Welcome to the ABCD Library Working Group

We are now meeting on the FOURTH MONDAY of the month from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in  the Forum Room, Lamont Library, 11 Quincy St.

The group email address is: abcd-library@abcd.harvard.edu

Co-chairs:  Bobbi Fox, Gloria Korsman

A Working Group of the ABCD Committee (an informal association of system managers, programmers, researchers, students, administrators, and faculty at Harvard University and its affiliated institutions in the Boston area), the Library Working Group  goes way beyond the questions of access to electronic databases and the cataloging of electronic images, exploring the many ways Information Technology interacts with the Library.

ABCD Library Internal Site (HarvardKey required)


Monday, October 23, 2017


Panel on Optical Character Recognition

Today’s scholars expect Optical Character Recognition (OCR) of texts in library collections.   Despite expectations that all texts are equally discoverable, we know that countless handwritten manuscripts and documents in non-Roman fonts have neither been OCR’ed nor transcribed.   Three esteemed Harvard colleagues will discuss OCR projects that promise to open up vast quantities of knowledge to digital researchers.

The WebEx recording is now available on the Internal Site (HarvardKey required), along with Amy's slides.

Monday, November 28, 2016

TEXT MINING: an introduction for librarians

As promised, after a hiatus in October, we are back in an intellectual fury, with a topic about as exciting as any in library science today: TEXT MINING.

[ Video archive of the entire event ]

We have two highly qualified speakers who discussed the two sides of the issue:

1) Laureen Esser, e-resources coordinator for the humanities, will cover how to get your hands on texts to mine and using resources available here at Harvard [ Laureen's slides ]

This includes:

- how the library is responding to researcher requests for data
- our experiences with providers of humanities/social sciences data
- a brief overview of vendor data that could be available and major sources of open access data
- licensing and text mining rights
- issues with data/metadata quality for licensed content

2) Damien Boutillon, HILT research fellow, will then pick up to cover how to mine these texts once you've got them. [ Damien's Slides ]

This includes:

1) Guidance on when the methods should be used:
- How do we look at test data?
- What are the text analysis traditions?

2) Data cleaning / Data preparation

3) Techniques for identifying themes: grounded theory
- Inductive search
- Deductive search

4) Tips for developing and using codebooks
- Types of codes / other markup tools
- Codebook development
- Tips for working with teams of multiple coders
- Tips for working as a solo coder

Monday, July 27, 2016

Born-digital @ Harvard

Born-digital resources arrive at Harvard Library every day.   We archive web content (WAX),  conserve obsolete file formats,  and subscribe to e-journals, e-books, etc.  on selected platforms.   Archivists and other preservationists have been working for decades to solve the digital preservation puzzle,  but despite these efforts, we still have more questions than answers about collection development and preservation.

About 50 people attended a panel discussion on the state of Born-digital materials at Harvard in the Lamont Forum Room on June 27, 3:30-5 p.m. with

·         Suzanne Wones, Director of Library Digital Strategies and Innovations, Harvard Library

·         Mary Samouelian and Keith Pendergrass, archivists at Baker Library   Mary and Keith's slides

·         Andrea Goethals, Manager of Digital Preservation and Repository Services, Harvard Library  Andrea's slides

Here's the video archive of the panel. Please note that there's no sound for the first few minutes (but that it does eventually kick in, around minute 7:45).

Monday, April 25, 2016

 Ceilyn Boyd of the Harvard Library Project Management Group talked about: “Practical Data Visualization with JavaScript: When, What, and How.”

Besides her extensively documented examples on GitHub for playing with the code, and the Internal-to-Harvard website to see her examples in action, she has also provided comprehensive slides and her handout .

Monday, February 22, 2016

Jason Griffey, Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, gave us a tour of his current projects; LibraryBox (a portable offline web server for non-profits, http://librarybox.us) and Measure the Future (google analytics for physical spaces http://measurethefuture.net). We also heard about his potential next project, a digital library system built on Blockchain, and what he thinks library technology should be paying attention to over the next 5-10 years. 

Slides and more from Jason Griffey's excellent ABCD library talk:



Monday, November 16, 2015

 3:30 --  5:00 p.m.  Lamont Forum Room

"Life after iSites, or What To Do Before Your iSite is Gone"

see more...

Monday, December 16, 2013

 3:30 --  5:00 p.m.  Lamont Forum Room

"Preserving Your Personal Treasures"

see more...

Monday, November 18, 2013

 3:30 --  5:00 p.m.  Lamont Forum Room

"What is Web Scale Discovery and How Does it Work?"

see more...


Monday, May 30, 2013

 3:30 --  5:00 p.m.  Lamont Forum Room

"From the trenches: what tech changes you’d like to see in the Library"

Notes from "From the trenches: what tech changes you’d like to see in the Library"  are now available.


Monday, April 22, 2013

 3:30 --  5:00 p.m.  Lamont Forum Room

"Knitting Partnerships around the Digital Humanities"

Presenter: Jud Harward, Director of Research Computing for the Arts and Humanities

see more...


Monday, March 25, 2013 – Cancelled

The March meeting is cancelled due to Passover.

Monday, November 26, 2012

 3:30 --  5:00 p.m.  Lamont Forum Room

"HTML5 for Librarians: a hands-on introduction"

Presenters: Reinhard Engels and Tom Dodson, Office for Scholarly Communication

see more...

Monday, September 24, 2012

3:30 --  5:00 p.m.  Lamont Forum Room


Documenting Harvard: Library Tools for Capturing, Organizing and Preserving Harvard Scholarship

see more...

Monday, August 27, 2012

3:30 --  5:00 p.m.  CfA Wolbach Library’s Collaboration Space

LIMITED SPACE; see special sign-up directions

Google Refine Workshop

see more...

Monday, July 23, 2012

3:30 -- 5:00 p.m. Lamont Forum Room

The Technical Services Wiki Team will present.

Meeting Schedule

No June Meeting

Previous Meetings