Tag Archive for Flickr

(Digital Collections) Where The Bears Made Their Dens Back Then: A Multimedia Visualization of Baylor Student Housing From 1913-1914

Student housing, 1913 style. From “Baylor University Students of 1913-1914: A Multimedia Project,” via the Baylor University Libraries Digital Collections.

Welcome back to a new year and a new post here at the Baylor University Libraries Digital Collections blog! We’re excited to be back on campus and look forward to another year of providing you with unique insights into our ever-growing array of digital collections.

This week, we’re taking a multimedia look at a pair of resources related to Baylor University and Waco history: the 1913-1914 Waco City Directories and Baylor Round Ups

Abel Maud Miss, student Baylor Univ, res 727 S 17th

This entry for Maud Abel, a student at Baylor in 1913, is the first student-related entry in the 1913 Waco City Directory. The directory – which contains the names, addresses, ethnicities and occupations of Waco’s citizenry – is a rich resource for students of Waco history. While updating the navigation for a number of volumes this collection, I noticed a large number of entries for Baylor students and had an idea: what if we used Google Maps to plot the known addresses of those students on a current map of the city of Waco? And what if we added select photos of those students to the map, so modern researchers could get a sense of where Baylor students in the early 1910s lived during their tenure as Baylor Bears?

And so the Homes of Baylor University Students of 1913-1914 project was born. Using the names listed in the 1913-1914 directories and the 1913-1914 Round Ups, I plotted the hundreds of names in a custom Google Map, along with a sampling of photos of students, some single headshots and others group photos taken on the front steps of their boarding houses.

Exploring the Project

The Google Map plotting the student housing locations of 1913-1914. Click the image to access this resource.

The housing map is simple to navigate, but here are a few helpful tips to make your browsing more enjoyable.

–       You can navigate directly to an address by clicking on it in the list at the upper left of the screen. An entry marked with a blue star indicates a location marker that also includes a photo of the student(s) who lived there. Green markers indicate female students, yellow markers indicate male students, and brown markers indicate either mixed gender residences or students whose gender is unknown.

Navigation panel for the Google Map.

–       As you zoom closer to campus, you’ll see a green rectangle. This roughly represents the boundaries of campus as they stood in 1913-1914.

–       Clicking on a marker will pull up a list of the students who lived at that address. For large dormitories – like Burleson Hall – there are multiple markers with long lists of names.

Location marker for Maud Abel’s home address, 727 S. 17th St.

The photos for the project are housed as a set in our Baylor University Libraries Digital Collection’s Flickr photostream. In the descriptions of each photo, you’ll find a link to the corresponding page in the Round Up from which it was taken so you can explore each photo in its original context.

The Flickr set of images for the project. Click the image for access.


We hope you’ll enjoy exploring the topography of Baylor’s student housing in the earlier 1910s through this multifaceted project. Leave us your comments on what you found enlightening, interesting or confusing – we’d love to hear from you!

Images from the 1913-1914 Baylor Round Ups via the Baylor University Libraries Digital Collections, digitized from originals held by The Texas Collection, Baylor University, Waco, TX. To see the digital copies of the Waco City Directories or the Round Ups, visit our Digital Collections homepage. To arrange access to physical copies, or to see more resources related to Baylor and Waco history, contact The Texas Collection.

(Digital Collections) Bringing Cartography, Digitization and Texana Together for a Limited Time Via Our Digital Collections [UPDATED]

If you’ve followed our blog for awhile, you may recall a post about the special digitization equipment we utilize here at the Riley Digitization Center, including our large format map scanner, the Cruse CS-285. Well, the “big guy” got a workout this past summer when we digitized a number of rare and interesting maps from The Texas Collection in preparation for a joint physical and digital exhibit entitled “Mapping Waco: A Brief History, 1845-1913.”

The exhibit, which will be open at the Carroll Library on campus through December, features 11 maps from the earliest days of Waco and explores the development of our fair city’s boundaries as they extended beyond the original plot of land surveyed and staked by George B. Erath and Neil McLennan.

Maps featured in the exhibit include an 1845 “Map of Texas from the most recent authorities,” an 1873 Bird’s Eye View of the City of Waco and a 1913 Map of Waco, Texas and Suburbs. Each map is a fine example of the cartographer’s art, and true buffs will find much to intrigue them whether in person at The Texas Collection or via the digital exhibit presented via our Digital Collections.

Digitization and Exhibit Creation Process

The maps were scanned on the Cruse at a minimum of 300 dpi, with smaller maps scanned at higher resolutions. The Texas Collection’s staff delivered the maps in either Mylar folders or rolled in archival-safe tubes and Digitization Projects Group staff scanned them over the course of several weeks earlier this year. The files were checked for stability and backed up to our preservation server and other off-campus storage solutions before the originals were returned to The Texas Collection, and the process of adding the materials to CONTENTdm began.

Creating the digital records included attaching cataloging metadata to the maps, and for that we relied on information retrieved from BearCat, the university’s digital cataloging system. As we were putting together the digital exhibit, we added text and other information generated by staff at The Texas Collection to mirror the wording printed for labels for the physical exhibit, thus ensuring that visitors to either version of the exhibit would see the same information about each map.

To add some extra features to the digital component of the exhibit, we turned to two popular online tools, Flickr and GoogleMaps. For the Flickr content, we chose eight maps from the exhibit and digitally enhanced them to give users an idea of what the maps might have looked like when they were first printed. (As a rule, we do not enhance or otherwise alter the items in our Digital Collections, preferring to present them as they appear today. Enhancements are reserved for special cases like this exhibit’s Flickr stream.)

Here, you can see the difference between the current state of the 1869 map of Waco and its digitally reconstructed version, presented via Flickr.

We also wanted to give people a sense of how the maps looked compared to current maps  of Waco, so we used the GIS data presented via GoogleMaps to overlay the boundaries of the historic maps with their modern-day contemporaries. Here, you can see the way the Farwell Heights Addition to Waco Map relates to the current map of Waco. We also added points of interest listed in the original map which are no longer extant today, including a proposed car shed for an electric street car line and the site of the Waco Female College.

A GoogleMap showing the boundaries of the Farwell Heights Addition


We hope you’ll take some time today to click over and explore this unique exhibit. It will give you a deeper appreciation of the changing landscape of Waco’s streets and buildings, and – we hope – a feel for how digital and physical exhibits can work together to present information to visitors in-person and online. Special thanks to our colleagues at The Texas Collection for their invaluable contributions to the exhibit, and to the DPG staffers and student workers who digitized the maps.

View the Exhibit

View the Flickr Set of Digitally Enhanced Maps

Visit The Texas Collection’s Website

“Mapping Waco: A Brief History, 1845-1913” is a joint exhibit of The Texas Collection and the Digitization Projects Group and will be available in person and online through December 2012.

UPDATE: November 7, 2012

Our friends at The Texas Collection have written a blog post about the exhibit as well. You can view it via their blog.

(Digital Collections) Join the Crowd(sourcing): Turning to Our Readers for Metadata Help

We’re searching for the five W’s: Who, What, Where, When, Why?

One of the most exciting trends in digital collections of late has been the emergence of “crowdsourcing.” The idea is simple: post some images about which you know nothing (or very little) and turn to the collective knowledge of a user group – say, a Facebook page or Twitter followers – for help. Using the power of the crowd, we can fill gaps in metadata content or other information that would take a single researcher or cataloger far longer to track down on their own.

We’re taking an excursion into the world of crowdsourcing with a small pilot project presented via our Flickr collection (www.flickr.com/baylordigitalcollections). Just follow the link at the end of this post to see a set of 6 images where we need a little help filling out our cataloging information. Some feature groups of people about which we know little; others take place in front of buildings we can’t identify; and still others are lacking a specific date, including a particular year.

If you’d like to try your hand at some metadata sleuthing, just click below and break out your magnifying glasses. If you spot something you’d like to tell us about, send us an email at digitalcollectionsinfo@baylor.edu and we’ll investigate your tips; if they’re accurate, we’ll add them to our digital collections – and give you the credit!

Baylor University Libraries Digital Collections Crowdsourcing Pilot Project

Special thanks to The Texas Collection and the Baylor University Libraries Athletics Archive for providing images for this project.