I began the process this week of converting the digital copies (TIFFs) of the student newspaper, the Old Gold & Black (or OGB), to PDFs for viewing on the web and performing OCR on the files to make them keyword searchable. We thought we had found the proper way to simultaneously convert the files, perform OCR, and merge all pages from one edition into a single PDF, but, alas, it did not quite work that easily. Anyway, it gave me the opportunity to try my hand at researching the issue and while I wasn't totally satisfied with any of the results I found, I do love trying to solve a problem.
Meanwhile, I did streamline part of the process and managed to prepare the 1916-1919 files to be uploaded into WakeSpace and was keeping my fingers crossed that we'd be able to update the beautiful chart created for the OGB keyword searchability project. No, I did not have much to do with the creation of the chart, but I am excited that I get to provide the numbers for the spreadsheet that go into the chart! I can't wait to see some of those bars turn old gold.
Again, there was a slight hiccup in uploading the new files, but it was worth it. It led to an unexpected benefit - the discovery that I have the access to upload a thumbnail for each edition of the newspaper. I'm excited about getting to help create these thumbnails that will also eventually be seen as part of the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), to which Wake Forest University is now contributing.
Finally, I began the process of reviewing the Secrest Artist Series collection, for which I will be creating a digital exhibit this semester. I am enjoying looking through the materials and learning more about the series myself. I think the challenge will be in finding a way to create an exhibit that takes these personal interests and translates them into something that others will find interesting. This is something I was tasked with doing on a regular basis as a writer for a community newspaper, so I am very curious to see how this will translate to creating a digital exhibit in a library/archival setting.