Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Digital Scriptorium

December News

We have great news to share with our members, associates, and friends, and just in time for the holidays! Since last February the Board of Directors has been working on the reorganization of DS in order to become a tax-exempt non-profit organization. After extensive work on the Mission Statement and Bylaws, we sought out legal support from Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts in St. Louis. VLAA assigned to us a pro-bono lawyer who revised the Bylaws to make them legally sound. The new Bylaws were approved by the membership at the annual meeting at Harvard's Houghton Library on 23 September 2016. Since then we have filed Articles of Incorporation as a non-profit organization, and these have been certified by the State of Missouri.

 Not all non-profits are tax exempt, so after we officially became a non-profit, we still needed to seek tax-exempt status with the IRS. Tax exempt status is only granted to organizations dedicated to altruistic purposes defined by statutory categories: 1) religious, 2) scientific, 3) charitable, 4) public safety, 5) literary, 6) educational, 7) sports, 8) protection of children or animals. Like most museum and libraries, DS falls under the exemption for organizations with an educational purpose. So after filing the 1023-EZ form with the IRS, on12 Dec 2016 we received the letter granting us tax-exempt status under Section 501c3 of the Internal Revenue Code. Many thanks to the VLAA, the DS Board, the Advisory Council, and the growing DS membership!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Annual Meeting of Digital Scriptorium, Houghton Library, Harvard University, 23 September 2016
(photos by Matthew Heintzelman)

Digital Scriptorium
October News
On Friday September 23, 2016 Digital Scriptorium held its annual all-day meeting of the membership at Houghton Library, Harvard University, in Cambridge, MA. The annual meeting this year was exciting for several reasons:
1.       It coincided with the opening of the Beyond Words exhibition of illuminated manuscripts in Boston area collections, held at three separate venues: Harvard, Boston College, and the Gardner Museum.
2.       The same Beyond Words exhibition helped to encourage interest in DS membership among Boston institutions.  At the meeting:
·         Tufts University officially joined DS
·         New York Academy of Medicine became a non-voting Associate
·         Wellesley College sent a representative who attended as a potential member
3.       DS members approved new Bylaws, Articles of Incorporation, and a legal Action of the Board to incorporate DS as a 501c3 tax-exempt organization. This means that DS will soon be eligible to receive tax-deductible donations, apply for government supported grants, and operate as an independent non-profit organization with all the legal protections and privileges that status incurs. We are grateful to the St. Louis based Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts who assigned to us a pro-bono corporate lawyer to help us through the requirements of non-profit organization.
Presentations were made about:
·         new cataloging and research tools implemented at the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library
·         new appointments and tasks for the DS Advisory Council
·         progress made on the Broken Books project
·         the Digging into Data Challenge and the possibilities of CC0 licensing of DS records
·         the potential for use of authority control of names,
·         a membership strategy based on regional analysis of the Conway-Davis directory and inspired by the Digital Public Library of America.

In attendance were: Christopher Barbour (Tufts), Debra Cashion (Saint Louis U), Lisa Fagin Davis (Medieval Academy), Consuelo Dutschke (Columbia), Lynne Grigsby (UC Berkeley), Matthew Heintzelmann (Hill Museum and Manuscript Library), Janine Pollock (Free Library Philadelphia), Ruth Rogers (Wellesley), E.C. Schroeder (Yale), Barbara Shailor (Yale), William Stoneman (Harvard), Elizabeth Teviotdale (Western Michigan), Vanessa Wilkie (Huntington), Cherry Williams (UC Riverside). Lynn Ransom (UPenn) was absent due to illness.

DS Board of Directors with signed Action of the Board to incorporate as a tax-exempt 501c3 non-profit. From left to right: Janine Pollock (Deputy Director), E.C. Schroeder (Treasurer), Vanessa Wilkie (Director At Large), Consuelo Dutschke (Director at Large), Debra Cashion (Executive Director), Cherry Williams (Director at Large).

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Digital Scriptorium website enhancements

A number of website enhancements were implemented on the Digital Scriptorium website the morning of Thursday, September 15.

  1. We are now displaying shelfmark, description, country, century, and number of images for each item in a search result.
  2. In search results, we are now offering country, language, century, and location facets to refine results.
  3. We have increased the size of the thumbnails which display in the full record display. Example:
screenshot of Digital Scriptorium search results page