Tuesday, March 03, 2009

PRA Digitization Project – PRA Digital Library Project

Pennington Research Association Digitization Project – Pennington Research Association Digital Library Project

The Pennington Research Association maintains a library and archive at Lilly Library, Earlham College, Richmond, Indiana. The PRA Archives/Library is funded each year by donations from PRA Members and Pennington researchers. In 2006, the PRA worked with the staff at Lilly Library and Dr. Thomas Hamm, Archivist, to create a digital library of selected material that had been donated to the PRA Archives/Library. Meeting with Dr. Hamm and his staff in July 2006, President Jim Pennington, Rev. Jasper Green Pennington, PRA Archivist and Gene Pennington, Research Director, developed the procedures and guidelines for this important project. The project was named “PRA Digital Digitization Project” but is often identified as “PRA Digital Library Project”.

The primary goals of the PRA Digital Digitization Project are:

1. Scan selected material and place the images on a website so researchers can view them.

2. Add specific descriptive “metadata” to each image so they can be searched by name, author/owner and content.

3. Convert the scanned images into Adobe Reader format so they can be easily viewed and searched. The intent is to have the images, and their indexes, on the website/s so researchers can find them and then view the images over the Internet.

The digitization project for the Pennington family papers consists of some primary original documents, family narratives, maps, and photocopies of court records, correspondence, and family narratives. In addition to digitizing selected documents, the project will produce searchable full-text and descriptive metadata.

At the PRA 2006 PRA Reunion/Meeting in July 2006 held at Richmond, IN, several PRA Members selected documents for digitization, as well as a hierarchy of importance for digitizing the selected documents. The hierarchy for the documents as described by the PRA Members designates each item as “1,” “2,” or “3.” Documents designated “1” receive the highest priority for digitization.

Earlham College agreed to digitize the PRA documents in the “1” section will be digitized and made available online first, followed by groups 2 and 3 in succession.

This new project was officially approved by the Board in 2007 when a contract with Lilly Library, Earlham College was signed by Earlham College and the PRA. The estimated cost of the first phase of the project was estimated to be less than $1,000.00.

Responsibilities assumed by Earlham College include digitization, metadata creation, quality control, posting images into CONTENTdm, and hosting the digital collection through PALNI.

PRA compensates Earlham College for costs incurred for the digitization, metadata creation, quality control of the digitized images for submission to CONTENTdm, and additional personnel hired to complete parts of this project.

Some items, such as maps, may necessitate outsourcing to Indiana University for digitization due to their size.

If some material is scanned and processed but identified as something that cannot, or should not, be placed on the PALNI system, it can be placed onto a CD which will be returned to the PRA. The PRA can, if it wants, place the material on any of its websites and/or published in some other digital form such as the Pennington Pedigrees so it can be available by our Members.

The test phase of this project can be viewed at  http://replica.palni.edu/cdm4/browse.php?CISOROOT=%2Fec_penn

Full text is available after clicking on the item title.

There is a drop down menu and "Page Description" and "Page and Text" will display the full text. The full text is also searchable.