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Development and Research | Digital Production | Metadata Unit | Systems Integration


Development and Research

The Development and Research group's primary focus is to design and develop the Stanford Digital Repository, a long-term archival repository for digital content. The group is also the main locus within DLSS for development of new library tools and functions, research in the technology marketplace for emerging systems and standards that meet library technology needs, architectural consulting on Libraries technology projects, and maintenance of the Libraries software development standards and infrastructure. In addition, the Development and Research group contains the Metadata Unit, a group specializing in developing and contributing to metadata standards and projects.

The D&R group consists of a manager/architect, three full-time developers, four part-time developers, the Metadata Unit, and a product manager/digital preservation specialist. Programming is done primarily in Java, with some Perl, PL/SQL, and shell scripting as appropriate. The group is also in charge of maintaining the DLSS cvs space, and developing and maintaining coding and development standards across DLSS.

In addition to the above work, Stanford (in partnership with the University of California at Santa Barbara) has contracted with the Library of Congress to build a National Geospatial Data Archive (NGDA) as part of the NDIIPP initiative. In pursuit of that goal, the team is incorporating the needs of geospatial data into the Stanford Digital Repository design and research. D&R is working with a team in the Earth Sciences library to fulfill Stanford's share of the contract, including collection development, archiving formats and format registry research.

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Digital Production

Stanford University Libraries and Academic Information Resources (SULAIR) have an ongoing program to produce and acquire digital library collections. The Digital Production Group (DPG), a unit of the DLSS, provides project management, consultation, and system development services in support of efforts to digitize and reformat library materials.

DPG staff are primarily focused on the development and delivery of SULAIR digital projects and initiatives. Projects and initiatives may involve the digitization of, preservation of and provision of online access to print, image, audio, visual or born-digital electronic materials. Project content may include circulating collections and previously published works as well as unpublished, unique and/or historically valuable materials.

The DPG manages and operates several digitization labs staffed by highly skilled professional imaging specialists and student assistants. The labs are capable of converting a wide variety of traditional library materials to digital formats, including printed books, journals, fine art, photographs, maps, manuscripts, and analog audio media. The DPG also oversees the operation of the Digitizing Line, the first fully robotic page-turning book-scanner in production in the world. A sample of digital collections produced by the DPG can be found at

The DPG is committed to both providing access to, as well as preserving, digital content. In this spirit, DPG staff continually develop, evaluate, and refine digital conversion practices in the interest of preserving library materials and maintaining access to them. DPG staff are actively involved in building an infrastructure for preserving and providing access to digital content, and evaluating new technologies that support the operation of a modern digital library.

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Metadata Unit

The Metadata Unit provides the Stanford community with a variety of consulting, workflow and software design services related to metadata creation and delivery for digital collections. The Metadata Unit works primarily with the units of the Digital Library Systems and Services group (including Development and Research, Digital Production, and Systems Integration groups) as well as other SULAIR departments and staff including Cataloging and Metadata Services, and Academic Computing. Within the scope of the Metadata Unit's service definitions, the Unit follows established national and international standards for descriptive, technical, preservation, rights and data transmission metadata, and actively contributes to the development of such specifications and standards.

The Metadata Unit consists of a metadata coordinator and a metadata specialist, and also works with student interns as well as subject and data control specialists within the Cataloging and Metadata, and Collections & Services departments.

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Systems Integration

The Systems Integration group (formerly called Library Systems) provides and maintains an integrated suite of applications and services that support:

  • Online access to academic information
  • Infrastructure for the Library's acquisition, organization, storage and distribution of information resources

The group consists of a manager/business analyst, a second analyst and three full-time developers. The primary application the group supports is a Library Management System, which is Sirsi's Unicorn system. This is both the transaction system for functions such as acquisitions, fund management, cataloging, serial check-in, circulation, course reserves, etc., as well as the database behind Socrates, our online public access catalog (OPAC). Data is exchanged between Unicorn and networked utilities like RLG, OCLC, and the Library of Congress; as well as with other campus systems, such as the Oracle financial system and the campus Registry.

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Last modified: December 16, 2005

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