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Digital Programs and Initiatives, Projects

At any given time, Digital Programs and Initiatives is involved in or managing multiple digital projects and digital initiatives.  Most digital projects that are in production mode are located within Digital Collections.  Programs and Initiatives is responsible for managing digital projects throughout their lifecycles.  A digital project should have a clearly-defined objective, scope and goals outlined in a project charter and project plan, and it should end with a concrete deliverable or it should become a part of routine operations.  Programs and Initiatives guarantees certain custodial responsibilities for the products of digital projects, such as backup and archiving of files, acceptable system “up-time,” and migration of content to new servers or applications as appropriate. Below are several projects currently in active development:

Born-Digital Working Group

A collaboration between MITH and the Libraries, the BDWG meets regularly to exchange knowledge, coordinate efforts, create policy, and discuss institutional strategy for born-digital collections; BDWG seeks to develop an original born-digital research agenda around the shared stewardship model, and to disseminate the results of that research.

Katherine Anne Porter Correspondence and Digital Edition 

The University of Maryland Libraries (UMD Libraries) has received a grant from the literary trustees of the Katherine Anne Porter estate to digitize, preserve, and make accessible in a digital edition the letters Porter wrote to members of her family that are now held by UMD Libraries' Special Collections. These letters are an important witness to the life and career of a significant American author, widely acknowledged to be one of the greatest short fiction writers of the twentieth century. Porter lived through most of the last century, and her letters document many important events of those years. They are thus sources for the political, social, and cultural history of the 20th century as well as materials for literary study.

The digital project will proceed in the following stages: (1) a scholarly digital edition of Porter's letters to her older sister; (2) digitization of the remaining 4,133 pages of Porter's correspondence to her family; (3) incorporation of the additional letters into the digital edition, and (4) evaluation of the project to determine the viability of integrating into the digital edition the rest of the Porter correspondence held by UMD Libraries.

Collaborators include Digital Conversion and Media Reformatting, Special Collections, and the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities.

National Digital Newspaper Program 

The University of Maryland was awarded $325,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities to make important historic newspapers from the state of Maryland freely accessible via the Internet.  The National Digital Newspaper Program, a partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress, is a long-term effort to develop an internet-based, searchable database of U.S. newspapers with descriptive information.

The grant will be used to digitize some 100,000 pages from Maryland’s historic newspapers. Published between 1836 and 1922, the newspapers document significant historical events in Maryland, including the growth of Baltimore as a commercial hub and the upheaval of the Civil War, which led to harsh censorship. In addition, in the Gilded Age these newspapers captured the commentary of important local writers such as H. L. Mencken. The project is not just about historical highlights, however, but also the texture of everyday life, a texture that is revealed in the local reporting of “papers of record” throughout Western Maryland and the Eastern Shore.

The two-year project will make the newspapers freely available via the Library of Congress's Chronicling America website

WMUC Collection Audio Pilot

WMUC is the University of Maryland, College Park's student-run radio station.  The WMUC Collection preserves more than 1500 audio recordings documenting the campus station’s broadcast history, and music shows, dramas, news, interviews, sports, talk shows and coverage of campus events. Spanning the period from the mid-1960s to the late 1990s, these broadcasts trace WMUC’s evolution from a carrier-current, Top-Forty AM format to an FCC-licensed FM freeform station. This project is a multi-phase project to digitize and catalog audio recordings from WMUC. Collaborators include Digital Conversion and Media Reformatting and Special Collections.