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  • IFLA Newspaper Conference: Gerardo Valencia – National Library of Mexico

    Posted on May 25th, 2006 Brian No comments

    This is a country report by Gerardo Valencia from the National Library of Mexico.

    In the last 30-40 years, they have been microfilming papers – spotty at first, but more consistent in the last 20 years. One of the goals is to minimize access to the original material in order to preserve it physically, while at the same time making the content available to as many people as possible. They are scanning in 300 DPI in 1-bit B&W TIFFs, converted to PDF on the fly, with full-text search of the uncorrect OCR, with hit highlighting.

    They provide simple search with phrasing and boolean operators. Proximity and fuzzy features are still in development. They also have browsing options by title, publication location, or catalogue reference. Other options like timelines are still in development.

    He’s doing a live demo of their Browse by State option now. (It’s password protected. Boo.) It starts with a map of Mexico broken down by state, and from their it lists the cities, below that the cities, and below that the dates. They have added watermarks depending on user profiles, so an ordinary user will get a watermark on the printout, but researchers inside might not. They don’t display much of the metadata, but they preserve much of it.

    They have 814 titles in their digitized list. They have some modern collections, as well, with 7 million searchable pages of two modern papers. (Sorry, I missed the names.)

    Now he’s demoing thier full-text search. The collection is page-accessed. The search results go to the image. It provides a magnifying glass showing a way-zoomed-in view with the highlight. (The highlighting is pretty off.) You can then browse the search results one at a time. When you click the thumbnail, they download and display the PDF. The advanced search allows filtering by location, date, and title.

    Overall, they’ve got a pretty damn good system going there!

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