The Cleveland County Genealogical Society Library was founded July 15, 1990, and has approximately 5,000 books and publications from most of the 50 states and several foreign countries. Researchers also have access to information on Cleveland County and other Oklahoma counties, the Twin Territories, the State of Oklahoma, and various Native American tribes.
Another collection contains documents submitted by 161 early Cleveland County families with marriage licenses, birth and death certificates, homestead papers and land records, cemetery records and some photos. However, very little of the archival collection is digitized.
June Abbas, Ph.D., University of Oklahoma School of Library and Information Studies, has selected this collection to be digitized by her Digital Collections class students. The purpose of the Digital Collections class is to present an introduction to the creation and development of digital collections, technical requirements for storage and dissemination of digital materials.
Students will explore a variety of techniques and technologies for digitizing materials; evaluate the strengths and limitations of current efforts in creating, collecting and organizing digital materials; and explore the different opportunities and challenges of digital libraries, repositories and archives. The class also will create an online database.
Abbas has divided her class into six teams:
1. The User Liaison Team to work with both the class and the Cleveland County Genealogical Society library.
2. The Interface Team to develop the interface and navigation for the digital collection.
3. The Infrastructure Team to decide what open source package to use for the underlying infrastructure of the digital collection, to set up the digital library software, maintain the server, and assist students in accessing the database.
4. The Digitization Team to develop the workflow for digitizing the items, instruct the students in digitizing items, and to make sure all digital files are added to the server.
5. The Metadata Team to select or develop the Metadata structure for entering the metadata and to instruct the students in creating metadata — the data about the data they are gathering, like names and dates — to the database.
6. The Copyright and Content Team to develop copyright and usage policies for the digital collection, as well as develop content for site.
The Genealogical Library’s archives are the repository for Cleveland County’s original probate files dating back as far as 1890.
Ron Chambers, Grand Master of the Masonic Grand Lodge of Oklahoma, will present “Masonic Records, History and Terms” during the Oklahoma Genealogical Society meeting at 6 p.m. May 5 at the Oklahoma History Center, Chesapeake Event Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive. Experienced researchers will be available at 5 p. m. to answer research questions. For more information, go to www.okgensoc.org or call 637-1907.
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