Full article: Digital Accessibility: Overcoming the Challenges of Managing Grey Literature in Jamaica: The Case of the University of the West Indies Mona Library

Abstract:  Grey literature is of inestimable value, with the potential for significant contributions to further inquiry and practice especially in academia and national development. Researchers, students, lecturers and scientists, depend on these resources which are often the main sources of indigenous and firsthand information. The challenge is retrieval, since they lack meaningful bibliographic control. They are usually not peer-reviewed and sometimes are of poor quality because they often originate from technocrats, scholars and scientists in various fields. A 2019 survey done in Jamaica with librarians from the Scientific and Technical Information Network (STIN) reveals the low status accorded to grey literature. Participants indicated that there is no active thrust towards advocacy and promotion. However, they recognize their importance and would willingly assist in organizing them. Digitization and archiving in repositories allow for greater accessibility to grey literature in academia. This paper examined the value of grey literature and presented digital accessibility as an infrastructure in overcoming associated challenges. Digitization’s value is seen in the regeneration of archiving, the increase in the use of non-circulating resources in special collections such as theses and dissertations, and in the preservation of collections. Digitization offers an online presence which raises awareness of existing collections and builds the image of academic institutions. This paper presents some best practices used in digitization, and key steps in the digitization process. The paper is qualitative and utilizes archival study to showcase the efforts of The University of the West Indies (The UWI) Mona Library in using digital technology to manage grey literature and promote their special collections. The authors concluded that through digitization this Library can act as a driver to galvanize other information units to effect greater bibliographic control. Once these valuable collections become accessible, they can be positioned to contribute to national and international development.


Boston Public Library makes historical images available for use in Wikipedia | Boston Public Library

“In celebration of Wikipedia’s 20th anniversary on January 15th, Boston Public Library has uploaded more than 8,000 historical photographs from its archival collections to Wikimedia Commons. These images include some of the library’s most important photographic collections, and contribute to the single largest batch of uploads ever contributed to Wikimedia Commons. By uploading these public domain images, BPL is making them available so that they can be freely used to enhance Wikipedia articles, re-printed in publications, or incorporated in student projects and papers. …”

Middle Ages for Educators website brings Princeton scholarship to an international audience

“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about rapid innovations in distance learning and the wide adoption of digital tools. For many educators, however, having the capability to teach virtually is not the same as having digital-ready content.

“When the pandemic began, there was the realization that everyone was going to be on Zoom, but you shouldn’t teach online the same way you teach in person,” said Merle Eisenberg, a recent postgraduate research associate in history, who graduated from Princeton with a Ph.D. in 2018 and is now a postdoctoral fellow at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center at the University of Maryland.

To make these lessons come alive for students, Eisenberg, together with medieval scholars Sara McDougall, an associate professor of history at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the City University of New York Graduate Center, and Laura Morreale, chair of the digital humanities and multimedia committee of the Medieval Academy of America, decided to develop materials that high school and college educators could use in a virtual setting.

The resources they created became so popular so quickly that they needed a permanent home for them and greater technical support to meet the demand. The result is a new website, Middle Ages for Educators (MAFE), featuring short video lectures by world-renowned experts, translated primary sources, workshops on how to use digital tools to study the medieval past, and curated links to websites with medieval content….”

Launch of the East Asia Digital Library?National Diet Library

“The East Asia Digital Library (EADL), a portal site for cultural and scientific resources in East Asian languages, was launched on December 17, 2020. Configuration and operation of the EADL is being performed by the National Library of Korea (NLK) with the cooperation of the National Diet Library (NDL). The EADL is unique in that it allows integrated searches of historical materials in the Chinese, Japanese, and Korean languages held by either the NLK or the NDL. Both libraries have provided metadata for roughly 4,000 historical materials, and at present some 8,000 items are available in digital form. In addition to simple keyword searches, users can perform advanced searches by title, creator, or subject matter. Additional items will be added as they become available. In addition to viewing digitized images of most materials by clicking a link to the digital platform of the host library, users can also enjoy browsing an online exhibition entitled the East Asia Digital Library Collection, which can be displayed chronologically or by subject matter. Additionally, metadata for EADL content is available via an EADL API service, which allows users convenient access to data for easy use in other systems or applications.”

Marygrove College Library : Free Texts : Free Download, Borrow and Streaming : Internet Archive

“When Marygrove College closed in 2019, the Board of Trustees donated the library to the Internet Archive for digitization and preservation. With more than 70,000 books and nearly 3,000 journal volumes, the Geschke Library is a well-curated, world class collection with strengths in the humanities, education, and social justice.  Video about the reopening online. …”

‘Our history is contained there’: loss of archive threatens Native American tribes | Native Americans | The Guardian

“In 1969, a clerical error resulted in the Samish Indian Nation in Washington state suddenly being dropped from the federal government’s list of recognized tribes. It took almost three decades of wading through piles of historical documents and painstaking litigation before its members were able to regain that recognition, along with the federal benefits and protections that come with it….

But the archive, which sits on a 10-acre site at the edge of Lake Washington, is under threat. It is among a dozen federal properties across the US expected to be put up for sale next year after being identified as “high value assets”, a move that could deprive the Native American community in the Pacific north-west of access to critical resources….

In a statement sent to the Guardian, the National Archives said it was committed to digitising its records in Seattle so they are available free no matter where a person is located.

Records that have not yet been digitized can be scanned and sent to people unable to visit in person at a cost of 80 cents per page, explained Susan Karren, the director of the National Archives at Seattle….”

Library of Congress Completes Digitization of 23 Early Presidential Collections | Library of Congress

“The Library of Congress has completed a more than two decade-long initiative to digitize the papers of nearly two dozen early presidents. The Library holds the papers of 23 presidents from George Washington to Calvin Coolidge, all of which have been digitized and are now available online.

The Library plans to highlight each presidential collection on social media in the weeks leading up to the next presidential inauguration on Jan. 20, 2021….

With the digitization of papers from Presidents Benjamin Harrison, William Howard Taft, Grover Cleveland and Coolidge, the Library’s complete set of presidential collections is now available online for the first time….”

NRPF grant awarded to digitize ISU lectures | University Library | Iowa State University

“Iowa State University has received $15,000 in grant funding from the National Recording Preservation Foundation (NRPF) to digitize 991 audio recordings of University Lectures….

The ISU Special Collections and University Archives will utilize the NRPF funds to outsource the digitization of 259 reel-to-reel audiotapes and 732 audiocassettes to Preserve South. The ISU Library will match the funds received to outsource captioning to Rev.com, create metadata and provide open access to the digitized files. To aid in discoverability and accessibility, copies will be added to the Special Collections and University Archives YouTube channel. Items will be added into the ISU Library’s digital collections platform, as well as Aviary for full-text searching and syncing of captions….”