A breakdown of musical genres represented by the Rovi Media Collection.
The Rovi Media Collection
When the Rovi Corporation decided that they wanted to make their massive private archives of movies, music and video games available to the public, they looked to the MSU Libraries. At close to one million items, the 2015 donation established one of the largest media collections held by a library in the United States, and represented a 26-fold increase in MSUL’s audiovisual holdings.
Absorbing the Rovi collection was no small matter; multiple units from across the library were involved. The load-bearing capacities of our floors had to be assessed; delivery and unloading of hundreds of steel cabinets from 14 semi-trucks had to be coordinated; computer scripting had to be written and employed to convert over 800,000 Rovi database records into the proper format for our library catalog; and processing and lending workflows established. In the end, the collection was successfully integrated into the library and made publicly available through the local catalog as well as the Michigan inter-library loan system (MeLCat).
Music and movies from the Rovi Media Collection quickly became the most requested materials in MeLCat. We now process hundreds of requests from library users throughout Michigan each week, in addition to requests from MSU patrons. Additionally, the 13,000 video games acquired from Rovi have allowed us to create entirely new services for faculty and students, including video gaming labs, with consoles and equipment for on-site gameplay. Access to these materials promotes not only recreational use, but scholarly investigation dramatically enhancing our teaching curriculum and research within the College of Music, popular culture, film studies, and an emerging gaming program.
Without the Rovi donation, the MSU Libraries would never have been able to assemble such an amazing resource for our patrons.
A growing and diverse set of digital objects have been described using 6,853 unique subject headings.
New Platform for Digital Collections
A number of the libraries' digital collections are now housed in a state-of-the-art library collection infrastructure, based around Fedora Commons.
The Grange Visitor
Many of MSU's iconic faculty were active Grange members and wrote for The Grange Visitor, the official newspaper of the Michigan State Grange, a delegate body of the National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry, a fraternal organization and advocacy group for farmers and rural communities.
At its peak, the Michigan State Grange represented the interests of over 600 subordinate local and county granges around the State, with over 33,000 members. Featuring State Grange news, legislative updates, reports from the Michigan Agricultural College (now Michigan State University), recipes and advice for the homemaker, literary features, obituaries, advertisements, and communications from county and local granges, The Grange Visitor provides a unique window into Michigan's agricultural and rural history. Its pages track grass-roots efforts in support of national causes such as rural education, Rural Free Delivery, pure food laws, agricultural extension services, and women's suffrage.
The Duane Mezga Holocaust Sites Photographs Collection
The Duane Mezga Holocaust Sites photograph collection consists of 682 digitized Kodachrome 64 color slides of concentration camps and other historically significant sites related to the Holocaust. Twenty-one sites in Austria, then-Czechoslovakia, Germany, the Netherlands, and Poland are included. The photographs were taken using the progressive-realization technique, which captures the experience of walking through a site. Memorials present at these sites were also a focus.
The MICHILAC site contains a selection of digitized material from the José F. Treviño Chicano/Latino Activism Collection held at MSU Special Collections. The collection characterizes Treviño's advocacy work in the Midwest during a time when Chicano politics was on the rise. Influential primary sources related to the third-party politics of La Raza Unida Party and local politics in communities such as Lansing, Detroit and Saginaw are included.
A rare early map of Michigan donated by Ronald Dietz.
Ronald Dietz donated his large, rare map collection to the MSU Libraries in 2013. The collection consists of several hundred maps dating from the 17th to the 20th century and several dozen reference books on the history of cartography and map collecting. Many of the maps relate to the mapping of Michigan and the Great Lakes.
Gerald M. Kline Endowment for the Vincent Voice Library
The Gerald M. Kline Endowment for the G. Robert Vincent Voice Library was established by Gerald (Jerry) Kline in 2014. As founder and CEO until 2012 of Innovative Interfaces, Jerry began a close, long-term relationship with the MSU Libraries in 1983, when the Libraries automated library acquisitions. As an early partner of Innovative Interfaces, Inc., the MSU Libraries participated with Jerry and his company in a number of systems development efforts, leading to many productive initiatives still in use in libraries worldwide. Home of one of the nation's most comprehensive collection of the spoken word, the contains hundreds of thousands of hours of recordings on reel-to-reel, VHS and cassette tapes. Jerry's support provides the Libraries the steadfast funding to digitize and catalog these materials. With this endowment, Jerry is once again, partnering with the MSU Libraries to enhance, preserve, and make widely available to generations of students and scholars the remarkable audio resources of the G. Robert Vincent Voice Library.
Special Collections Conservator Bexx Caswell-Olson makes repairs on a rare book.
Expanding Conservation Activity
While the conservation lab was already well established in 2006 with three full-time staff, two volunteers, and several students, its location in Giltner Hall created certain barriers to the expansion of conservation activities for the library. So in 2012, the Wallace Conservation Lab was moved into an improved space at the Main Library. Other important projects included a 2007 Save America's Treasures grant to conserve the Teaching Young Americans collection of over 5,000 19th-century textbooks and Sunday School books, and a Google digitization project in 2013 which involved treatment of materials sent for and returned from scanning. Finally, in 2014, Special Collections Conservator Bexx Caswell-Olson joined our staff; she has been instrumental in increasing the scope and level of our services not just for Special Collections, but throughout the library. Now we have five full-time staff, one volunteer, and seven student employees dedicated to treatment of circulating materials and rare books as well as preventive conservation such as box making and preparing books for exhibition.
The James B. Beard Collection at the Turfgrass Information Center
Turfgrass Information Center
Over the past decade, the Turfgrass Information Center (TIC) continuously expanded the already singular and preeminent turfgrass-related collections housed within the MSU Libraries, in a number of significant ways.
It was a decade in which TIC:
Grew the premier online database within the discipline, the Turfgrass Information File (TGIF) grew both in outright size (from 130,000 to 280,000 records) as well as robustness of the data itself, increasing the percentage of full-text linkages in TGIF from 33% to 64% of all database records;
Inked many new cooperative content and/or access agreements, which now total forty-two organizations in seven different countries;
Grew Endowments associated with the Center to help guarantee the work going forward;
Extended the number of other academic institutions and institutes using TGIF to over 80 worldwide;
Increased the digitally secured portion of the TGIF database from 17% to 66%, analogous to the possession of a print item on the shelf;
Received an unprecedented range of turfgrass-related materials on donation;
Saw search and fastlink uses of TGIF data roughly triple during this time period.
Librarian Joshua Barton presents on zines at MSU's "History of the Book" class.
Zines (pronounced zeens) are self-published, small-circulation, handmade magazines, usually published by an individual or small group. They have been a common means of information exchange within underground and radical movements for many decades, particularly during the explosion of punk rock in the late 1970s and in similar alternative music scenes in later years. MSUL's Special Collections Library greatly strengthened its collection emphasis on zines from 2008 onward with the addition of nearly 200 punk fanzine titles from the United Kingdom created during the first wave of punk, from 1975-1984. For many of these titles, MSUL is the only institution in the country to hold them. Additionally, efforts have been made to collect current zine titles from zine exhibitions across the US, by soliciting donations and by tracking the availability of zines of special interest sold directly by zine authors. These have served as important primary source materials for students and researchers studying marginalized groups and subcultures.
William and Yvonne Lockwood gave the library a unique collection of materials concerning Roma culture.
Clockwise from top left: Eminent child psychiatrist Robert Coles; library donors William and Yvonne Lockwood; library donor Stephen Wilensky; an exhibit of materials from the Princess Diana Collection; library donor Mark Ritzenhein; and a student with materials from the Irwin T. and Shirley Holtzman Collection of Israeli Literature.
Other Unique Collections
The Irwin T. and Shirley Holtzman Collection of Israeli Literature, acquired in 2011, includes well over 1,000 volumes of fiction, poetry, and drama, as well as literary journals and literary criticism. The published works are accompanied by a wealth of archival resources. These include manuscripts of poetry and drama; posters advertising literary events; political cartoons and other original artwork; and Irwin Holtzman's extensive correspondence with important Israeli literary figures, including Amos Oz, A.B. Yehoshua, Amalia Kahana-Carmon, and Yoram Kaniuk. MSU Libraries hosted a major symposium on Israeli literature in 2013 and continues to add to the Holtzman Collection by acquiring contemporary works.
Anthropologist William G. Lockwood began collecting material about the Roma in the late 1950s, gathering scholarly works and documents, Roma music and poetry, and representations of Gypsies in the arts and popular culture. The collection includes several thousand books and periodicals, twenty boxes of vinyl albums, and several hundred examples of sheet music. The William G. Lockwood Collection of Romani Ethnology and Gypsy Stereotypes is as geographically diverse as the Roma themselves, with publications from Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. The collection will be an outstanding resource for students and scholars who are researching stereotypes of Gypsies and the history of the Roma culture.
The Wilensky-Ritzenhein Gay Book Collection was donated to the Michigan State University Libraries in 2012. The extensive collection covers a critical growth period in gay literary culture, dating from the late 1970s through the early twenty-first century. Broad in scope, the collection reflects the vast interdisciplinary nature of LBGTQ studies. The array of topics includes (among others) gay fiction and literature, gay military history, gay cookery, religion and sexuality, and gay art and photography. Selected volumes are inscribed by prominent authors (such as Allen Ginsberg). The collection represents a dedicated and concerted effort to gain self-knowledge and awareness of the obscured and suppressed voices within the LBGTQ community. For decades, the MSU Libraries have been committed to preserving the experiences of lesbians, gay men, and bisexual and transgender people. With the generous support of the Wilensky-Ritzenhein Gay Book Collection and Endowment, the Libraries will continue to enhance teaching, learning, and research in this vital multidisciplinary area.
The Alan and Shirley Brocker Sliker Culinary Collection contains thousands of food and cookery related publications produced primarily by companies in the United States from the late nineteenth century up to the present. The collection provides a rich resource to study the evolution and history of advertising, food products, individual companies, technology, food preparation, and food production. It was organized, described, and donated in 2005 by Shirley Brocker Sliker, who continues to add items to the collection. In 2006 the Alan and Shirley Brocker Sliker Library Endowment was established to enhance the Sliker Collection through acquisitions, conservation, digitization, and dissemination endeavors. At this point, more than 5,550 items have been digitized of the 8,751-item collection, and 3,624 of those items are available to researchers online (some copyright restrictions exist for the other titles).
Robert Coles, the eminent child psychiatrist and author of over 80 books, donated his papers to Special Collections in 2007. The Robert Coles Papers consists of working drafts and manuscripts of Coles—books, articles, and essays, and over 90,000 pages of correspondence spanning five decades. In addition to many other awards, Coles is the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship; the Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest honor; and the Pulitzer Prize for his five volume Children of Crisis series. Coles also donated the literary and business files of Double Take, an award winning magazine of documentary photography, nonfiction, fiction, and poetry.
MSU Libraries acquired the Vicky Andrews Princess Diana Collection in 2010. Diana, Princess of Wales, 1961-1997, remained the focus of worldwide media scrutiny before, during, and after her marriage to Prince Charles of Wales, which ended in divorce in 1996. After her death in an automobile accident in August of 1997, her life received even more media attention. This collection illustrates Diana's continued cultural significance, and includes biographies of the Princess, illustrated popular magazine issues featuring her life, pamphlets, ephemera, and a cassette tape of her wedding to Prince Charles.
Cataloging and acid-free housing was completed in 2016 for the proof sheet collection, which includes two million popular comic strips distributed by King Features throughout the 20th century. One of these classic comic strips, Tim Tyler's Luck, was compiled into one volume and reprinted with permission by the MSU Libraries in 2013—an important contribution to the preservation of American comics culture.
"Lots of Copies Keeps Stuff Safe," an adage to live by.
Lots of Copies Keeps Stuff Safe
MSU Libraries are now an official member of the LOCKSS consortium, a name born of the phrase "Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe." In addition to participating in Portico and JSTOR preservation programs and other local initiatives to digitize selected resources, we participate in two kinds of LOCKSS projects: Global LOCKSS, where the content comes from publishers, and LOCKSS-USDOCS, part of an effort to preserve government documents. As of today, we collect almost 100,000 items for the Global LOCKSS and almost 1,000 for the LOCKSS-USDOCS. We started the program using 1 used PC with a 500MB drive and now operate using a state of the art server system with more than 20TB for data storage.
For the fiscal and academic year 2007-08, the MSU Libraries materials budget allocation was $10,067,992. Ten years later, the allocation for 2016-17 was $17,803,938. What was the impact? MSUL moved from next-to-last among our Big Ten peers to the middle of the pack (while participation in a Big Ten joint purchase program further leveraged our spending through deep consortial discounts). Campus researchers and teachers gained access to the varieties of emerging online resources mentioned below; annual budgets for Special Collections—our rare book room—offering hands-on access to unique original volumes ranging from a 1685 Shakespeare Fourth Folio to an early issue of Action Comics rose from $56,703 to $258,926; and medical science resources grew apace with the expansion of MSU health science programs. In addition to our university budget allocation, our Development Officer has worked tirelessly to develop the Libraries' endowments, which now have a market value of over $12 million.
More than 70% of the MSU Libraries budget is now devoted to purchase or lease of digital resources. In most cases, an unlimited number of simultaneous users on- or off-campus can share a single online copy of a book or magazine, around the world and around the clock. We often save money through discounted purchase of packages, including digitized backfiles not previous available or affordable (backfiles that lead to further savings when we stop storing the print volumes on Main Library shelves). We also have been called upon to expand our spending to offer entirely new categories of materials: for example digital maps, geospatial files, messages from social media, and interactive data sets.
Example of a new online resource from Alexander Street Press.
Online Journals, Books, & Newspapers
In the last decade, publication of online library resources expanded from an early focus on magazines and scholarly journals to offerings from a wide range of resource types: monographs, reference books, maps, music, films, images, and data—all available 24/7 from any internet-connected computer. In 2007, we offered the campus two digitized historical newspapers: the New York Times and the Times of London. In 2016, we offer long runs of thirty newspapers, published in twelve U.S. states and seven countries across Europe and Asia. Readers find one and a half million e-book titles listed in our catalog. Three dozen streaming video packages present classes and individuals with silent movies, documentaries, Criterion film classics, and professional training case studies. By relying on online periodicals, we can shift the use of substantial floor space from book stacks to reader services, while delivering articles to the desktops of researchers (and in many cases, delivering additional articles from partner libraries using Inter Library Loan).
Insights made possible by textual analysis are examplified by this visual representation of subject relationships in the MSU Libraries digital repository of electronic theses and dissertations. Graphic created with Gephi, an open source visualization platform. Interactive version produced using D3.
Since MSU began requiring that all theses and dissertations be submitted electronically, the libraries have been building an ETD collection that makes them all free and available to the public. The collection of materials is of particular interest at MSU for the ways in which it models academic and interdisciplinary behavior on campus.
Many books in many languages.
Materials in Many Languages
MSU Libraries is proud to have more than 300 different languages represented in the catalog, from Tamil to Igbo to Yiddish. Since 2007, we have added almost 800,000 resources in non-Western-European languages to our collection. Our Many Books, Many Languages feature, developed in 2014, guides readers to a selection of recent non-English fiction, and the language limiter in the advanced catalog search permits users to locate language resources of all types.
Acquisitions is responsible for an increasingly complex material purchases, including artists' books like Global Salad.
The Acquisitions unit has seen a shifting local and national landscape in the past decade. As the library budget has grown, and as focus has moved from print to electronic resources, Acquisitions work has re-shaped itself to fit this new environment including two reorganizations, increased purchasing of streaming and multimedia materials, expansion of shelf-ready processing of materials, a move to EBS (Enterprise Business System) for electronic payment workflows, a general tightening of accounting procedures, and a transition from Innovative's Millennium to Sierra.
The unit has also navigated mergers and consolidations among book and journal vendors. As libraries everywhere spent more money on e-materials, the profit margins for print providers slipped and long-time vendors folded or were purchased by larger companies. Most notably, Swets Information Services went bankrupt, swallowing up subscription fees from numerous libraries, including MSUL. Despite these challenges, Acquisitions has successfully developed an adaptive approach and is prepared for a future of increasing complexity.