CRRA Update July 2010

CRRA Update JULY 2010

  • Highlights from the June 29, 2010 CRRA All-Members Meeting at Georgetown
  • Next steps
  • Member News
  • Might be of interest …
  • Mark your calendars … For two upcoming CRRA Gatherings January 6, 2011 (San Diego) and March 29, 2011 (Philadelphia)

Highlights from the June 29, 2010 CRRA All-Members Meeting at Georgetown

Almost thirty members met in a top floor conference room at Lauinger Library. Despite the beautiful view of the Potomac River and the Washington Monuments, the discussion was lively and productive. The minutes in a draft version are posted at http://tiny.cc/pwegm (user: catholic; pswd: portal). For those of you at the meeting, please do review and let Pat know of any changes to be made. Those of you unable to attend we hope will read the minutes for a fuller account of the meeting, particularly the additions to be put into the strategic plan for this coming year.

The clear emphasis was on content: building content, enhancing access and digitizing content to support digital access and research. Suggestions for building content included a reaffirmation on focusing on rare, unique and uncommon materials rather than books which are likely owned by many libraries, the importance of adding records on an ongoing basis, setting priorities for themes to build larger collections in some areas quickly so as to better support scholarly research, and to associate portal records with themes. In regard to access, participants applauded the current search functionality and are excited about the work this coming year to index EAD (Encoded Archival Description) files at a more granular level, thereby creating the potential for the scholar to locate a set of papers not called the Graham Greene Collection of Papers but which are instead located in folders in a collection called “Papers of Catholic authors.”

Everyone agreed that making more full text available via the portal is very important. We need a vision for digital access and research, to use our cooperation to facilitate digitization in a variety of ways, from identifying blockbuster collections for high priority, seeking digitization grants, and using our alliance to facilitate member digitization initiatives. Developing a users wiki would allow users not only to help grow the usability but also afford opportunities for creating online communities and doing digital research. The Monday presentation by Art Crivella, Crivella West, on the Humanities Knowledge Kiosk, showed how a digital library could support interactive use and digital research.

Discussion then turned to how we can support our mission of providing global, enduring access to resources about the Catholic experience and facilitating scholarship. Membership dues are one component of financial support. Everyone is encouraged to identify and cultivate prospective members, and to refer them to Pat or Jennifer for further discussions. In addition, we (the CRRA) have received permission from the NEH to apply for a Challenge grant as an independent entity. NEH challenge grants are capacity-building grants, intended to help institutions and organizations secure long-term improvements in and support for their humanities programs and resources. The Challenge grant would provide funds to build capacity and support an endowment for digitization, a graduate research fellowship, scholarships for CRRA workshops, enhanced public outreach, and other costs of maintaining and sustaining the Catholic portal. We will submit a proposal for the next round, due May 2011. – Jennifer Younger and Pat Lawton

Next steps

In July, CRRA committees will meet to develop priorities, assignments and time lines as noted in the process for developing the CRRA strategic plan which was distributed as part of the June 29 agenda. The Board would then be the appropriate entity to adopt the strategic plan.

Member News

Congratulations to Steve Connaghan (Member, CRRA Board of Directors) who was promoted in May 2010 to the position of Director of Libraries at Catholic University. A Catholic University alumnus (B.A. 1991, M.S.L.S. 1994), Steve began working part time in the University Libraries during his junior year, started working professionally there in 1993, and became acting director on January 1, 2010. Congratulations, Steve, and best wishes in your new position!

Might be of interest …

Thoughts from Melissa Terras’ Closing Plenary Speech at the Digital Humanities Conference 2010

At our recent Georgetown meeting, Joe Lucia offered a number of ideas regarding how the CRRA might work together to transcribe and digitize our collective resources. At the DH2010 Conference in London (at which Eric Morgan, ND, was present), Melissa Terras describes this phenomenon as “crowdsourcing” and offers the Bentham Project as an exemplar upon which to reflect on the progress of Digital Humanities. As the Portal is firmly situated within this Digital Humanities world, many of you may find this of interest.

“Crowdsourcing is the harnessing of online activity to aid in large scale projects that require human cognition – is becoming of interest to those in the library, museum and cultural heritage industry, as institutions seek ways to publically engage their online communities, as well as aid in creating useful and usable digital resources. As one of the first cultural and heritage projects to apply crowdsourcing to a non-trivial task, UCL’s Bentham Project has recently set up the “Transcribe Bentham” initiative; an ambitious, open source, participatory online environment which is being developed to aid in transcribing 10,000 folios of [Jeremy] Bentham’s handwritten documents.”

“The Bentham Project, and the Transcribe Bentham initiative … demonstrates neatly the progression of Digital Humanities in historical manuscript based projects. The Bentham Project has been primarily occupied with print output, gaining a web presence in the mid 1990s, then an online database of the Bentham archive in the early 20th Century, and is now carrying out a moderately large scale digitisation project to scan in Bentham’s writings for Transcribe Bentham. In addition, the Bentham Project has gone from a simple web page, to interactive Web 2.0 environment, from MS Word to TEI encoded XML texts, and from relatively inward looking academic project to an outward facing, community- building exercise. We can peer at Digital Humanities through this one project, and see the transformative aspects that technologies have had on our working practices, and the practices of those working in the historical domain.”

Terras ends with a list of key issues that may resonate with us, as we move forward to develop the CRRA community and the Catholic portal: 1. Our Dependence on Primary Sources, Our Dependence on Modern Technology, 2. Legacy Data, 3. Sustainability, 4. Digital Identity, 5. Embracing the Random, Embracing the Open, 6. Impact, 7. Routes to Jobs, 8. Young Scholars, 9. Economic Downturn, 10. Money, The Humanities, and Job Security, 11. Fears for the Future.

The full blog post is at http://melissaterras.blogspot.com/2010/07/dh2010-plenary-present-not-voting.html.

Mark your calendars …

For two upcoming CRRA Gatherings January 6, 2011 (San Diego) and March 29, 2011 (Philadelphia)

We have tentatively set the date for a CRRA reunion and meetings during ALA Midwinter in San Diego and for our Annual All-members Meeting during ACRL in Philadelphia.

Please reserve space on your calendars now – Thursday, January 6, 2011 and Tuesday, March 29, 2011. For the March 29, 2011 meeting, plan to join your CRRA colleagues for dinner on Monday evening and dinner on Tuesday as well for all who can. We will organize the day to include both separate Board and committee retreats and plenary sessions for all.

Further details will be distributed in future Updates and CRRA emails.

All CRRA events and events of possible interest to members are posted to the CRRA calendar, available at http://tiny.cc/Calendar798 and also accessible from the Admin area of the CRRA website.

CRRA Update June 2010 – Highlight June All-Members Meeting

CRRA Update JUNE 2010

Welcome to a Special Edition of the CRRA Monthly Update, highlighting the June All-Members meeting

Please mark your calendars for the CRRA ALL MEMBERS MEETING Tuesday, June 29, 2010. Prior to the Tuesday meeting, there are a number of events to which you are all invited and encouraged to attend. Pre-meeting events include an ALA session introducing audience members to the CRRA and the Catholic portal. If you or members of your institution are new to the CRRA, this may prove to be quite valuable.

Continue reading “CRRA Update June 2010 – Highlight June All-Members Meeting”

CRRA Update May 2010

CRRA Update MAY 2010

Please mark your calendars! CRRA ALL MEMBERS MEETING Tuesday, June 29, 2010

  • The CRRA All Members meeting will be held Tuesday, June 29, 2010 from 9:00am to 12:00 noon, hosted by Board member Artemis Kirk and Georgetown University Libraries.

Following the meeting, all are invited to gather for lunch at the Georgetown Faculty Club.

On Monday, June 28 at 3:30 pm Demian Katz (Villanova) will host a discussion of VuFind at Georgetown University Libraries. Join CRRA friends for dinner that evening at 7pm at Paolo’s in Georgetown.

You will receive the full schedule of events in a separate email. We look forward to seeing you in June!

Jennifer Younger Takes on New Role with the CRRA

Jennifer Younger is stepping down as Edward H. Arnold Director of Hesburgh Libraries at the University of Notre Dame, effective May 19, 2010, to take on a new role with the CRRA.

During her tenure at Notre Dame, Younger oversaw a major redesign and renovation of the lower level of the University’s primary library facility, the Hesburgh Library. Other initiatives led by Younger include the creation of specific library objectives within the University’s current capital campaign, improvement of reserves and other teaching and support systems and services, recruitment of numerous and superb library faculty and staff, and efficient and effective organizational changes.

CRRA board member Artemis Kirk, the university librarian at Georgetown University, said: “Jennifer has been the driving force behind the creation of the Catholic Research Resources Alliance, and all of its members are indebted to her for her leadership. We’re delighted that she can devote even more of her energy and expertise to strengthening the alliance, and we appreciate Notre Dame’s commitment in understanding the importance of the CRRA.”

Jennifer’s primary activities this year will include recruiting new members, fund-raising, investigating grant opportunities, preparing a proposal for an NEH Challenge grant, and developing a sustainable business model.Please join us in extending warm congratulations and welcome to Jennifer.
Collections Committee Member News

The Collections Committee is happy to report that Emily Asch, Head of Technical Services at St. Catherine University, and Jean McManus, Catholic Studies Librarian at Notre Dame have joined the Collections Committee. A warm welcome to Emily and Jean!

Stepping down from the Collections Committee are Carol Johnson (St. Kate’s) and Alan Krieger (Notre Dame). Carol and Alan have been key contributors to the development of the CRRA. Thank you for your years of service to the Committee.

Scholars Advisory Committee News

The Scholars Advisory Committee held a virtual meeting in April to discuss next steps for the Catholic portal. Scholars recommended the following directions for the portal: emphasize the rare and unique (especially manuscripts); eliminate records for items that would be readily available in catalogs; provide full access to and display of finding aids; and focus efforts on collaborative digitization projects. Users want the document itself (whether text, image, sound, etc).

Sincere thanks to our esteemed scholars for their important contributions to the CRRA.

CLIR Grant Symposium

Matt Blessing of Marquette University Libraries, Deborah Kloiber of St. Catherine University, and Maria Mazzenga of Catholic University attended the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Hidden Collections Program Symposium in Washington, DC, March 29-30, 2010. The symposium brought together 2009 Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives recipients. In 2009, Marquette, St. Kate’s, Catholic U and the CRRA were awarded a $149,000 grant for the “Catholic Social Action Access Project.”

Special thanks to Matt Blessing for creating a poster representing the Catholic Social Action Access Project to the symposium. Thanks, also, Matt, for your observations and remarks on the workshop!

About the grants and suggestions for future collaborative proposals

The 2008 and 2009 Cataloging Hidden Special Collections grants amount to 29 projects involving 60 institutions. They are cataloging 26,000 linear feet of materials, amounting to more than 4 million items. This includes the Catholic Social Action Access project.

It was clear from the meeting that grant applicants need to be well versed in Mark Greene & Dennis Meissner’s “More Product, Less Process,1” and should be able to demonstrate a firm interest in utilizing metrics to evaluate a project. This was a two-fold mantra throughout the meeting in Washington, D.C.

Mark your calendars …

Kevin Cawley (Notre Dame) will present “Investigating Change through the Catholic Research Resources Alliance” as a panelist at the Conference on the History of Women Religious, to be held at the University of Scranton June 27-30, 2010.

Saturday, June 26, 2010 from 1:30pm – 3:30pm. Washington, DC. Eric Lease Morgan and Pat Lawton of the CRRA will participate in a panel discussion “Accessing Religious Materials: A Digital Solution,” hosted by the Catholic Library Association. Eric and Pat will discuss overall goals, steps and future directions in building the Catholic portal. Jon Miller will describe he International Mission Photography Archive, using photographs accumulated by international missions from 1860-1945. CRRA Board member, Tim Meagher of Catholic University of America, will moderate the discussion.

All CRRA events and events of possible interest to members are posted to the CRRA calendar, available at http://tiny.cc/Calendar798 and also accessible from the Admin area of the website.

CRRA Update is an electronic newsletter distributed via email each month to provide members with an update on CRRA activities. Contact us at 575.631.1324 or email plawton@nd.edu with your questions, comments, or news to share.

CRRA Update February 2010

CRRA Update FEBRUARY 2010

CRRA ALL MEMBERS MEETING June 29, 2010

Please mark your calendars! You are invited to the annual CRRA Membership meeting on Tuesday, June 29, 2010 from 9am to noon at Georgetown University. Please plan to also join us for dinner the evening before (Monday, June 28).

Further details will be posted as they become available.

Portal Records at catholicresearch.net

We are happy to announce that the goal to incorporate the VuFind interface and pilot project records into our home site has been met, and well ahead of schedule! At http://www.catholicresearch.net you will find the records that were formerly available only at the VuFind test site.

We welcome your comments about the update. Pages are under construction to make them more inviting, more easily navigable, up to date, and informative. Please send your comments or suggestions to Pat at plawton@nd.edu or Eric at emorgan@nd.edu.

Progress Report on the Strategic Plan

Thanks to our members’ hard work, we have made great progress on the objectives drafted at our July 2009 Loyola meeting. The “Loyola Plan” highlights the completed and in process tasks. We are well on track and even ahead of schedule in some areas. (This document is also posted to the Admin area of the website and requires the same password/login. Email Pat for a reminder of the password/login.)

Upcoming events of possible interest …

The CRRA All Members meeting will be held Tuesday, June 29, 2010 from 9:00am to 12:00 noon, hosted by Board member Artemis Kirk and Georgetown University Libraries. Details will be provided as available. We hope to see you there. All are invited!

Saturday, June 26, 2010 from 1:30pm – 3:30pm. Washington, DC. Eric Lease Morgan and Pat Lawton of the CRRA will participate in a panel discussion “Accessing Religious Materials: A Digital Solution,” hosted by the Catholic Library Association. Eric and Pat will discuss overall goals, steps and future directions in building the Catholic portal. Jon Miller will describe The International Mission Photography Archive, using photographs accumulated by international missions from 1860-1945. CRRA Board member, Tim Meagher of Catholic University of America, will moderate the discussion.

This is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the CRRA and the Catholic portal. We hope to see you there.

CLIR grant symposium in March

Matt Blessing of Marquette University Libraries, Deborah Kloiber of St. Catherine University, and Maria Mazzenga of Catholic University will attend the The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Hidden Collections Program Symposium in Washington, DC March 29-30, 2010. The symposium brings together 2009 Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives recipients.

Catholic Library Association Meeting April 6-8, 2010 in Minneapolis

Jean McManus (Notre Dame) and Pat Lawton (CRRA) will be attending the Catholic Library Association’s Annual conference in Minneapolis. If you will also be attending, please us know.  We would enjoy the opportunity to meet with CRRA members.

Midwest Archives ConferenceWill be held in Chicago April 22-24, 2010. For more information about the conference, see: http://www.midwestarchives.org/mc/page.do?sitePageId=94767&orgId=midwestarc

A blessed and Happy Easter to all!

All CRRA events and events of possible interest to members are posted to the CRRA calendar, available at http://tiny.cc/Calendar798 and also accessible from the Admin area of the CRRA website.

CRRA Update is an electronic newsletter distributed via email each month to provide members with an update of CRRA activities. Please contact us at 574.631.1324 or email plawton@nd.edu with your questions, comments, or news to share.

CRRA Update January 2010

CRRA Update January 2010 

CRRA Digital Access and Collections committee members, under the leadership of Tom Leonhardt and Bob O’Neill, met to draft recommendations for the Board regarding member expectations for metadata in the Catholic portal. The Board extends their sincere congratulations and thanks to all committee members for a job well done! The Board will use these recommendations to develop a policy for current and future CRRA member institutions to ensure that portal metadata is dynamic and growing.

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CRRA Update November 2009

Following is the CRRA Update for November, 2009.  This update includes:

–    CRRA member news

–    Focus groups report

–    Progress report on our strategic plan

–    The CRRA Collection Policy Statement

–    News about the CLIR grant award

–    Upcoming events

I would like to include more news items by and about members in future updates, so if you have news items to share, please pass them on.

Pat Lawton
Digital Project Librarian
plawton@nd.edu

Continue reading “CRRA Update November 2009”

CRRA Update October 2009

Following is the update of CRRA activities and news during the month of October, 2009. This update includes:

-News about CRRA members
-An update on the focus groups at member institutions
– Notes from the Digital Access Committee meeting
– Future happenings
– Suggested readings

I would like to include more news items by and about members in future updates, so if you have news items to share, please pass them on.

Happy reading!

Pat Lawton
CRRA Digital Project Librarian
plawton@nd.edu

Continue reading “CRRA Update October 2009”