EML Blog

WIKIDATA AND BHL UPDATE: PART 1

This is a fairly incomplete post about the work that’s going on regarding adding BHL bibliography metadata to Wikidata. I hope to have several more of these posts before the end of the year! 

Following some productive conversations on donating BHL bibliographic metadata to Wikidata, it was discovered almost immediately that BHL’s data is not terribly useful without some serious munging. One of the biggest problems with BHL bibliographic metadata is that it comes from lots of different libraries and museums,...

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Expedition to Mt. Auburn

Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is renowned as an urban wildlife habitat.  Though it is especially famous for its birds, this summer an aquatic species has attracted attention.  A spectacular bloom of bryozoan Pectinatella magnifica is now in progress in Willow Pond.  Librarian Mary Sears joined graduate students from Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology and Prof. Abigail Smith of the University of... Read more about Expedition to Mt. Auburn

Notes from William Brewster: Puzzling out Bird Sounds

This post is part of a series on the collection of ornithologist William Brewster (1851-1919) at the Ernst Mayr Library, written by Elizabeth Meyer, library project assistant.

“The conditions which govern the singing of birds are a constant puzzle to me,” Brewster wrote in his journal after decades of ornithological study. [1] We have some solid information now about how and why birds make certain sounds [2], but Brewster didn’t know the difference between songs and calls; that sounds can serve to attract mates and declare a...

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THE ROLE OF LIBRARIANS IN WIKIDATA AND WIKICITE

The other week I participated in WikiCite 2017, a conference, summit, and hackathon event organized for members of the Wikimedia community to discuss ideas and projects surrounding the concept of adding structured bibliographic metadata to Wikidata to improve the quality of references in the Wikimedia universe. As a Wikidata editor and a librarian, I was pumped to be included in the functional and organizational conversations for...

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Hubert Lyman Clark Papers: Building a Finding Aid

 

    This spring I was an intern at the Ernst Mayr Library and Museum of Comparative Zoology Archives of Harvard University.  I worked with Robert Young,  the Special Collections Librarian/archivist. My project taught me how to compose a finding aid from scratch, while bringing together information about multiple collections. In the case of the Hubert Lyman Clark papers, for which I created the finding aid, there were multiple relevant collections accessioned at different times that needed to be synthesized into one document  to successfully...

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WHY TRANSCRIBE?

 

      Digitization is not a new activity for libraries and cultural heritage institutions, and indeed has become a critical tool for preserving and providing access to archival collections including rare books, manuscripts, and photographs. The potential research value of digitized collections is also not a new phenomenon. However, translating images of content into machine readable data that can be searched, sorted, and otherwise manipulated had not received much attention until crowdsourcing, citizen science, and...

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Notes from William Brewster: The Evolving Field of Zoology

This post is also published on the Biodiversity Heritage Library blog.

As a part of the Field Notes Project, the Ernst Mayr Library is digitizing the journals, correspondences and photographs of William Brewster (1851-1919), a self-trained ornithologist and specimen curator at Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ), the first president of the...

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HOW DO YOU SOLVE A PROBLEM LIKE ILLUSTRATIONS?

Introduction

My project at the Missouri Botanical Garden focuses on access to illustrations in BHL’s corpus of biodiversity literature. I’ve dipped my toes into the related areas of interface design for digital special collections exhibitions, digital humanities, metadata, social media outreach, and rare books in the course of my studies and work. The possibility for engagement and exploration of cultural heritage in the digital environment is infinitely exhilarating. I am fortunate to be able to dive into these topics while making concrete progress on a project that will serve...

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