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UMFK joins other UMS libraries in launching "Gateway to Digital Collections"

January 28, 2005


The University of Maine at Fort Kent Blake Library is joining with other University of Maine System Libraries to bring online a newly developed, searchable database and its content for public use, to support the education, research and public service mission of the Universities.

The "Gateway to Digital Collections" provides online access to thousands of selected, digitized materials in all formats - full text, image, sound, video, and finding aids. These materials come from the special collections of the UMS Libraries, and other cultural institutions in Maine.

There are over 7,000 electronic books in Maine's Netlibrary collection and the Project Gutenberg collection (public domain titles). The e-books are accessible to all Maine citizens. This resource includes options to browse the title lists of each collection.

The Gateway includes access to the full text Electronic Theses and Dissertations database (ETD), which indexes University of Maine doctoral dissertations (1964+) and masters' theses (1876+).

Many of the records provide abstracts and link to the full-text documents. An electronic copy of the dissertation or thesis is automatically deposited in the database; retrospective documents are scanned on a per need basis.

Access to a limited number of full-text documents may be restricted to University of Maine faculty, staff, and students, as required by the author. Access to these documents will now be available as part of the Gateway to Digital Collections.

Digital images of works of art can be viewed online in the Carr Collection, a subset of the Museum Collection held by the University of Maine Museum of Art. The Carr Online Gallery contains digital surrogates of the nearly 300 modern and contemporary prints that comprise the collection.

The gift of Robert Venn Carr, Jr., Class of 1944, the collection includes works by Pablo Picasso, Josef Albers, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, David Hockney, Joan Miro and Robert Delaunay, as well as a fine collection of nearly 90 paintings and World War II political cartoons by William Gropper.

The "Maine Music Box" is an interactive multimedia digital music library. Through the new database, users may view images of sheet music scores and cover art, play back audio renditions (MIDI files), and manipulate the arrangement of selected pieces by changing the key and instrumentation (SCORCH files). A few titles contain streaming video renditions.

The sheet music collection consists of approximately 22,000 pieces of historical and popular sheet music published and widely played from the mid 19th century until approximately 1990. Most of the collections are from the Bagaduce Music Lending Library in Blue Hill, Maine.

The University of Maine System Libraries are among early library developers of a system to manage the metadata and associated digital resources.

The system and software supporting the Gateway to Digital Collections provides the libraries with the ability to: store large digital resources (e-books, sound, video, spatial data sets), manage access, and integrate the metadata across collections.

Using this technology, Gateway users can search digital resources in special collections at all the campus libraries, from any network connection, and be linked to the document on the local website.

According to Sharon Johnson, UMFK's dean of information services, "The Gateway unlocks the doors to unique, digital resources in the Libraries' collections, and broadens access to support an interactive education program."

The UMS Libraries Gateway to Digital Collections: