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Plant Patent Project History and Credits

Pilot Project 2014-2015

Discussion started July 2014. At the September 2014 meeting between librarians from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Library – EPSL- (Jim Miller, Alex Carroll, Robin Dasler, Nedelina Tchangalova and Nevenka Zdravkovska) and librarians from the Digital Services and Stewardship - DSS (Robin Pike and Jennie Knies) it was decided to go ahead with a pilot project - do in-house scanning of the color plates - modeled after the NYPL blog.

We purchased a new color scanner with feeder. Scanned PDFs will be saved on EPSL Box account. Jim Miller downloaded patent information for 1,000 patents (PP09000-PP09999) from PubEast. EPSL night staff and student assistants will scan the color plates.

Pilot Image Database. Josh Westgard and Ben Wallberg (DSS) suggested a website with facet navigation. They already had created a database using SOLR for the Special Collections in Performing Arts – SCPA piano digital collection. DSS programmers ingested PDFs to the website (hippo). Navigation/facets fields that were identified: year and most common title keywords. Neil Frau-Cortes identified the 20 most common title keywords.

The draft website was inaugurated on June 4, 2015 at the Library Research & Innovative Practice Forum where Nevenka Zdravkovska presented on the pilot project. Additional development was done on the draft website through the end of 2015. In January 2016 the website, along with the Libraries website, transitioned to responsive design.

2016 Progress

In February 2016 the project was evaluated and it was decided to proceed with scanning the rest of the plant patents available at EPSL in print, through the NYPL scanned patents. Tentative date to finish this portion of the project is July 2017. In June 2016 State/Country were added as facet options, and the address field to the detailed record were added. Additional work extracting state/country was accomplished by Russ Allen, patent enthusiast and guru. Also in June, the facets are collapsed by default.

Future Developments

Long term goals are to scan patents not in EPSL print collection (PP1-PP8999), and to ingest the patents already scanned by NYPL starting with PP22648 to the present.


  • EPSL: Kelly Banyas, Alex Carroll, Robin Dasler, Chris Davis, Martha (Pat) deLaubenfels, Jim Miller, Alicia (Lee) Pinkney, Stephanie Ritchie, Aris Sotirakis, Ivo Tchangalov, Nedelina Tchangalova, Nevenka Zdravkovska
  • DSS: Peter Eichman, Jennie Knies, Robin Pike, Mohamed Rasheed, Ben Wallberg, Josh Westgard
  • Metadata: Neil Frau-Cortes
  • Outside help: Russ Allen