Description of project:
The University of Hawai'i at Mänoa (UHM) Library, in collaboration with the Hawai'i State Land Survey Division and the Hawai'i State Archives, proposes to digitize approximately 1,800 registered survey maps from a collection of slightly more than 3,000 during the one-year grant period, and make them publicly accessible on the web.
As the source of authoritative surveys and maps, the collection has been heavily used for over a hundred years. Repeated use has jeopardized the physical integrity of many maps, and the current crowded storage space in the Survey Division does not allow for proper conservation treatment or preservation. In May 2006 a preliminary preservation assessment was made of the maps located at the Survey Division. The assessment found that the maps are "generally in good condition and suitable for scanning", but noted that there are many that are very fragile and large number which are tightly rolled. The registered survey maps are historical artifacts, but are also primary reference materials for a wide range of current inquiry. The Survey Division staff, other professional surveyors, land researchers, academics, writers and researchers in the fields of Hawaiian history and culture as well as the general public use the collection. During the past several decades, cartographic historians have become more interested in the social aspects of map making. Researchers view maps as a medium for communication and documentation of changing cultural and social practices. Providing wider access to the registered maps will provide opportunities for in-depth and creative investigation of the maps themselves and in their broader cultural context.
This project proposes to scan the maps in full color at 600dpi resolution to provide color coding information and detail that could only previously be seen in person at the Survey Division. JPEG2000 images will be created from the master TIF scanned images in order to insure maximum compatibility with other and future GIS systems at the University and the State level. In addition, the maps will be identified with metadata including date, surveyor name, geographic location, caption information, scale, numerical identifiers (registered map #, plat #) and other information from the map title area. It is the intent of the Survey Division to transfer the registered maps to the Hawai'i State Archives as soon as practical. The project will help develop and delineate procedures for the transfer of historic maps from the Survey Division to the Archives, a safer environment dedicated to preservation of historic materials.
Fully describing the maps will greatly enhance the public’s access to this significant collection. Researchers will be able to study a high resolution digital surrogate and use the metadata to make decisions about the need to consult the original. This project will involve just three State agencies that have already worked together. Project participants will get in touch with relevant councils, committees and institutions by demonstrating the project as frequently as possible.. The eventual goal would be to achieve statewide participation in, support and funding for a digital map repository.
Decisions, experiences and policies will be shared with other libraries and cultural institutions. Effectiveness with the user community will be evaluated by hit count and by assessment of Survey Division and Archives staff experiences to determine if service is affected positively. Outcomes expected include: participants agree that the product meets their needs; post-presentation evaluations are satisfactory; buy-in from at least one additional council, committee or agency is achieved.