Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Fall 2010 Student Art Theses Added to DMR

Visit the Digital Media Repository to view the latest Ball State University art students' theses projects from the 2010 fall semester. While displayed at the Atrium Art Gallery, University Libraries' staff photographed the pieces and made them available to a global audience in the Ball State University Student Art digital collection. Pictured below is a photograph titled "The In Between," part of the "I am Mine" series by Jessica D. Seib.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Thomas L. Ryan Diaries New to the DMR

Working in collaboration with Muncie Public Library, Ball State University Libraries' newest Digital Media Repository collection is the Thomas L. Ryan Diaries. This digital collection includes four volumes that account the life of early Muncie, Indiana resident Thomas L. Ryan dating from 1886 to 1890.

Thomas L. Ryan was born in 1872 in Muncie, Indiana. After finishing his education in Muncie, Ryan completed a course in engineering at the Hoboken Institute of Technology and studied law under his father. He joined his father`s law firm, which became Ryan & Ryan, in 1898. He was also president of the Highlands Manufacturing Company of Muncie.

Ryan wrote in his diaries every day. He recorded the weather, events at school, activities with friends, trips to the library and around town, chores and projects, and special events.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Muncie and Delaware County Historic Photographs Available

Nineteen new small photograph collections consisting of 102 images are now available under The Muncie and Delaware County Historic Photographs in the Digital Media Repository:
This new area of the DMR consists of collections of historic photographs of Muncie and Delaware County from Ball State University Archives and Special Collections. The total number of collections will eventually grow to around 400 consisting potentially of upwards of 5,000 images. It is an eclectic group that will now be much more accessible to researchers. This is a great beginning that will contribute to the continuing growth and usefulness of the DMR.

Pictured above is the 1964 flood in Muncie, Indiana.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

New Drawings and Documents Archive collection in DMR

The Trowbridge and Beals Photographs digital collection is now available in the Digital Media Repository: 

This digital collection contains 51 photographs taken by Raymond W. Trowbridge and Jessie Tarbox Beals in the 1920s and 1930s of fashionable suburban houses in northern Illinois and Wisconsin. The houses were designed by architects Russell S. Walcott and Robert Work. Pictured below is a photograph of the Clifford Off house.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ball State Art Students and their Scenography for Mascagni's L'amico Fritz

Under the tutelage of Associate Professor of Art Scott G. Anderson, painting students in the Department of Art were immersed in the study and production of operatic stage design for the Ball State Opera Theatre Spring 2010 production of Pietro Mascagni’s L’amico Fritz. The resulting art exhibit, Ball State Art Students and their Scenography for Mascagni's L'amico Fritz, was displayed in the Atrium Gallery 11/2/2010 - 12/3/2010 and digitized for the Digital Media Repository. The digital exhibit is available in the Ball State University Student Art collection. Pictured above is Maquette for Act II by Kathleen Ryan and Andy Hinck.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Ronald V. Morris American and Indiana History Images Added to DMR

The Ronald V. Morris American and Indiana History Images digital collection includes slides of historical sites and living history productions taken by Ball State University professor of history Ron Morris in the 1980s and 1990s. These images are used in teaching at BSU, and are available to a global audience in the Digital Media Repository. Pictured below is an image from the collection: Battle of Perryville reenactment, Union infantry reenactors firing rifles from behind a log fence.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Announcing the Brigitte M. Sys Fashion Jewelry Digital Collection

The Brigitte M. Sys Fashion Jewelry digital collection is now available in the DMR. This collection features earrings, necklaces, brooches, pins, and bracelets in a variety styles including Art Nouveau and Art Deco. Pictured here is a statement necklace from the 1970s.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Full Transcripts Available for Vietnam War Era Veterans Oral Histories

Recently, transcripts were completed for all 26 of the Vietnam War Era Veterans Oral Histories in the Digital Media Repository. They were uploaded as PDFs and are viewable online alongside the videos. online.
Transcripts are a valuable element to any oral history project. With the completed PDFs in the DMR, the content of the videos is completely full text searchable. Also, reading the transcripts is a perfect way to skim the interview for relevant content. Timecodes were placed in the transcripts to aide in this type of research. Above is a screenshot of the interface that allows users to read the transcript and view the video at the same time.

Made available in March of this year, the oral histories in this collection were conducted by students from Michael W. Doyle's HIST 499 Oral History Workshop course in Fall 2009. The students enrolled in the immersive-learning course learned methods of oral history research and conducted interviews with local military veterans of the Vietnam era. The interviews were recorded using HD technology.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Gear-O-Gram BorgWarner publication available in DMR

The Gear-O-Gram magazine of BorgWarner Corporation (Muncie) is now available in the DMR. The digital collection includes 167 issues of the magazine published by and for employees of the BorgWarner Corporation located in Muncie, Indiana. Published from 1944 to 1972, the magazines include details of employee activities, announcements of service awards and accolades, and general interest pieces about automobile transmissions. Pictured right is an issue from July of 1945.

The BorgWarner Corporation had a long history in Muncie, beginning in 1928, when the auto part manufacturing company merged with three Midwestern auto part makers, one being Warner Gear of Muncie, Indiana. The company expanded quickly and experiencing annual sales of $50 million in 1929 to over $600 million by the late 1950s when Borg-Warner became a leading manufacturer of automatic transmissions. BorgWarner's Muncie manufacturing plant closed its doors in 2009.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Ball State University Building Plans Collection Enhanced

The Ball State University Building Plans digital collection is a representative sampling of architectural plans and blueprints for Ball State campus buildings dating back to the construction of the Administration Building in 1899. The plans were digitized from the original drawings held by Facilities Planning and Management.

Recently, metadata from the collection was enhanced to provide better access to subjects and architects as well as further describe the content of the images. Use the Advanced Search feature and show terms in the Subject - LCSH field to get a full list of the buildings and landmarks that are covered, such as Beneficence, seen here.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Additional Resources Available In the Pierre and Wright Architectural Records Collection

The Pierre and Wright Architectural Records digital collection, added to the Digital Media Repository in August of 2009, consists of drawings, photographs, 3-D models, and ephemera from the architecture firms of Edward D. Pierre, the Pierre and Wright Partnership, and Edward D. Pierre and Associates, ranging from 1920 to 1960.

This month over 200 new assets were added to this online collection. Additions include several 1930s images relating to Fendrick's Famous Foods, a restaurant that used to exist on N. Illinois St. in Indianapolis and the old Indianapolis Firestation No. 18 among others. Pictured above is a window design from Fendrick's.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Famous Bible Leaves Available in the DMR

The Original Leaves from Famous Bibles digital collection is now available in the Digital Media Repository.

This collection of 60 leaves from famous Bibles, from the earliest ever printed to items dated in the 20th century, was assembled and collated by Otto Ege and Philip Duschnes. Ege was renowned for compiling medieval texts. The collection (with originals in BSU Archives and Special Collections) includes incunabula and a leaf from the 1611 King James Bible, among other rare items.

Pictured above is an example from the collection, an Armenian manuscript Bible from the twelfth century.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Ball State University Commencement Programs Available in the Digital Media Repositiory

The Ball State University Commencement Programs digital collection is now available online in the Digital Media Repository. This collection includes graduation ceremony programs from 1913 to present. Use the collection to discover commencement and baccalaureate speakers, graduate rosters, and degrees conferred. The collection is full text keyword searchable.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Drawings by Indiana’s Gladys J. Miller Now Online

Students, faculty, and researchers now have online access to the Gladys J. Miller Architectural Records Collection. Architect Gladys J. Miller is one of Indiana’s first female architects.
This collection is the latest Drawings and Documents Archive addition to the Ball State University Libraries’ Digital Media Repository. The collection contains 185 architectural drawings from fifty of Miller's commissions from 1950 to 1979 and reflects the career of one of Indiana’s award-winning architects.

Only the third registered female architect in Indiana, Gladys J. Miller (1926- 1993) graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1949. She went on to manage her own successful architectural firm in a climate when few women practiced architecture on their own. A year before graduation, Gladys received the Beaux Arts Institute of Design Award, now the Van Alen Institute (New York City), Award, which enabled her to travel extensively in Europe before beginning her career.

After her return, she worked as a designer and draftsman in Philadelphia and later moved to Terre Haute, Indiana, with her husband, architect Ewing H. Miller II, FAIA, whom she had met in college. In 1958 in Terre Haute, Gladys established her own architecture firm, Gladys J. Miller Architect. Also known professionally as Gladys Good Miller, she was known familiarly as “Hap” or “Happy” to her friends and colleagues.

Gladys’ firm specialized in residential architecture, as depicted in the Margaret James Adamson home (1961) (illustrated here), remodeling of the Indiana State University president’s house (1965), and the conversion of a barn into a residence for the Prox family (1978), all located in or near Terre Haute.

She also built small commercial buildings, such as the Dobbs Park Nature Center and the Covered Bridge Girl Scout Council headquarters, both located in Terre Haute. Gladys’ husband donated the collection to the Drawings and Documents Archive in the late 1980s, along with drawings by his own firm and those of his uncle and father, which comprise the Johnson and Miller Architectural Records Collection.

Three generations of the Miller family were influential architects in Terre Haute during the majority of the twentieth century, and the Johnson and Miller collection reflects their significance to Indiana’s built environment. As with many important drawings available in the archive for research, the rolls of project drawings were in a basement storage room for years until they were donated to the archive.

To view the Gladys J. Miller Architectural Records collection in the DMR, visit For more information, contact Carol A. Street, University Libraries’ Archivist for Architectural Records,, 765-285-8441.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Muncie and Delaware Historic Maps and Atlases Collection Expanded

This month, 64 additional local historic maps were added to the Muncie and Delaware County Historic Maps and Atlases collection in the Digital Media Repository. The collection has been expanded to include additional townships and local geographic areas such as Smithfield and Selma (shown). These maps are a valuable resource for those interested in the growth of Delaware County during the nineteenth century. This collection utilizes Zoomify.

Friday, July 23, 2010

University Libraries’ Strategic Initiatives Result in Increased Use of the Digital Media Repository by Students, Faculty, and Researchers Globally

The Ball State University Digital Media Repository (DMR),, a project of the University Libraries, allows students, faculty, and global community researchers to access primary source materials as varied as historic photographs, oral history interviews, films, and three-dimensional models.

In order to increase use of the repository, librarians, archivists, and system administrators have employed listserv announcements, Wikipedia, blogs, Facebook, and other social networking tools in addition to library instruction, description improvement, and metadata harvesting efforts. Google Analytics, a freely available tool that gathers Web site traffic statistics, provides insight into the efficacy of the University Libraries’ digital asset publicity efforts.

As the number of collections has grown and diversified, local and international researchers have made use of the resources for scholarly, professional, and personal pursuits. In fact, since the 2007 spring semester, the repository has seen a 67.6% increase in site visits in comparison to data from the spring 2010 semester. Furthermore, data from the spring 2007 and spring 2010 semesters indicates a 31% increase in the number of different countries and territories from which the repository was accessed.

The consistent growth of the DMR’s site visits from the local and international communities suggests that efforts to improve digital asset visibility and discoverability through increased use of social networking tools, as well as library instruction and email announcements, are effective.

Researchers find primary sources housed in the Digital Media Repository by directly navigating to the Web site, discovering a link to the DMR from another site, and conducting Web searches. A greater percentage of researchers discovered the DMR in the 2009-2010 academic year through referral sites, rather than search engines. The increased influence of referring sites is consistent with the University Libraries’ efforts to publicize digital collections in online environments such as Facebook and Wikipedia, as well as the utilization of metadata harvesting projects, such as OAIster.

For more information, contact Carolyn F. Runyon, Archivist for Digital Development and University Records,, 765-285-5078.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Delaware County Aerial Plat Maps Digital Collection Successfully Completed as LSTA Digitization Grant Project

Students, faculty, and researchers now have access to a collection of 858 aerial plat maps of Muncie and Delaware County, Indiana, available globally through Ball State’s Digital Media Repository (DMR),, a project of the University Libraries.

The development of the collection was made possible by a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) digitization grant for $26,806 awarded to the University Libraries for 2009-10. The grant project was a collaborative effort of the University Libraries and the Delaware County Auditor’s Office, who supplied the maps for digitization.

Created in the 1970’s by the Sidwell Company, each plat map consists of an aerial photograph, which was last updated in 1992, overlaid by a Mylar plat line map, originally drawn in 1976. The aerial plat maps were used by the Delaware County Auditor’s Office to keep track of splits and combines of properties. They were kept in 15 large bound books in the public access area of the Auditor’s Office. The plat maps were periodically updated using red pencil by the Auditor’s staff to mark the division and consolidation of plats, thus maintaining current records on the residential and commercial property.

These valuable historical documents were heavily used in the Auditor’s Office, and many were deteriorating from excessive use. Digitizing them has allowed for new and increased use and 24/7 access. The digital maps can be used to research individual properties and the changing landscape of the community, including land development, land use, urban sprawl, zoning changes, community growth, and illustration of the breakup of family farms.

Researchers accessing the digital collection are able to search for specific maps using a variety of keywords, including street names, incorporated areas or towns, township name, subdivision or addition name, Public Land Survey System numbers (section, township and range), or the plat map number assigned by the Sidwell Company. Plat key maps are also included in the collection to find specific parcels of land at the township level.

This was the fifth consecutive LSTA digitization grant received by the University Libraries. LSTA digitization grants have resulted in significant Indiana-related digital collections being added to the University Libraries’ DMR and to the Indiana State Library’s Indiana Memory online resource.

LSTA grants are funded through the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act and administered by the Indiana State Library. The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute’s mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Digital Media Repository Passes the Quarter-Million Mark

Since its creation, the DMR has sustained a growth rate of more than one new collection per month so that it currently contains 77 collections, plus numerous subcollections. As a result of this aggressive digitization effort, on May 26, 2010, the Digital Media Repository crossed the threshold of one quarter-million digital items – to be exact, 253,322 items are now available in the DMR collections via 92,829 individual and compound records.

To put this growth rate into perspective, Ball State University Libraries have created an average of 68 new records per day, and have placed one new item online and available to the public through the DMR every 2.5 minutes for over five years. This is an unprecedented rate of digital collection building for an institution of our size.

The key to our efficiency and overall success has been the model of interdepart-mental cooperation that was built into the project’s structure. The DMR is a joint project of three separate units, each of which have personnel who lend their particular brand of expertise in the collection building process.

The first is Archives and Special Collections where the archivists research, describe, and prepare the materials for digitization. The second is Metadata and Digital Initiatives, with personnel who digitize the artifacts, create the metadata, and construct and then populate the DMR collections. Third is Library Information Technology Services, where personnel maintain the CONTENTdm content management system and Web servers and create customizations or enhancements as needed.

Representatives of the three departments form the DMR Working Group, chaired by John B. Straw, Assistant Dean for Digital Initiatives & Special Collections. He also serves as the DMR
project coordinator.

For more information, contact James A. Bradley, Head of Metadata and Digital Initiatives,, 765-285-5718.

Friday, July 2, 2010

2010 Beginnings Art Exhibition in the DMR

Items from the Beginnings art exhibition, on display through July 10th in the BSU Art and Journalism Building, were digitized and made available through the Digital Media Repository's Ball State Student Art digital collection.

Pieces were photographed using state of the art equipment and metadata records were created for each item, making the artworks are searchable and accessible in an online format. View the items here. Pictured right is Figure Study (Contour of Varied Width) by Shane Eagan.

"Beginnings is an annual exhibition of student artwork completed in the first year of study. The foundation courses represented are Drawing I and II (figure drawing) and Foundations I (2-D design) and II (3-D design). These courses concentrate on media exploration and technique, the elements and principles of composition, the applied and theoretical use of color, developing a command of an artist’s vocabulary, and defining a meaningful context for visual expression" (,1361,--28318,00.html). The exhibitions are free and open to a general audience.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Students Create K-12 Lesson Plans Using Resources from the University Libraries’ Digital Media Repository

Ball State history education students are using the Digital Media Repository to create lesson plans targeted for the second, fourth, and sixth grades.

A project by students in Dr. Ronald V. Morris’s Social Studies 392 class during the 2010 spring semester illustrates how students are using digital resources produced by the University Libraries for educational purposes. Five groups of students researched and prepared lesson plans that adhered to Indiana state standards and guidelines, using materials from the Ball State Digital Media Repository.

The DMR collections used include the Middletown Women’s History Collection, U. S. Civil War Resources for East Central Indiana, World War II Government Publications, and World War II Films. The plans will be added to the DMR and linked from the specific collections that they utilize and support.

According to Dr. Arthur W. Hafner, Dean of University Libraries, “A fundamental goal of the University Libraries is to support students’ pursuits of academic success.” These lesson plans may be used by teachers throughout Indiana and perhaps beyond. The students’ work provides one more avenue for expanding Ball State-produced digital assets globally.

U. S. Civil War Chandler Cross, Courtney Nowak, and Tiffany Pienta prepared lesson plans on the U. S. Civil War using materials from the East Central Indiana digital collection. The lessons provide resources that afford fourth grade students opportunity to study the war through photographs, letters, and other digital resources and to create posters and present a play based on their work.

Community Helpers in World War II Students Tyler Buis, Doug Furman, Marion Miller, and Alexandra Ruble designed five lessons to increase second grade students’ knowledge of different types of careers and volunteer activities that helped communities during World War II. They utilized pamphlets from the World War II Government Publication digital collection that described volunteer activities in health, medical care, and nursing; recreation; child care; schools; family security; and fire fighting. Each second grade student role plays as a mayor of a town during WWII and must choose four different community workers that will most benefit their community.

World War II Moises Fairchild, Chase Gervais, and Jared Stites created five lessons to introduce sixth grade students to World War II and key events that occurred during that period. The unit used the World War II Films collection in the DMR to examine Pearl Harbor, women in the war, home life, and the victories over Germany and Japan. Students watch the films and complete activities regarding information covered in them, including writing journal articles as if they were there when the events occurred and creating a timeline of events.

Women’s History Two groups used the Middletown Women’s History Digital Collection for their lesson plans. Katie Bradshaw, Kalene Heckman, and Tyler Roberts developed a unit for fourth grade students to study how women made a living, created a home, educated their children, and engaged in community activities. Tasks the Ball State students developed for the elementary students to perform utilizing the digital resources included creating a play about the role of women in Middletown during the 1880s through the 1930s and developing a learning project for community organizations.

Sarah Cortesi, Kristen Gibson, Nikki Jones, and Stephani Ward created a five-day unit for fourth grade students to discover what women’s lives were like in Middletown between the 1880s and 1930s that focused on women’s rights and suffrage, exploring how life has changed for women by comparing the past to today. Activities included participating in a mock vote, using photographs from the digital collection to compare with ones from their families, creating an informational brochure for a women’s organization, and studying jobs that women worked based on photographic evidence.

For more information, contact John Straw, Assistant Dean for Digital Initiatives and Special Collections,, 765-285-5058.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Additional Items Available from the Art History Images Collection

The Art History Images digital collection is a selection of significant artworks, ranging in date from prehistoric to the late 1990s, and include styles from Abstract Expressionist, Fauve and Surrealist, to Pop and beyond. In October 2009, images were selected in consultation with the Ball State Department of Art for use as a teaching aid and to coincide with specific textbooks.

This month, 689 works were added to the collection, bringing the total number of artworks represented to 1519. View the latest additions, such as Cassatt's Mother and Child and Pollock's Lavender Mist here.

Note: Images are licensed through vendors for use at Ball State University. Thumbnails are available to the general public, but links to the larger full-resolution versions of the images are limited to Ball State students, faculty, and staff only.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Libraries’ LSTA Mobile Computing Grant Project Brings Ball State Digital Media Repository to Smartphones

The University Libraries are expanding their hand-held mobile device Web presence through the support of an LSTA Technology Grant from the Indiana State Library. Researching and developing mobile device access to library information resources has been an interest at the University Libraries since 2005.

Phase 1 of this project involved updating the University Libraries’ mobile site, including enhancing the CardCat Mobile application, a mobile-device-friendly interface to the Libraries’ online catalog.

Phase 2 introduced a computer availability application to allow students and faculty to plan their visit to the library facility. See comp_avail.php.

Phase 3 is the University Libraries’ Digital Media Repository (DMR) Mobile user interface at

The DMR Mobile application provides mobile-device- friendly access to the CONTENTdm-based Digital Media Repository. It is the first small screen interface for CONTENTdm repositories. With browse functionality to access digital assets and metadata for the image collections, DMR Mobile is a feature-rich program. Search functionality will be added to it this summer.

An early question that was addressed was whether to build a mobile-devices specific app, or to develop a more diverse mobile Web user interface (UI). Because we want to reach as many user devices as possible, we decided to build a mobile Web UI. DMR Mobile is linked in the Academic Resources section of the mobile Web site.

Grant participants include Daniel J. Lakes, Part-time Mobile Computing Developer; Dr. Arthur W. Hafner, Dean of University Libraries and co-PI; and Bradley D. Faust, Assistant Dean for Library Information Technology Services and co-PI.

For more information, contact Bradley D. Faust, Assistant Dean for Library Information Technology Services,, 765-285-8032.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Hawk and Putnam Diary Collections Provide a Glimpse into Historic Muncie Lives

Two new diary collections, the Norene Hawk Diaries Collection and the Frederick Putnam Diaries Collection, were published in May. Both collections chronicle the lives of Muncie citizens around the turn of the century.

According to 1910 census data, Norene Hawk was the daughter of George and Mary Hawk, and was born in 1878. She resided at 1020 E. Main Street in Muncie, Indiana. The three diaries that comprise the digital collection include accounts of Hawk's work in a real estate business located on the Willard Block as well as her job as a stenographer for W. L. Little, providing insight into working women's experiences in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This collection is the product of a collaboration with the Muncie Public Library.

Frederick Putnam was born February 11, 1818, in Charleston, New Hampshire. Much of his early life was spent in poverty. Attracted by the opportunities the West offered to young men, Putnam left New Hampshire in October 1838, eventually settling in Muncie, Indiana. During his time in Muncie, Putnam married, fathered four children, opened his own businesses, and served as the Delaware County Treasurer and Assistant Auditor. Putnam died January 18, 1901, at the age of 82. The 13 volume collection of diaries and transcripts contain Putnam's reflections and observations of various events that occurred during his life.

For more collections highlighting Muncie's history, browse the Middletown Studies subject category in the DMR.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Students’ Interviews with Vietnam Veterans Added to Digital Oral Histories Collections

Recording the memories and stories from people’s pasts and making them available for future generations is a goal that oral historians and archivists share and promote. The University Libraries have collaborated with Department of History faculty and students to accomplish this objective by making digital audio and video interviews conducted by Ball State students available globally through the Ball State Digital Media Repository (DMR).

The latest digital oral history collection to be included in the DMR is the Vietnam War Era Veterans Oral Histories, ( VtnmOrHis), consisting of 26 interviews conducted by students in Dr. Michael W. Doyle’s HIST 499 Oral History Workshop in the fall semester of 2009.

Students in the course learned methods for conducting oral history research and then interviewed local military veterans from the Vietnam War era. The video interviews were recorded using HD technology. More than half of the students presented their work at a recent panel discussion, also attended by 7 of 26 interviewed veterans. According to Dr. Doyle, “One former Army captain (and Ball State alumnus) stood up to say that he had never spoken to anyone, not even his wife and children, about his experiences in combat in Vietnam. ‘That night [following his interview],’ he said, ‘I got the first good sleep I’ve had in over forty years.’”

Several Ball State personnel are included among the interviewees, including the University Libraries’ own Cecilia Bond, Head of Metadata and Copy Cataloging (pictured right). She served in the U. S. Navy during the Vietnam War and shared her experience in the video interview.

Students from the class are working on transcriptions of the interviews. When completed, the transcripts will be available with the collection in the DMR. Currently only the videos are available online. These video interviews join a growing collection of digital oral histories in the DMR. Other veterans’ oral history collections include the 376th Heavy Bombardment Group and the Cantigny First Division. The DMR also boasts many Middletown Digital Oral Histories.

The University Libraries have been recognized through publications and conference presentations as a leader in the area of digitizing oral histories. We are pleased to partner with the Department of History and other academic areas to bring the work of Ball State students to the world and make digital content produced at Ball State available globally to support teaching, learning, and research through the DMR.

For more information on this collection or others in the DMR, contact John B. Straw, Assistant Dean for Digital Initiatives and Special Collections,, 765-285-5078.

Friday, April 30, 2010

New Digital Collection Documents Muncie During the Gas Boom Era

The Historic Muncie Souvenir Booklets digital collection provides students, historians, and other researchers with a glimpse of Muncie during the Gas Boom of the late 1800s.

When abundant pockets of natural gas were discovered in Muncie in the 1870s, the quiet farming community of 7,000 people began to develop overnight. Real estate values soared and manufacturers began to set up shop, lured by the promise of cheap energy. Muncie’s reign as the “Magic City,” or the “El Dorado of the West,” had begun.
The six books that comprise the Muncie Historic Souvenir Booklets Collection document this era through the view of various Muncie advocates, including the Dynamo Club, the Muncie Commercial Club, and the Central Indiana Gas Company. These promotional materials, designed to entice other manufacturers and businesses to relocate to Muncie, tout the city’s fine parks, shady streets, friendly citizens, and astonishingly rapid growth.

Students and historians interested in Muncie and the Indiana Gas Boom can review these accounts of the growth and decline of natural gas in Indiana. As a testament to the “limitless” supply of gas, pillars of flame were kept burning for years. Today’s natural gas experts have estimated that as much as 90% of the supply was wasted by these flambeaux. In less than 20 years, the supply of gas was depleted.

These booklets also provide a rich source of photographs and illustrations of Muncie from the 1890s through the 1920s. Images include prominent Muncie homes, parks, the Eastern Indiana Normal School, and the Ball Brothers Glass Manufacturing Business.

Original copies of the booklets are located in the University Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections. The complete digital collection is available at collection.php?CISOROOT=/MunHistBklt. For more information, contact Katherine Givens, DMR Resident, at

Friday, April 23, 2010

April's New DMR Collections

American Almanacs digital collection consists of representative samples from almanacs published in the United States primarily during the 18th century.

Samuel G. Bartel Architectural Records digital collection includes drawings for school houses, commercial buildings, churches, and modest residential homes in Indiana from 189
4 to 1920.

Historic Children’s Books digital collection contains 131 monographs published during the 19th and 20th centuries for youth.

Indiana Natural Resources Maps digital collection has maps depicting natural gas, coal, and petroleum deposits as well as locations of stone quarries, pipelines, and wells from the 1880s to the early 1900s.

Friday, April 16, 2010

More Works Included in the BSU Student Art Collection

The Ball State University Student Art digital collection includes images, videos, and electronic art created by Ball State University students. The collection continues to grow as new exhibitions are photographed on campus.

Works include paintings (like Cacti, pictured left), drawings, sculpture, photographic prints, mixed media, and more. Several new selections were were recently added to the Digital Media Repository in the following categories:

The 75th annual Student Art Show

Nina B. Marshall Memorial Exhibition

Spring 2010 Thesis Exhibitions

Monday, April 5, 2010

New Additions to the Charles E. Bracker Orchid Photographs Collection

The Charles E. Bracker Orchid Photographs digital collection features photographs taken by Dr. Charles E. Bracker, professor of botany and plant pathology at Purdue University from 1964 to 1999. His late wife, Anri Bracker, cultivated orchids as a hobby.

Dr. Bracker took nearly 30,000 digital photographs of orchids, a selection of which are featured in this digital collection. Prints of many of the photographs, along with the entire collection of digital images were donated by Dr. Bracker to Archives and Special Collections of the Ball State University Libraries in 2009.

To view the latest additions, including Masdevallia princeps (pictured above), click here:

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Four New Collections Added to the DMR in March

Delaware County Aerial Plat Maps. This collection, our 2009-10 LSTA grant project, contains aerial plat maps received from the Delaware County Auditor’s Office, created in the 1970s to track divisions and combinations of properties in Albany, Daleville, Eaton, Gaston, Muncie, Selma, and Yorktown.

Thomas Neely Diaries. This collection consists of digital copies of five volumes of diaries kept by Delaware County pioneer Thomas Neely (if you drive on or cross Neely Road on the BSU campus, you may recognize the name) from 1867 through 1901. These diaries are just the first in series of a digital diaries collection that will be developed in the DMR.

Vietnam Era Veterans Oral Histories. This collection consists of video interviews conducted by students in Professor Michael Doyle’s Ball State University History 499 Oral History Workshop class in Fall 2009. The videos are available now; the students are currently transcribing the interviews, and searchable transcripts will be made available as soon as they are ready.

Wayne M. Weber Architectural Records. This collection from the Ball State University Drawings and Documents Archive includes photographs and drawings of Indiana covered bridges from Weber’s nearly 30 years (1940s – 1970s) photographing, documenting, and preserving these colorful structures. Weber was an accomplished architect and architectural photographer.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Student Publication Uses Images from the DMR to Celebrate Women's History Month on Campus

Entitled The Girls' Club, Ball Bearings, a Ball State University student-produced news magazine and website, created an interactive timeline featuring historic female leaders of the university.

Beginning in 1925 with the first African American graduate, Jessie Nixon, and ending in 2004 with the appointment of Dr. JoAnn Gora as the first female president, the timeline takes viewers through the rich and diverse history of women at Ball State using images found in the Digital Media Repository.

View the timeline.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

My Favorites Feature in CONTENTdm

The Ball State University Libraries’ Digital Media Repository (DMR) system includes more than 200,000 digital assets across 89 collections. These digital resources, each of which has a research and teaching focus, can be searched, read, played, and captured for class presentations, lectures and other research endeavors. The My Favorites module in the CONTENTdm system
includes a variety of useful tools for repurposing these digital assets for academic use.

The My Favorites link can be found on the Global Menu bar in the DMR, At this site, users are presented with the My Favorites page, which includes controls in the left column and any objects marked for inclusion in My Favorites on the right. Of course, users must select digital assets as they search or browse the DMR with the “add to favorites” option to populate My Favorites. CONTENTdm allows up to 100 digital objects to be saved in My Favorites.

The BSU PowerPoint Generator is the last option in the My Favorites left column.

This powerful tool was developed by library personnel for use with the CONTENTdm system. The BSU PowerPoint Generator creates presentation files with images and metadata that can be used on Windows and Mac OS X systems.

The first four options in the My Favorites left column are viewing and sorting features for digital objects:

Slideshow viewer – Create a display of digital image files saved in My Favorites for viewing in a new window with slideshow controls. Available within every installation of CONTENTdm.

Compare feature – Select two objects in My Favorites for a side-by-side comparison in a new window. From the new window, choose another digital image to compare.

Remove item – Easily remove items from My Favorites by selecting the object number and clicking the remove button. An “are you sure” prompt is presented before the object is
removed from My Favorites.

Move item – Sort or rearrange items in My Favorites using their object numbers.

The fifth option in the left column, “Save as a Web page,” provides the opportunity to create a new Web page with links to objects in My Favorites. Click the “Create” button to build a custom HTML-formatted Web page that can be loaded into Blackboard or linked on a Web site for use by students or colleagues. The objects on the saved page are clickable, leading the viewer back to the record for the object in the DMR. The filename under which the file is saved will be used to create a title presented at the top of the page.

For more information, contact Bradley D. Faust, Assistant Dean for Library Information Technology Services,, 765-285-8032.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Schuyler N. Nolan Landscape Architectural Records Collection Added to Digital Media Repository

Students and faculty in Ball State’s nationally top-five-ranked landscape architecture program, as well as researchers around the world, now have global access to digitized works of a noted Indiana landscape architect’s collection housed in the Drawings and Documents Archive, a collaboration between the University Libraries and the College of Architecture and Planning.

The University Libraries are digitizing landscape architectural collections for worldwide access in the Digital Media Repository, beginning with the Schuyler N. Nolan Landscape Architectural Records Collection.

“Adding to the record of landscape architecture and landscape architects stored in our Drawing and Documents Archive is very important,” said Professor Malcolm D. Cairns, Department of Landscape Architecture, when he first heard of the Nolan Collection going online. While the digital collection currently has 70 items available, it continues to grow as more digital assets are added. It can be found online at

Nolan’s extensive use of the local library paid off when he began his own landscaping company while still in Illinois. He steadily built his reputation in residential landscape design and did very well until the Depression affected his clientele. He then worked at the Indianapolis Parks Department, where he designed gardens for the 1933, 1934, 1937, and 1939 Home Shows, and worked at the Indiana State Highway Commission, where he designed roadside plantings throughout the state from 1935-1937.

After 1937, Nolan practiced as a landscape architect and experienced much success designing a wide range of commissions. From his work during World War II designing aircraft building plants and naval officers’ quarters, to tony residential work for many of Indianapolis’
elite, such as J. K. Lilly and Harrison Eiteljorg, Nolan built functional yet artistic spaces for his clients.

After Nolan’s retirement, an unfortunate basement flood destroyed most of his drawings and business records. He donated the surviving drawings to Ball State’s Drawings and Documents Archive in 1979, thus preserving his work for future researchers and landscape architects.

For more information, contact Carol A. Street, University Libraries’ Archivist for Architectural Records,, 765-285-8441.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Ball State University’s Digital Media Repository Gets a New Look

Last September 2009, the University Libraries began to revise the public interface and feature set for the Digital Media Repository (DMR), an electronic resource that provides
digital content to a global audience.

System administrators, public service librarians, metadata librarians, and archivists worked cooperatively to develop a new user experience by updating the overall look of the interface, improving navigation, incorporating interactive Web 2.0 technologies, and adding new search options.

The DMR Public Interface Working Group utilized data collected using Google Analytics to inform decisions regarding the site’s width and interactive features. For example, during the 2008-2009 academic year, 95.4% of DMR researchers accessed the site using monitors capable of viewing 1040px or wider resolutions. Based on this finding, the group decided to widen the 700px width to 940px.

To offer more interactive elements to the DMR Web site, the group included the Flash-based media viewer, Cooliris, on the home page and a new collections spotlight Java applet to
interface pages. A social bookmarking tool, AddThis, was also included as part of the interface. This tool allows users to share DMR content on social networking sites such as Digg, MySpace,
Facebook, Twitter, and Delicious.

Other enhancements to the updated interface include additional ways to search content by subject, location, format, contributor, and individual collections directly from the browse pages.
Members of the DMR Public Interface Working Group are Eric B. Fisher, Information Services Librarian; Amanda A. Hurford (co-chair), Digital Initiatives Multimedia Developer; Carolyn F. Runyon (co-chair), Archivist for Digital Development and University Records; Amy E. Trendler, Architecture Librarian; and Budi Wibowo, Head of Digital Libraries and Web Services.

We welcome comments about the new interface. To learn more or make suggestions, contact Amanda A. Hurford at or Carolyn F. Runyon at

Friday, February 19, 2010

African American History Resources Available Online Through the Ball State University’s Digital Media Repository

In celebration of Black History Month, Ball State University Libraries is pleased to announce the availability of six collections of African American History resources available online in the Digital Media Repository, the Munice Times Newspaper, Black Middletown Oral History Project Collection, Black Muncie Oral History Project Collection, Other Side of Middletown Photograph Collection, the Muncie Post-Democrat Newspaper and the Other Side of Middletown Oral Histories.

The Black Middletown Oral History Project digital collection includes oral history interviews conducted by Rutledge M. Dennis and Vivian V. Gordon from the University of Virginia and Virginia Commonwealth University in 1981 as part of a project funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The collection documents the history of African-Americans in Muncie, Indiana, and covers topics as diverse as segregation, the Ku Klux Klan, the Great Depression, organized labor, economics, and religion.

The Ball State University Libraries were able to digitize and make available online the oral histories with support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the Indiana State Library.

The Black Muncie Oral History Project digital collection includes oral history interviews conducted between 1971 and 1978 by long time African American residents of Muncie, Indiana Hurley Goodall and J. Paul Mitchell. The project was funded by the Muncie Human Rights Commission and covered various topics including segregation, the Ku Klux Klan, the Great Depression, organized labor, economics, and religion.

The Ball State University Libraries were able to digitize and make available online the oral histories with support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the Indiana State Library.

The Other Side of Middletown Oral Histories digital collection consists of oral history interviews documenting the African American community in Muncie, Indiana. The interviews were conducted by Professor Eric Lassiter and a group of students as part of a collaborative ethnographic project on Muncie's African American community. The project was sponsored and funded by the Virginia Ball Center for Creative Inquiry at Ball State University. The project resulted in an award-winning book, The Other Side of Middletown: Exploring Muncie's African American Community.

The Ball State University Libraries were able to digitize and make available online the oral histories with support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the Indiana State Library.

The Other Side of Middletown Photographs digital collection consists of over 150 images that illustrate the history of the life and achievements of African Americans in Muncie and Delaware County, Indiana through photographs donated by members of the community. The collection of the photographs was undertaken by leaders in the local African American community, including Hurley Goodall, Eric Lassister, Elizabeth Campbell, and Michell Natasya Johnson.

Muncie Post-Democrat Newspaper
The Muncie Post-Democrat Newspaper digital collection contains issues of the historic anti-Ku Klux Klan newspaper published by Muncie, Indiana mayor George Dale from 1921 until his death in 1936, and continued as a local newspaper after his death until the 1950s.
The Ball State University Libraries were able to digitize and make available online the oral histories with support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the Indiana State Library.

The Muncie Times Newspaper digital collection consists of over 300 volumes of the bi-weekly publication produced by Bea Moten-Foster since 1991. The newspaper serves the African American communities of Muncie, Richmond, Marion, New Castle, and Anderson, Indiana.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Ball State’s Digital Media Repository Receives New Public Interface

The Ball State Digital Media Repository (, a project of the University
Libraries, now has a new look. Students, faculty, and other researchers who use this online repository, which currently consists of 89 collections and almost 200,000 digital assets, will
find many improvements, ranging from a new design to enhanced searching capabilities.

Some of the highlights to the new public interface for the DMR include these:
• Faceted and improved collection search options
• Improved navigation and browsing
• Implementation of Web 2.0 social networking tools
• An interactive media viewer on the homepage

One highly visible change is the use of cooliris media viewer to allow researchers new to the DMR to browse selected resources in an interactive environment. AddThis, a social bookmarking tool, lets users easily share DMR content on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Users will be able to search content by subject, location, format, contributor, and individual collections directly from the browse pages in the new interface.

A DMR Public Interface working group has been evaluating and designing the new look since September 2009. The working group consists of Eric B. Fisher, Information
Services Librarian; Amanda A. Hurford (co-chair), Digital Initiatives Multimedia Developer; Carolyn F. Runyon (co-chair), Archivist for Digital Development and University Records; Amy E. Trendler, Architecture Librarian; and Budi Wibowo, Head of Digital Libraries and Web Services.

The working group conducted user surveys, analyzed use statistics, and surveyed other repositories to identify and select effective ways to enhance the usability of the DMR through the public interface. The new interface will provide better ways for students and faculty to select and utilize the rich digital resources available in the DMR for teaching, learning, and research.