Newspapers Re-Issued: Developing a custom IIIF based newspaper viewer at the University of Maryland Libraries
Abdul Rasheed, Mohamed Mohideen
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Many institutions are creating archives of digital newspapers, yet it is notoriously challenging to deliver an engaging and uncomplicated end user interface for such content. At the University of Maryland Libraries, we have created a custom portal for our crowdfunded campus newspaper digitization project, which is scheduled to debut in the spring of 2017. Based on stakeholder feedback, our portal’s newspaper viewer needed to support four unique features: (1) keyword search highlighting from the main portal application, (2) intuitive image clipping, (3) article segmentation highlighting, and (4) side-by-side display of OCR text with the digitized image. After evaluation, we determined that IIIF would be the most appropriate framework to integrate into existing UMD repository systems. In order to deliver the requested features, we chose Loris and Mirador as our server and viewer applications, respectively, and developed customizations for each, which have in turn been contributed back to their respective communities. Furthermore, we developed a PCDM Manifest application to take metadata about each newspaper issue from our Fedora 4 repository, transform it, and deliver IIIF manifests. UMD Libraries has also created a proof-of-concept method for embedding ALTO XML text coordinates in a Solr index, in order to enable dynamic annotation generation within the viewer. This development work ultimately enables our metadata to be repurposed across application boundaries for novel representations of our digital and digitized newspapers.
Poster presentation at Code4Lib Conference 2017