easy to create them on-the-fly.

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VuFind 2.0 Conference

VUFind is the technical backbone of the “Catholic Portal”, and this posting documents my experiences at the VuFind 2.0 Conference held at the Villanova Conference Center on September 15 & 16, 2010. In short, it provided an opportunity for the community to share successes, challenges, and visions for the future.

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VUFind “Midwest” User’s Group Meeting

An inaugural VUFind “Midwest” User’s Group Meeting was held Friday, September 3, and this posting outlines my perceptions of what happened there.

The “Catholic Portal” uses VUFind as its “discovery interface” and sometimes I feel starved for people with whom to discuss issues surrounding the application. I then got wind of VUFind’s use at Western Michigan University (WMU) as well as the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor (U of M). Since WMU is half way between me and U of M I thought a “user’s group meeting” may be in order. A few calls were made, a few postings to a couple of mailing lists were written, and the meeting came to fruition.

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Collection Policy Statement for the Catholic Portal

(The following is the current collection policy for the Catholic Portal.)

Collection Policy Statement for the Catholic Portal

The purpose of the Catholic Research Portal is to provide global access to the wealth of research resources relating to the Catholic experience. Of primary interest are rare, unique and uncommon Catholic research materials. Because these resources are often uncataloged and little known outside their institutional repositories, the Portal seeks to encourage broad participation and to provide support to libraries, archives, and other institutions that wish to participate in this project but lack the resources to do so. The Portal will ultimately facilitate and assist researchers and students in identifying Catholic research resources and make Catholic scholarship more productive. In doing so, the Catholic Research Portal will contribute substantially to the generation of new knowledge.

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