HUNTSVILLE, Ala.-December 13, 2004-Sirsi Corporation announced today that the District of Columbia Public Library (DCPL), Washingtoniana Division, has opened a portion of its digitized collection of The Washington Star, using Sirsi's Hyperion Digital Media Archive System. "The library selected Hyperion because it is extremely well-organized, has amazing potential for collections, and is compatible with our integrated library system, Sirsi Unicorn," said Mark Greek, DCPL project archivist, Washingtoniana Division. "I have found Hyperion to be very easy to use. I'm impressed with the image capabilities; this really is our library's first step into the 21st century of information sharing." DCPL plans to expand the project to other divisions within the library system now that Hyperion has proven to be an enormously useful tool for digitizing collections.
"We plan to update our Web site for the division's 100th anniversary and we will also develop a brochure about the division and archives that will be available in digital format. We also plan to train other library personnel on using Hyperion to preserve materials and make those materials available to all," said Greek. The division also plans to begin archiving the D.C. Community Archives as part of the 100th anniversary celebration of the Washingtonian Division next year.
"I plan to begin work on the D.C. Community Archives soon," said Faye Haskins, DCPL archivist, Washingtoniana Division. "The hierarchical structure of Hyperion is well-suited to an archivist's needs. I believe that it will enable me to perform my duties more efficiently and help me better organize the collection. I am very interested in making our large collection available to the public through digitization. Right now, our materials are not in a true, searchable database. With Hyperion, we will be able to digitize and make searchable the numerous items in our collection, including manuscripts, postcards, theatre programs, picket signs, posters, diaries, architectural drawings, and photos."
The Washington Star collection currently has nearly 2,500 searchable items from the DCPL online public access catalog at www.dclibrary.org. Text descriptions are available for searches of available images. The entire collection, when complete, will consist of more than 1.2 million images, mostly from the mid-1930s to 1981 when The Washington Star folded. "I am also interested in digitizing the text for the collection as our print collection of The Washington
Star dates back to 1852," said Greek. "The Washington Post owns the collection, retaining copyright, and DCPL is the caretaker. Not only do we have print and images of the actual editions of the paper, we also have countless images that were not used in the print edition. There are a abundant number of photos from the 1960s and 70s including the March on Washington by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the funeral of President John F. Kennedy, and an amazing cache of photographs capturing the everyday lives of regular Washingtonians." The preservation project is funded through the National Historical Publications and Records Commission of the National Archives.
DCPL is adamant about promoting the use and acknowledging the relevance of these collections to the public. "Collections like The Washington Star and the D.C. Community Archives are great learning tools for the D.C. school system because students can learn how to use the archives both in person and via the Internet. For example, a student can find the newspaper from their date of birth or research information about their neighborhood," said Greek. "Academic researchers can augment their findings with specific images and references to articles and materials."
About the District of Columbia Public Library, Washingtoniana Division
The Washingtoniana Division is the local history and current local information section of the DCPL. Located on the third floor of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library, the division encourages all residents to help the division grow by donating materials such as high school yearbooks, church programs for significant events, personal papers, annual reports of organizations and companies, photographs, and more. Local help is needed to document and reserve the history of the District of Columbia.
In 2004, Sirsi Corporation (www.sirsi.com) celebrates 25 years as the strategic technology partner to more than 10,000 libraries around the world. A strong, growing company, we are dedicated to providing the library community with forward-thinking information technology solutions, including Sirsi Unicorn Library Management System, the first client/server-based and UNIX-based integrated library system; Sirsi iBistro and iLink, the first e-Library solutions with streaming enriched content; Sirsi Rooms, the first suite of context management solutions; and Sirsi Director's Station, the first information analysis tool for library executives. Sirsi maintains operations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Colombia, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Denmark, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Australia, and China.