2005 Salt Lake City Annual Meeting (October 16–19, 2005)

Paper No. 5
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM-5:30 PM


KIMBALL, Rustin, Geosciences Librarian, Texas A & M University Libraries, College Station, TX 77843-5000, WEIMER, Katherine H., Coordinator of Maps/GIS, Texas A & M University Libraries, College Station, TX 77843-5000 and SURRATT, Brian, Metadata Coordinator, Digital Initiatives, Texas A & M University Libraries, College Station, TX 77843-5000, rkimball@lib-gw.tamu.edu

The US Geological Survey produced a series of map folios between 1894 and 1945, titled, 'The Geologic Atlas of the United States.' Each of the folios includes both topographic and geologic maps for each quad represented in that folio, as well as text on the geology and economic geology. Only 227 folios were produced, so the area covered is very limited. Most contained maps at either 1:62,500 or l:125,000 scale. The USGS quad series boundaries and quad names are used in the Atlas. Some of the folios covered more than one quad, so over 300 “quads” are represented by the 227 folios of the Atlas. For many of the areas covered by the Atlas, the folios served as the pioneer report for that area and laid the foundation for later works. The Atlas was superceded in 1949 by the Geologic Quadrangle Map series.

The Texas A & M University Libraries own the complete series. This collection was deemed of scientific and historic import, worthy of digitization for preservation and improved access. Beginning in 2001, items were scanned at 300 dpi using a flatbed scanner. The library installed Dspace (http://www.DSpace.org), an institutional repository system (IR), in 2004. Texas A & M named the local instance TxSpace, (http://txspace.tamu.edu). DSpace is an open-source digital repository system originally developed by MIT and Hewlett-Packard. The purpose of this system is to promote the development of scholarly digital collections and to preserve these collections for long-term access.

After digitization, a spreadsheet was created containing the descriptive metadata for each folio. A Dublin Core application profile was developed for the descriptive metadata. A unique identifier field linked each descriptive record to the corresponding page images. The files and metadata have recently been loaded into TxSpace and are archived as the "Geologic Atlas of the United States" collection. It is currently searchable through TxSpace's native interface. We anticipate broader access through scholar portals, such as Google Scholar and Thompson ISI's Current Web Contents.

The original goal of the project was to increase public access to the folios via the web. We will monitor the collection use over time. We are now more aware of the need for collaboration, standardization, and a central registry to coordinate digitization projects.