About this site

The Glasgow guardian Digital Archive is a collaborative project between the University's Archive, Library and Humanities Advanced Technology and Information Institute. Project planning began in September 2007 and envisaged a two stage project. The first stage involved the preservation, microfilming and boxing of the original newspapers, digitisation and optical character recognition. The second stage was the creation of a searchable, online edition of the digital resource.

Part funding for stage 1 was secured from the University's Chancellors Fund in May 2008 and additional funding from the Friends of the University Library and Students Representative Council enabled work to commence on preservation, microfilming, digitisation and OCR in March 2009 by our vendors UK Archiving. The completed resource was delivered in January 2010 and exceeded the original specification by providing the digital version in a search and retrieval system produced by Zylab. This enabled the archive to be used immediately as an offline tool by University Archivists.

The immediate benefits of a functioning system prompted the project team to investigate ways of providing an online system without first having to secure further funding for stage two. This process led to the development over the summer of 2010 of the current system utilising in-house expertise in MySQL and PHP and hosting services provided by the University Library. Sarah Cadorel, an archive exchange student from the Ecole Nationale des Chartes, Paris, dedicated her summer internship to developing and implementing the project.

The only significant feature that the current system lacks is the ability to highlight search term results in the image files, termed 'hit highlighting'. The project budget was not sufficient to cover the generation of boundary box coordinates to enable this feature to be implemented. Please note that there were no editions of student newspapers produced prior to 1932, nor between 1936 and 1954 and the academic year 1957-1958.

Future work will aim to improve the accuracy of the OCR text and enhance search and display functionality.

Project Team

Institutional Support

Lesley Richmond and John Moore

Project Management

Ian Anderson and Moira Rankin

Database and Web Development

Sarah Cadorel

Technical Advice

Brian Aitken and Mark Denham