Posts Tagged ‘Musica Colonial’

Interesting lessons and discoveries!

Two summer activities are keeping me well entertained … so whether it’s learning and testing out a new trick for the DSpace mobile theme or discovering the excellent transcription work being done for our own Música Colonial digital archive … the last few weeks have been quite interesting :-)

browsing A-Z test (DSpace mobile)The mobile DSpace theme is already in progress -almost there, the image on the right is an example of a quite complex page now with a clean and fluid look and feel.  The real test is available at our own DSpace test instance.   jQuery Mobile provided a key start for this work and the magic of its ThemeRoller generator is an excellent reason to stick to this option as much as possible.  Anyone who’s done some theme customization in DSpace knows how hard it’s to find and control the appearance of certain elements –e.g. div.pagination or form.ds-interactive-div.  A major challenge I’ve found so far is adding HTML5 attributes to elements that are dynamically generated and that are context sensitive (e.g. collection list or view).  For a couple of days, I thought using the .html() property to modify the HTML on the fly was the perfect fix; however, this type of tweaks in jQM requires a manual page refresh :-( … so apparently a good plan B will be to go back and rely on some old CSS tweaks, so far, popular and key examples include:

display: none; //hide some extra DSpace elements
-moz-border-radius: 5px; //simulate jQM corners
border-radius: 5px;
min-width: 390px; //control width for some sub-header DIVs
max-height: 90px;

… and speaking of jQuery tweaks, last week we found a bug in our code for controlling the display of videos and images in Scholarly Commons, the lines below were part of the magic.  An examples is here.

// if more than 1 video is found, only embed the 1st one,
// except for objects within the "imageviewer-wrapper" DIV
if(v>=2) {
$("object", "#imageviewer-wrapper").show();
else {

As for the Música Colonial project, in June I “discovered” an entry about this project on the Choral Public Domain Library (CPDL) … and perhaps the most interesting discovery was the 20+ pieces of work already transcribed with PDFs and MIDIs by Jonathan Goodliffe –an excellent and recent example is “A la reina del socorro”; We’ll definitely include links to the corresponding items in our upcoming website for this project.  In the meantime, thanks Jonathan for all the work you’re doing and YES “the online collaboration was at the very heart of the original idea of this project” and with this type of help, someday we may be able to transcribe the entire 800+ items in the collection.

… hasta la próxima!


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I was recently back in Guatemala for 11 days!

For the first 4-5 days, I was part of one of the three annual CoEd tours. CoEd is an NGO funded in 1996 now with offices in Cincinnati, Ohio and Guatemala; it’s a great example of organizations that have grown over the years and expanded their programs for kids in elementary and middle schools.  One of the new programs is “Culture of Reading” and it’s focused on developing the habit of reading and critical thinking for kids in K-2 grade.

This tour was a great opportunity to: a) listen to those kids and learn about their goals/expectations for a better education in the future; and b) get to know people who are working/helping with educational initiatives in many parts of the world.  Will I go back for another CoEd tour? Yes, …and hopefully with some friends too.

While I was there -on August 4 at 9 am- I had an important and productive meeting with Thelma Porres –Archive Coordinator at CIRMA.  In the last two years, Thelma and I have exchanged emails and talked about the Musica Colonial project.  Well, this time I finally met and showed her the prototype record we’ve created for this collection.  I know it’s a big –complex- project and it’ll take us a few years to get it completed; but this collection has been, will be, in a special place in my list because:

  • is originally from Guatemala
  • is the oldest collection we housed (from the 18th century)
  • is a collaborative project among CIRMA and at least 3 Miami University Departments:  Spanish & Portuguese, Music, and U. Libraries
  • requires/incorporates some really interesting programming scripting techniques such as: conversion from TIFF to DjVu or PDF, batch generation of files for populating a CONTENTdm collection, and producing audio files from manuscript music records.

I was very happy to get a couple of names of music experts who have done some metadata work for this collection, in the next few weeks I hope to get in touch with them and hopefully we all can share what we’ve done and collaborate for the next –perhaps final- phase of this project.

…and of course, I spent my last 4 days in Toto! –visiting some family, relatives, friends as well as an unplanned –and very successful- visit at CDRO.

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