Daina Bouquin
Head Librarian, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

What now?


Data and
Research in






1.  Digitize entire collection
2.  Index collection in HOLLIS and on ADS
3.  Transcribe as much of the collection as possible (women computers first priority)

4.  Enrich metadata to enable full-text search and cross-reference other digital objects

Initial Goals


and expanding


Multiple Workflows

Box Workflow

Hard Drive


Digital Image


Custom DB   to Manage Distributed Workflow

Search functions

Curatorial tasks


Centralizing authority information to track full workflow and manage metadata

Beyond Proof of Concept

  • Smithsonian Women's Committee

    • ​Outreach and physical conservation of materials
  • FAS Digitization Review Committee

    • ​Funding to complete all scanning (projected Jan. 2019)

Expanding Reach and Supporting  Education

Outreach to the Transcription Community

Amplifying DASCH

Expanding Our Goals





Most of our focus so far 

Next steps!

What about the rest of it???

Potential for Interoperability

PDF from Transcription Center indexed by ADS could link to DASCH

Connecting to DASCH records

It is possible to connect DASCH metadata to PHaEDRA logbooks

This isn't just a novelty

If we want people to be able to use historical resources they need to be accessible using modern interfaces and findable alongside contemporary research artifacts


PHaEDRA isn't about being able to find and search logbooks


The logbooks are an anchor for connecting historical research objects to the modern digital research landscape

If we create bridges people won't just

find DASCH photometry data either


DASCH metadata is valuable:

Simbad objects, telescope metadata, observing locations, fitting software, publications, etc.


All of these things can be made available for

over one hundred years

and we can connect their legacy to the work scientists are doing now


  • DASCH needs a secure API
  • Metadata architecture adjustments
  • Transcription is time consuming!
  • DASCH needs a bibgroup for publications
  • Data is living on the cluster (long term preservation/access?)
  • Time/resources in the library/among DASCH staff are limited
    • DASCH-PHaEDRA connections are possible but complicated while DASCH scanning is in-progress

New Partnerships to Help Address Transcription Bottleneck

Next: create a separate project to find plate numbers and tag sketches

  • Plate numbers are messy in the logbooks/difficult to cross-reference given non-uniform structure
  • Sketches could be annotated by professionals to make them more helpful and accessible via screen readers
    • Tagging sketches will also allow us to explore algorithmic approaches to identifying interesting pages in other types of archival documents

But this is all just a start.


Wolbach staff are learning what resources they need to develop and what would be needed to make these things happen.


To be continued...


Made with Slides.com