Visualizing Methods for Special Collections: Using Library Data to Tell a Geospatial Story
Librarians have a growing role in making data more visible and accessible. One way this is possible is through mining data sources such as library catalogues in order to present collections using visualization tools. This presentation focuses on how we used catalogue data from the Saskatchewan Music Collection, a local music collection located at the University of Saskatchewan, to create an interactive online geospatial visualization. The project was a partnership between the GIS librarian and music librarian, who bring diverse but complementary skills and perspectives to the project. A proof of concept map was created using OpenRefine and ArcGIS software. It was presented to a group of librarians, and initial feedback was then used to revise the visualization. Challenges and outcomes of working with library catalogue data to create geospatial visualizations will be discussed in this presentation, as will best practices for librarians hoping to develop data management, maintenance, and preservation plans. The prototype and finished product of the visualization will be presented. We conclude with discussion of some of the connections between library data management and current developments within digital humanities and academic library research.