How does this Acumen thing work?

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Acumen is our digital library delivery software… which is in the process of going live as open sourceTonio Loewald is the developer, and we published an article about Acumen in Code4Lib last year, which will contain more detail than this blog entry…

But:  once it’s installed, what do I have to do to get stuff in and out of it?

(We’re going to assume that during installation, at least one web-accessible directory was specified in the configuration file, and the automatic indexer was started.)

It’s very simple.

  1. Make sure your XML metadata has the same base file name as your digital content.  (For example, if you have a 3-page letter, and the image files are named:  FredJones_001.jpg, FredJones_002.jpg, FredJones_003.jpg, then your metadata would be something like FredJones.xml or FredJones.mods.xml.  This latter method allows for multiple types of XML metadata.)
  2. Place your digital content and metadata into one of the web-accessible directories in the path of the indexer (set in the config file above).
  3. Wait for the indexer (we have over 55K items in our repository, so it takes about 13 hours for ours to index right now) or use the admin web interface to Acumen to index your directories immediately.

That’s it!  Your content is online.

If you don’t like the metadata (descriptive information) display, then alter the XSLT for your type of metadata in the templates directory of the software (we have one for MODS, one for EAD, one for our local metadata scheme, others for OAI Dublin Core delivery).

Your digital content remains unmodified in the web directory, and you can remove it, copy it, or modify it at any time, without going through the delivery software.

Isn’t that cool?

And wasn’t that easy?

By using this system, we speed delivery of content to the web.  We have developed scripts that load newly digitized content into the Acumen web directories as soon as they’re ready.

We also have scripts to extract JPG files out of archival TIFFs, MP3s out of WAV files, to collect OCR from text-based images, and more… all using open source software (ImageMagick, LAME, Tesseract-OCR).

And our scripts are available open source as well… from our wiki.

Now tell me that’s not cool.  :-)

Acumen. Free for the taking. Now wasn’t that worth the wait?

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