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