Sarah Sweeney

100,000 public items available in the DRS!

The 100,000th publicly available file in the Digital Repository Service was deposited in July: a dissertation from the English Department titled Women Writing Racelessness: Performativity And Racial Absence In Twentieth Century Women's Writing, by Sarah Payne. This milestone was achieved through the library's and the university's commitment to supporting open access to the scholarly output of the university, as well as to the archival artifacts that document the university's history.

Many of the 100,000 public files are discoverable through Google and other search engines, as well as portals like the Digital Commonwealth and the Digital Public Library of America, which are designed to bring together digitized materials from various sources. Thanks to the openness of these materials, the DRS averages more than 2,000 unique visitors and more than 3,600 file interactions each day. Public materials stored in the DRS have been cited by regional and national news organizations, including the New York Times and WBUR, as well as in Reddit discussions and Wikipedia articles.

Here are a few digital collections for you to explore:

The DRS will continue to grow as Northeastern faculty, staff, and students continue to produce articles, images, research, and artifacts that represent the tremendous work happening at the university. Faculty and staff are welcome to sign in to the DRS and upload their own research publications, presentations, monographs, and datasets at their leisure. To get started uploading lots of materials for large projects, contact your subject librarian or the library's Repository Team: Library-Repository-Team[@]neu.edu.

2018 Call for CERES Classroom Proposals

Call for ProposalsIt's that time of year again - time for the CERES Call for Proposals! This year the Digital Scholarship Group is looking for faculty to submit project proposals for classroom use of the CERES Exhibit Toolkit in Fall 2018 or Spring 2019. The deadline for proposals is April 30, 2018.  Deadline: April 30, 2018

Apply here 

The CERES Exhibit Toolkit is a WordPress plugin and theme developed by DSG staff. CERES is used to create websites that dynamically integrate images, text, video, and other digital materials into complex scholarly narratives and exhibits, while keeping those base digital materials preserved in a long-lasting archive. Visit our projects page for a full list of sites and exhibits that have been built using CERES. Classroom use of CERES might take many forms, including:
  • Having students contribute exhibits (singly or in groups) to a long-term cumulative project that might persist from year to year: for example, focusing on a particular set of archival materials
  • Having students work on curating a set of archival materials relating to an existing CERES project: for instance, adding georeferencing information to enable the creation of dynamic maps
  • Having students contribute exhibits to one of the existing CERES projects that invites contributions, such as the Early Black Boston Digital Almanac
To support classroom use of CERES, DSG offers training for faculty and teaching assistants in using CERES, and can visit the class and provide instruction or lead discussion about the exhibit-building process and tools. We have an extensive set of supporting materials including step-by-step instructions, how-to guides, and sample assignments. We are also happy to work with faculty on planning out syllabi and lesson plans that make imaginative use of these digital tools, at whatever scale works best for the learning objectives of the course. We are happy to meet with anyone interested in submitting a proposal to talk about possibilities. For more information, please contact us at dsg@neu.edu. Apply here. We look forward to working with you!

Select Archives and Special Collections materials are now available in the Digital Public Library of America

NAACP pickets School CommitteeNearly 9,000 primary source documents and images curated and digitized by Northeastern University Libraries' Archives and Special Collections are now available in the Digital Public Library of America. The DPLA is a national resource that brings together digital materials held by American libraries, archives, and museums. Northeastern University Libraries' contribution to DPLA was made possible through our membership in Digital Commonwealth (our local DPLA Hub), who harvest the metadata and thumbnails from the DRS and make them available in the DPLA. The full set of contributed materials include videos from Northeastern's Holocaust Awareness Week programming, records from the Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción community development program, and many more. More than a third of the contributed materials document the desegregation of Boston Public Schools and busing of students in the 1970's and 1980's. With assistance from the library's Digital Metadata & Ingest group, Archives staff organized, selected, and digitized approximately 3,300 photographs, documents, and other printed ephemera created in the years before and after the busing proclamation was issued by Judge Garrity in 1974. The Archives chose to focus on Boston's history of desegregation as part of a coordinated effort with other institutions in the Boston Library Consortium to collect and digitize materials that "illuminate the complexity of state- and city-wide politics, community activism, and advocacy." As Northeastern, UMass Boston, Suffolk University, and other Boston-area institutions make their primary source materials available to the public, the DPLA's collection of artifacts documenting the desegregation of Boston Public Schools will grow. The end result will be a robust shared archive that will aid in national teaching and learning activities focused on the history and legacy of segregation and racism in the Unites States. The Boston Public Schools, for example, are already integrating these primary sources into the curriculum in an effort to “ensure that every Boston Public Schools student learns about this important and troubling chapter in our city’s history.” These 9,000 files are just the beginning of Northeastern University Libraries' contribution to the DPLA; we will continue to contribute to Digital Commonwealth and DPLA as more materials become available in our local repository.

Meet the 2017 CERES Exhibit Toolkit Projects!

The DSG is proud to announce the projects chosen for this year's round of CERES Exhibit Toolkit development. We will work with the following four projects to implement enhancements and new features to improve user experience, create additional exhibit tools, and incorporate the Toolkit in the classroom:  

Boston as Middle Passage

In 2015, students and researchers working with the National Parks Service built a website to preserve research documenting Boston as one of many transatlantic slave trade Middle Passage sites. Sadly, in less than two years the site has become unusable due to server issues and lapsed hosting. This year we will work with the creators of the site to transfer the rescued research materials to the DRS and recreate the original exhibits in the Early Black Boston Digital Almanac (a 2016 Toolkit project still in development).  

Dragon Prayer Book

The Dragon Prayer Book project is a research endeavor led by Erika Boeckeler, faculty in the Department of English, to study the Dominican Prayer Book, a fifteenth century manuscript held by Archives and Special Collections. The Dragon Prayer Book project was accepted as a Toolkit project in 2016, and this year we will work with the project team to enhance the Toolkit's IIIF high-resolution image viewer: http://dragonprayerbook.northeastern.edu/mirador/  

Freedom House

As part of their ongoing effort to highlight archival collections using online exhibits, last year Archives and Special Collections used the Toolkit to create and set of exhibits for the Freedom House photograph collection: http://freedomhouse.library.northeastern.edu/. This year, Archives proposed a new browse feature that would allow them to build dynamic exhibits that could bring together all Freedom House materials that match a particular subject term, like "Kennedy, John F.". This enhancement will allow Archives and other Toolkit site builders to create dynamic exhibits that automatically populate with DRS materials matching particular subjects, creators, or other faceted metadata values.  

Literature and Digital Diversity

This fall, Elizabeth Dillon and Sarah Connell will be co-teaching Literature and Digital Diversity, an undergraduate course focusing on "the use of digital methods to analyze and archive literary texts, with particular attention to issues of diversity and inclusion". Students in the class will use the Toolkit to explore "how computers, databases, and analytical tools give substance to concepts of aesthetic, cultural, and intellectual value as inflected by race and gender." This project will be the first to use the CERES classroom teaching materials originally developed for Nicole Aljoe's award-winning Writing Black Boston class, which used the Toolkit to create the Early Black Boston Digital Almanac (still in development). To increase the breadth of materials available to the class (and other site builders), we will also consider adding Europeana as an additional data source for Toolkit materials (similar to the DPLA connection built in 2016).   We also continue work with our partners on the 2015 and 2016 projects: For more information about these projects, visit the DSG website (about the projects, about CERES) or contact us.

2017 Call for Proposals: The CERES Exhibit Toolkit

CERES Exhibit Toolkit Call for Proposals The Digital Scholarship Group is now accepting proposals for the next round of CERES Exhibit Toolkit development (formerly known as The DRS Project Toolkit). The CERES Exhibit Toolkit is a user-friendly set of tools for building digital projects and publications using digital materials from the Digital Repository Service (DRS) or the Digital Public Library of America. With CERES users can create exhibits, galleries, maps, timelines, and playlists that draw digital materials dynamically from the DRS or the DPLA. We are also excited to announce a new program of support for classroom use of the CERES Exhibit Toolkit. We invite proposals from faculty for courses to be held in Fall 2017 and Spring 2018. Feature development CERES will be a collaborative endeavor and a great opportunity to experiment with publishing your project’s materials. If you have a project idea, we’d love to hear from you! Just answer a few questions about your project to apply. Examples of successful projects from the first two years of the CERES project include: Accepted projects will partner with the DSG and DRS teams to use CERES to securely store their project materials in the DRS and create a customized WordPress site to publish those materials on the web. If you have questions, the DSG staff are glad to meet and discuss project proposals before the deadline; please contact us at DSG@northeastern.edu to set up a meeting. Please visit the DRS Resources page for more information about the DRS. If you don’t think CERES is right for your project, but you are still interested in securely storing project files in the DRS, contact Sarah Sweeney.