Slavic and Eurasian Studies

CREEES, LBJ Presidential Library & UT Libraries Partner to Create Digital Prague Spring Archive

Mon, December 19, 2016
CREEES, LBJ Presidential Library & UT Libraries Partner to Create Digital Prague Spring Archive
The new online Prague Spring Archive

Prague Spring Archive from LBJ Library Now Available in Open Access Digital Format

In 2014, CREEES Director and Slavic Department Chair Dr. Mary Neuburger and UT Libraries' Assistant Director for Research Mary Radar met to discuss an effort to increas access to the rich historical primary resource materials here on UT’s campus. Their focus was digitizing the archives on the 1968 Prague Spring period in Cold War history housed in the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library. The goal was to not only digitize these materials but also to create a portal so that students could interact with them.

In 2015, with funding from a US Department of Education Title VI National Resource Centers grant and the Texas Chair in Czech Studies, a team of dedicated graduate and undergraduate students from both CREEES and the UT Libraries, began putting this project into motion. Among them was current CREEES graduate student Kari Andreev who logged hours of photographing archival materials, processing those images into high-quality archival PDFs. Ian Goodale, then an iSchool Graduate Research Assistant for the UT Libraries joined the team and continued the work, while also creating detailed metadata for the documents so that students and researchers would be able to more easily use these significant historical documents.

The result—recently released, but still a work in progress—is a beautiful, interactive archive on the web portal Scalar.

In 2016, Ian Goodale was hired into a full-time position at the UT Libraries as the Russian/East European Librarian and has become the director of the project under the auspices of his dual role as Digital Projects Librarian. Under his supervision, this project is moving full speed ahead as he continues to add more material to the Scalar site, with graduate student Nicole Marino helping to digitize additional materials and expand the scope of the project to encompass a broader Cold War archive.

Ian says, "I am excited to continue work on the project, and am particularly interested in the opportunity to make important works on the University of Texas at Austin campus available to researchers and patrons in a user-friendly, open access format. These are important historical documents, and one of the project's goals is to broaden access to a wide and inclusive audience."

 

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