CONSALD Business Meeting Minutes
March 27, 2014, 1:00-5:00 p.m.
University of Pennsylvania Library
Present: Bronwen Bledsoe (Cornell), Monica Ghosh (Hawaii), Lauran Hartley (Columbia), Gary Hausman (Columbia), David Hirsch (UCLA), Zbigniew Kantorosinski (Library of Congress), Sanjeep Kindo (Wisconsin), Triveni Kuchi (Rutgers), Aruna Magier (NYU), David Magier (Princeton), Philip McEldowney (Virginia), Susan Meinheit (Library of Congress), Laila Mulgaokar (LC-Delhi), Mary Rader (Texas), Sarbjit Randhawa (British Columbia), Urmila Sharma (Syracuse), James Simon (CRL), Pushkar Sohoni (Penn), Mara Thacker (UIUC), Laura Wong (National Library of Medicine)
Welcome: Martha Brogan, Director of Collection Development, Global Studies and Scholarly Communication welcomed the committee to Penn Libraries. She highlighted the collections, staff (particularly the area studies selectors), and the web presence of Penn. She noted in particular the “Penn Libraries Global” section of their site, which highlights faculty and student testimonies on the global impact of Penn Libraries.
CONSALD Business: Minutes from last meeting were approved. CONSALD’s budget stands at $841.36. Ballots (conducted by email) resulted in the election of Edward Proctor and Mara Thacker to the Executive Board (term April 2014-March 2017). Thanks to those who stood for election and to the nominating committee (Mary Rader, Bronwen Bledsoe) for composing the slate.
Presentation - South Asia Archive (Taylor & Francis)
Sarah Phillips, Elyse Profera, and Tina Currado presented the Routledge South Asia Archive, a digital resource developed in conjunction with the South Asia Research Foundation (SARF). The Archive contains 4.5 million digitized pages of research material, dating from 1700 through to 1953. The majority of the collection is in English, though “15% of documents are in vernacular languages, primarily Bengali and Sanskrit.” Vernacular documents are not full text searchable. Advisors to the collection include David Washbrook (Cambridge) and Polly O’Hanlon (Oxford).
The T&F team highlighted aspects of the content (types of material include government legislative acts, books, journals, popular magazines, gazettes, reports, maps and statistics) along several themes: Partition and Independence; Crime, Riot and Resistance; Colonial Knowledge and Colonial Governance; Print and the Production of Culture; Religious and Moral Discourse; Constructions of Colonial Development; Gender and Society in Colonial India: Race, Education and Reform. T&F also highlighted unique aspects of the interface (including thumbnail view, breakdown by chapter or section, related content suggestions, expert and crowd-sourced keywords, and personalized search results).
Pricing is based on a tiered structure, ranging from $60-$120,000 per institution. Content is owned in perpetuity, though there is an annual platform fee. Taylor and Francis offered a discount to CONSALD members of 20%.
CONSALD members suggested that a FTE tiering structure is inappropriate given the relatively narrow interest in the subject matter. Others mentioned that while the resource may contain many good items, there does not appear to be any coherence to the collection. As one member put it, “When do I tell a student to go here, as opposed to other resources?” Much of the content may also be available elsewhere, including HathiTrust. T&F responded the collection is focused on a broad spectrum, and would be useful for South Asia programs that are just beginning. CONSALD responded the pricing is quite high, even for institutions with robust South Asia programs.
Journals Subcommittee Update: (A.Magier)
Members of the subcommittee (Aruna Magier, Hirsch, Martin, Ring, Simon) met via email, and updated the committee on three areas of focus:
- Aruna Magier communicated with Jason Przybylski of JSTOR to suggest titles of import to the Religion in South Asia (RISA) committee. Przybylski suggested that titles added would be included in existing packages (e.g., Arts & Sciences XIII) rather than a separate offering.
- Subcommittee assessed the content in ProQuest Indian Journals. As Tim Bryson noted, the content is primarily in the fields of STM, as well as some Business/Finance titles. There is a minor selection of Humanities/Social Science titles.
- Magier updated members on BAS inclusion of Pakistani journals, with ToCs supplied by LC-Islamabad.
SALToC table of contents pilot project (A.Magier)
Aruna Magier presented the pilot launch of the South Asian Languages Cooperative Table of Contents (SALToC) project. Based on feedback and encouragement from CONSALD, Aruna proceeded with developers at NYU to model a table of contents (ToC) platform for South Asian vernacular journals to assist in discovery of articles in journals with no indexing or full-text discovery. The project seeks a low-tech, simple solution to display ToCs, incorporating a collaborative and distributed workflow. The main entry point for the SALToC Project within the DSpace system is at: https://archive.nyu.edu/handle/2451/33560
The CONSALD journals subgroup examined other models of ToC projects. SALToC is NOT a full-text indexing project, not an abstracting service, not a structured relational database. It provides simple PDF scans of ToCs for journals selected by participating institutions, linking the availability of the ToCs to the MARC record in local catalogs and WorldCat. The files are hosted in NYU’s DSpace repository. The workflow is that:
- Contributing libraries send PDFs of the ToCs of the journals, along with basic metadata (title, publisher, volume, issue, date) to Aruna at NYU,
- NYU staff verifies the files, uploads them into the archive, adds the metadata into the templates, and updates the listings in the interface to enable users to browse by journal title and issue.
- The permanent URLs for each title are reported back to the holding library, which updates their OPAC record for the journal with an 856 field to link directly to the online ToCs from the catalog record.
- The cataloging department at NYU (a CONSER institution), also updates the OCLC master record to reflect the same link to the online tables of contents for all users to discover and browse via WorldCat.
Participating libraries so far include: Library of Congress Islamabad, University of Hawaii, University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania, University of Washington, Princeton, and NYU. Others have indicated their intention to contribute to the effort. Participants at the meeting described their experience in participating, stating that start-up seemed daunting at first, but the routine of scanning and adding content labels was relatively straightforward. The process is lightweight and scalable to the level of commitment an institution wants to make. David Magier noted that pagination of articles might be an issue if presented in the vernacular (article requests necessitate provision of page numbers).
Members responded favorably to the pilot, and encouraged Aruna to continue working with interested institutions. It was suggested that the pilot be presented again at CONSALD in the fall to discuss how to formalize it as a CONSALD effort. Issues that may be discussed include:
- Establishing selection criteria, priorities for coverage.
- Determining scope of inclusion (recent years? Full runs?)
- Frequency / timeliness of entries
- Formalizing institutional commitments
- Promotion and outreach
DDSA: James Nye reported by email that University of Chicago was successful in receiving an award of $300,000 from NEH to extend monolingual lexical coverage in the Digital Dictionaries of South Asia for a number of critical languages: Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Panjabi, Prakrit, Sindhi, Sinhala, and Telugu. Formal announcement to be provided.
SAADA: Samip Mallick provided an update on the South Asian American Digital Archive. More than 100 unique items are available, free to the public. SAADA is capturing “first days” stories, focusing on immigration to the US. They are now working on a project documenting political engagement of SA Diaspora. Mallick encouraged libraries to support SAADA by adding links to LibGuides; working with faculty on integrating content into classroom use; connecting SAADA to local community members; and donating to the organization. CONSALD members suggested Mallick consider an institutional membership category.
TRWG: Lauran Hartley updated members on a recent proposal to revise the Library of Congress Romanization table for Tibetan. The goal is to propose a revision to the ALA-LC Romanization Table for Tibetan so that it more closely reflects the most widely used conventions in Tibetan Studies. The recommendations focus on four letters—nga, nya, zha and sha—which is where library users most often face difficulties when searching the Library of Congress and other catalogs. Lauran is currently circulating the proposal among Tibetan Studies librarians and scholars for further feedback and input.
SA Cooperative workshop - Vision Statement; Next Event (Rader, Bledsoe)
Mary Rader and Bronwen Bledsoe reported on the outcomes of the fall SA cooperative workshop. Simon reported that the group tasked with developing a new vision statement had a preliminary meeting, but the work still needs to be completed. Rader reported that the group tasked with discussing issues of concern with LC has done so, and that those concerns are being treated seriously.
After a poll and subsequent discussions, it was determined that the Fall 2014 workshop will focus on “Collection Assessment and Promotion.” This workshop will build on the previous rounds by re-examining decisions and the impact of our work, especially in light of changes in LC’s collection scope. We will also assess tools available to look across our collections and perform some collection analysis to better understand the “local” and “international” collection. Finally, we will highlight more participant activities through presentations.
Doniger & Penguin - archiving Web sites: (Hirsch)
It was mentioned briefly that suggestions of particular sites relating to the controversy of Wendy Doniger’s publication “The Hindus: An Alternative History” (2009) were collected and harvested by the California Web Archive Service for future study.
Dawn (Pakistan) - digital access? (Rader)
Rader described conversations with Paula Newberg (faculty at U.Texas) and the publishers of Dawn in potentially making the newspaper archives available electronically. If there is interest in co-funding an effort to make the content available via open access, we should discuss further.
"Proliferation of journals publishing in India; implications for collection development" (Wong)
Laura Wong presented a brief summary of South Asian journals publishing trends, noting that recent years have seen dramatic growth of publication in South Asian countries, particularly in the area of open access journals. The proliferation of electronic journal publishing makes it challenging to decide what to add to the library’s catalog/collection. She has found she spends more and more time assessing quality of resources, questionable publishing practices, etc. How are other libraries handling this? Should we be collaborating?
LC representatives echoed these challenges, stating they already reject 45% of all submissions made to the office. Another challenge is that LC cannot provide subscriptions to e-journals, since in the digital realm, US pricing would likely apply.
Meeting was adjourned.
Submitted by James Simon