The "Streetprint Engine" for digital image collections

Martha Chantiny, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Streetprint is an open-source software program for creating digital collections, developed by the University of Alberta. The purpose of Streetprint, from the web site, is to: “make formerly inaccessible and ephemeral texts and artifacts available to the widest possible audience, fulfilling the promise of the Internet and bringing information ‘back to the streets.’” Martha Chantiny’s session was a tour through the features of this program and the collections they have created using Streetprint.

Link to Streetprint web site: http://www.crcstudio.arts.ualberta.ca/streetprintorg/index.php

Martha has worked at the University of Hawaii at Manoa for over 15 years. In that time, she has initiated an impressive array of projects.

Brief history of digitization projects at the University of Hawaii at Manoa:

· 1991 – They received a Higher Education Act Title II-C grant to scan photos and create collections. This was pre-web, a CARL System digital image display system, that used a novell network internal library system. The collections were available only in the library on library computers, typical of pre-web resources.

· 1996 – library first developed web pages. They began digitizing their primary newspaper collections with a grant, and completed this project in 1998. They worked with microfilm, encountering numerous problems with ocr errors, but the overall result was good.

· They built more collections after the initial newspaper project, with additional grant funds: a digital collection of Hawaiian language newspapers.

· Next: local history: a Micronesian Photograph Collection. This project served as a springboard to help start new projects.

· Ulukau: Hawaiian Electronic Library – this group has created a collection of historic Hawaiian-language newspapers published between 1834 to 1948. They used Greenstone for their project, and took over the newspaper projects that Martha and her staff had begun.

· 2001-2002: the web as delivery vehicle. They developed a new resource: Annexation of Hawaii: A Collection of documents. Currently, the print originals are rare, so they scanned documents for preservation in digital format, using copies in the Bishop Museum.

· Yet more: The Donald Angus Botanical Prints Collection, and multiple others have been added in the past few years.

· Collections were created, actual work done, by a crew of 30 or more student assistants and interns, many of whom have gone on to library and IT careers as a result of these projects.

Subsequently, a major flood in the library destroyed some originals that they had previously digitized in the collections above. She showed a set of slides of images from the flood, that showed damages to library computer equipment and collections that were of historical value.

What happened next, after they made all of the image collections above?
Users wanted them to be in database format. At this point, they discovered the Streetprint program, that they read about in a digital collections forum.

Streetprint was originally created so that faculty could build their own digital collections. The interface is easy and intuitive, with lots of “white space” that gives the whole program an uncluttered look. Fill in the forms to create database fields that will later appear in the templates for adding digital objects. Metadata and alt tags are added in the process of compiling the image collections, all very simply.

As Martha proceeded along through the slides about this program, it was easy to see that Streetprint has many advantages for ease of use for people without technical skills.

Features:

· Uses php/SQL

· CSS files can be easily modified

· Comments feature is useful for improving annotations – contributed content can be reviewed first before posting on the site.

· Easy to use

· Easy formatting to begin a collection, clear wording of site design templates “Fill in the blanks”

· Creates a database with pull-down menus for types of documents and subjects.

· A series of steps to create content templates for collections.

· Creates a database with pull-down menus for types of documents and subjects.

· Multiple uses: use this system for quick digital presentations as well as long-term image collections.

· Unicode compliant, but MSWord can alter text uploading, requiring more edits.

Drawbacks of Streetprint:

· No batch load of items, one by one instead, which is not very efficient

· Code not bug-free or finished

· Only Dublin core metadata scheme

· No cross-collection searches

Examples of Streetprint collections that Martha and her staff of student assistants have created:

Save our surf: http://digicoll.manoa.hawaii.edu/sos/
Unpublished materials from the SOS organization

Social Movements http://digicoll.manoa.hawaii.edu/socmovements/
140 archival boxes scanned with student help

The Hawaii War Records Depository http://digicoll.manoa.hawaii.edu/hwrd/
Hawaii War records archives

Steve Thomas Traditional Navigation Collection http://digicoll.manoa.hawaii.edu/satawal/
Traditional canoemakers collection with photographs under copyright protection of Steve Thomas. For this project they used the comments feature – Pacific islanders have been sending in comments.

TRAIL http://digicoll.manoa.hawaii.edu/techreports/
Federal technical reports collection

Hawaiian Photo Album http://digicoll.manoa.hawaii.edu/hawaiianphoto
Hawaii description and travel and Hawaii pictorial works. Some of these came without identification, but comment options allowed for images to be updated with new descriptions by the Historical Society.

Hawaiian music collection – Audio Files http://digicoll.manoa.hawaii.edu/music/

The next step: contribute their digital collections to national digital library programs:
OAI harvesting worked well after they made a few alterations in code, so that the Dublin Core metadata terms matched other libraries. They are now publicizing their historical resources more extensively using the Open Archives Initiative.

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