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

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The Government Documents Digitization Initiative: Shepherding Resources from Shelf to Server
Ryan Laddusaw, Laura Sare, Sean Buckner

Last modified: 2017-03-22


In Fall 2016, the Texas A&M University Libraries embarked on a project to digitize a collection of Flood Insurance Studies, published by the Federal Insurance & Mitigation Administration and to submit them to HathiTrust. To enable long-term access and discoverability, we have decided to assign each item an Archival Resource Key (ARK) as both a persistent identifier and a uniform resource locator. We are using the EZID service to maintain our identifiers and their N2T (name-to-thing) resolver to persist and provide metadata for our items. We then create metadata for each report and process each one into a submission information packet according to HathiTrust’s guidelines and submit them for ingestion.

A Flood Insurance Study (FIS) is a compilation and presentation of flood risk data for specific watercourses, lakes, and coastal flood hazard areas within a community. When a flood study is completed for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), the information and maps are assembled into an FIS. For a few years, these studies were distributed to federal depository libraries. Many depository libraries are digitizing their collections for inclusion into HathiTrust. We noticed that some FIS digitized in HathiTrust were missing some of the foldout data tables, so we decided to digitize our collection and focus on making sure the maps and data tables were viewable in an online format.

To ensure continued access to this collection, we have created an Archival Resource Key (ARK) for each item. ARKs are a type of persistent identifier that also function as a Uniform Resource Locator (URL). This allows a user to enter the ARK and the N2T resolver’s hostname into a web browser and arrive at a page containing metadata that will enable them to easily identify and locate the desired resource. This allows researchers to embed the ARK in their work, and anyone can use this URL property to quickly locate and access the referenced material.

By digitizing this collection, we are able to increase accessibility and discoverability of these resources. This project will produce a digital version of this collection, and will allow us to reduce the size of the physical collection and save space, without sacrificing access to any of these items.

In this presentation, we will review the origins of the project, present the workflow involved from scanning to HathiTrust submission, and talk about the future of the project.


Government Documents; ARK; EZID; HathiTrust; Flood Insurance; Digitization; Accessibility; Discoverability; Persistent Identifier; Metadata