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Preservation Project at University of Oklahoma Law Library

The following post is from Marilyn K. Nicely, Head of Technical Services & American Indian Law Subject Specialist

It is our goal to digitize a collection of Congressional documents from the Serial Set about Native Americans.  Our source is a bibliography prepared by Steven Johnson, Guide to American Indian Documents in the Congressional Serial Set: 1817-1899, New York : Clearwater Publishing Company, Inc. 1977. There are approximately 10,000 titles listed in the book which is a daunting number but many of them are only a few pages long.  Others are hundreds of pages.  I simply approach it as “if you don’t start you can’t finish.” Student workers are our staff for the project and they are very conscientious.  Quality control is always a concern but again access is so very important and the work they are doing seems to be very good, so I can’t allow myself to worry about perfection.  I have to continue with the duties of my “real job” so my time to work on the project is limited. Staying organized and having a good workflow is my main contribution.

Our project definitely is preservation of fugitive materials but my enthusiasm comes from the opportunity to provide open access to the content which will be of value to scholars, attorneys, and tribes and which is only available online through expensive databases.   We own a small collection of (1500)  documents which are unbound and can be scanned on a photocopier/scanner.  We are also scanning from bound volumes belonging to our Regional depository at the Oklahoma Department of Libraries.  We bought a book edge scanner and a more powerful computer.  We are using Adobe Acrobat to edit and character recognize.  Our University main library will put the documents into a database.  We are creating metadata, although it is very simple and not detailed.  The titles of the documents themselves have a lot of information.  Again, access is our emphasis.  We are scanning grayscale 400 dpi.

Here is a link to the description of our project in the Digitization Projects Registry

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