The Ohio University Libraries has chosen Veridian Software as a new platform for the digital archive of its student newspaper and alumni magazine.
The Lantern newspaper has been the independent student voice of The Ohio State University since 1881. This article from December 1 of that year gives an account of early campus life with “just a score of students and seven professors present”. It describes how lectures continued over the noise of hammers as the final touches were added to the University buildings in the fall of 1873.
These days Ohio State is one of the largest universities in the United States and The Lantern continues its important work covering Ohio State life, culture, politics, sports and the arts through a student’s lens.
A new online platform for a historic newspaper archive
To ensure future-proofed accessibility for this historic newspaper archive, Veridian Software was selected as its new online discovery and delivery platform.
Included in the collection are over 14,000 issues of The Lantern dating from 1881-2018 along with 843 issues of The Ohio State University alumni magazine from 1909-1995.
The project was a special one, taking shape while both Ohio State and Veridian staff were working from home due to COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. Fortunately, both parties were able to remotely access all the resources needed, and despite unusual working conditions, the project was completed on time in just three months.
Veridian Project Lead Jeffrey explains:
“Because we’ve completed a handful of Olive Software to Veridian conversion projects recently this was familiar territory. We were referred to Ohio State by one of our existing customers - the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, who we worked with back in 2012. It’s great to keep building the healthy community of Veridian based University publication collections”
How the project took shape
The first phase of the project was to convert the collection’s existing PrXML data into METS/ALTO format - the industry standard for newspaper digitization. Some of the later publications in born-digital PDF format were then directly ingested into Veridian.
Joining the visual design family of Ohio State online
Next a new look presentation platform was built to join the design family of both The Ohio State University and Libraries’ websites.
New features to engage a user community
A range of new features will enable students and researchers to more easily access and engage with the content. Every individual word and phrase within the publications is searchable. Query highlighting and search result summaries make it easy for users to see the relevance of the matched documents at a glance.
Searches can be refined further by adding filters such as a specific date range or tag. Results are highlighted in both plain text and the original newspaper images, so you can quickly find where a search term is mentioned on the page.
The Veridian Crowdsourced User Text Correction module allows readers to correct errors in the OCR text as they come across them. This not only improves the searchability of the collection, but involves the users directly in the project, fostering a sense of community. The collection content can also be shared with a wider audience with social media bookmarking.
The future is now secure for this important digital collection representing the Ohio State student voice. The university will continue to add more content as it becomes available, and Veridian hosting, support and maintenance will ensure it is always up to date and functioning at its best.