Newest Faculty Member Aids in Online Publishing
Mark Caprio, Librarian Cataloger Helps Students and Faculty Members Digitalize Their Work
Published: Thursday, December 9, 2010
Updated: Thursday, December 9, 2010 09:12
Tired of fliping through old newspaper articles? Mark Caprio, Librarian Cataloger at Phillips Memorial Library, provides a digital alternative.
Caprio has been at Providence College for one year, working with Digital Services and Cataloguing, and was actually a freshman at the College in 1977. Prior to coming to work at PC, he worked as an Instructional Technician and a Digital Program Manager at Boston College for eight years. One of the main objectives of his work here is to help faculty and students publish their work.
Digital Commons is the publishing platform, a digital service that provides open access to publications on the Web. Here, intellectual output, including undergraduate theses and journals, are published. Digital Commons also enables students and faculty to browse Providence College events and conference Collections, Academic Department publication archives, and the featured collection, The Cowl. The Cowl began publication on Nov. 16, 1935. The editions from 1935-1936 were digitized first. The issues from the 1960s-1970s are now being digitized. All editions will continue to be digitized until all editions are available for viewing. Julie Kliever, Acting Acquisitions Librarian, is the driving force of digitizing The Cowl, most recently promoting The Cowl's 75th Anniversary. She excitedly shares that the site "has received lots of hits." Another field of interest for alumni and students alike is in the Sports section of The Cowl. These editions can be found in the Special Collections and Archives, managed by librarian for special and archive collection, Russell Franks. Caprio emphasizes that these collections are "a good way of learning about interesting research on PC."
Digital Commons is an institutional repository, which is a tool that collects all of a university's research in one place, as a means of preserving and allowing access to that research. It is an excellent means for the publication of working papers and articles. A current project that Caprio is taking part in with Digital Commons, along with Chris Landry, Debbie Angelo and Rachel Golub, is digitizing Inti, a project proposed by Professor Carmosino, Associate Professor of Modern Languages at PC. Inti has been publishing the academic research on Latin America and Spanish Peninsular letters. It has also provided opportunities for creative writing in the Hispanic world. All of these volumes will be digitized to be fully available on the Web, without a subscription. The project is currently halfway completed. Another project surrounds the Bruce Graver Collection on John Greenleaf Whittier. Dr. Bruce Graver, Professor of English at PC, donated books on John Greenleaf Whittier, editor and contributor for various abolitionist newspapers and magazines. Currently, work is brewing on creating a page that links to a digitized correspondence, including a series of seven video lectures.
What is the process of digitizing? Digitizing volumes is actually a multi-step process. Step one is to make sure that PC has the rights to publish these volumes. Conveniently, PC owns the copyright for a majority of special collections. Also, it is vital to take into consideration what PC wants people to have open access to. Next, the material must be scanned, either by two cameras that are mounted and diagonally take pictures of the material, or simply through flatbread scanning. Optical character recognition occurs here. ABBYY looks at the shapes and transforms them to digital text. It takes time because in the process an in depth review must happen to review for errors. Step three is reformatting. Next, one has to distinguish to either create a PDF file or an XML file. During this process there is a reanalysis of the text to give meaning to the text. Lastly, one has to decide the presentation of this material. Should it be a PDF or a webpage? These are such decisions that Mark Caprio and the Digital Commons crew are responsible for. So next time you are searching through Digital Commons, submitting scholarly publications or simply looking up sports scores in The Cowl, you know who to thank.