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Working Group Reports

April 26, 2012

Spring Report

Production We've really picked up speed with two more batches out the door and the next one in the data verfication stage. Batch_wa_bumping and batch_wa_columbia were shipped at the end of March and mid-April respectively. They have been received at the LC receiving center and are waiting to be approved and uploaded by LC. Newpspaer titles that will be uploaded from these batches include The Lynden Tribune (sn88085445) and The Spokane Press (LCCN: 88085947). Batch_wa_duwamish is in the hopper to be shipped within the week and will include a reel of the aforementioned Spokane Pressand The Vancouver Independent (LCCN sn87093109)from the late 1800s. Neat stuff from 130 years ago!

We received an upgrade of our docWorks software in February and met the CCS U.S. Systems Engineer, Tip Ros, at that time for training. It was great to meet Tip and we learned a lot more about the application that does our OCR processing, metadata management and generation of derivative files allowing us to meet NDNP requirements.

Staff Changes Carl Burnett has graciously volunteered to assist us in processing and newspaper essay research despite his busy schedule working at UW's Suzzallo Library and completing his portfolio before he graduates this June.

Kate Ratcliff is a familiar face at the Washington State Library and UW as a recent graduate from their MLIS program. In between jobs at UW in Seattle and indexing political comics for a local cartoonist, she is volunteering in our WSL office assisting with processing.

We have four volunteers in total contributing to about 15 hours per week of our processing and research time. Karen and Barb, retired school teachers from Olympia, appear every Tuesday at WSL and are great fun to work with. They have been steadily chipping away at the stack of documents in the OCR zoning stage despite all the staffing changes in NDNP last summer. They've really helped keep us on track.

We're sad to announce that Shawn Moriarty, an early member of the NDNP team, has decided to resign from WSL. But the good news is she'll be able to spend more time with her daughter Nina, future digital librarian extraordinaire. They also make appearances in the department from time to time to get that "early librarian learning time in. Judy Pitchford will be taking on some additional hours to help with NDNP processing in ShawnM's place.

Thanks everyone!!!!

January 5, 2012

A New and Exciting 2012!

Happy New Year from WA-NDNP! We have ambitious goals ahead of us as we're gearing up for speedy production this year. We are waiting to hear back from LC on the approval of batch_wa_american and already preparing the next for submission this month. Titles included in the first batch are Wenatchee Daily World, Labor Journal and a few issues of the Spokane Press.

We will have more people helping with the processing through the addition of two new volunteers in Olympia, Colin and Kate, and in the spring quarter we will add an intern in Seattle through UW's Directed Fieldwork program.

In the meantime, the staff at WSL and UW have been truly wonderful in helping me "learn the ropes" of NDNP details very quickly. We have a new space for our film readers, PCs and students that allows the three of us to stretch our arms and meet together in one room at the same time. :) This will allow us to bring in the DFW student and collaborate more effectively. It's been great meeting people at both worksites and sharing the news of the Chronicling America project.

Our NEH and LC contacts have also been warm and welcoming in guiding me through the standards and our processing software vendor, CCS, has been patiently answering my many questions about the tool and keeping everything running smoothly.

Feel free to send questions my way if you'd like to know more about the project. I'll post more as we add new batches and titles. Cheers!

Shawn Schollmeyer
Project Manager
[email protected]

December 2, 2011

Changes and progress for 2011 from Washington’s National Digital Newspaper Program

Hello from the new program coordinator!

I'd like to introduce myself and give you a brief update on some of our big changes over the past year. My name is Shawn Schollmeyer and I am a 2006 graduate of the UW iSchool program. My background has included many years of library and digital asset management experience that I hope will be a great asset to the NDNP for Washington. My family has lived in Washington for more than four generations which is why I am looking forward to promoting this great opportunity to show our history and development since pre-statehood.

2011 has seen a lot of changes by bringing the docWorks application in house and with the addition of a new Digital Newspaper Project Assistant and recent library grad student, April Martin. We are already working on the draft for our next grant cycle which will be due in January. We are planning on adding the remaining Seattle P-I and Seattle Star issues for the 2012-14 time period to have a well rounded representation of the state and population areas.

While I'm getting up to speed on the NDNP processes I will be adding our updates to the WIKI. Take a look at the Milestones table so see what we've accomplished to date. Do check back for more updates over the next few months.

Shawn Schollmeyer
Project Manager
Washington National Digital Newspaper Program
Washington State Library
360.570.5568 | 360.480.9538 cell
[email protected]

Oct. 08, 2010

Hello to our esteemed Washington NDNP Advisory Committee members and staff,

Here’s a quick update from Washington’s National Digital Newspaper Program.

What we’ve accomplished:

1. In late September we released news that 23 titles with over 115,000 newspaper pages went live in Chronicling America (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/newspapers/). We sent releases by title to media, libraries, and archives based on regional interest (I’ve attached a copy of the Seattle Star release so you can see an example). See a list of titles and more here.

2. For the most part, our 2008-2010 grant has been completed. For a more detailed report please see the 2008-2010 final report to NEH: Final Reports

What’s next:

3. You may have heard that WSL received word in June that Washington’s NDNP grant has been renewed for another two years. Yay!

4. For the next grant round we decided to license docWorks from CCS (our text conversion vendor in Germany) in order to bring more of the work in house and allow us to digitize other WSL collections in a similar fashion. We’re getting ready to train on the use of docWorks in the next few weeks.

5. We’re in the process of looking for grant funding that would allow us to create a Digital Library Repository, ingesting our NDNP titles with other digital collections here at the State Library. The idea is that this would allow better management, preservation, and access to historic newspapers, books, maps, etc. that have been digitized by or in conjunction with the Washington State Library. Grant money is getting much more competitive in these tough financial times so keep your fingers crossed for us.

Welcome and Thanks

6. Please join me in welcoming Claire Imamura, our new Digital Newspaper Project Assistant. Claire started yesterday, she worked for a time at the Alaska State Library and is now a full time graduate student at the UW iSchool. She will be working with me at the University of Washington on the next phase of the grant.

7. And finally, a big thanks to Glenda Pearson and staff at the University of Washington for housing me (part time) and the students working on this project, providing access to the negatives they’ve filmed over the years, heading the titles selection committee, and helping to research newspaper titles. UW has been a great partner in this project and WSL is grateful for its collaborative spirit.

And as always, thank you for your support and feel free to contact me with questions.

Laura Robinson
Project Manager
Washington National Digital Newspaper Program
Washington State Library
360.570.5568 | 360.915.4156 cell
[email protected]

Feb. 04, 2010

Hello to Washington’s NDNP Advisory Committee members,

I trust everyone is enjoying their winter (or at least are hopeful that it’s already February).

This is just a quick update to inform folks of the progress with Washington’s National Digital Newspaper Program here at the State Library.

  1. We recently released news regarding the 8 Washington titles we have live in Chronicling America (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/newspapers/). We sent releases based on title to media, libraries, and archives based on regional interest. I’ve attached a general one here for the group.
  2. We’re also planning a strategy to incorporate these pages and our existing Pioneer Newspapers database into one digital repository and search interface. This may take some time but we’ve begun the initial research.
  3. With 42,000 pages available online (Chronicling America) and 28,000 more pages delivered and waiting for upload, we are approximately 70% the way through our 100,000 pages. Visit our progress chart for more details: Latest Updates.
  4. We’ve applied for the 2010-2012 grant cycle and hope to find out by June if we’ve received another two-year grant.

For a more detailed progress report please see our Jan 31, 2010 interim report to NEH: Interim Reports

And as always, thanks for your support and contact me with questions.


Laura Robinson
WA - National Digital Newspaper Program
Washington State Library
360.570.5568 | 360.915.4156
[email protected]


Sept. 30, 2008

Our NDNP coordinator, Laura Robinson, is now in place. She will be out of the office from Oct. 1-10 to get married and have a short honeymoon. When she returns, you can contact her at 360.570.5568 in Olympia, or at 360.915.4156 on her cell phone. You may want to try her cell phone first as she will be at UW for part of each week. Her email is [email protected]

The RFP for scanning was issued on Sept. 15 and responses are due Oct. 15. We plan to announce our selection by Oct. 24.

Laura and Marlys were able to attend the third meta|morphosis conference in Lexington, Ky., Sept. 24-25. It was a valuable experience and included some hands-on time with film scanners, densitometers and XML files. It was also a good chance to talk to some of the vendors and other NDNP participants.

We will be working closely with University of Kentucky and plan to use their web form for collecting title and collation metadata for the film we’ll be examining.

Title selection is moving along, and at a meeting between UW and WSL on Sept. 12, both organizations decided on the first titles to be purchased. Minutes of that meeting can be found on the NDNP wiki at Meetings. The contract between WSL and UW to allow us to reimburse them for film and student workers is still in our contracts office, but should be emerging soon.

Laura has established a wiki for the project to use for maintaining files and communicating. The NDNP wiki is located at MainPage In the interests of keeping a coherent record of the project, we will continue to send information and updates out via listserv, but will also add the updates, discussions, etc. to the wiki. At present I believe anyone can read the wiki. If you want to be able to add to the wiki, please contact Laura.


Aug. 20, 2008

Greetings from overcast Olympia!

I just want to take a minute to update everyone on where we are in the NDNP project.

We have hired an NDNP Project Coordinator, Laura Robinson, who will start work officially on Sept. 1. Laura has been working on the Washington Rural Heritage project, traveling around the state doing scanning and training at rural libraries and heritage organizations to help them convert some of their unique holdings. Before that she worked at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico developing a quality assurance program for cross-walking and normalization of huge databases. Needless to say we are delighted to have her with us.

Laura will be spending part of her time in Olympia and part of it in Seattle at UW. Once we nail down phone numbers and such, I’ll send out her contact information. In the next 2 months Laura will also be getting married, buying a house and moving – so she’ll be very busy!

We have a draft of an RFP for a vendor that is currently being reviewed by our contracts office. We hope to release it soon and have a vendor nailed down by Nov. I’ve started working on a contract with UW that will allow us to reimburse them for film and for student workers.

Glenda is working on our preliminary list of titles so we can place our first orders of film and get started on the film evaluation and testing, as well as the gathering of metadata.

Laura and I attended the participants meeting for NDNP in Washington, DC Aug. 6-8, and had a chance to meet the participants from all the other libraries and the LC staff we will be working with. The agenda covered a lot of the nuts and bolts of the project as well as presentations from several of the continuing awardees on project design and troubleshooting. It was a very positive experience.

We had hoped to also attend the metamorphosis08 conference at the University of Kentucky which focuses on conversion of film to digital, but with the ban on out-of-state travel that looks doubtful.

That’s about it for now – hope you are all having a great summer!


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