PALNI Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Digitization Grant Update

PALNI’s 2020 Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant, Collaboratively Preserving Rare Scholarship in Religiously Affiliated Libraries: PALNI Last Copies is well underway! With the goal of digitizing 240 scarcely held circulating monographs from PALNI’s supported institutions via the Internet Archive in Fort Wayne, we’ve made great progress, despite getting a late start due to complications with the 2020 grant cycle.

Project Highlights

  • November 2020: Hired Project Assistant, Sarah Newell. Sarah’s been a great help with data analysis and general project assistance so far, and will be building a collection of scanned titles in CONTENTdm. 
  • December 2020: Started distribution of digitization nominee lists to directors. 
  • January 2021: Digitization commenced at Internet Archive.
  • February 2021: An initial set of 38 books was scanned by Internet Archive and added to the project collection on the Internet Archive site.
  • March 2021: A total of 100 books from 13 schools have been digitized so far.

Project Evaluation Activities to Date

  • We are tracking the number of books and pages digitized by reviewing the Internet Archive site (100 books, 13 collections) and invoices.  So far we’ve been invoiced for 38 books, containing 9,210 pages, and 2 foldouts.
  • We are collecting usage data via the Internet Archive’s Collection Statistics (seen here) and “all-time views” counter.  The collection has been viewed 601 times, with viewers from Indiana, California, Germany, Israel, United Kingdom, and China. Anglo-Saxons from Palestine, or, The imperial mystery of the lost tribes, from Taylor University, has been viewed the most — at 35 times since uploaded on February 8th, 2021.
  • We are evaluating discoverability of the resources by searching titles in Google.  Internet Archive records from our first round of digitization in February are appearing in the first page of results in a Google search.

Next Steps

Before the end of the project we hope to digitize an additional 140 titles.  We’ll also check and download collection files from Internet Archive, build a CONTENTdm collection, and consult about best practices for Discovery integration.  In the final phase, Project Wrap-Up, we will finish our evaluation and market the completed project.  The final grant report is due to the State Library in August, 2021. 

The project makes possible future research and other scholarly activities. Digital scholarship projects focused on the books themselves using new methods such as text analysis could be initiated, as well as research around the idea of resource scarcity and holdings in Indiana and the advantages of shared collection studies to identify rare materials in need of preservation.

Many thanks to the PALNI-supported institutions for their participation!

This project is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services, administered by the Indiana State Library.