Category Archives: Digital Initiatives

Subscribing to Digital Initiatives

Want to stay up to date on what the Digital Initiatives team at the North Dakota State Library (NDSL) is doing? Want to be informed of new projects? Can’t get enough of the NDSL’s content on Digital Horizons? Want to be notified when new items are added to Digital Horizons?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, we have solutions for you!

Option 1

One way to follow Digital Initiatives is to subscribe to NDSL’s newsletters. The Digital Initiatives team occasionally writes articles for these newsletters. The articles often include information on upcoming events and new projects.

Option 2

Another way to follow Digital Initiatives is to view our posts on NDSL’s Field Notes blog. Like our articles in the newsletters, these posts include information on upcoming events and new projects; but they also include many other topics relating to digital projects, such as digitization, preservation, tips and tricks, recommendations and best practice, resources, and the occasional “just-for-fun” post.

To specifically monitor blog posts about new content added to NDSL’s collections on Digital Horizons, look for posts titled “New Items Added to Digital Horizons…” Posts like these are added every couple months. They can also be found here: http://bit.ly/2UxEkvT

Option 3

Potentially the easiest way to follow Digital Initiatives is through Facebook. Digital Initiatives does not have its own Facebook page, but posts relating to Digital Initiatives are often made on NDSL’s Facebook page as well as the Digital Horizons Facebook page.

Option 4

One final way to follow Digital Initiatives is a little more complex. This method focuses on subscribing to new content that is added to NDSL’s online collections on Digital Horizons via a RSS browser extension. RSS is a web feed that allows users to track updates to online content. RSS is typical symbolized with an orange icon:  rss

Using RSS, will allow you to subscribe to NDSL’s collections on Digital Horizons and will notify you when new items have been uploaded.

For Firefox users, we recommend the Feeder browser extension. For Chrome users, we recommend the RSS Feed Reader browser extension. For Internet Explorer users, we recommend that you discontinue use of this browser immediately and instead go with either Firefox or Chrome, which are far superior. Both of these extensions are the same. They just have different names for some reason. Because they are the same browser extension, adding feeds to them will follow the same process.

If you are already have a favorite RSS browser extension, go ahead and continue using that instead of downloading a new one. However, the instructions below on how to subscribe to feeds use the browser extensions mentioned above. Other RSS browser extensions surely follow a similar subscription process, but their steps will likely be slightly different.

Digital Horizons does not have a handy RSS icon on its collection landing pages; therefore, you cannot click on a RSS icon to automatically subscribe. However, you can subscribe to each collection by adding the appropriate RSS code/URL into the browser extension. Don’t worry, we won’t make you try to figure out these RSS codes/URLs on your own. We got you covered.

The RSS codes/URLs for NDSL’s collections on Digital Horizons are as follows:

Now that you have the RSS codes/URLs, all you have to do is copy and paste them into your browser extension (after you have added the extension to your browser of choice, of course).

To subscribe to one of the collections listed above and add them to your RSS, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the RSS icon at the right top of your browser.
  2. Click on the plus icon to add a feed. You will then be redirected to the RSS extension’s page.
  3. Copy one of the URLs above and paste it into the “Search feed” bar.
  4. Click “Search.” The collections feed will appear in the area below.
  5. Click the “Add” button. The feed will then be added to your RSS browser extension.

Repeat this process to subscribe to each collection.

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When new content is added to the collection, there will be a notification on the RSS extension icon. There will be a small number that appears on the icon reflecting the number of new items that have been uploaded.

Click on the RSS icon and then click on the collection to see the title of the newly added items. Clicking on the title will redirect you to the item record on Digital Horizons.

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Feel free to contact Digital Initiatives with any questions.

New Online Atlas Collection

The North Dakota State Library has launched a new digital collection: North Dakota Atlases and Plat Books. The collection can be accessed online on Digital Horizons by anyone from anywhere, completely free of charge.

The collection is comprised of historical atlases and plat books from North Dakota counties, primarily dating from the 1890s to the 1910s. There are currently 15 items in the collection, and more are continuously being added. The counties presently represented in the collection are Adams, Barnes, Benson, Bottineau, Bowman, Burke, Burleigh, Cass, Cavalier, Foster, Stark, Steele, Traill, and Williams.

Digital Horizons is an online digital library consisting of thousands of images, documents, videos, and oral histories depicting life on the Northern Plains. The State Library is one of the members of the Digital Horizons consortium. Other members include the State Historical Society of North Dakota, Prairie Public Broadcasting, North Dakota State University, Concordia College, and the Bismarck Veterans Memorial Public Library.

Contact the Digital Initiatives team with any questions on this new atlas collection, Digital Horizons, or any other digital project at the State Library.

New Items Added to Digital Horizons (Dec. 2018 – Jan. 2019)

The Digital Initiatives department has been keeping busy. Many items have been uploaded onto Digital Horizons the last couple months. Listed below is a highlight of new items added to the North Dakota State Library’s online collections. You can access the items featured below by clicking on them or by visiting the Digital Horizons website (where you will also find thousands of other treasures).

ND Memories

ND County and Town Histories

ND State Documents

Oral History Guides & Preservation Resources

If you are interesting in conducting oral histories, recording oral histories (audio or video), and/or preserving digital oral histories but you’re unsure of where or how to start, consult the resources below. They will assist you in getting your oral history project off of the ground.

Questions can also be directed to the Digital Initiatives department at the North Dakota State Library. Also, if you are interested in donating a digital copy of your oral history to the State Library and have it made available online on Digital Horizons, contact Digital Initiatives.

Oral History Guides

Preserving Digital Oral Histories

Audio/Visual Preservation

New Items Added to Digital Horizons (September-November 2018)

The Digital Initiatives department has been keeping busy. Many items have been uploaded onto Digital Horizons the last couple months. Listed below is a highlight of new items added to the North Dakota State Library’s online collections. You can access the items featured below by clicking on them or by visiting the Digital Horizons website (where you will also find thousands of other treasures).

ND Memories

ND State Documents

ND County and Town Histories

ND School for the Deaf Banner

The Macabre, the Grim, & the Downright Creepy

Don’t let the Hallmark Channel fool you – it’s not the holiday season yet. It’s October – that means Halloween. If you’re looking to get your fix of scary and spooky (and perhaps a little bit of gloom), look no further than Digital Horizons.

Digital Horizons is an online digital library containing thousands of images, documents, videos, and oral histories depicting life on the Northern Plains. Members of the Digital Horizons consortium include the North Dakota State Library, North Dakota State University, State Historical Society of North Dakota, Concordia College, Prairie Public, and more!

Digital Horizons has a plethora of Halloween-related items. If you do a general search for “Halloween” across all collections, you’ll get over 400 results back. Let’s narrow down the search and start with a few lighthearted images, like this 1951 school Halloween party from the North Dakota Memories collection.

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Halloween party at Ardoch Township country school in Walsh County, North Dakota, 1951. North Dakota Memories Collection, North Dakota State Library.

The North Dakota School for the Deaf’s newsletter, The Banner, often liked to get into the Halloween spirit with its cover art, like this one of a dancing scarecrow from the fall 1997 issue. And speaking of The Banner, the State Library has the entire Banner collection available on Digital Horizons.

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The Banner 1997-1998 – v. 108, no. 1 (Fall 1997), Cover. North Dakota School for the Deaf Banner Collection, North Dakota State Library.

Now that we’re feeling all warm and fuzzy, let’s dive right in to the dark side. It wouldn’t be Halloween-ish if we didn’t delve into death. There are many different death-related images on Digital Horizons. They include accidents, animals, natural disasters, murders, funerals, etc. A couple of the more iconic images – in one way or another – under the death category include:

Nothing says creepy like mad scientists and evil doctors working on their experiments. In this image, there is no mad or evil, but we do have creepy in the form of medical students examining a cadaver.

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Medical students examine a cadaver at Marquette College in Wisconsin, circa 1895-1900. North Dakota Memories Collection, North Dakota State Library.

And finally, keeping the dark train rolling, nothing says grim more than funerals.

And when it comes to funerals, none are more iconic than the Wolf family funeral. In the spring of 1920 on a farm near Turtle Lake, North Dakota, a dispute between neighbors escalated into Henry Layor murdering Jacob and Beatta Wolf, five of their children, and a chore boy. Only a baby, Emma, was left alive, reportedly because Layor didn’t find her (she is marked with a small X in the image). Layer was later convicted and spent the rest of his life in prison.

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Wolf Family funeral, near Turtle Lake, North Dakota, 1920-04-28. North Dakota Memories Collection, North Dakota State Library.

Digital Horizons has many funeral images across its collections. A few of the rather morbid ones include:

New Items Added to Digital Horizons (June-August 2018)

The Digital Initiatives department has been keeping busy. Many items have been uploaded onto Digital Horizons the last couple months. Listed below is a highlight of new items added to the North Dakota State Library’s online collections. You can access the items featured below by clicking on them or by visiting the Digital Horizons website (where you will also find thousands of other treasures).

ND Memories

ND School for the Deaf Banner

ND County & Town Histories

Digital Initiatives Launches Historypin Account

historypinThe Digital Initiatives department at the North Dakota State Library has recently created an account on Historypin. Historypin is an online, user-generated archive of photographs, videos, and audio recordings. Users are able to pin their content, to Google Maps. Where Google Street View is available, users can overly their historic images and compare them with the modern view by using the slider feature.

Historypin collects, curates, and organizes stories to bring people together, one story/ pin at a time. Historypin has created and continues to maintain storytelling techniques for thousands of members and organizations across the globe. Historypin helps expand understanding of community history and culture by brining resources to come to life.

The State Library currently has two dozen images on its Historypin account, and more are on the way! The images come from the many ScanDays held in libraries and other organizations across the state. All of the pinned images are Google Street View compatible, so the fun slider feature is available. Each pin also includes certain information about the image, like title, description, location, date, and the link to the full item record on Digital Horizons.

Historypin is free to use, and it is also free to join by creating an account. To explore the State Library’s collection of images on Historypin, visit http://bit.ly/ndslhistorypin

Video Digitization & Preservation Resources

Best practices and standards for video digitization widely differ. However, there are exceptional resources available online that can assist you with your video digitization needs. Consult the resources listed below for additional information. Contact the Digital Initiatives department at the North Dakota State Library if you have any questions.