Monthly Archives: April 2014

(Digital Collections) Which Digital Collection Are You? (With Apologies to Buzzfeed et al.)


If you’ve spent more than 10 seconds on the Internet lately, you’ve seen and/or taken some form of online poll. They’re very popular on sites like Buzzfeed, and they’re always titled something like, “Which Cupcake Flavor Are You?” or “Which Shade of Mauve Embodies You As A Person?” and the like. Well, here at the DPG, we like having fun, too, so we teamed up with Kara Long (BU libraries metadata librarian and star of our latest podcast) to create our own. Kara provided the awesome artwork you’ll see below, which we think perfectly complements what we’re calling the most important online poll of all time: Which Baylor University Libraries Digital Collection Are YOU?



You spend a good deal of time thinking up new melodies, lyrics and remixes of popular songs. When you walk down the street, there’s always a background track playing in your head or through your headphones. You respect the past, but your eyes (and ears) are on the future. You may be a bit of a dreamer, but you’re the first person people call when they want to have a great time. You can say without hesitation that you were in to James Kendis before he was famous (ca. 1918).


You view your life as a journey of faith. You have an un-ironic tattoo of a scripture verse somewhere on your body. You follow the @GWTruettSermons twitter account and retweet its words of wisdom to your friends, who are also your lifegroup members. You have a respect for the spoken Word on vinyl, but a preference for the convenience of digital. You may also love fedoras.


“How do I love thee?” You’ve got a million ways, and many of them are taken from letters written by poets who died more than a hundred years ago. You adore the look of handwritten correspondence, though you could do without their strange, pre-standardized spelling and punctuation. You have a hard time finding a soul mate who shares your dual loves of spoken verse and whalebone corsets, but because you believe true love conquers all, you keep your chin – and your heart – up.


“Rah, Rah, Sis Boom Bah! Sports Team, Sports Team, Rah-Rah-Rah!” You have the smell of turf in your nostrils and the roar of a crowd in your ears at all times. When people ask how you take your coffee, you say, “With Victory. And two sugars.” You browse the BULAA looking for examples of plays that haven’t been used in almost a century just to confuse the opposition. Pistol formation? Split wing backs? Child’s play. How about a Kaiser Surprise or maybe the old Horse and Buggy? Suit up, player: you’ve got opponents to crush … and search results to peruse.


Psst, hey, buddy. Over here. Don’t make direct eye contact, just listen. There’s a huge batch of declassified documents The Man doesn’t want you to see, and they reveal the truth. About what? EVERYTHING. Just open the Armstrong files and see how deep this goes. Here’s a hint: to the very bottom … and the top.


You know the ins and outs of the lives of every major player on the world’s stage from 150 B.C. to the end of the Crimean War. You’ve used the phrase, “Actually, according to his personal journal, Black Jack Pershing initially tried to …” with complete sincerity. You prefer the company of archival materials – and fellow historians – to almost anyone, except maybe re-enactors. Or college professors. Or LARPers. You can determine the type of iron gall ink used on a Civil War letter just by inhaling the scent of the paper it’s written on. You may own more than one set of commemorative 1893 World’s Fair silver spoons, but one of them is in a safe deposit box “just in case.”

We hope this has given you better insight into your digital collections proclivities. Be sure to check out all of our collections and spread the word on this quiz. We’d love to see this thing go viral!

(Digital Collections) Feliz Diadeloso!

Today, Baylor Bears celebrate a campus tradition that dates back (in some form or other) to the 1930s: a day off during the Spring semester to frolic, play, take a break from classes and in general enjoy the beauty of springtime in Waco. It’s been called many things throughout the years, but today it is Diadeloso (“day of the bear” in Spanish), and it is looked forward to with as much excitement and anticipation as Christmas break, Spring Break and graduation day.

As such, we are presenting this week a couple of Dia-related images from our collections, with light commentary and a focus on frivolity. We hope you’re enjoying your Spring day wherever you are, and if you’re reading this from campus: get out there and celebrate!

Map of Festivities, 1978


Dizzy Bats, Outdoor Movies and BBQ, 1971

Photos of 1971 Dia from the 1971 "Round Up."

Photos of 1971 Dia from the 1971 “Round Up.”


It Was 1984, After All!

"Big Bear Is Watching" from the 1984 "Round Up"

“Big Bear Is Watching” from the 1984 “Round Up”


Hey, It WAS the 70’s (1972)

Two-page spread on Diadeloso from the 1972 "Round Up."

Two-page spread on Diadeloso from the 1972 “Round Up.”


Multiple Fonts? Long Hair? Must Be The 1990s! (1993)

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Coverage of Dia ’93 from the 1993 Round Up

There’s a ton of additional Dia-related resources in our various Baylor-related collections, so click over and start your search. Just be warned: if you participated in Diadeloso from the 1970s to the present, there could be a photo of your college days floating around out there. Be prepared to defend your wardrobe choices as necessary.

(Digital Collections) Unheard for 100 Years No Longer: A Graduate Student Adds Audio to Selections from the Spencer Collection


For the past two semesters, the DPG has been working with Baylor University Museum Studies graduate student Hannah Haney Lovell on her graduate project, which involved adding a batch of new items to the Frances G. Spencer Collection of American Popular Sheet Music and enhancing them with recorded audio versions of those pieces. Last Friday, Hannah successfully defended her project in front of a group of her peers and the Museum Studies faculty, so we wanted to give a brief recap of her work here on our blog to celebrate!

Getting Started

Hannah came to me in the summer of 2013 after speaking with graduate adviser Dr. Julie Holcomb about what form Hannah’s final project for her master’s degree should take. After discussing several options, we settled on her working with the Spencer Collection in some capacity; given Hannah’s love of and background in music, it seemed like a natural fit. I agreed to serve as her project adviser, and she quickly set to work identifying materials to digitize as part of our ongoing work to digitize and catalog the sheet music from the Spencer Collection.

Hannah chose the subject area of Silent Movies as her starting point. Mrs. Spencer had assigned a large number of titles to this homegrown category, and the pieces included songs from actual movies as well as pieces inspired by movie stars, the social aspects of going to the movies and more. Hannah chose 155 items from the Silent Movies category and set about digitizing them on our newly-acquired CopiBook HD scanner. In fact, she was the first person to thoroughly utilize its scanning capabilities, as hers was the first project to get started up after it arrived in the RDC. (Thanks to Hannah for being a good sport/guinea pig for us!)

The Trouble With Scheduling

Digitizing the materials went smoothly, and Hannah generated a series of scans to be sent to our off-site music cataloging contractor, Flourish. Flourish takes the materials we send them and creates rich metadata files for us to add to the digital object once it’s ready for upload. Hannah incorporated Flourish’s metadata with her scans and added the 155 pieces to the Spencer Collection during the Fall 2013 semester.

All along, Hannah and I had planned on adding an audio component to her pieces that would enhance the user experience by giving them a tangible sample of what these pieces sounded like when performed by musicians and vocalists. Hannah spent many hours working to schedule performers from several student music performance groups who had volunteered to add their piano performances and/or vocal performances to the project, and we scheduled a recording session for a Monday night in late February.

The drawback to relying on undergraduate students – who are, by nature, a harried and … well, sometimes flaky bunch – is that they tend to need lots of corralling and getting them to stick to a plan is difficult. Unfortunately, through no fault of Hannah’s, the various performers who had committed to help with the recording process had to back out at the last minute; a rescheduled date for the following week met a similar untimely end.

Rather than get discouraged, Hannah came up with an alternative: using a music generation software called Finale, she would utilize the scans of the sheet music to create high-quality MIDI files of a subset of the collection. This would give users an example of the piano part and a computer-generated vocal line of the main melody, resulting in a very representative example of what the pieces sounded like without relying on human performers (and their tendencies to have busy lives, scheduling conflicts, etc.).

Ultimately, Hannah generated MIDI files for five pieces from her curated collection of scores, a remarkable turnaround in the last few days running up to her schedule defense date. The resulting pieces are listed below; the audio files are presented as MP3s within the structure of each score’s digital compound object.

Hannah’s project taught us a lot about enhancing our digital collections, including alternatives to live performances, selecting materials from a larger sample, and insights into how to utilize student labor to its best effect.

We extend our congratulations to Hannah on her successful completion of her project, and we’re thankful for the work she’s done for us over the past year. Click on the links below to hear the results of her labor, and let us know what you think of this new feature for our Spencer Collection!















At the 10 Cent Movie Show (1913)















Let’s Go Into a Picture Show (1909)















At the Moving Picture Ball (1920)














Take Me to the Movie Show (1919)















Take Your Girlie to the Movies (If You Can’t Make Love at Home) (1919)