All posts by Teresa Hebron

About Teresa Hebron

Digital Metadata Librarian, Mountain West Digital Library

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Continued DPLA collaboration

MWDL has been a Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) Service Hub since 2013. We are proud to be one of DPLA’s first service hubs and have been providing content ever since. With nearly 45 million items now available through DPLA, you might wonder which MWDL items rise to the top. Here are the six most-viewed MWDL items for the past six months. These range from the Middle Ages to the 21st century and demonstrate the breadth of material available from the MWDL network.

March 2022 – Utah Government Digital Library (Utah State Library): Affordable housing options (2007). This factsheet on affordable housing was contributed by the Olene Walker Housing Fund.

February 2022 – Brigham Young University Harold B. Lee Library: Nativity and Annunciation to the Shepherds (1302-1310). Giovanni Pisano carved this Nativity and Annunciation to the Shepherds for the pulpit of Pisa Cathedral. Giovanni’s father, Nicola Pisano, had created a pulpit for the baptistery of Pisa Cathedral about forty years before Giovanni made this work. While Nicola Pisano was heavily influenced by ancient Etruscan, Roman, and Early Christian ruins for his carvings, Giovanni Pisano chose to depict his figures in the Gothic style of the day. Giovanni Pisano’s looser, dynamic composition, sinuous lines, and lean elegant figures all reflect the Gothic tastes of the reigning French court.

January 2022; November 2021 – Brigham Young University Harold B. Lee Library: Sioux Indians in Ghost Dance regalia (ca. 1880). This photograph is so popular, it appears twice on our list! Charles R. Savage was a preeminent photographer working out of the Salt Lake Valley in the late 19th century.

December 2021 – Utah State Archives: 1916; Women’s Suffrage (1916). This correspondence hails from Governor Spry’s records and reflects the Governor’s involvement in a wide range of important administrative matters, including suffrage for women.

October 2021 – University of Utah, J. Willard Marriott Library: A trip across the plains, and life in California (1851). This memoir of Dr. George Keller, physician to the Wayne County (Ohio) Company during its 1849 journey to California, includes a guide to the trail and detailed description of California.

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New Collections Roundup, Winter 2022

We’re back with more details on new collections added from Oregon Digital, University of Utah- J. Willard Marriott Library, and Utah Valley University – Fulton Library and City of Orem (UT). With International Women’s Day coming right up on Tuesday March 8, we’d especially like to highlight collections with content on women’s history and contributions throughout our region.

Oregon Digital

Twelve collections from University of Oregon Libraries joined MWDL via Oregon Digital in January.

The Eugene Lesbian Oral History Project documents the longtime lesbian community in Eugene (OR) and was conducted by Professor Judith Raiskin of the University of Oregon Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies and Linda Long, Curator of Manuscripts in the University of Oregon Libraries in 2018. The Lord & Schryver landscape architectural records, 1929-1970, showcase the work of two pioneering female architects, Elizabeth Lord (1887-1976) and Edith Schryver (1901-1984), who founded the Lord & Schryver landscape architecture firm in 1929 in Salem (OR). Laura J. Bock was a student at the University of Oregon during the 1960s who took part in civil rights activism and anti-Vietnam protests at the university. The Laura J Bock Papers (1962–1969) contains political ephemera such as flyers and posters, memos, buttons, and underground newsletters and publications, as well as Bock’s personal notes, correspondence, and an oral history (with transcript).

A number of collections detail work by illustrators, artists and architects. First, the Chester E. Corry Papers document Corry’s work as a prominent landscape architect, particularly in the southern Oregon towns of Medford and Ashland. The Edward Tunis papers offer manuscripts and illustrations for children’s books. The Ellis Fuller Lawrence papers, 1901–1929 includes correspondence, architectural drawings and photographs relating to projects undertaken by Lawrence as architect from 1908–1958, mainly in Oregon and Washington. (Though Lawrence became the Dean of University of Oregon’s School of Architecture & Environment in 1914, records and correspondence by Lawrence as Dean of the School of Architecture are not included in this collection.) John Yeon architectural drawings, 1934-1976 document Yeon’s work in the Pacific Northwest as an architect, landscape architect, and conservationist. The Kurt Werth papers consists of Werth’s original children’s book illustrations and manuscripts, other artwork and manuscripts, personal papers, artifacts, personal and professional correspondence, and papers of his wife, Margaret Werth. The Kurt Wiese papers is primarily comprised of children’s book production material including original drawings, sketches, proofs, manuscripts, and correspondence. Other artwork and personal papers are also included. Finally, the Quincy Scott Political Cartoons collection includes original artwork produced during his tenure at The Oregonian (1931–49), comprised of over 5,000 almost daily political cartoons.

Last but not least, the University Archives sound recordings collection, 1933-1995, contains historical sound recordings—cylinders, discs, wires, and tapes—that document the history of the university and of individuals and organizations documented in its special collections. Many of these recordings are unique, and as primary source materials offer different perspectives on the historical record. John Edward Tysell Sr. trained as a doctor in Chicago before serving in the Pacific Theatre during World War II. The Tysell papers consists of correspondence, photographs and slides, ephemera and artifacts relating to Tysell’s service in WWII.

University of Utah – J. Willard Marriott Library

Nine new collections from UU-Marriott Library joined MWDL in January, representing a broad array of topics including contemporary oral history projects, Mormon settlement in Arizona, American involvement in the Spanish-American War in the Philippines, home videos, and the Japanese-American experience.

In particular, the Women in STEM Oral Histories contain video and text transcripts of interviews of women working in Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) fields. The histories belong to the Aileen H. Clyde 20th Century Women’s Legacy Archive.

Other oral history projects include Great Salt Lake Oral History Collection, which documents the work and interactions of environmentalists, outdoor sport enthusiasts, artists, and authors with the Great Salt Lake. Construyendo Latinidad (Constructing Latinx Identity) in the Intermountain West contains video and text transcripts of interviews about constructing Latinx identity in the Intermountain West during the turn of the 21st century.

The Isaac K. Russell papers offer a unique resource: issues of The American Soldier, a newspaper founded by Russell during the Spanish-American War in the Philippines. The Allen H. Lundgren papers contain correspondence between Lundgren and his wife during his LDS missionary service in Sweden and military service in World War II in France & Germany.

Somewhat closer to home, the Mormon Settlement in Arizona collection details Mormon settlement 1857-1986 around the Little Colorado River. Likewise the Pantages Theater – Salt Lake City collection offers historical architecture documents on the building located at 148 South Main Street (AKA the Utah Theater). The Lloyd and Kiyomi Takehara Ryujin Photographs offer a look into the Japanese-American experience in 1950s California.

Finally, the O.L. [Orland L. Brig] Tapp Film Collection contains footage from various scenic spots around the Intermountain West.

Utah Valley University & City of Orem (UT)

Two collections joined MWDL via Utah Valley University – Fulton Library; one is from UVU and the other, from City of Orem (UT) Public Library.

Orem (UT) Timpanogos Storytelling Festival collection documents the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival, held in Orem, Utah. The collection covers materials from 1990 through 2016. Festival founder Karen Ashton held the Festival in her backyard from 1990-1995. As attendance increased the Festival location changed three more times, from the Olmstead Power Plant at the mouth of the Provo Canyon, to Orem’s Mt. Timpanogos Park, and finally, in 2017, to Ashton Gardens at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, Utah.

The Ian Wilson Collection of UVU Business School History Scrapbooks are part of the Ian Wilson Papers, a collection which is comprised of materials related to the history of Utah Valley University’s Woodbury School of Business, and donated by Dr. Ian Wilson, its former dean.

Thanks again for reading and this completes our collections roundup for now!

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New Collection Roundup – Late 2021

Hello MWDL network and welcome to late winter 2022! Today we’d like to feature collections and content that (re)joined MWDL in late 2021 before highlighting what’s been added since 2022 began.

Utah K-12 COVID-19 Memory Project (Utah Department of Cultural and Community Engagement)

The department formerly known as “Utah Department of Heritage & Arts” changed its name mid-2021 to “Utah Department of Cultural and Community Engagement” as part of a strategic planning process to guide its vision, mission, and objectives over the next five years. You can read more on their activities and initiatives in 2021’s Annual Report.

The Utah K-12 COVID-19 Memory Project began in 2020 to collect questionnaires with student responses regarding school, family, and community life collected during the COVID-19 pandemic from Utah K-12 students. DCCE’s Historical Collections Curator, Lisa Barr, appeared on PBS Utah in December 2021 to discuss the project in more depth. Be sure to check out the collection in its entirety!

University of Nevada, Las Vegas Digital Collections

Following several years of work to migrate digital collections content and systems from CONTENTdm to Islandora, UNLV’s content got a full facelift in MWDL in October 2021. Congratulations! This increased the amount of content to over 55K items on diverse topics ranging from gaming industry history to nuclear testing to water management in southern Nevada. You can view all collections here. UNLV’s finding aids are also available online.

Brigham Young University Finding Aids

BYU’s finding aids got a refresh in MWDL in fall 2021 and we added three times as many finding aids as before! This was the first content addition to this collection in a number of years and the first from BYU’s ArchivesSpace repository. You can search the entire collection here.

Utah Government Digital Library (Utah State Library)

Finally, Utah State Library’s Utah Government Digital Library underwent a major upgrade of its platform and we welcomed refreshed content to MWDL in September 2021. This collection offers over 97,000 public domain government publications from the Utah State Government on a vast array of topics.

Thanks for reading and we’ll be back shortly with more information on collections added in Winter 2021-22!

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New Collections Showcase Content on Pandemics, Voting Rights

While many new collections have joined MWDL in 2020, we’re going to highlight four in this post. Three pertain to pandemics both past and present, and the fourth to the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage. These are all wonderful examples of MWDL partners using digital libraries to document present history, aggregating existing collections to provide new historical context, and contextualizing local events on the national and global stage.

We hope these few examples demonstrate the amazing work MWDL partners continue to do despite hardship. These collections joined DPLA as they came online and represent the intermountain West in a nationwide pool of resources. The DPLA Black Women’s Suffrage Collection also launched earlier in September and we’re excited to dig into it!

Utah Valley University’s Fulton Library COVID-19 Collection

This new collection features diverse materials from the Fulton Library community. Images, documents, promotional materials, social media posts, and surveys contributed by staff members, students, and other Fulton Library-community members detail life as we all adjusted to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Fulton Library feline work-from-home companion

Utah COVID-19 Collection (University of Utah)

Have you ever heard of a quaranzine? Neither have we! This is but one of the unique items submitted to J. Willard Marriott Library’s crowd-sourced Utah COVID-19 collection. Beginning in late March, Marriott Library invited submissions from Utahns to document their pandemic experiences. At nearly 800 items and counting, this collection includes photographs, oral histories, protest flyers, digital performance art and more.

1918 Flu Pandemic Newspapers (University of Utah)

Hand The Flu A Lemon !

– Headline of folk remedy article in Salt Lake Telegram, October 9, 1918

Looking back to our last global pandemic, the 1918 Flu Pandemic Newspapers collection gathers articles published between 1918-20 in Utah newspapers on the topic of the Spanish flu. These articles are sourced from Utah Digital Newspapers. A brand-new digital exhibit launched September 28 and adds more context to the story!

Suffrage and Stories of Utah Women

Finally, Utah State Archives mounted a new collection and online exhibit about the history of women’s suffrage in Utah! As the United States celebrates the centennial of women’s suffrage throughout 2020, Utah celebrates 150 years of suffrage. Utah women gained suffrage in 1870 when it was still a territory, a full 25 years ahead of statehood.

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Analytics: Users find MWDL in all sorts of ways!

Happy Autumn 2020! We previously looked at where MWDL users are located and learned MWDL has global reach. But have you ever wondered how all those users find MWDL in the first place? We recently looked at traffic acquisition from June through mid-September and have some interesting trends to share.

Google Analytics segments traffic into 4 channels (or buckets) by default: Referral, Organic Search, Direct, and Social. There are additional default channels such as Email, Affiliates, and Paid Advertising, but MWDL doesn’t currently use (or track) any of these. Looking at the channels in this period:

ChannelPercent of Total
(8,320 users)
Pages/SessionAverage Duration (min:sec)
Referral57%1.431:02
Organic Search26%1.751:09
Direct16%2.221:17
Social1%3.362:22
MWDL Traffic Channels (June-September 15, 2020)

Does the distribution of traffic by channel surprise you? A few things stood out to us. First, the majority of traffic reaches MWDL by referral. We’ll look closer at referral sources in a moment. The next two channels (organic, direct) combined don’t equal the amount of referral traffic; social comes in last with just 1% of all users!

The picture gets more interesting when we consider the number of pages per session and the average duration. Referral, organic, and direct search users all stayed around 1 minute. Despite being the smallest channel, social had the longest session duration with over two minutes — double as long as any of the other channels.

So what are sources for these channels? A view of the top ten sources offers more detail:

Source/MediumPercent of Total
(8,320 users)
Pages/SessionAverage Duration(min:sec)
google/organic21%1.761:08
dp.la/referral21%1.502:08
MWDL search portal (Primo)/referral16%1.380:50
direct/none14%2.221:17
mwdl.org/referral11%1.580:30
omnia.ie/referral6%1.532:14
mwdl-org (AMP pages)/referral2%1.220:05
onlinelibrary.uen.org/referral1%1.971:23
baidu.com/referral1%1.01<0:01
bing/organic1%1.631:14
Top 10 MWDL Traffic Sources (June-September 15, 2020)

Search engines like Google and Bing accounted for the majority of the organic search traffic (and Yahoo ranks 19th on the list of sources with <0.25% of MWDL traffic). The picture looks more interesting when we consider the top external referral sources – Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), Omnia, and Utah Education Network (UEN).

DPLA not only accounts for a large percentage (21%) of total referrals in this period, but the average session duration is much longer–almost twice as long!– as those of the organic sources. While it accounts for a smaller percentage of referrals, Omnia also enjoys the longest average session duration (2:14). [Omnia is a digital humanities project by Niall O’Leary that aggregates records from Europeana and DPLA to offer a hybrid cultural heritage search portal.]

To see what social channels drive traffic to MWDL, we have to consider the next five top referrers:

Source/MediumPercent of Total
(8,320 users)
Pages/SessionAverage Duration(min:sec)
history.utah.gov/referral0.42%1.681:17
gongu.copyright.or.kr/referral0.40%1.190:33
m.facebook.com/referral0.27%5.461:59
umbrasearch.org/referral0.26%1.130:06
t.co/referral0.22%1.660:44
MWDL Traffic Sources #11-15 (June-September 15, 2020)

While Facebook only accounts for a fraction of a percent of traffic, these users have the highest number of pages viewed per session (5.46!) and a relatively long session duration. Twitter (t.co is a URL wrapper) also makes up just a small percentage in this period.

We have a few takeaways from these numbers. First: community is good! Projects that aggregate MWDL content (DPLA, Omnia, Utah Education Network, UmbraSearch) help drive traffic to us. Next, the high number of direct users (14%) suggests MWDL is a known resource and users are visiting without needing to search. Finally, while the overall traffic from social media sites is very small, those referrals were “sticky” with longer session durations and a high number of page views.

Finally — we didn’t forget to look where users are located! We look forward to being able to travel in 2021 and completing more of the map! Happy searching, everyone!

MWDL traffic by geographic location, June-September 15, 2020
MWDL traffic by geographic location (June-September 15, 2020)

MWDL Fall Update

With most schools and universities back in session the summer is quickly coming to an end, but before we fall off daylight savings time, we have a few noteworthy MWDL items for you.

DPLA

Our August DPLA harvest completed several weeks ago and we are up to 1,086,044 records in their portal. Thanks to everyone who has submitted new collections and continually added records to existing ones. Our fourth and final harvest of 2019 will be in November.

If you’re interested in an account for DPLA’s Analytics Dashboard, please let us know. The dashboard gives you access to usage and metadata statistics about your records in DPLA! The ability to make user accounts was rolled out earlier this year, and many of you are already taking advantage of this feature.

Harvest Requests

We have updated our harvest request form to send an auto-response to you. Now when you submit a collection, you’ll receive an email to the address you specify with the details of your request.

Webinars

We’ve hosted two webinars so far this year to hear from University of Nevada, Reno and University of Nevada, Las Vegas about their Islandora migration projects. Thanks to Emily Boss, Nathan Gerth, Emily Lapworth, and Seth Shaw for giving such great presentations! If you missed these, you can still view the Zoom recordings:

University of Nevada, Reno Islandora migration

University of Nevada, Las Vegas Islandora 8 project update

In the week of November 11,  we’re looking forward to MWDL alum Rebekah Cummings sharing more about the J. Willard Marriott Library’s work inspired by the Collections as Data project. Look for more details shortly.

If you’d like to present an upcoming webinar, please let us know and we can get that scheduled. We’re looking for one more 2019 presentation and 2020 is wide open!

Upcoming Conferences

Finally, if you’re headed to the Utah State Historical Society Conference on September 26-28, we’ll be there! Stop by our table and say hi.