Boston College Libraries, Digital Library Initiatives
DigiTool test site (password required)
DigiTool is a Digital Asset Management System (DAMS) that provides a single point of access for digital library collections. Using Oracle database technology, DigiTool manages all information about the digital assets, including technical (Z403), intellectual property rights metadata and descriptive metadata (Z00) , as well as digital rights management. DigiTool also serves as a discovery tool, which users access through a searchable and browseable web interface.
DigiTool can manage all types of digital files, including text, images, sound and video. DigiTool also manages metadata, storage of digital objects, copyright information and access control. From the web interface, which library users will see, DigiTool allows for powerful searching of metadata, as well as full text searching, display of digital objects, and save/print/email functionality.
DigiTool is open, modular and standards-based, and can work in conjunction with Aleph, Metalib and SFX, systems already in use at Boston College. The DigiTool web interface is customizable, and provides some useful features such as page turning, a digital bin to store a user's digital objects of interest, multiple file size/resolutions, and advanced searching options.Collection Management
We are live with our first collection in DigiTool version 2.4, see the Tip O'Neill images collection. To access collections in development, see the following link: Version 2.4. This version includes a web interface for cataloging and adding objects to DigiTool.
The cataloging module in DigiTool allows us to add and edit digital objects as they are created individually or through a batch process. When using the cataloging module, the system will automatically connect to the default library, but you can switch to any other library needed very easily. Templates for entering metadata can be created to streamline workflow and maintain data integrity.
Installing DigiTool for Catalogers (password protected)
Digital library objects
Digital library objects are the images, videos, sound and text files that will be added to DigiTool to create the digital library. As you upload the metadata record for an object, you will also upload the actual object and attach it to the record. Copyright information can be added to the digital object once it is uploaded into DigiTool. Also, multiple resolutions or file sizes of an object can be attached to the record in DigiTool. We will need to look at naming conventions for digital objects as we proceed.
JPEG 2000 is an ISO (International Standards Organization) still image compression standard, adopted as an international standard in 2000. JPEG 2000 is an improvement of the original JPEG standard for still images, the current mode of delivering digital images on the Internet. JPEG 2000 or J2K, is based on wavelet compression that allows for rich support of metadata packaged with the image file, lossy and lossless compression, and scalability. The scalability of JPEG 2000 makes is unique and extremely useful in digital libraries, in that you can view a region of interest of an image in high quality resolution, without having to download the whole archival-quality file.
By using the wavelet technology, JPEG 2000 generates customized JPEG renderings of an image based on client requests. Instead of managing several files with different resolutions, which is necessary currently because of file size considerations and viewable regions on computer screens, JPEG 2000 stores a single, archival-quality TIFF file of the highest resolution on a server, and then, generates thumbnails, various sizes and resolutions of an image in JPEG format based on the user's needs or interests in viewing an image. JPEG 2000 files (JP2s) contain metadata information including intellectual property, internal XML metadata, and URL linking to external metadata.
Aware's JPEG 2000 software is partnering with Ex Libris to make the functionality of JPEG 2000 compatible with DigiTool. JPEG 2000 will greatly enhance the viewing capabilities in DigiTool, because users can zoom on any section of an image and see the highest quality resolution in their browser. JPEG 2000 will aid in content management of digital objects by reducing the number of image files that need to be stored on the server, thus also reducing the size of information stored on the server.
As we test the JPEG 2000 software and server technology, Aware has created a demo site for Boston College to view some images as they would appear using JPEG 2000. User name: bc Password: bcj2k (all lowercase)
A JPEG 2000 demonstration and information about the Aware, the Bedford, MA company providing the JPEG 2000 image server and software, is available at their website: http://www.aware.com/products/compression/jpeg2000.html
JPEG2000 and DigiTool integration problems: currently, DigiTool only supports external urls of up to 100 characters, and urls to JPEG2000 files are longer than 100 characters. Ex Libris is working on a solution.
The high-quality images, licensed from Saskia Ltd., include some of the “greatest hits” of art history, with an emphasis on Italian Renaissance art. Boston College faculty, students and staff will have 24-hour access to the images (using a PIN or a computer with a Boston College IP address) for a variety of permitted uses, including classroom teaching and individual study. DigiTool will provide powerful searching of these images and will allow users a choice of file sizes to examine for each image.
This pilot project will begin the Boston College libraries's implementation of DigiTool, a digital asset management system, and will house digital collections, including past projects as well as projects in development.
Tip O'Neill and Burns library images
A collection of digitized images from the John J. Burns Library is being migrated from Aleph to DigiTool. We are converting the original TIFFs to JPEG2000 format for delivery on the web. This collection will be available to the public, and will include a link to the online finding aid for the Tip O'Neill collection.
We are examining the possibilities for deep linking DigiTool objects within the WebCT interface, to enhance the use of digital collections in BC courses. We are also working with ATS to establish some digital reserves collections for frequently used WebCT objects.
Streaming media in DigiTool
In conjunction with the Media Center in O'Neill, we are testing some streaming media files in DigiTool. We hope to add a collection of films from the Films in the Humanities and Sciences to DigiTool as streaming media files.
The McMullen Museum has a permanent collection of about 1200 objects, many of which are seldom displayed in the galleries due to themed exhibits on loan to the Museum. By digitizing and cataloging these objects in DigiTool, the permanent collection will become easily available to researchers, students, teachers, and our general audience. The goal of this project is to make the permanent collection available online, so that patrons can search for and view objects electronically.
The Ratio Studiorum, and additional collections of printed documents, are being added to DigiTool and the full-text search function will be available.