MappaMundi is a digital portal for teaching and learning in global medieval studies. Ece “pronounced AJ” Turnator, CLIR-Mellon post-doc working in TIS, has been collaborating with scholars working on disparate projects – a 3D virtual representation of a Spanish town, and of rituals in the city of Cahokia, East Africa’s connections with the Far East, and a database of manuscripts about an imaginary king across five centuries, to name a few – to bring them together into one cohesive digital resource and revisioning of the existing interface.
The MappaMundi project has also spawned a grant-funded workshop on linked open data for use by scholars of the medieval period (aka 500-1500 AD), which will take place at UT Libraries in May 2015.
In an effort to explore UT Libraries’ capacity to support digital humanities/digital scholarship (much vagueness over these terms has led us to use them both), Jennifer and Ece have attended several digital humanities conferences. Many other folks here in the Libraries are already involved or interested in the topic, and we have collectively decided to pull everyone together to have a formal conversation about what the Libraries’ place is/should be. Stay tuned!
We have also revitalized the campus-wide UT Digital Humanities Discussion List, and used it to promote two gatherings of folks who are doing, or are interested in, digital humanities or digital scholarship. The September 5th gathering drew 20 faculty, students, and staff. The second gathering on October 2nd drew about 15 people from various departments, and even other area universities. The seeds for several interdisciplinary collaborations were planted, and future monthly gatherings are planned. Join the DH Discussion List here if you are interested in these conversations.
We are making good progress migrating the Geology branch pages into Drupal with updated organization, content, and look & feel.
A former GRA, Rachel Lynch, did a spectacular and thorough job assessing and reorganizing the site’s content, separating out the parts that should be migrated into Geology Research Guides, and designing page-level wireframes based on actual content (which is so much better than dealing with actual content near the end).
Matthew Villalobos freshened the look & feel, which included some fun original photography for the banner images.
Ethan Persoff, our new webmaster, and Stefanie Roberts, our new GRA are now working in concert to theme it in Drupal and migrate the content.
One outstanding challenge is the Theses & Dissertations data which is currently separated out into several different chunks but should be combined into a single database with improved search and browse functionality. Stefanie and Ethan are tackling this in conjunction with Calla Smith-Dowling and Dennis Trombatore, the Geology staff.
Here in TIS we’ve been quietly rolling out a captioning and transcription service. It’s not widely publicized yet, but we’ve captioned or created transcriptions for almost 70 videos, totalling nearly 1,000 minutes of content. That’s roughly the equivalent duration of The Lord of the Rings trilogy (theatrical edition) 2 times through!
In addition, we have almost 50 hours of new content on the docket for the upcoming months.
We are very fortunate to have hired three fantastic student staff members, who are diligently and efficiently transcribing, timing and creating very high-quality captions and transcripts at blistering typing speeds (want to challenge us to TypeRacer?)
So far, the feedback has been very positive for both our turnaround time and overall quality of work.
Although this is just the beginning we’re very excited about the progress. Especially since we have some other exciting initiatives in the works. Our next phases will include:
rolling out a website
ramping up our capacity
creating a captioning knowledge base
getting the word out to entire UT campus
If you are interested in seeing some of our work, here are a few links to public facing content that we’ve done:
Need captions or transcriptions for your videos? Make your content accessible! Please contact me, Daniel Jacobs (firstname.lastname@example.org) to get the ball rolling. I’d love to talk shop and answer any questions you might have about all things captions/transcription. And please do check back here for more updates in the future.
p.s. I’m serious about TypeRacer. Set up a race, send me the link.
After spending time researching and documenting project requirements, benchmarking fundraising sites inside and outside of academia, and getting Staff Advisory Committee for Library Advancement (SACLA) suggestions on big impact stories to highlight, we created a set of wireframes.
The first design relied on a crowd sourced funding technology to replace our current Wish List of items ranging from $100 to $80,000. We’ve since learned that approach isn’t tenable at this time and we’re now working on a redesigned information architecture that doesn’t use crowd funding. The benefit is that it’s helped the project team reassess the number of different giving options we provide, and scale back in order to not overwhelm.
Things shifted, as they can, and we’re now working on a redesigned information architecture that doesn’t use ScaleFunder. The benefit is that it’s helped the project team reassess the number of different giving options we provide, and scale back in order to not overwhelm.
After the next version is done and approved, we’ll move into designing the look & feel and then building the site in Drupal 7.
University of Texas Libraries Staff: TIS is pleased to announce the first session of a proposed class on Drupal, specifically its role in University of Texas Libraries system and editing Libraries content.
The first one of these classes (scheduled for Monday October 20th, from 2pm-3pm) will be more of a demo and a presentation than actual hands-on editing. The reasons for this are numerous, as many of you have very different kinds of content in the Libraries system, and a basic understanding of certain Drupal terms and examples would likely be a very good first introduction for many of you, as well. It will be geared as an interactive presentation (interruptions and questions very welcome) – We’ll discuss Drupal’s role here at the Libraries and then discuss individual pieces of content, explaining how things are edited.
Here’s the plan for the hour:
1) Introduce Drupal – What is Drupal?
An overview of what Drupal can do, what it is not good at doing, what it is great at doing, and examples of Drupal installs elsewhere on campus
2) A description of how Drupal is implemented here at UT Libraries
We have two separate Drupal systems here at the Libraries, what’s that about? Also, we have non-Drupal content, and blogs content, and many other kinds of content, what’s all THAT ABOUT, too?
3) Hey, let’s edit something!
In a matter of great excitement, we will edit a piece of UT Libraries content LIVE AND BEFORE YOUR EYES! Sounds exciting! There will be an opportunity here to make requests, too, and we can then discuss what goes into editing different sorts of content, and what decisions occur.
4) Questions. Specifics. And LINKS
Much of Drupal is best learned in one-on-one, or small group scenarios. Here we’ll conclude the hour with questions about your specific content. Further steps about individual tutorials or meeting one-on-one with members of TIS will be determined. Class will conclude with a list of suggested list of links and tutorials to further enhance your skills and understanding of Drupal.
Does this sound good for you? Can you make the time? Let me know and I’ll look forward to seeing you on Monday October 20th, 2-3pm
Limited space availability, please contact me if you’d like to attend.
You may have heard that our lovely Staff Web is being redesigned. “What? I love our staff web just the way it is!” I hear you saying. Don’t worry, change is good. In addition some of the other tools we use for collaboration and information sharing are being updated. We just finished upgrading the Libraries WordPress blogs with a new accessible and mobile friendly theme (you’re looking at it right now.) The wikis also received an update under the hood.
Our Staff Web’s more beautiful and charismatic twin SharePoint is currently undergoing a major upgrade. This upgrade is actually much more than a makeover. The new SharePoint site includes improvements in usability and mobile accessibility. You will, for example, be able to check out a shared Word doc and edit it on your iPad.
Technology Integration Services is working with central ITS to migrate the Libraries SharePoint site to the latest 2013 version. The migration process is already underway and TIS has begun reaching out to content owners to review their SharePoint sites and confirm that they do indeed want their content to be migrated to the new site. You will be hearing from us!
Salutations! I’m Stefanie Roberts, a first-year UT iSchool master’s student and the new TIS User Experience GRA.
I majored in English at the University of Florida and dabbled in nonprofits, media, education, and healthcare before finding my way to UX. I didn’t even know the field existed until I stumbled upon it while researching library graduate programs. The common threads I found woven through my experiences in other fields—working with people, producing creative deliverables, and designing new systems to improve workflows and outcomes—are also at the heart of UX research and design. I feel fortunate to have wound up here working on UX for a library, the dream combination for many an MSIS student.
This semester, I’ll be collaborating with TIS staff and the Library Web Oversight Group on implementing best practices to redesign and create optimal experiences for UT Libraries website users. Since joining TIS in September, I’ve been generating IA and migrating content for the new Geology branch page. I already can’t remember life before Drupal. I’m especially looking forward to learning more about content strategy, responsive design, and accessibility.