Digital Library Blog
We have an ambitious set of goals for continuing to improve and enrich the library website in October. These priorities are based on our original project goals and on feedback and suggestions gathered from patrons and staff. Please continue to send us your feedback and encourage others to do so as well.
Our goals for October 2012 are to:
September was a busy month for the library website team. We officially launched the new site on August 28, and have been steadily adding content, features, and functionality since them. Below is a summary of the Library website work accomplished in September.
Patron-facing changes and enhancements:
Digital Production Group takes great pride and pleasure in our role supporting the Library's many beautiful and informative exhibitions. The current exhibition is just that, displaying an array of startlingly colorful and detailed medieval manuscripts from the University's collection.
Please read more below, cross-posted from Special Collections. See also the recent article in the Stanford University News, Medieval exhibition spotlights Stanford Libraries' manuscript collection.
Scripting the Sacred: Medieval Latin Manuscripts
Scripting the Sacred, part one of a two-part exhibition of Western European manuscripts and fragments, showcases the medieval experience of reading. The exhibition will open Monday, September 17, in the Peterson Gallery and Munger Rotunda of Green Library, and continue through January 6, 2013.
Studying these texts involved not only the absorption of knowledge, but also practices of interpretation, identification, and devotion. By focusing on the exercise of reading, this exhibition explores "scripting" in diverse forms: scribal activity, scripted performances, and inscribed divine things (res divinae).
Throughout the Middle Ages, the Bible remained the paradigmatic text for reading and studying. The exhibited biblical items highlight different preferences pertaining to legibility. Indeed, scribes designed manuscripts to guide, assist, and sometimes challenge readers, as medieval versions of biblical commentary and patristic works exemplify. The liturgical genres on display contain written and visual markers that instruct readers in the proper performance of the Mass, music, and specific feast days. The text portion of the liturgy helped stage the clergy's ceremonial duties. Liturgical fragments with musical notation assisted ritual actors in the memorization of stylized speech. Both components show how customized manuscripts promoted reading aloud. Miniature prayer books and books of hours demonstrate a late medieval trend toward privatized and personalized lay devotion.
Cathy Aster, Michael Olson and Sarah Sussman (SUL Curator of French and Italian) were invited by ATS colleague Nicole Coleman to a Stanford Digital Humanities & Design workshop, "Early Modern Times & Networks" where they presented a summary of the Bassi-Veratti project on 24 August 2012. They led a discussion focused on the Encoded Archival Description (EAD) XML encoding of the finding aid to facilitate discovery of digitized content i
Last week Stanford open sourced the code responsible for the Nearby on Shelf feature in SearchWorks as the Blacklight Browse Nearby gem. This feature has been highly sought after by various Blacklight institutions to be contributed back to the community. In keeping with the spirit of the vibrant open source community around Blacklight, Stanford has contributed the development effort to get this codebase available for use and contribution by other Blacklight implementers.
The release of this software was the culmination of a re-write of the SearchWorks code making it an installable package, more generalizable, and suitable in an open source context. Due to that fact, the end product is much more generic that SearchWorks' version (as you can see in the side-by-side screenshots below with SearchWorks being on the right) however it is infinitely more customizable.
The Stanford University Libraries recently launched a redesign of its main library website at http://library.stanford.edu. This is a Drupal 7-based site hosted on Pantheon.
In the future we hope to document more thoroughly the technical approaches we took on several bits of the site, but for now I'll summarize a few of the features this community might be interested with a brief summary of the technical approach taken for each. In no particular order: