Texas Digital Library Conference System, 2017 Texas Conference on Digital Libraries

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Sharing “Gabo” With the World: Building the Gabriel Garcia Marquez Online Archive
Jullianne Hughes Ballou, Megan Barnard, Abigail Adams, Daniela Lozano, Ryan Blake, Diana Diaz, Celia Shaheen

Last modified: 2017-03-22


In 2014 the Harry Ransom Center acquired the papers of Nobel Prize-winning author Gabriel García Márquez (1927-2014), considered one of the most significant writers of the twentieth century. Recognizing the worldwide interest in the writer’s work, as well as his importance among scholars, the family of García Márquez gave the Center permission to share significant portions of the collection online. In 2016, the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) granted the Center a Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives award to digitize more than 24,000 pages from the Garcia Marquez archive. The project, Sharing “Gabo” With the World: Building the Gabriel Garcia Marquez Online Archive from His Papers at the Harry Ransom Center, will allow scholars, educators, and students everywhere unprecedented free access to manuscripts for novels, a memoir, screenplays, and nonfiction writings; notebooks; scrapbooks; photographs; and related ephemera.

Decisions about how to build the digital collection, including selecting and presenting items for digitization and scanning delicate, intricately structured materials were made in close consultation with the Ransom Center’s archivists and conservators. Of particular importance was the decision to preserve and conserve the original materials and allow the digital collection to serve as a reflection and extension of the physical collection. The panel will be comprised of staff from several departments at the Center, all who have worked to make García Márquez’s papers accessible to a diverse, bilingual audience, including those researching his born digital files.

Megan Barnard will talk about acquiring the papers; Celia Sheehan and Diana Diaz will discuss conserving and scanning delicate materials, in particular the collection's scrapbooks; Jullianne Ballou and Daniela Lozano will talk about metadata creation for the physical collection and the appropriation of that metadata for the digital collection; Abby Adams will talk about cataloging born digital material in the collection; and Ryan Blake will discuss the process of curating a small selection of photographs from thousands of images.


Gabriel García Márquez; digital archives; workflows; metadata; multilingual metadata