Category Archives: Preservation

NCompass Live: Building a Digital Image Collection With Flickr: A low (or no) cost way to share your digital assets

Join us for the next NCompass Live, ‘Building a Digital Image Collection With Flickr: A low (or no) cost way to share your digital assets’, on Wednesday, April 12, 10:00am – 11:00am CT.

Libraries have many options of services to store and share digital assets, including many from library automation vendors. Instead of looking at library vendors, one option is to use a photo sharing resource such as Flickr (from From a very active Flickr user, this presentation will showcase how you can use this free resource to promote, organize and share your digital assets. Of particular note is using Flickr groups and tagging to make items from your collection accessible and findable by community residents as well as people all over the world. The presentation will also explore how different libraries are using Flickr for collections and program-related images.

Presenter: Corey Seeman, Director, Kresge Library Services, University of Michigan.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • April 19 – LMNOP: The Evolution of Engagement
  • April 26 – Collecting Library User Feedback: Free! high tech and low tech options that will meet your needs
  • May 3 – UNL Extension – The Learning Child – Co-Parenting for Successful Kids
  • May 17 – Binge Boxes, Boovie Bags, Book box binge, Makerspace Kits and more
  • May 24 – Ad Filters -The Case For and Against Installation on Public Computers

For more information, to register for NCompass Live, or to listen to recordings of past events, go to the NCompass Live webpage.

NCompass Live is broadcast live every Wednesday from 10am – 11am Central Time. Convert to your time zone on the Official U.S. Time website. The show is presented online using the GoToWebinar online meeting service. Before you attend a session, please see the NLC Online Sessions webpage for detailed information about GoToWebinar, including system requirements, firewall permissions, and equipment requirements for computer speakers and microphones.

Posted in Education & Training, Preservation, Technology | Leave a comment

Big Talk From Small Libraries is tomorrow!

Small libraries! Awesome ideas! FREE!

Join us tomorrow for the Big Talk From Small Libraries 2017 online conference. Registration is still open, so head over to the website and sign up.

This free one-day online conference is aimed at librarians from small libraries, but regardless of how big or small your library is, you are welcome and encouraged to come learn about the innovative things your colleagues are doing in their small libraries.

We have a great agenda for the day, with seven 50 minute sessions plus five 10 minute lightning round sessions. You can log in and out of the conference as you like throughout the day, based on your interest and availability.

And, Nebraska library staff can earn 1 hour of CE Credit for each hour of the conference you attend:

So, come join us for a day of big ideas from small libraries!

Posted in Books & Reading, Education & Training, Library Management, Preservation, Programming, Public Relations, Technology, Youth Services | Leave a comment

End-of-Term (EOT) Government Website Harvest Enlists Librarians, Educators, Students

As the United States—and the world—prepare for the January 20, 2017 presidential inauguration, libraries, institutions, and citizens are joining forces to identify federal government websites to be captured and saved in the End of Term (EOT) Web Archive.

The archive currently holds government web content from the administration changes of 2008 and 2012, and in July resumed collection efforts for EOT 2016 content. Government document and subject experts have been joined by librarians, academics, political and social science researchers, educators and their students, and other volunteer nominators in semester-long efforts and all-day “nominatathons” to identify URLs that are then submitted for inclusion in the EOT Archive. Those that are in-scope and not duplicates are assigned a weighted score by project specialists and given a priority level for web crawling.

A collaboration between the Library of Congress (LC), California Digital Library (CDL), University of North Texas (UNT) Libraries, Internet Archive (IA), George Washington University Libraries, Stanford University Libraries, and the U.S. Government Publishing Office, the EOT Presidential Harvest 2016 preserves federal government websites (.gov, .mil, etc.) from the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government. According to the EOT Harvest website, the archive is “intended to document federal agencies’ presence on the World Wide Web during the transition of Presidential administrations and to enhance the existing collections of the partner institutions.” The public access copy of the archive is kept at IA; LC holds a preservation copy, and an additional copy is held at UNT for data analysis.


The idea for the partnership was born at the International Internet Preservation Consortium (IIPC) meeting in Canberra, Australia, in summer 2008.

“We had just found out that the National Archives was not going to do their dot-gov crawl that they had done in 2004,” explained LC digital library project manager Abbie Grotke. “A number of us sitting around the room at the IIPC meeting who were already collecting government material in one way or another at our own institutions said, ‘Well, let’s do this together collaboratively.’ And one of the big goals of that was to share a copy of the data among all the partners.”

The CDL, IA, LC, UNT, and GPO—all members of IIPC and partners in the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP)—decided to join forces to document changes to government websites during the administration change from George W. Bush to Barack Obama. “Digital government information is considered at-risk, with an estimated life span of 44 days for a website,” noted NDIIPP director of program management Martha Anderson in a press release at the time. “This collection will provide an historical record of value to the American people.”

Several of the organizations were already active in preserving government web content. LC has preserved congressional websites on a monthly basis since December 2003. UNT Libraries, as part of the GPO’s Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP), created its CyberCemetery in 1997 to capture and provide access to the websites and publications of defunct U.S. government agencies and commissions.

While organizations such as FDLP have focused on collecting, preserving, and providing access to printed publications, they do not have the infrastructure to archive digital material. Government document librarians across the country had for some time been aware of the need for an organized web collection effort.

“I’ve been really active for ten years at least trying to move the documents community towards collecting and preserving digital government information,” Stanford University U.S. government information librarian James R. Jacobs, one of the original participants, told LJ. Jacobs’s website, Free Government Information, has been supporting the preservation of digital government material for more than a dozen years.


Each partner contributed to aspects of the new project, from organization to application development. The nomination tool, a simple front-end interface designed to identify, prioritize, and describe the thousands of government web hosts, was built by UNT. The content collection was performed with the open-source Heritrix web crawler, developed by IA with support from IIPC. In order to aggregate EOT content, LC developed BagIt Library, an open source Java large-scale data transfer tool, as well as a desktop version, Bagger.

Beginning in August 2008, IA began a broad crawl of government sites, supplemented with crawls by the other project partners. The URLs were collected in December 2008, and again after the January 2009 inauguration. Final comprehensive crawls were performed in spring and fall 2009 to document any final changes. Ultimately, each partner transferred their collected content to a single consolidated archive. Metadata and thumbnail images were generated by IA’s in-house tools, with CDL providing input on Dublin Core format. Once the data transfer was complete, in mid-2010, a total of 15.9 terabytes of data had been collected.

In November 2011, the EOT Harvest resumed to document changes between Obama’s two terms—this time with the help of LIS students.

After reading a post about the project on LC’s blog about the 2012 EOT Harvest, Debbie Rabina, a professor at New York’s Pratt Institute School of Information, thought that it would be a good project for students in her Government Information Sources class. She contacted Grotke, and the two developed a plan for Rabina’s students to identify government social media sites as a semester-long project.

The class used government directories to search each agency for social media accounts, such as the U.S. Government Manual and the A-Z agency list available on They eventually nominated some 1,500 accounts found on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Pinterest, GitHub, Foursquare, and others. Eventually, all 2012 EOT Harvest partners captured some 21 terabytes of data.


Four years later, in the wake of the 2016 election, Rabina felt the need to further expand the harvesting efforts’ reach. “I was trying to think about what I could do as a librarian,” she told LJ. Drawing on her previous experience with the EOT Harvest, she said, “I thought this would be a good way for me to do something.”

Rabina reached out to Grotke and Jacobs, as well as librarians from local New York organizations. The New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM) was to be the host of the 18th International Conference on Grey Literature—published material produced outside of commercial or academic publishing, which is often not easily accessible—from November 28–29, and Rabina proposed that it also host an EOT nominating session that week.

On December 1, ten volunteers at gathered at NYAM library to spend an afternoon identifying URLs. Rabina provided a handout with instructions for the nomination process—although it is relatively straightforward, certain kinds of content, such as PDFs or FTP (file transfer protocol), are not readily crawlable by Heritrix and need to be traced back to an originating http or https URL.

Rabina’s handout also identified areas for participants to explore, mainly subdomains of, which may be most at risk of changing after the transition; when new reports are commissioned, for example, there is no requirement to save older ones. “The law has different levels of requirements for preservation, and for maintaining versions, for different types of government information,” explained Rabina. “The ones that are afforded the most protections for preservation and retention are things from the legislative branch, like our laws and bills and budget. But the stuff that comes from the agencies… like EPA reports about the level of water toxins in New Jersey, a lot of that just isn’t retained and gets lost.”

Especially with new agency heads in a new administration, she added, “their own vision can be anything from ‘I don’t believe in global warming’ to ‘I just want to update this website because it’s ugly, so let’s throw it all out.’”

In addition, noted Jacobs, “Government agencies change their content management systems all the time. You might have a link to a document or webpage that you like or want to use for your research or have an interest in, and that URL could change.”


The 2016 harvest is projected to be the largest yet.

“The first thing to stress is that it’s not coming out of any sort of paranoia about the new administration, necessarily,” Jacobs told LJ. “This is our third go-around. We’re basically focusing on the dot-gov, dot-mil internet domain, and trying to collect as much information from those domains as we can in order to put a marker there for every four years.”

Groups at other institutions, including Simmons College and Brandeis University in Massachusetts and the University of Toronto, have also expressed interest in convening nominatathons. Rabina has put together a new handout for interested participants, with an eye to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, OSHA, NASA, and the Transportation Research Board. “We’re focusing on areas where we feel that there will be leaders who will bring another vision,” Rabina told LJ, “All of the science and the environment stuff. As far as I’m concerned, Department of Defense is kind of my last priority to get to.”

The EOT Archive has asked for particular assistance in identifying Judicial Branch websites; important content or subdomains on very large websites, such as, that might be related to current presidential policies; and government content on non-government domains, such as .com or .edu.

The nomination tool allows users to submit URLs for inclusion and lets the EOT Archive filter out duplicates. In-scope web pages include those of federal government websites and social media accounts—particularly those that may change significantly or disappear during the transition. Local or state government websites, and any non-government sites including news sites and those documenting the U.S. elections, are out of the EOT Harvest scope. Each URL submitted is assigned a weighted score by project specialists, according to whether it is in or out of scope and its priority for crawling.

Volunteers are asked to submit some simple metadata, including the nominated site’s title, agency, branch, and comments. While these are not required, they help identify resources for future reference. A bookmarklet is available for Firefox, Google Chrome, and Internet Explorer on the EOT nomination tool website. Nominators can also submit via a simple Google form.

The Internet Archive will perform a comprehensive crawl across the entire .gov domain, supplemented by in-depth crawls by partners and volunteers based on the submitted lists of URLs. “We also ramp up our own collecting of government websites during this time to share with the project,” noted LC’s Grotke. “We’re already collecting house and senate sites, legislative branch content, some executive branch content…. We’re getting a little bit more in-depth coverage before and after inauguration day.”


Anyone interested in helping nominate websites for collection can email the EOT team at, or consult the EOT Web Archive site for more information.

“We would welcome any nominations of federal government websites,” said Grotke. “Nominate sites you feel are important or most at risk of disappearing or changing. We recommend including both top level (e.g. as well as subdomains ( You might want to pick a topic to focus on, but we’re happy to accept any and all nominations you come up with. One way you could do this is to do searches for topic(s) of interest and include the .gov search parameter (“environment site:*.gov”). That will only search .gov domain for that keyword and you’ll quickly find the government sites of interest to you. Don’t worry about whether your nominated site has already been nominated. We’ll de-duplicate our list of seeds.”

She added, “This time around we’re really excited by all the community engagement like [Rabina’s] events she’s holding in New York…and also there have been these self-organizing groups,” Grotke told LJ. “They’re just sort of emerging with communities…that are concerned about the subject matter or just interested in the project and nominating websites.”

Reprinted from Library Journal / Library Hotline, by Lisa Peet, December 13, 2016.

Posted in Education & Training, General, Information Resources, Preservation, Uncategorized, What's Up Doc / Govdocs | Leave a comment

Call for Speakers for the 2017 Big Talk From Small Libraries online conference

The Call for Speakers for Big Talk From Small Libraries 2017 is now open! This free one-day online conference is aimed at librarians from small libraries; the smaller the better. Small libraries of all types – public, academic, school, museum, special, etc. – are encouraged to submit a proposal.

Do you offer a service or program at your small library that other librarians might like to hear about? Have you implemented a new (or old) technology, hosted an event, partnered with others in your community, or just done something really cool? The Big Talk From Small Libraries online conference gives you the opportunity to share what you’ve done, while learning what your colleagues in other small libraries are doing. Here are some possible topics to get you thinking:

  • Unique Libraries
  • Special Collections
  • New buildings
  • Fundraising
  • Improved Workflows
  • Staff Development
  • Advocacy Efforts
  • Community Partnerships
  • That great thing you’re doing at your library!

For Big Talk From Small Libraries 2017, we’re looking for seven 50-minute presentations 7and five 10-minute “lightning round” presentations.

Big Talk From Small Libraries 2017 will be held on Friday, February 24, 2017 between 8:45 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. (CT) via the GoToWebinar online meeting service. Speakers will be able to present their programs from their own desktops. The schedule will accommodate speakers’ time-zones.

If you are interested in presenting, please submit your proposal by Friday, January 13, 2017. Speakers from libraries serving fewer than 10,000 people will be preferred, but presentations from libraries with larger service populations will be considered.

Posted in Books & Reading, Education & Training, Grants, Information Resources, Library Management, Preservation, Programming, Public Relations, Technology, Youth Services | Leave a comment

Thanks for the Memory

With my retirement near,  I decided to devote my  last Nebraska Memories blog posting to reminiscing about  some of the visits I made to organizations that are participating in Nebraska Memories.  Mutton tallow lanternIn 2008 I visited the  Bess Streeter Aldrich House & Museum  with  Devra Dragos and Lori Sailors.   We toured the home that Bess and her family lived in, and saw memorabilia and documents related to her writing.  I remember seeing  her writing desk, typewriter,  the original typed manuscript of A Lantern in Her Hand, and the Mutton Tallow Lantern that Bess’s mother and her family carried with them on their journey to Iowa were on display.   Lori and Devra returned later to take photographs.

Also in 2008, Lori and I  visited Wanda Marget at Fairmont Public Library, who gave us a great tour of the Fillmore County Museum, located in a building donated by the Ashby family.   One room featured a restoration of Dr. Ashby’s medical clinic,  including the appendix of one of his patients preserved in a jar!  Another room featured many photographs and documents related to  the Fairmont Army Airfield during World War II.  In 1944 Lt. Colonel Paul Tibbets came to the Airfield and picked several crews and their support personnel for a secret mission –  the atomic bomb dropped oFairmont Army Air Fieldn Hiroshima.  The crews were taken from the  Airfield in the middle of the night for training.   The Fillmore County Historical Society also owns the old drug store building, complete with the original soda fountain.   Lori returned to scan the items now in the  Fairmont Public Library — Fillmore County Historical Society  collection.

The Durham Museum in Omaha is a fascinating place.   The restored train station housing the museum is spectacular.  I remember the stunning interior with a beautifully tiled floor,  a functioning soda fountain,  and an entire restored railroad car in the lower level.  It is a popular event venue – several years later I attended a wedding there.    The Museum  owns a large photograph collection.  Devra and I visited the Museum in late 2008.  The Museum scanned and contributed images from the William Wentworth photography studio collection to Nebraska Memories.   This 1939 photograph of a Car jumping flatbed trucksCar jumping flatbed trucks  is a great example of the commercial work Wentworth did for business clients.

Students at Haywood SchoolIn 2009 Lori and I visited  Lincoln Public Schools to see their collection of historical photographs.  Lori returned later to scan some of them.  We were delighted to add the images  to Nebraska Memories, and later very thankful that we could provide them with copies of their  images after the LPS building was mostly destroyed by fire on May 30, 2011.   I find this photograph of Students at Hayward School  rather poignant.   At the top are the words “The growing Citizens  Better schools, Better Citizens”. The three boys and one of the girls are barefoot.   Were they too poor to have shoes?  Were they recent immigrants?

Easter egg huntAnother collection featuring photographs of children is from the  Nebraska Children’s Home Society  in Omaha.   The Society became a  particpant after Lori and I visited  in 2010.  Lori scanned photographs, brochures and newsletters that the Society used to raise funds for care of the children and to ecourage adoptions.    The children in this photograph of an  Easter Egg Hunt on the grounds of the Home look like they are having a great time.

Lincoln Trction Comopany streetcar on College AvenueAnother 2010 visit  was to the Union College, Ella Johnson Crandall Memorial Library with Devra, to see photographs in the College archives.    The  collection consists primarily of  photographs of students and buildings on the College campus.  There are also some photographs of the College View neighborhood,  including this one of the Lincoln Traction Company streetcar on College Avenue.  Evidently streetcars occasionally got a little too close for comfort.   In 1910, a streetcar ran off the track and pushed the College View bandstand at the corner of 48th and Prescott Streets  off its foundation!

Samuel W. Rising and Polly RisingThe last site visit I made was to the Rising City Library with Devra in 2013.   Library board members showed  us photographs of businesses on Main Street, the depot, church, post office, a major fire, and portraits including this one of founders Samuel W. Rising and Polly Rising .   They generously allowed us to bring the photographs, some of which were framed and on display in the library,  back to the Library Commission for scanning.   Lori was able to scan the framed photographs without removing them from their frames.

Visiting museums, libraries and archives  has been a wonderful way to find out more about Nebraska’s history.  It’s been great fun.   As Bob Hope and Shirley Ross sang in 1938, Thanks for the Memory !

Nebraska Memories is a cooperative project to digitize Nebraska-related historical and cultural heritage materials and make them available to researchers of all ages via the Internet. Nebraska Memories is brought to you by the Nebraska Library Commission. If your institution is interested in participating in Nebraska Memories, see for more information, or contact Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.



Posted in General, Nebraska Memories, Preservation | 1 Comment

A Balloon School in Nebraska?

FortOmahaWhile I was in Rochester, New York this past Christmas visiting my husband’s family, my father-in-law showed me some letters from a World War I 2nd Lieutenant from Spencerport, NY, who had a Nebraska connection. Based on the letters and some further research, I found out that this young man was stationed at Fort Omaha, Nebraska for Balloon School.

Fort Omaha (the Nebraska Memories picture to the left), located at 5730 North 30th Street, in Omaha, Nebraska, was opened in 1868 as an Indian War-era United States Army supply depot for various forts along the Platte River.   This is also where Ponca Chief Standing Bear and 29 fellow Ponca were held prior to the landmark 1879 trial of Standing Bear v. Crook. Judge Elmer Dundy determined that American Indians were persons within the meaning of the law and that the Ponca were illegally detained after leaving Indian Territory in January 1879.  FortOmaha2The Nebraska Memories picture of the fort to the right, was taken about that same time period.

Fort Omaha today is primarily occupied by Metropolitan Community College, but continues to house Navy, Marine and Army Reserve units. The fort is located in the present-day Miller Park neighborhood of North Omaha. The Fort Omaha Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  The district includes the 1879 General Crook House Museum, as well as the 1879 Quartermaster’s office, 1878 commissary, 1884 guardhouse, 1883 ordnance magazine and 1887 mule stables.

In 1907 the Army built a large steel hangar at Fort Omaha for use in experiments with dirigibles, a program that was abandoned in 1909. This program and its successor, the military use of hot air balloons for reconnaissance missions, were part of the American Expeditionary Forces.  A balloon house was built in 1908, and in 1909 the first balloon flight took place.   Here is a picture from Nebraska Memories of the Balloon House at Fort Omaha, taken sometime between 1908 and 1910:

balloonschool4Shortly after the United States entered World War I, 800 men enlisted in the Aviation Section, U.S. Signal Corp, one of whom was William Spencer Barker, from Spencerport, NY.  They were immediately sent to the Balloon School at Fort Omaha for training. More than 16,000 airmen went through the Balloon Schools at Fort Omaha and other locations around the U.S., between 1908 and the close of the program in 1919.

Balloonists were trained in map reading and charting troop movements. This information was communicated through an extensive switchboard system to artillery troops on the ground.  The balloons were “captive” stationary balloons, utilized tail fins for stabilization, and had cables to tether the balloon to the ground.

In 1917, 2nd Lieutenant Baker was part of the 5th Squadron, Balloon Division, and did see military action with balloon squadrons in France from 1918-1919.

Visit Nebraska Memories to search for or browse through many more historical images of digitized from photographs, negatives, postcards, maps, lantern slides, books and other materials.

Nebraska Memories is a cooperative project to digitize Nebraska-related historical and cultural heritage materials and make them available to researchers of all ages via the Internet. Nebraska Memories is brought to you by the Nebraska Library Commission. If your institution is interested in participating in Nebraska Memories, see for more information, or contact Beth Goble, Historical Services Librarian, or Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.




Posted in Books & Reading, Education & Training, General, Information Resources, Library Management, Nebraska Memories, Preservation, Programming, What's Up Doc / Govdocs | Leave a comment

Team to lead NEH-funded project to digitize Cather letters

“Willa Cather ca. 1912 wearing necklace from Sarah Orne Jewett” by Photographer: Aime Dupont Studio, New York – Willa Cather Pioneer Memorial and Educational Foundation. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

Last year, the private musings of Willa Cather were made available to the masses for the first time in a book co-edited by UNL’s Andrew Jewell.

About 550 of the famous author’s letters were published in “The Selected Letters of Willa Cather.” Scholars and fans greeted the book with excitement, but the volume contained only a fraction of the more than 3,000 pieces of correspondence that Jewell and co-editor Janis Stout had uncovered from various archives and collections around the world.

Thanks to a three-year, $271,980 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, many more will be digitized and put online by the end of the decade.

A new digital scholarly edition titled “The Complete Letters of Willa Cather” will be published online as part of the Willa Cather Archive, a venture of UNL’s Center for Digital Research in the Humanities. The digital edition of Cather letters is expected to launch in January 2018, when the letters are scheduled to enter the public domain.

Read the full article @ UNL Today.

Posted in Books & Reading, Preservation, Technology | Leave a comment

Storage ideas for your older books

Connecting to Collections Webinar: Caring for Books

Thursday, July 17, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. (Eastern). This 60-minute webinar will cover the basic storage and handling concerns for any institution holding books, whether special collections, circulating, or strictly reference. The appropriate storage furniture, considerations for storage areas, and the do’s and don’ts of storage will all be covered.  As always, you do not need to be a registered member of the Online Community to participate in this webinar. Simply click on the green “Access Meeting Room” button on the right-hand side of the home page. Once there, enter your name and location and click enter. You will be redirected to the webinar. If you’re having difficulty, please take a look at our technical check page. An archive of the event will be posted to the Online Community following the live event.

What: Caring for Books (A webinar and live chat event.)

When: Thursday, July 17, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. (Eastern)

Where: The C2C Meeting Room

Featured Speaker: Donia Conn, Preservation Consultant for Cultural Heritage Collections and adjunct faculty for the Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science

Featured Resources:

Posted in Books & Reading, Library Management, Preservation | Leave a comment