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Managing A Digitization Project: Issues For State Agency Publications With Folded Maps

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Technical Papers

Tagged Division

Engineering Libraries

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.851.1 - 15.851.16



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Paper Authors


Carol La Russa University of California, Davis

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Librarian for Environmental Engineering, Geology and Atmospheric Sciences.
Physical Sciences & Engineering Library, University of California, Davis

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Karen Andrews University of California, Davis

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Head, Physical Sciences & Engineering Library,
University of California, Davis

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Managing a Digitization Project: Issues for State Agency Publications with Folded Maps


The authors present a case study of management issues encountered when an external organization with grant money and facilities to do digitization accepted the proposal to scan and host a collection of California Division of Mines & Geology Bulletins and California Department of Water Resources Bulletins. The Bulletins are very important historically for the rich information and maps they contain about California mines and minerals, geology, water resources, highways, and weather modification projects. They were difficult to digitize because the texts were accompanied by large, folded maps, many in color. The library was responsible for gathering the materials and providing bibliographic information for each item in the series. The Water Resources Bulletins were a complex set to identify bibliographically because the title spawned many subseries over time, some with imperfect numbering and others with uncertain relationship to the original series. This project involved staff from several departments across the library and coordination with two larger organizational entities. The authors describe challenges in managing all the activities of such a project under a tight timeline and make recommendations for efficient procedures. They also identify the need to formulate better metadata extraction algorithms for use with items that are part of a series, such as government documents and technical reports, in order for these materials to be discovered by researchers. The digitized images were linked in the university online catalog, made publicly available on the Internet Archive website, and, in collaboration with the California Digital Library, deposited for preservation in the Hathi Trust. The methods developed for this pilot project will serve as a model for future collaborative endeavors involving preparations for digitizing bibliographically complex sets.


This paper describes the management of a project to digitize and make accessible the engineering and science content of bulletins from two major state agencies. The project was complex because of two inherent challenges. The texts were accompanied by foldout illustrations and tables, and large, folded maps, many in color. The digitizing agency, the Internet Archive (IA), had not handled foldouts of this size before due to lack of appropriate scanning equipment. The second challenge was the difficulty in correctly identifying all the parts of a series due to agency changes and revised editions over time. A third challenge related to the tight timeframe during which the Internet Archive staff had funding from the Kahle/Austin Foundation and Omidyar Network to complete the project.

The Bulletin of the California Division of Mines and Geology collection is a series of publications issued from 1888 to 2001 by the Division and its predecessor agencies. The Bulletins include many California geologic maps and guidebooks and also contain information on the mines, minerals, mining law, and geologic history of California.

La Russa, C., & Andrews, K. (2010, June), Managing A Digitization Project: Issues For State Agency Publications With Folded Maps Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16315

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