Archive for the ‘CONTENTdm’ Category

CONTENTdm, Mirage 2 Theme and e-book project

In late April, we officially launched a redesigned and upgraded website for the Library’s Digital Collections; the new system is running on CONTENTdm 6.6 and three of the many new features include: a) a better image viewer for jpg, jp2 and tiff files; b) a page-by-page viewer/download for PDF files; and c) a more friendly web interface for customizing the site’s look-and-feel.  Also, our colleagues in Special Collections have added a couple of new collections including my favorite one: Studio 14.

MUL Digital Collections

In May, we also began to evaluate/test the new Mirage 2 Theme for the Scholarly Commons repository and  the new responsive theme seems to work nicely with DSpace 3.0 … as much as we liked our own Mobile Theme, it was very hard to resist the temptation of using a fully responsive website … of course, there is still some changes we need to implement … but overall, this is a great improvement for the DSpace community –thanks a lot @mire! … now we just need to have a friendly Author’s Profile module and many of us will be more than happy.

ePUBAnd on the very last working day of May, Jason Michel and I had the opportunity to present at the 2014 OVGTSL Conference in Athens, OH and talk about the ebook project we’ve been working on in the last year or so.  BTW: the revised version of the DWAE book is currently in its final review and very soon people will be able to download the ePUB or MOBI versions on the book’s website.  In case someone is interested, check this file with our slides.

As for the next two months, my to-do list includes at least six projects:

  • NEH/FS grant, assist in prototyping/designing version 1.0 of the FS game
  • DLP, update browse functions and add content from Spring 2014
  • MEM, dynamically generate browse pages for categories
  • Book companion website, develop a first prototype
  • FS documentary, develop a first web design and start testing templates
  • Book chapter, coordination final submission before 6/30

… y hacer tiempo para el “mundial de fút” :-)


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Spring time and some good news!

As the spring weather has finally arrived … this is probably also a good time to share some project updates and good news that have happened in the last few weeks.  First of all, in late March we learned that our NEH grant proposal was awarded … this project will prototype a location-based game that interprets the Mississippi Summer Project on the site of the 1964 orientation at Western College for Women -now part of Miami University.  For me, it’s also good to be part of some other Freedom Summer initiatives such as the FS Conference website and a companion site for a FS Documentary led by Kathy Conkwright.

Another project that is coming well along is our “long-waited” launch of the CONTENTdm 6.x website … some of the latest updates include: updating the URL pointers for video files and adding a few PHP lines in the “showLink” file as we’re now using the Kaltura hosted/streaming server for the mp4 files; modifying the header div was also necessary for adding a permanent logo/link to our main site and at the same time maintain the ability to add custom headers to individual collections using the web interface.  It’s also nice that now we have Marcus Ladd actively helping us with the web customization.  So in the next few days, check for this new header at

Another interesting and recent event was the Access for All Symposium that took place here in King Library just last Friday.  To me the highlight was the session on Video Captioning … the presenter showed us how to add captions to YouTube videos either by using the YouTube interface or the Amara website.  I’m personally partial to this topic and I’m happy to know that one of our students here in the lab is actually helping us prototype our first captioned videos … and if we get that small grant mmmm we may be able to do a bit more.  And speaking of accessibility and user friendly interfaces, for the MEM project, we’re also making some good progress, today was a good day for setting up the new theme … it looks like the next big challenge would be to implement a simple/accessible html toolbar in the submission form, potential plugins are listed on this page: 10 Best WYSIWYG Text and HTML Editors.

Last but not least, in mid march I had the pleasure to send some thank you notes to people, who helped me and played an important role in my first 5-6 years here at Miami.  In one of those emails, I came across DeEtta Jone’s updated website and I had a good time browsing the site and was reminded of the type of person and speaker that she is.  Finally, on April 1st I also managed to complete and submit my manuscript on IR platforms at US undergraduate institutions :-)

nos vemos!


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Project UPDATES and videos

epub-logo It seems a bit hard to believe but this is already the 1st week of November and -before we know it- this semester will be over.  For me, the IMS 201 class I’m teaching is definitely my best excuse of say “YES, time flies and I’ve been super busy” … but perhaps the most exciting thing about this class is what will happen in the next 2-3 weeks as we’ll be creating several e-books in ePUB format. The e-book idea is a result of one of our own demo projects at Open House back in April … back then, Heidi McKee from English came to us and asked if you could help her in creating an e-book version for an open access book she was co-editing. Of course we said “yes” and with the help of Jason Michel we prototyped an e-book with three chapters using ePUB 3 standards and she liked it. In August, they published the book online and this semester, we’re finalizing the complete e-book version with its 14 chapters and multimedia files … anyway, this past weekend and as part of a documentation of the workflow and in preparation for some video/lecture classes, I created a video tutorial on how to create ePUBs using word and HTML files … if someone happens to be interested in this URL:

html5-videoSpeaking of videos and switching the conversation to some real work :-) last month we also managed to complete the first set videos for the CAWC Lecture Series Digital Archive. This is one of our recently established collaboration initiatives with a center on campus, our role is to help in providing access to scholarly talks and at the same time we make a first step toward preserving these types of materials. We also used this project to test and evaluate a couple of video features (e.g. captions) using HTML5 … in late August, we also learned about a new video streaming service available on campus and after some initial tests, we’re definitely happy to have this integrated with our now locally hosted DSpace 3.0 instance. The topic of video streaming and HTML5 got our attention and interest that we even wrote a short article about -which was published in the latest issue of the Code4Lib Journal.

Another fun part of my work in the last 2-3 months has to do with another open source tool -that’s Omeka. Just in the last month, we’ve created 4 new instances of Omeka 2.0 for 3 different clients. A key feature we’ve found in using Omeka is the ability to install and customize plugins, so far my favorites are: Simple Pages, Embed Codes, CSV Import, Docs Viewer, and Exhibit Builder; plugins in my to-do list include: NeatlineSimile, Geolocation, HTML5 Media, OAI-PMH Repository, and SolrSearch. We plan to go live with 2-3 of these projects sometime in December, for one, we may even have the privilege to write/customize a plugin :-)

Ok, that’s probably it for today … now back to some CONTENTdm and multimedia embed code … hasta el otro mes!


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Summer 2013 projects

As of today, we can probably say that “summer is officially gone” and for me -and maybe for others- a valid question is: what happened to those summer projects? Well, part of the answer is: we definitely made some good progress on several projects such as the migration/upgrade to DSpace 3.0 for the University Institutional Repository and to CONTENTdm 6.x for the cultural heritage collections.

In July, I also worked on several Omeka (1.5 and 2.0) instances; perhaps the most exciting one was the “unplanned” Omeka & CONTENTdm Integration that Marcus Ladd and I worked on.  My contributions included two set of lines of code: a) PHP lines in Omeka (show.php) to retrieve the DC.Identifier value and generate a link back to CONTENTdm record and to embed an iframe with the CONTENTdm viewer; and b) JavaScript lines in CONTENTdm (fullbrowser.php) to check if the image viewer is being loaded in a regular window browser or an iframe; if it’s an iframe, then we added an extra CSS file to customize the viewer toolbar.

Speaking of CONTENTdm, the official launch for the new instance is almost there … here is a preview of the new site:
In late June, we learned that the Miami was using Kaltura to manage a portion of its videos, we looked at this service and our systems team scheduled a visit with our on-campus rep, we looked at the service and thought this would meet “all” the requirements we were looking for in our new video solution … now, we’re in the process of uploading 100+ videos; we also began a prototype of adding captions to these videos, we’re using Movie Captioner and we look forward to completing a set of videos in the next couple of months.

As for DSpace, we’re just days away to officially turn on the switch from the current hosted site to our local instance; the new interface is 80% based on the Mirage theme and perhaps the only modification (so far) was the integration of the Kaltura player using a few jQuery tricks.

  // hide default mp4 player in DSpace
  $("#aspect_artifactbrowser_ItemViewer_div_item-view #video").hide();
  // hide metadata field with Kaltura video ID
  // get Kaltura video ID
  var htmlStr = $(".simple-item-view-other-kaltura a:eq(0)").html();
  // alert(htmlStr);
  // replace video DIV with Kaltura code
  var htmlStr = $("#aspect_artifactbrowser_ItemViewer_div_item-view

For service activities, in late July the recently established Library Staff Appreciation Committee hosted a picnic and thanks to the great leadership of our coordinator -Tricia- everything went super. For the fall semester, we’ll be launching a monthly newsletter and we’ll also finalize the details for the Annual Award of the employee/s of the year. Outside of the library, I’m also coordinating the website team for the 2014 Freedom Summer Conference -this time, we’re very fortunate to have a student volunteer with some excellent graphic design skills.

And for Scholarship, in early August I -virtually- co-presented with Marcus at the 2013 CONTENTdm Users Group Meeting; our talk was on the Migration & Update to CONTENTdm 6.1, I joined them via WebEx and Marcus did an excellent job in demonstrating the Omeka/CONTENTdm integration project.  I mid August, I also co-authored a manuscript on Videos & HTML5, it’s still in review but it left us with an interesting new project on video captioning :-) … OK, that’s probably it for today, this weekend will be a good time to finalize/publish my Niihka site for the IMS 201 class -which starts on Monday!


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Spring Project UPDATES

CDS save-the-dateSpring is finally here and -for me- it seems to be just a good time to catch up on some notes and updates about things that have happened in the last two months as well as things that will happen in April.  Undoubtedly, many of my/our activities are driven by the upcoming Open House for our new department -scheduled for April 23rd.  This week, I helped in creating an interactive map for the CDS’ website -which is (heavily) based on an excellent example created by the Research Commons at the University of Washington.  We look forward to completing all the details for this special date.

Two examples of the type of work the center can help clients with are: a) developing websites such as the Digital Literacy Partnership (DLP) project with Valerie Ubbes; and b) developing e-books for selected works available on Computers and Composition Digital Press with Heidi McKee –for this project, we’re working with our colleague Jason Michel.  The DLP project will be our first project using Omeka and it has allowed us to understand better the functionality -and some of the limitations- of this great open source online exhibit tool.  For instance, because of the type of DLP files (video and slideshow), we had to edit the show.php file and customize it accordingly.  Here is an outline of the changes we made:

<?php if (item('Dublin Core', 'Type') == 'Moving Image') { ?>
<iframe src="<?php echo $VimeoID;?>"
 width="500" height="375" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen
 mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe>
<?php } else { // NOT a video, but a slideshow ?>
<!-- WOWSlider script -->
<?php $filename = item('Dublin Core', 'Identifier');
$dir = "/var/www/../viewer/" . $filename . "/";
if ($handle = opendir($dir)) {
$i = 0;
while (false !== ($entry = readdir($handle))) {
if ($entry != "." && $entry != "..") {
$all_files[] = $entry;
$i++; }}
closedir($handle); }
sort($all_files); // very important
foreach($all_files as $file) {
echo "<img src=\"/healthliteracy/viewer/$filename/$file\"
      alt=\"$file\" id=\"wowsl_$i\"/> \n";
} ?>

Two other projects that I continue to work on are: CONTENTdm 6.x and DSpace 3.0.  In both cases, I’ve been quite pleased with the type of successful “tweaks” we’ve tested/implemented with pure jQuery & CSS code.  BTW: for those interested in hosted services, check out DSpaceDirect.

As for the next 2-3 weeks, some exciting things are also on the schedule: on Friday April 5, Kim Tully and I will be part of a panel at the 2012 SOA Conference and we’ll talk about the Civil War collection; on April 8-9, I’ll be at Case Western Reserve University attending their Second Colloquium on Digital Scholarship; on April 16, I’ll teach a class on HTML & CSS –which will serve as a first practice for my upcoming IMS 201 class in the fall; and of course, April 23 will “the day” for us in the center.

Last, my article on DSpace Mobile Interface was published this month … and thanks to a comment, now I know that for future tests I can also use The Responsinator site … now time to check the latest issue of Research Information.


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