Wonderful feature on NECN about the Boston Public Library and the Digital Commonwealth! Tom Blake, the Digital Projects Manager at the BPL and David Leonard, Interim President and Director of Administration and Technology, did a wonderful job describing the project, with well-chosen examples showing the digitization process, the Digital Commonwealth site, and some examples of items that have been digitized by Boston, from bathing suits to butterflies!
Guest Post by Anne Clark, Brookline Public Library
In 2015 the Brookline Public Library was able to have their manuscript collection digitized thanks to generosity of the Boston Public Library. Over 400 pages have now been added to the Digital Commonwealth website!
The Manuscript Collection consists of collections of papers related to the town of Brookline, including family papers, letters, deeds, wills, account books, political and military history, church and school documents and various miscellaneous articles.
In addition, The Murivian (short for Muddy River Annual), the Brookline High School Yearbook (1923-2014) was digitized and is available on the Internet Archive. The yearbooks look wonderful and we couldn’t be more thrilled. This was a project that was a long time coming, and well worth the wait!
What’s next? We hope to have our map collection and the Brookline High School newspaper (The Sagamore) join the yearbooks, photographs and manuscripts in digital form!
Here are two photographs from the Digital Commonwealth of special Christmas dinners for people who would not be home for Christmas.
This 1921 photograph by news photographer Leslie Jones and shows Arctic explorer Donald MacMillan loading his Christmas dinner onto the ship Bowdoin before sailing for the frozen North. It’s from the Leslie Jones Collection of the Boston Public Library.
Many of these books in the Internet Archive include photographs, pictures, maps and other images but since the books are treated primarily as text, there has never been an easy way to find them. Continue reading →
During World War II, the United States government promoted scrap drives to reduce shortages in basic materials such as metal, rubber and paper. In September, 1942, the War Production Board announced that scrap metal was urgently needed, and promoted a National Scrap Metal Drive in October. For three Saturdays, there were local scrap drives were organized that involved the whole community, including children. The metal that was collected was not all scrap, but often involved personal or community sacrifice, including wrought iron fences that surrounded the Boston Common and the State House.
These scrap drives promoted a sense of patriotism and involvement in the war effort, and according to the War Production Board, the October drive brought in almost eighty-two pounds of scrap per American.
How well are people discovering and understanding the photographs in your digital collections? There are currently more than 100,000 photographs in Digital Commonwealth. How can you improve the chances of users finding the ones that are relevant to their research?
Join the Digital Commonwealth at a special program called Enhancing Photograph Descriptions: Advice from the Photo Detective, which will be offered at three locations in different parts of the state.
Join us at one of these events, where photograph expert Maureen Taylor will show us how to create the best metadata we can for the photographs in our digital collections. Maureen Taylor, known as the Photo Detective, is an internationally renowned expert in historic photo identification, preservation and genealogical research. She is the author of several books on identifying, organizing and understanding photographs, and has been featured on television programs, newspapers and magazines.
Here are the details and registration links for the two sessions that have been scheduled so far:
Date: Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Time: 10:30 – 11:30 AM
Location: New England Historic Genealogical Society
99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
Members/Non-members: $25/$40 Register
Date: Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Location: Forbes Library
29 West Street
Members/Non-members: $25/$40 Register
Date: Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Time of event: 10:00 AM – 1:30 PM
Schedule: 10:00-10:15 – Registration;
10:15-11:30 – Tour of Nickerson Archives and discussion of its digitization projects
11:30-12:30 – Lunch on your own
12:30-1:30 – Maureen Taylor lecture
Location: Wilkens Library, Cape Cod Community College, West Barnstable Directions | Campus Map
Lunch options: Cafeteria on campus (in Grossman Commons); restaurants (Subway, Burger King, etc.) down the street Register