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Services, Collections & Projects

last modified 2009-04-17

Library Digital Programs (LDP) are categorized below as digital services, digital collections, and Digital Research and Curation Center research & development initiatives.

Digital Services

JHU Portal Project

The Sheridan Libraries and IT@JH are leading an effort to advance portal development within the University through two working groups, one focused on functional or user requirements, and one focused on technical issues. Contact: Sayeed Choudhury. JH Portal site

Usability Services

The Library Digital Programs employ a range of methods to evaluate library interfaces and related web sites. These usability services may include surveys, focus groups, scenario-based think-aloud tests, contextual inquiry, card-sorting, link-naming, and heuristic evaluation. The goal of usability evaluation is to determine what can be done to make an interface efficient, satisfying, and easy to use, to learn, and to remember. Contact: Sayeed Choudhury. Usability Services site

Visual Resources Collection

The Sheridan Libraries will support the Visual Resources Collection in the JHU History of Art Department in accessing and preserving images and data for teaching, learning and research. The LDP will provide such services using repositories and image viewing and presentation tools. Contact: Sayeed Choudhury.


ESRI's ArcIMS software is used for publishing of geographic data,interactive maps, and their associated metadata on the World Wide Web. Led by the Government Publications/Maps/Law Library (GPML), ArcIMS will be used by GPML to facilitate distribution of requested maps and licensed data to JHU affiliates. In addition, JHU researchers/instructors will be able to take advantage of the ArcIMS server to make their own maps and data available via the World Wide Web. Services Team: Jim Gillispie (GPML), Keith Kaneda, Elliot Metsger (Systems), Bonni Wittstadt (GPML), Lynne Stuart (GPML). Contact: Keith Kaneda.

Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs)

Upon completion of an evaluation of various electronic publishing systems including DSpace, eprints, DPubS, and DiVA, the LDP will offer an electronic theses and dissertations service which reflects the policies and procedures approved by the JHU Graduate Board. As of Fall 2005, a pilot program is underway to evaluate the current and develop new processes in support of electronic theses and dissertations.

The LDP is working closely with Project Muse to consider their workflow and functionality needs in an effort to identify a robust, scalable system that meet a broad range of electronic publishing needs. Services Team: Sayeed Choudhury, Tim DiLauro, Keith Kaneda. Contact: Sayeed Choudhury.

Digital Collections

The History of African Americans @ JHU

This project is a web-based exhibit documenting the African American experience at JHU. The project, focusing on African American contributions and experiences, will enrich the Hopkins history by developing a more complete record of the contributions and value provided by the presence of African Americans at Hopkins. The story will be told using a number of media including text, photographs, audio files (oral history), images of documents and video. Conducted as an independent study under the guidance of faculty members, Hopkins students conduct the necessary research and contribute to the project. Other groups collaborating on this effort include the Black Student Union, the History Department, Sheridan Libraries, the Black Faculty and Staff Association, Black Alumni Groups: (Society of Black Alumni and the Frederick Scott Brigade), the Diversity Leadership Council and the Center for Africana Studies. Project Team: Margaret Burri (Special Collections), Tom Izbicki (Research Services and Collections), Dr. Franklin Knight (History Department), Joyce Mason (Cataloging), Sharon Morris (GPML), Jim Stimpert (Special Collections), Mame Warren (Special Collections). Contact: Sayeed Choudhury. The History of African-Americans @ JHU site

Laurence Hall Fowler

Original photographs and drawings of lost and hidden Baltimore from the Libraries' Special Collections will be made available via a new Web site. The project will include images drawn primarily from photographs taken between the two world wars by local architect Laurence Hall Fowler. This photographic record documents a wave of demolition that took place in the Mt. Vernon area during the inter-war period. Project Team: Margaret Burri (Special Collections), Tim Dilauro, David Reynolds (Technical Services). Contact: Sayeed Choudhury.

Historical Baltimore Census

The goal of this project is to make historic census data for Baltimore City and smaller geographies available to Baltimore researchers in an easy to use format. Currently, from this site one can extract census data such as population, social and economic characteristics related to race, income, education and occupation for the decennial censuses for 1970 - 2000. Data for 1970 are organized by census tract. The other years contain data organized by Baltimore traditional city neighborhoods from Abell to Yale Heights. This project originated in the Government Publications/Maps/Law Library (GPML) of the Sheridan Libraries. Project Team: Tim DiLauro, Keith Kaneda, Sharon Morris ((GPML). Contact: Keith Kaneda. Historical Baltimore Census site,

The Lester S. Levy Collection of Sheet Music

The Lester S. Levy Collection of Sheet Music is part of Special Collections at the Milton S. Eisenhower Library of The Johns Hopkins University. It contains over 29,000 pieces of music and focuses on popular American music spanning the period 1780 to 1960. All pieces of the collection are indexed on this site and a search will retrieve a catalog description of the pieces. An image of the cover and each page of music will also be retrieved if the music was published before 1923 and is in the public domain. Project Team: Margaret Burri (Special Collections), Cynthia Requardt (Special Collections), David Reynolds (Technical Services). Contact: Tim DiLauro. Lester S. Levy Sheet Music Collection site

Maryland ArtSource

A scholarly Web resource on Maryland artists, cultural heritage institutions, art collections online, art libraries and the regional art community, MAS project administration is based at the Sheridan Libraries. Research Services and Collections participates in the BAROC inter-institutional consortium and the MAS project. Funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the ALH Foundation, Inc., The William G. Baker, Jr., Memorial Fund, The France-Merrick Foundation and the Hecht-Levi Foundation. Maryland ArtSource site

Roman de la Rose

The first phase of this project explored ways to present medieval manuscripts in digital form. Six complete Roman de la Rose manuscripts from the Walters Art Museum, the Pierpont Morgan Library, the Bodleian Library of Oxford University and the J. Paul Getty Museum may now be viewed and compared with appropriate permissions. Three of the manuscripts have been transcribed and can be searched. The project was a collaboration between Special Collections and the department of Romance Languages. Project Team: Tim DiLauro, Cynthia Requardt (Special Collections), David Reynolds (Technical Services). Contact: Tim DiLauro. Roman de la Rose site

Digital Research and Curation Center Projects

*View the project list below, and/or visit the DRCC Web site*

Archive Ingest and Handling Test (AIHT)

The Archive Ingest Handling Test (AIHT) is part of the Library of Congress' National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP). The DRCC's AIHT work focuses on the preservation of the 9/11 archive. The DRCC will ingest this archive into DSpace and Fedora, two open-source repository systems. Additionally, the DRCC will examine both format migration and archive transfer issues. Funded by the Library of Congress. Project Team: Sayeed Choudhury, Tim DiLauro, Mark Patton, David Reynolds (Technical Services). Contact: Tim DiLauro.

Comprehensive Access to Printed Materials (CAPM)

The goal of the CAPM project is to develop efficient (i.e., cost-effective), real-time, enhanced browsing and search capabilities, through a Web browser interface, to off-site materials by using a combination of robotics, automated systems and software. The CAPM team is also considering the potential for the robotic systems to enhance large-scale, semi-automated preservation and treatment of print materials. Essentially, the CAPM team endeavors to develop and modify existing technologies to lower library operating costs while enhancing the quality of service. Funded by the Mellon Foundation (grant ended 2002), a private donor, Minolta Corporation, and the National Science Foundation. Project Team: Greg Chirikjian (Mechanical Engineering Department), Sayeed Choudhury, Georgios Kaloutsakis (Mechanical Engineering Department), Jin Seob Kim (Mechanical Engineering Department), Lee McDaniel (Mechanical Engineering Department), Aris Skleros (Mechanical Engineering Department), Yu Zhou (Mechanical Engineering Department). Contact: Sayeed Choudhury. CAPM project site

A Data Capture Framework and Testbed for Cultural Heritage Materials

This research project will connect the CAPM robotics system with the Gamera document analysis software framework. By focusing primarily on the research and teaching needs of humanists, we will develop a full system for converting, processing, and analyzing content from cultural heritage materials. Our partners, including Oxford University, the University of Edinburgh, the British Library, and Tufts University, will provide digital content to build a testbed of materials that will help refine and further develop Gamera. Funded by the National Science Foundation. Project Team: Greg Chirikjian (Mechanical Engineering Department), Sayeed Choudhury, Tim DiLauro, Steve Nichols (Romance Languages Department), Ichiro Fujinaga (McGill University). Contact: Sayeed Choudhury.

Digital Audio Archives Project (DAAP)

This project focuses on the design and creation of an effective and economical workflow management system for digitizing analog audio tapes, and building a web-accessible digital audio library. The overall goal is to reduce the costs associated with building a digital audio library. Strong emphasis will be placed on using best practices, open standards and open-source software. The DRCC will work with Indiana University, who will provide the testbed through a subset of their audio tape collection in the music archives. Funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Project Team: Kristine Brancolini (IU Digital Library Program), Sayeed Choudhury, Tim DiLauro, Jon Dunn (IU Digital Library Program), Michael Fling (IU William and Gayle Cook Music Library), Eugene O’Brien (IU School of Music), Philip Ponella (IU William and Gayle Cook Music Library), Jennifer Riley (IU Digital Library Program), Sue Stancu (IU William and Gayle Cook Music Library), Konrad Strauss (IU School of Music). Contact: Sayeed Choudhury.

Digital Data Curation

The Library Digital Programs is collaborating with the Virtual Observatory to develop strategies for data curation of large-scale, digital astronomy datasets. These data curation activities will result in repository-based processes, tools, and systems that will provide long-term archiving of datasets to support research, learning and dissemination. Project Team: Sayeed Choudhury, Tim DiLauro. Contact: Sayeed Choudhury. Virtual Observatory site,

Digital Archiving and Publishing

Staff of the DRCC and Microsoft Research are collaborating to undertake Digital Archiving of Astronomical Data to Support Publication and Long-term Preservation (Data Publishing). Activities will involve developing a repository-based infrastructure that will support the end-to-end process of capturing, curating, preserving, and providing access to all of these data for the long term. This system will build upon existing repository and electronic publishing systems (e.g., Fedora, PubMedCentral, DPubS) and Virtual Observatory web services and data format standards (e.g., FITS). Project Lead: Tim DiLauro. To learn more visit the DRCC Data Publishing site.

Digital Workflow Management: Lester S. Levy Collection of Sheet Music (Levy 2)

Working with the digital Lester S. Levy Collection of Sheet Music, the DRCC has developed a set of digital workflow management tools including optical music recognition (OMR) and an automated metadata tool. OMR represents the precursor for the Gamera software framework. This workflow management system was developed in an effort to develop semi-automated tools and processes that will reduce the human labor required to digitize and ingest large-scale physical collections. Funded by the National Science Foundation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (grants ended 2002). Project Team: Sayeed Choudhury, Tim DiLauro, Cynthia Requardt (Special Collections). Contact: Sayeed Choudhury.


Gamera is a programming framework for building systems that extract information from digitized two-dimensional documents. It has been used to build systems for many different types of documents including sheet music, medieval manuscripts, 18th Century census data, dissertations in mixed scripts and lute tablature. A particular focus has been on the difficult challenges posed by cultural heritage materials. By providing a foundation for others to build upon, we hope to empower the document experts themselves to develop systems with reduced effort. A framework for the creation of structured document analysis applications by domain experts, Gamera combines a programming library with graphical user interface tools for the training and interactive development of recognition systems. To download or learn more about Gamera programming, visit the LDP Gamera project site. Project Team: Tim DiLauro, Contact: Tim DiLauro.


The Sheridan Libraries, in collaboration with IT@JH, participates in the Sakai Educational Partners Program (SEPP), a community of higher education institutions that will develop an open-source, open-standards collaboration and learning environment (CLE). This CLE, known as Sakai, will offer features and tools to support electronic and distance learning, and collaboration for work groups or teams. Given its flexible design and open nature, Sakai provides the capability to integrate new services and features within a course management environment, and preserve the digital content that supports learning. Executive Sponsors: Sayeed Choudhury, Mike McCarty (IT@JH). Core Project Team: Alice Brainerd (IT@JH), Sayeed Choudhury, Mark Cyzyk (IT@JH), Jim Martino. Contact: Jim Martino. JHU Sakai project site,

Services for a Customizable Authority Linking Environment (SCALE)

With Tufts University digital library researchers, the Digital Research and Curation Center will provide National Science Digital Library users with automatic linking services that bind key words and phrases to supplementary information and infrastructure to support automatic linking of names and terms in thesauri, glossaries, encyclopedias, subject hierarchies, and object catalogs. Funded by the National Science Foundation. Project Team: Robert Chavez (Tufts University), Sayeed Choudhury, Greg Crane (Tufts University), Tim DiLauro, David Mimno (Tufts University), Mark Patton. Contact: Tim DiLauro.

A Technology Analysis of Repositories and Services

The DRCC, working with the University of Virginia (UVA), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and an extensive network of collaborators, will conduct an architecture and technology evaluation of repository software and services such as e-learning, e-publishing, and digital preservation. The result will be a set of best practices and recommendations that will inform the development of repositories, services, and appropriate interfaces. Funded by the Mellon Foundation. Project Team: Sayeed Choudhury, Tim DiLauro, Jim Martino, Mark Patton. Contact: Tim DiLauro. Repository project site,

Usability Research

Usability testing is becoming more common in the library community. Digital libraries present issues and opportunities that merit the investigation of usability testing methods with the aim of identifying the most appropriate approaches to digital library usability. These issues and opportunities include: meaningful quantitative measures, the location and diversity of digital library users, partial interface control, realistic vs. controlled test settings, and the balance of user feedback and librarian expertise. The discussion of these issues and opportunities serves as a foundation for the DRCC usability research agenda for digital libraries. Contact: Sayeed Choudhury. Usability Research site

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