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Welcome to the MDCH Coordinator's blog!
There's been a lot going on with the MDCH Program in the last couple of years. We redesigned the website, giving it a new look and feel. We rebuilt the technical infrastructure of the website. Using new software to facilitate the sharing of information we have lowered the technical curve to make it easier to share and publish digital collections. I've been visiting institutions around the state to explore new opportunities for partnership and to survey collections for new digital projects.
In 2006 the MDCH Program moved into the national spotlight with the publication of the Maryland Library's Most Wanted collection. This interactive exhibit has engaged the public by soliciting their help in identifying some unidentified photographs. This website builds on principles of Web 2.0 technologies by allowing users to submit their best guess using an online form. MDCH staff members follow up on the information submitted and add accurate identifications to each photograph's descriptive information. The names of the "Master Sleuths" who correctly identify the photographs are featured on the exhibit's project credits page.
Our successful use of the CONTENTdm Digital Collection Management software has also moved the MDCH Program into the national spotlight. I've given a number of presentations locally and at national conferences to demonstrate how we use CONTENTdm to input images and descriptive metadata and make them available ton the MDCH Program website. We're not only adding our own images and metadata either. Thanks to CONTENTdm's interoperable functionality, we're able to harvest URLs and descriptive metadata from our partnering institutions such as the Western Maryland Public Library's historical library database also known as WHILBR.
It is the people and places and all of the events that have taken place in its history since its charter was first granted that give Maryland its unique identity as a state. I like to think of the MDCH website as a gateway for users to learn more about Maryland's cultural heritage. With that in mind there are a variety of approaches to partnering with the MDCH Program. I'll talk more about that in another blog entry.
There's been a lot going on with the MDCH Program in the last couple of years and I believe there's a lot more to come as we increase partnerships and continue to grow our digital collections. Stay tuned to this blog for more information!