Digitizing and Describing Moving Image Content Reaches New Users

I honestly don’t know how many times I’ve heard or read the phrase “I saw it in the Civil Rights Digital Library and I’m wondering if…” all I know is it has been a lot. The Civil Rights Digital Library (CRDL) is a digital portal that is part of a partnership between the Digital Library of Georgia (DLG) and my department, the Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection (BMA) at the University of Georgia Libraries that has lasted for over 10 years now. About 30 hours worth of content from the BMA’s WSB and WALB Newsfilm collections were digitized and described for that project.

The impact to BMA of having digital content out there via the DLG has been profound. I believe it has truly changed one of the ways people find us. To have our content go out through the DLG and then through the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) which launched in 2013 can be seen in our use statistics. I know not every request for content comes to us at BMA, because content is discovered through these portals, but I’m guessing some do– having items in DLG and DPLA just makes people aware that we exist and might have content they are interested in. We have continued to digitize newsfilm content over the years, so now there are over 12,000 clips available to view online and share through the DLG.

In 2009, we had 152 requests for content from BMA to be digitized or used for viewing by students, faculty, general researchers, and producers. In 2017, that number grew to 1173 items, an increase of 671%. Ten years ago, getting the content together for digitization was challenging, now, it is something we do every day because we have the equipment and tools to do the work in-house. In the age of YouTube and Netflix, most users expect online access to audiovisual content and that is what we aim to provide.

Working with the DLG has been incredibly beneficial. We’ve had content digitized, but we’ve also had content described, and to me that has been a huge value to us. In some ways the digitization is the easier part because it can be outsourced to a vendor or we can digitize for ourselves, but because we are small department the need for describing the content is where we need the most help. Most recently we have been working with the DLG on home movie and town film collections from Georgia through one of their subgrant awards. This labor intensive, crucially important work to provide description is the only way to be able to find the content accurately. Describing content requires analysis, some historical perspective, and an eye for detail, and the DLG does that very well. For the Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection, collaborating with the Digital Library of Georgia has always been a win-win.

–Ruta Abolins, Director,  Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection

Featured image: Still image from WSB-TV newsfilm clip of mayor Ivan Allen, Jr. escorting Coretta Scott King away from Hartsfield International Airport immediately after learning about the death of her husband, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Atlanta, Georgia, 1968 April 4 http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/crdl/do:ugabma_wsbn_53565

Share

New Collections Document Atlanta’s Interdenominational Theological Center and Morehouse, Morris Brown, and Spelman Colleges.

Dance Theater Students
Dance Theater Students, Spelman College Photographs Collection, Theatre and Dance Series 3, http://digitalcommons.auctr.edu/scimgtnd/3

As part of the CLIR-funded, “Our Story” project, Atlanta University Center, Spelman College, and the DLG are happy to announce additional content documenting the largest consortium of African American private institutions of higher education.

Additional “Our Story” updates are available through the DLG blog.

Interdenominational Theological Center

  • The Center–Quarterly journal of the Interdenominational Center’s cooperating seminaries and the Stewart Missionary Foundation of Africa dating from 1960 to 1966 and containing articles of wide general interest as well as more detailed discussions or special subjects from the Divisions of Biblical, Historical, Theological, and practical.
  • The Foundation–Quarterly journal published between 1905 and 1980 for  the Gammon Theological Seminary, its alumni, and the Stewart Missionary Foundation for Africa.
  • The Journal of the Interdenominational Theological Center–Semi-annual scholarly journal dating from 1973 to 2007 and featuring the work of I.T.C. faculty.
  • The Lantern–Alumni news publication covering the period from 1984 to 2009 highlighting the work of I.T.C. alumni and important events and activities.
  • Yearbooks -Yearbooks of the Interdenominational Theological Center dating from 1945 and 1986 and chronicling the annual activities of Gammon Theological Seminary, The Morehouse School of Religion, Phillips School of Theology, and Turner Theological Seminary.

Morehouse College

  • Morehouse College Photographs–Photographs depicting the buildings and grounds, students, campus events and visitors, faculty, and individuals associated with Morehouse College, the only all-male historically Black college in the United States, dating from the 1880s through the 1970s.

Morris Brown College

  • Catalogs–Course catalogs dating from 1889 to 1998 of historically black, Atlanta-based, liberal arts college, Morris Brown College.

Spelman College

  • Buildings–Photographs tracing the development of the Spelman College campus from the 1880s to the present.
  • Commencement –Photographs depicting Spelman College commencement ceremonies from 1887 to 2005.
  • Presidents–Photographs documenting the leadership history of Spelman College from its founding in 1881 to present day.
  • Theatre–Photographs of productions and performances of the Spelman College Department of Drama and Dance from the 1930s to present.
Share