American Indians of the Pacific Northwest

Building the Digital Collection

The University of Washington Libraries received an award in the 1997/98 round of the Library of Congress/Ameritech National Digital Library Competition to support the digitization of this collection of text and photographs. The university led a consortium that also included the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture (external link) in Spokane, and the Museum of History and Industry (external link) in Seattle. As encouraged by the guidelines, the image files and most of the web pages describing the source collection and the project are mounted and maintained at the University of Washington as one of its Image Collections (external link) Descriptive records were delivered to the Library of Congress for indexing as part of American Memory.

For more detail on different aspects of building this digital collection, follow the links below.

Digitizing the Collection

The digital images of the heterogeneous pictorial and textual material in this collection were captured using a variety of scanners. Most items were scanned directly from originals, but photographic intermediates were sometimes used. The textual materials have not been transcribed or converted, but are presented through a page-turning interface. This interface is one component of the CONTENT system used by the University of Washington Libraries to manage the collection and deliver a local presentation of the collection. The CONTENT Software Suite is developed and supported by the Center for Information Systems Optimization in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington. For a fuller discussion of the creation of these digital reproductions, including details of scanning equipment and image formats, see Digitizing the Collection (external link) from the University of Washington.

Intellectual Access to the Collection

Descriptive records for the items in this collection were generated using two distinct but consistent data dictionaries, one a data dictionary for the pictorial images (external link) and one for the text resources (external link). The data elements in each dictionary were chosen to allow recording of details appropriate to the different forms of content (e.g. studio name for photographs). The elements in each set can be mapped to the fifteen simple Dublin Core elements to allow coherent cross-collection searching. For more information on the different sources from which the descriptive metadata was drawn, see Intellectual Access to the Collection (external link) from the University of Washington.

Interoperation between the Library of Congress and the University of Washington

Sets of descriptive records for the pictorial and textual components of the collection were delivered to the Library of Congress, where they have been indexed with InQuery to allow full integration into American Memory. Each record has a link to a presentation of the corresponding item that is generated dynamically by a server at the University of Washington. For information about the software used to present the digital reproductions at the University of Washington and to manage the digital collection, see Site Technology (external link).