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Journal cover: OCLC Systems & Services

OCLC Systems & Services

ISSN: 1065-075X

Online from: 1985

Subject Area: Library and Information Studies

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Digitizing criminals: web delivery of a century on the cheap

Document Information:
Title:Digitizing criminals: web delivery of a century on the cheap
Author(s):Ellen Belcher, (Lloyd Sealy Library, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY, New York, USA), Ellen Sexton, (Lloyd Sealy Library, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY, New York, USA)
Citation:Ellen Belcher, Ellen Sexton, (2008) "Digitizing criminals: web delivery of a century on the cheap", OCLC Systems & Services, Vol. 24 Iss: 2, pp.116 - 132
Keywords:Academic libraries, Criminal justice, Digital libraries, Photographs, Project management, Trials
Article type:Technical paper
DOI:10.1108/10650750810875467 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Acknowledgements:The authors would like to thank Dr Larry Sullivan, Chief Librarian of Lloyd Sealy Library for his enthusiasm and support for this project and to METROs for providing the grant which made it all possible. They thank also to Bonnie Nelson our Associate Librarian for Information Systems, Maxim Rubis their webmaster, Greenstone consultant Sherry Breyette and their lab assistants. Also they thank to Marlene Kandel, their catalog librarian, for her assistance with authority and subject terms as well as general assistance with controlled language, and Nancy Egan for her comments on this paper.

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present the process, challenges and lessons learned from carrying out a small digital project to create a web resource of unique historic materials related to crime in New York City. All aspects of digital project management are discussed, including selection, infrastructure, budgeting, workflow and delivery.

Design/methodology/approach – Experiences from project administration, including management of a combination in-house and outsourced digitization and metadata are discussed. Formation and management of the resulting web resource is explained, which is the product of a creative amalgamation of commercial and open source software. Challenges encountered are presented with suggestions for practical solutions and considerations for future projects.

Findings – This grant-funded pilot project presented foreseen and unforeseen problems. Lessons learned and solutions suggesting best approaches for a small-scale digitization project are presented here.

Practical implications – In this paper best practices and suggestions for managing a small digital project are presented, including financial, staffing and technical considerations.

Originality/value – Unlike many other discussions that focus on management of large institutional projects, this study presents an incremental approach for small-scale digitization projects. Presented here are practical uses of available applications for establishing project infrastructure to sustain and continue growth of digital content for small institutions.

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