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November 1997


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Steve Cavrak <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Digital Libraries Research mailing list <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 12 Nov 1997 11:08:03 -0500
TEXT/PLAIN (68 lines)
        UM Making of America site -- 685,885 pages now online

The University of Michigan Digital Library Initiative is proud
to announce the completion of the first phase of its Making of
America project, now including approximately 650,000 pages of
books and journals from the latter part of the 19th century.
This tremendous resource now contains 1,601 books and ten
journals with more than 49,069 articles documenting America's
social history.  Based on feedback solicited in earlier
announcements for the resource, as well as local user studies,
the current implementation adds functionality in a number of
areas.  Notable features of the current system include the
o Users may search the full text of the 685,885 pages,
  retrieving results almost instantly.
o The system now includes browsable bibliographies for the
  journal articles and the monographs.
o The UM MoA resources have been encoded in a simple SGML form
  (a 40 element DTD conforming to the TEI Guidelines);
  consequently, we are able to seamlessly integrate both
  automatically processed (i.e., "raw") texts, and texts whose
  OCR and encoding is carefully evaluated (i.e., "cooked"
  texts).  Users who encounter a "cooked" text will find
  attractively rendered HTML with links to page images, while
  "raw" texts are presented as page images until resources can
  be found to improve them.
o A major project undertaken during the summer of 1997
  subdivided the UM MoA periodicals into articles, adding title
  and author information to the rough OCR at the article level,
  thus making it easier to navigate the large body of material
  or to search for specific items.
o Although the functionality of the resource is enhanced by the
use of browsers that support frames, the current
implementation also supports frameless browsers.
Especially if you’ve been a user of the UM Making of American
system in the past, we would be very interested in your
comments.  Please take a look at the new system and send
comments to [log in to unmask]

Future Developments
The resource will continue to improve along several different
o Integration with the Making of America materials at Cornell
  University ( is a high priority.
o Migration from "raw" to "cooked" can take place gradually,
  based on the availability of resources and specific demands.
  The Humanities Text Initiative, a part of the Digital Library
  Production Services at the UM, will undertake the process of
  proofing OCR and refining markup based on user demand.  A call
  for suggestions of priorities will be made in the coming
o The UM Library will be incorporating digital conversion into
  its Preservation Department's "Brittle Books" program.  New
  materials will be added to the MoA site as they are converted.
o Bibliographic information in monographs will be enhanced with
  improved catalog records by the end of 1997.
o We hope to work with other institutions and funding agencies
  to make more significant additions to the MoA site.  Please
  send expressions of interest to [log in to unmask]

The project is made possible in part by a generous grant from
the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Miscellaneous statistics:
Total SGML:  1.826 gigabytes
Total words:  approximately 300 million