LSTA MiniGrant

We recently learned about the official announcement of the 2010 LSTA MiniGrant program and -yes- Miami was in the list.  As part of our on-going plan to increase access while maintaining/improving the end-users’ experience, this project will allow us to start a migration process for the Miami Student Newspaper collection; the new access files will be available in PDFs -instead of TIF.

Digitized newspaper collections -given their complex layout- often bring a set of challenges for both users and collection administrators.  In the past, a high quality scanned image of a newspaper page usually satisfied the researchers’ expectations; however, today researchers expect to search/view a newspaper archive just as they would do when searching a born-digital newspaper.  One of our current limitations is the display of large text-based images in a relatively small window; by using multi-page PDF files with a better OCR quality, users will view every issue as a single file and with a better option for searching and even printing!

This is a relatively short project, from April 1 to August 31, 2010.  We’re very excited and look forward to working (hard) and completing this project right before the 2010 Fall semester.  A complete list of the 2010 awarded projects is available here.

And speaking of newspaper and accessibility, one of my favorite examples is the TimesMachine of the NYT –but it’s not openly available :(