Monday, June 26, 2006

A different view on prioritized titles

Doug Holland, Director of MBG Library, threw out an interesting challenge - reevaluate our prioritized list to include the number of volumes for a title, and rank the titles by a ratio of number of names to number of volumes. We wanted to do this at the beginning of the project, but there was no way of knowing how many volumes we had for a given title (or any easy way to pull it from Millenium, our library software). Since we've exported data out of Millenium and into Access, that's now a simple task.

View list

One caveat - the number of volumes for a title is for the entire run as cataloged in our library. So, there are more volumes of say, Curtis's Botanical Magazine, in the catalog than we plan to scan because we're going to stop at 1923. Unfortunately there's no definitive way to pull out just the volumes dated earlier than 1923.

One of the more interesting aspects of looking at our prioritized literature in this way is that if we started in on this list, our number of digitized titles will grow quickly since many of these are single volume works. Right now we're plateau'ing on titles because we're just adding in more volumes for the titles we've already begun. In practice we plan to pull from both lists (this one and our previous prioritized list).


At 3:37 AM, Blogger Subhajit said...

Priority is a relative term. What is essential for most of the researchers in the USA may not be of so importance to the workers in India unless that involves global perspective. Persons interested in Indian as well as Himalayan plants still get little help from Botanicus as the titles on plants of that region digitized so far are easily available in libraries. What they need like 'Annals of the Royal Botanic Garden, Calcutta. 8(1-4). 1898', 'Hortus Bengalensis' 'Journals of Asiatic Society of Bengal', 'Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society', 'Kew Bulletin' etc. are still not available. Though, these publications contain a number of pioneering works on botany of this region as well as of the world.

At 9:02 AM, Blogger Chris Freeland said...

Subhajit - The titles you suggested are on our list to be digitized. With your comments and demonstrated need we'll try to boost them in the queue. Thanks for the excellent suggestions!

At 10:24 AM, Anonymous Ralf Jahn said...

You recently started scanning "Journal of Botany, British and Foreign". Volumes 1 to 61 of this journal have already been scanned in good quality (see Many volumes exist in two or three scanned editions.

I think, priority should be set to titles which have not been digitized until now.

Thank you very much for your most useful work!

At 3:12 PM, Blogger Chris Freeland said...

Ralf - The volumes you indicate at Internet Archive were scanned by the Google Books project. Google places restrictions on what you can and cannot do with their texts, so while they are in the public domain and viewable online, the content is not open access. Botanicus books are open access and can be used for data mining purposes and other research efforts in addition to being read online or downloaded in PDF form. It's a challenge to stay aware of what volumes have been scanned by other projects - at some point we realize that Google will scan it all (or all their library partners will allow on their industrial scanners), but we continue to digitize content in order to make it available without restriction.


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