IMLS Grants Highlighted at Open Repositories Conference

Washington, DC—Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grants showcased innovative repository-based projects at the Fourth International Open Repositories Conference (OR2009) in Atlanta May 18-21. The meeting focuses on open-source repository platforms to manage and archive digital data from a variety of environments (education, research, science, cultural heritage) and contexts (national, regional, institutional, project, lab, personal). Ultimately, the goal of these repositories is to support the creation and management of digital content, to enable its use and re-use, to interconnect information, and to ensure its long-term preservation and archiving.

Among presentations by former and current IMLS grantees were the following:

■Michael Witt, from Purdue University presented an IMLS National Leadership Grant (NLG) project, “Investigating Data Curation Profiles Across Multiple Research Disciplines.” He shared preliminary findings of this investigation, with a focus on scholars’ data curation needs and how these could help shape the functional requirements for a data repository.

■Sayeed Choudhury, Associate Dean for Library Digital Programs and Hodson Director of the Digital Research and Curation Center at the Sheridan Libraries of Johns Hopkins University, referenced his current work with an NLG project “Digital Archiving of Astronomical Data to Support Publication and Long-term Preservation,” and how it influences work soon to be funded by the NSF Datanet program.

■Elizabeth Yakel, assistant professor at the University of Michigan, described research she is conducting with fellow investigator Soo Young Rieh, for the NLG project, “Institutional Repositories: Ensuring Continued Access to Learning Objects.” The comparative case study of five institutional repositories (IR) explores the internal and external factors that contribute to an institutional repository’s success, and considers how these repositories help libraries achieve long-term goals of service to academic communities.

■Bill Parod, Karen Miller, and Claire Stewart shared Northwestern University Library’s work building a digital repository on the FEDORA technical architecture, as part of the NLG project, “From the Zanzibar Slave Market to Election Campaigning in Pre-Independent Kenya: Digital Access to 100 Years of East African Life and Culture.”

■Work being performed under the NLG project, “The Texas ETD Repository: Promoting our Scholarship and Preserving Our Legacy” was presented in two sessions: Alexey Maslov of the Texas A&M University Libraries described tools for harvesting and federating content in the statewide electronic theses and dissertation repository; and Scott Phillips, also from the Texas A&M University Libraries, presented on Vireo, a submission and workflow tool developed for the Texas ETD project.

■William Reilly of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, described work conducted under an NLG project, “Future-Proofing Architectural Computer-Aided Design (FACADE).” This project created an object model for CAD digital content, built numerous applications to help capture or create information necessary for long-term curation and archiving of CAD content, devised techniques for processing CAD collections at large scale, and designed compelling visualization and discovery user interfaces for stored content.
In addition to these conference presentations, IMLS grantees highlighted other projects during the conference poster session, including working from the Apiary Project at the University of North Texas
( Building open repositories is a topic of international interest. More than half of the 326 attendees traveled from 23 foreign countries to the Georgia Institute of Technology Hotel and Conference Center. More information about the OR2009 conference, which IMLS co-sponsored, is available online at

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Published on: 2009-06-09

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