New Self-service Tools for Contributing Calisphere Content

Screenshot of Julia Morgan collection on Calisphere

Collection management staff of digital collections across all ten University of California campuses can now use self-service tools to submit digital content as well as associated metadata for publication into Calisphere.

Calisphere, a product of the University of California Libraries' UC Libraries Digital Collection (UCLDC) Project, is a service that is developed and maintained by the California Digital Library (CDL).  The CDL works with California libraries, archives, museums, and historical societies to make their unique and extraordinary digital collections available for research, teaching, and public intrigue. It aggregates digital content and metadata from established institutions, provides free public access to the contributed content on its website, and then pushes the content to the Digital Public Library of America website and platform.  The content includes photographs, documents, letters, artwork, diaries, oral histories, films, advertisements, musical recordings, and more.

Contributing content is a two-step process where digital content is first loaded onto the shared digital asset management system (DAMS), and then metadata records are created and associated with the digital content.  Normally, CDL staff would work closely with collection staff to harvest content from their existing systems, but many campuses have requested tools for a self-service workflow.  Collections have long been able to use the Nuxeo File Uploader client, developed by UCLDC Technical Lead, Brian Tingle, to load digital content, but until recently, they still required assistance from the CDL staff to load associated metadata.

At last, collection management staff can use the new Nuxeo Spreadsheet Importer tool to associate metadata with digital content.  In a collaborative effort between CDL and UC Berkeley’s Research IT Department, Glen Jackson of Research IT developed the prototype Python program and Brian Tingle of CDL fully packaged it and authored the installation instructions.

The Nuxeo Spreadsheet Importer is already in use on two campuses, and two others are planning to implement it in the near future.  UC Merced has been actively using it, most recently for the soon-to-be-published Wilma McDaniel collection.  UC Berkeley’s Environmental Design Archives has recently implemented it for use on its collections. UC Irvine has tested the process and plans on implementing it for use in production soon. Finally, UC Riverside intends to use it to contribute content from their Omeka collections.