информационные технологии для архивов и библиотек
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Tiraspol Consistory Records Project (2003)

The University of Kansas (KU) Libraries http://www.lib.ku.edu, in cooperation with the American Historical Society of Germans From Russia (AHSGR) http://www.ahsgr.org received funding through the Department of Education’s Title VI grant Technological Innovation and Cooperation for Foreign Information Access Program to to digitize, preserve, and provide fully searchable machine readable electronic access to significant and essential primary Russian resources. The information to be digitized and preserved through this program affords access to a wide array of demographic information and provides insights into everyday life in pre-Revolutionary Russia.

During the two years of the grant, 68 volumes of the hand-written Tiraspol Consistory Records, which are housed in an archive in Saratov, Russia and currently are not readily accessible and in need of preservation treatment will be preserved on microfilm, digitized and an electronic database of the text will be created. Because these records are hand-written and not easy to read, the information from each volume will be keyed into an electronic database and made fully searchable through XML markup so that the information can be accessed and searched through a free Web interface. The focus of the grant activities will be to digitize and preserve information that is not available in the United States. Grant funds will cover the cost of creating microfilm copies of each volume of the set for archival purposes. (One copy will be given to the Saratov, Russia Archives and the other will be archived at KU’s underground storage facility.) The microfilm will then be used to create digital images of each page of the Tiraspol Consistory Records (68 volumes at approximately 200 pages per volume for a total of 13,600 images). After the digital images are created, Russian in-country experts will key the information into a machine-readable electronic database. Because the records are hand-written, it is impossible to use Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software to create the database with acceptable accuracy. Therefore, to improve accuracy of the finished electronic resource and to ensure that the project can be completed in a timely manner, the text will be keyed manually. The text will be marked up utilizing standardized XML tagging and will be fully searchable. The electronic text version of each page will be linked to each high quality TIFF image so that a researcher will be able to view both the image of the original document and read the converted text. The final steps to completing the project will involve the conversion of the text from Cyrillic into Library of Congress Russian transliterated text. The converted text, identical to the original Russian text, will also be available for use. This will allow scholars who do not have Cyrillic capabilities on their computers to access the information through transliteration. The text will also be machine-translated into English making the vast majority of the text available to non-Russian speaking researchers. The database will be made available to any students, scholars and others free of charge via the World Wide Web.

The completed project will take up approximately 10 gigabytes of computer storage space. It will also be backed up on DVD and/or CD. The completed database and online access will be managed through the University’s Digital Library Initiatives program. The KU Libraries will work in partnership with East View Publications, Inc. http://www.eastview.com, a company with over 15 years experience of working in Russia on digital projects. East View Publications has staff who have worked with Russian archives on similar projects, and they have the equipment necessary to complete the project in a timely manner.

The value of this proposal to Slavic scholarship and research is extremely high. We believe that microfilming, digitizing, preserving, creating machine-readable text and basic translation of the 13,600 pages of primary resource text is well worth doing. If nothing is done soon, the Tiraspol Consistory Records could be lost to Slavic scholarship forever.

Contact Information

Project Co-Director

Project Co-Director

Bradley L. Schaffner

Head, Libraries’ Slavic Department & International Programs;

Coordinator, Collection Development

University of Kansas Libraries

303 Watson Library

1425 Jayhawk Boulevard

Lawrence, KS 66045-7544 USA

(785) 864-3957

fax: (785)864-5311


Brian J. Baird

Preservation Librarian

University of Kansas

134 Watson Library

1425 Jayhawk Blvd.

Lawrence, KS 66045-7544 USA

(785) 864-3568

fax: (785) 864-5311

bbaird@ku.edu www2.lib.ku.edu/preservation




Technical Work

Technical Work

Beth Warner, Director

Digital Library Initiative

Information Services/Libraries

1450 Jayhawk Blvd

Lawrence, Kansas 66045-7535

(785) 864-4999


Kirill Fesenko

Director of Online Publishing

East View Publications, Inc.
3020 Harbor Lane N.
Minneapolis, MN 55447 USA

(763) 550-0961