Current Cites (Digital Library SunSITE)

Volume 11, no. 12, December 2000

Edited by Roy Tennant

The Library, University of California, Berkeley, 94720
ISSN: 1060-2356 -

Contributors: Terry Huwe, Michael Levy, Leslie Myrick , Jim Ronningen, Lisa Rowlison, Roy Tennant

Editor's Note: The well-reviewed Handbook for Digital Projects: A Management Tool for Preservation and Access from the Northeast Document Conservation Center (see the Current Cites review) is now available online.

Chapman, Stephen and William Comstock. "Digital Imaging Production Services at the Harvard College Library" RLG DigiNews 4(6) (December 15, 2000) ( - Given the fact that many libraries are now considering establishing in-house digitization capabilities, this is a timely piece. Chapman, a well-known author (e.g., Digital Imaging for Libraries and Archives) and speaker on digitization topics, and his colleague William Comstock, take us through the process Harvard followed to setup their own digitization shop. In addition, they include a number of specific details and descriptions of how they scan material and the standards to which they adhere. Articles such as this provide an essential source of authoritative and specific information for libraries lacking the resources to develop these procedures on their own. But even those libraries that have established such procedures would do well to study Harvard's decisions. - RT

Chepesiuk, Ron. "JSTOR and Electronic Archiving" American Libraries 32(11) (December 2000): 46-48. - JSTOR was funded by the Mellon Foundation in August 1995 as a pilot project to investigate the requirements of storing journals in digital form. Since that early pilot, JSTOR has seen success in a number of areas. This article serves as a useful overview and summary of the project, including the challenges that remain. One such challenge is to add enough institutional subscribers to reduce the fees that some (particularly at smaller institutions) believe to be too high. - RT

Crawford, Walt. Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large 1(1) (January 2001) ( - Walt Crawford, a well-known and widely published library commentator has launched his own free self-published serial in Adobe Acrobat format. Readers of the likely monthly 16-page periodical can look forward to being regaled with Crawford's no-holds-barred commentary as well as timely bits on the latest PCs and other technologies. Each issue contains a section of annotated citations from mostly MS Windows-centric sources like PC Magazine, PC World, The Industry Standard and others. One of the most useful sections is one that tracks current PC values, in which Crawford picks the top systems in three categories (budget, midrange, and power) and notes the increase in value for dollar from previous benchmarks. The publication of each issue is announced on a variety of library listservs, including Web4Lib and PACS-L, or you can sign up to be notified directly. This deserves a spot on your reading list as one of the most useful current awareness resources available for microcomputer related technologies. - RT

Dale, Robin and Noel Beagrie. "Digital Preservation Conference: Report from York, UK" RLG DigiNews 4(6) (December 15, 2000) ( - Dale and Beagrie summarize the proceedings of the recent (December 2000) Preservation 2000 conference, as well as a preceding one-day workshop. The meeting was sponsored by CEDARS (CURL Exemplars in Digital Archives), the Joint Information Systems Committee, the Research Libraries Group (RLG), and OCLC. Speakers from Austria, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK and the US demonstrated that the challenge is international in scope and that the response must be as well. One of the main outcomes of the meeting was the promulgation and eager acceptance of the idea of creating a Digital Preservation Coalition. The full proceedings of both meetings have just become available on the RLG web site. It should serve as a rich resource for learning about the challenges of this issue and how particular projects are attempting to address them. - RT

Severiens, Thomas, "Physdoc — A Distributed Network of Physics Institutions Documents: Collecting, Indexing and Searching High Quality Documents by using Harvest" D-Lib Magazine (December 2000) ( - One would not usually look to a project that is more than five years old for a model of cutting-edge technology, but the PhysDoc project is not your normal case. By either luck or skill, they began where others have eventually arrived, using a piece of software that is ancient in Internet terms, Harvest, to gather metadata and indexing information from over a 1,000 institutions in order to construct a union catalog of freely-available physics research. Now the Open Archives initiative is promulgated the same model, albeit with altered and enhanced technology. What is old is new again, it seems. This piece describes the missiont, history, services, usage, and possible future of the project. An appendix includes advice to authors, web managers, heads of insitutes, and national physics societies about how best to participate in the project. - RT

Sirapyan, Nancy. "In Search of..." PC Magazine (Dec 5, 2000): 187. (,6755,2652815,00.html). - In a series of capsule reviews of 20 search engines Sirapyan gives a good overview of the state of Internet search tools. She starts out with a clear discussion of the types of search tools available, the availability of advanced features such as Boolean queries and differences between directories, regular search engines and metasearch engines. It is unclear from the article whether the author and other testers used the same searches across all of the 20 tools but each review clearly outlines perceived strengths and weaknesses, gives tips on the advanced features, if any, of the search tool in question and suggests the types of searches that are most successful. The tools which receive top honors are Google, Northern Light, HotBot and Oingo. Finally, there is an extra sidebar the discusses meta and specialized search tools such as Infozoid and FirstGov. I can't help thinking that the usefulness of this article is related to the fact that Sirapyan is PC Magazine's librarian and goes into greater depth on those features that are of interest to information professionals. - ML

Stoffle, Carla, "Predicting the Future: What Does Academic Librarianship Hold in Store?" C&RL News 61(10) (November 2000): 894-897. - Anyone interested in the present and future of academic libraries should read this brief piece. It is simultaneously challenging and encouraging, informative and inspiring. Despite the promise of the title, as Stoffle puts it, "I am optimistic about our future, but I don't have much of a concrete sense of what libraries and librarians will be doing even ten years from now, except that it will be radically different." A number of the challenges faced by academic libraries are laid out, as well as some strategies that can be used to help meet those challenges. Some specific initiatives that epitomize the best of our response to these challenges are identified. One highlighted development is the creation of the Keystone Principles a year ago by 80 academic library leaders, and described as exemplifying the "kind of actions we must take to create the libraries our customers need." The piece ends with Jerry Campbell's ten axioms, which includes the admonition "Whoever acts will create the future." Stoffle, clearly believe that to be true, and if you agree, then consider this your wakeup call. - RT

Weibel, Stuart L. and Traugott Koch. "The Dublin Core Metadata Initiative: Mission, Current Activities, and Future Directions" D-Lib Magazine (December 2000) ( - Long-time readers of Current Cites know that we've been following the development of the Dublin Core metadata standard since the beginning. This latest piece on the initiative brings us up to date with the latest developments in this draft standard for describing digital objects. It provides a brief history of the effort, reviews the year's milestones, enumerates all the working groups and their status, and ends with the workplan for 2001. The lengthy list of references identifies all the key working documents as well as related web sites. - RT

Current Cites 11(12 (December 2000) ISSN: 1060-2356
Copyright © 2000 by the Library, University of California, Berkeley. All rights reserved.

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