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Digitization of Haitian and Krey6l Resources
Target Collections: Haitian Cultural Resources
Archives nationals d'Haiti (BNH)
Civil and state records, including births, marriages and deaths, and documenting
transactions, social works, and civil governance; holdings include paper and
Bibliotheque lianicnuc des Pares du Saint-Esprit (BHPSE)
15,000 titles of Haitian history, French colonization, slavery and emancipation,
including manuscript collections of Haitian revolutionaries: Toussaint, Dessaline,
Bibliotheque lianicnuc des Freres de l'Instruction Chritienne (BHFIC)
14,000 titles of historic and literary works used to educate Haiti's youth.
The library served as a depository-library for Haitian publications. Of special
note, the collection holds newspaper issues from the occupation period missing
from U.S. collections.
Bibliotheque national d'Haiti (BNH)
23,000 titles, of which approximately 1,000 are rare.
Library holdings document Haitian culture, social studies and ecosystems.
Bibliotheque Monique Calixte, the Library of the Fondation Connaissance et
Bibliotheque de la Faculte d'Agronomie (FacAg)
Institute Francais d'Haiti (IFH)
Institute Haitiano-American (IHA)
Institute national d'Administration, de Gestion et des Hautes Etudes
Internationales (I NAG HE I)
Each of these libraries maintains membership in the Association of Caribbean
University, Research and Institutional Libraries (ACURIL), the professional
association of archivists and librarians in the Caribbean basin. Digital Library of
the Caribbean (http://www.dloc.com/) member libraries maintain working
relations, at some level, with each of the institutions listed above. All of them are
head-quartered in Port-au-Prince.
Need in Haiti and the United States
In the United States, resources digitized will support study of Haitian culture and
society, the Krey6l language, and broaden resources documenting endangered
ecosystems, their protection and recovery. Similar resources are used in U.S.
universities to train linguists and professionals who either work in Haiti or work
with Haitians here, providing social, civil, and medical services as well as
interacting to recover and maintain Haitian democratic institutions, Haitian
The Haitian Studies Association (HAS) has members at universities throughout
the United States. Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC) member institutions,
the University of Florida (UF) and Florida International University (FIU),
represent a bridge to HSA. Timing of this project is such that a dLOC member
would submit a paper for presentation at the 2008 November 6/8 meeting of the
HSA in Montrouis, Haiti. Its call for papers (cf,
http://www.haitianstudies.umb.edu/conference.html) seeks to draw attention to
projects such as that proposed here.
At the same time in Haiti, digitization will make Haitian patrimony available to the
increasing number of Haitians who study on-line through the aid of the Agence
Universitaire de la Francophonie, Bureau Carafbe (AUF) and the Soros
Foundation funded Fondation Connaissance et Liberte : Fondasyon Konesans ak
Libete (FOKAL). Digitization will provide Haitians living abroad the largest
expatriate communities in Miami, Montreal, New York, and Paris with
connections to their cultural heritage. This need and the desire of external
communities to access Haiti's patrimony is growing.
In terms of World Heritage, digitization is a form of preservation. The target
libraries reside in facilities lacking climate controls. Conditions in Haiti -
economic, civil and building structures currently make installation of controls
unthinkable. One survey suggested that while the vaults of the BHFIC might be
affordably climate controlled, used resources would pass the dew point moving to
reading room, doing more damage than had they remained in fully uncontrolled
conditions. A review of resources in the BHFIC, found more than 95% of
resources suffering advanced stages of embrittlement as a result of conditions.
Without some form of preservation, in addition to the conservation and repair
services now provided, these resources should be considered to be highly
endangered. The need is immediate and extends to each of the target
The Digital Library of the Caribbean
The Digital Library of the Caribbean (http://www.dloc.com/) is currently funded,
with limited provisions, by the U.S. Department of Education's Technological
Innovation and Cooperation for Foreign Information Access (TICFIA) Program.
The Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC) originally grew out of a joint
digitization agreement between the libraries of UF and the University of the Virgin
Islands (UVI). dLOC currently has contributing partners in Florida, Haiti, the
Dominican Republic, Guyana, Jamaica, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Venezuela.
Separate partnerships with the UF Libraries has polled additional content from
institutions in the Bahamas, Belize, Bermuda, Dominica, Guatemala, New York,
and Trinidad and Tobago.
In Haiti, members include the ANH and the BHPSE. Other Haitian institutions
partner with these members to digitize their resources. Together, they are
working to digitize documentary heritage, photographic evidence of civil works,
and constitutional and legal heritage, and historic newspapers, among other
resources. There are, for example, currently more than 46,000 issues of historic
Haitian newspapers pending load into the dLOC digital library. These institutions
and dLOC have excellent working relationships. Staff of FlU and UF have
traveled to Haiti to set-up equipment and systems and to train staff. Staff of the
AHN plan to train to UF in the summer for training on the equipment to be
deployed in Haiti.
Digital Library of the Caribbean systems are those of the University of Florida
Libraries and its Digital Library Center (http://www.uflib.ufl.edu/digital/), offered in
a content-for-technology relationship. Sharing U.S. based technology extends
access to Haitian research resources otherwise beyond the reach of scholars in
the United States. The UF Digital Library Center, operates the most productive
digitization facility in the Southeastern United States and one of the most
productive nation-wide. It provides technical services to the Digital Library of the
Caribbean (dLOC), hosting its digital technologies, including full-text searching
and image zooming. The Center's staff provide on-location training as well as
remote assistance to our Caribbean partners. Staff have trained in Haiti, Aruba,
the Dominican Republic, Guyana, Jamaica, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and
Venezuela, in addition to consulting in the Bahamas and work with Trinidad and
Tobago's Eric Williams Memorial Collection.
The Digital Library of the Caribbean currently host more than 3000 titles in more
than 335,000 pages. It provides access to resources in Danish, Dutch, English,
French, Krey6l, Papiamento, Portuguese, and Spanish, and including books,
journals and newspapers; maps; photographs; and three dimensional objects, as
well as multi-media (forthcoming). Topical materials include belle letters and
history; language learning resources; ecological and geographic data; law; etc.
Digitization of resources from target Haitian collections, with emphasis on historic
documents and Haitian bibliographic patrimony. And, their deployment in the
Digital Library of the Caribbean for free Internet access 24/7 to researchers in
Haiti, the United States, and worldwide.
Selections will be made by the Librarians of the Haitian institutions in accord with
importance to collection, patron use, and requests for access from Digital Library
of the Caribbean partner institutions, the Library of Congress, or the U.S.
Department of State.
Deployment of Equipment
It is anticipated that two months will pass from date of equipment order to date of
delivery and deployment.
The CopiBook scanner will ship directly from the manufacturer in France to
customs agent at the Port-au-Prince airport (Delmas, Haiti). It is anticipated that
this high-end scanner will be retrieved by staff of the U.S. Embassy in Haiti and
stored uncrated until staff from the University of Florida, acting on behalf of the
Digital Library of the Caribbean, arrive to set it up and train staff and librarians in
All other equipment (see below) will ship direct from the U.S.A. by a method or
methods to be determined by the U.S. Embassy in Haiti, for clearance of Haitian
customs by Embassy staff.
University of Florida Digital Library Center staff will be responsible for equipment
set-up, initial training, and periodic visits for additional training and equipment
maintenance, etc. We request that the U.S. Embassy in Haiti (i.e., the U.S.
Department of State) cover all travel costs excluding staff time. Staff time will be
provided in exchange for agreement to Embassy to deploy digital resources to
the Digital Library of the Caribbean, based on the servers of the University of
Set-up is expected to take two days Saturday & Sunday, preferred. Training,
another two days. The training team will spend additional two days in post-
training supervision activities. Travel is expected to take one day at each end of
this training period. All travel will be made on U.S. carriers and all stays will be
made in the Olafson Hotel or other accommodation recommended by the U.S.
Embassy. The Olafson Hotel, while approximate to the target institutions is a
considerable distance from the location of the new U.S. Embassy in Delmas.
The travel team will include three technicians (one hardware, William Canova;
one applications, Mark V. Sullivan; and one imaging specialist, Lourdes
Santamaria-Wheeler) as well as one linguist for training support (either Krey6l
and French linguist, Dr. Benjamin Hebblethwaite, or, a French linguist, Matthew
The Digital Library Center will offer remote assistance via Skype or telephone for
all issues and problems associated with the project. It will have French and
Spanish speakers, familiar with equipment, applications and project parameters,
available. In the future, it may be able to offer assistance in Krey6l ayisyen.
Other members of the dLOC team (e.g., its Coordinator, Brooke Wooldridge, or
its Technical Director, Erich Kesse, or, Directors of the sponsoring U.S. Libraries)
may also accompany this team. Their travel will be paid for by their home
institutions. The purpose of this travel will be to promote the project both in Haiti
and, through photo-opportunities, in the United States.
Production in Haiti
Access to equipment will be the responsibility of the U.S. Embassy in Haiti. And,
the target Haitian institutions will be expected to establish no-conflict schedules
for its use. Actual production will be the responsibilities of the institutions and,
specifically, of their trained staff.
Production in Haiti will follow the dLOC model. It will be limited to resource
tracking, scanning, quality control, and the creation of structural metadata.
Digitized resources will be FTPed (transferred over the Internet) to dLOC's
servers at the University of Florida. The U.S. Embassy in Haiti will be expected
to provide connectivity for FTP and to secure systems to prevent entry into the
Embassy's secure systems.
N.B. The recommended computer and software configuration will allow Haitian
partners to burn a copy of their work to CD or DVD for off-line uses, i.e., in
remote, unwired libraries throughout Haiti.
Operations inspection visits will be made by teams of two University of Florida
staff twice (in addition to the set-up and training visit) in the course of the
following year. Visits will maintain equipment and retrain as necessary. These
trips are anticipated to include one night's stay, with one day of travel. Again, it is
anticipated that associated travel costs will be paid for by the U.S. Embassy.
Post-Production in the United States
Digitized resources received by the Digital Library of the Caribbean will be
scanned for viruses; processed into the University of Florida's Digital Library
Center; processed into thumbnail, page- and zoom-images; and queued for the
generation of searchable text (i.e., full-text). Resulting resource packages
(associated files) will be processed into the Digital Library of the Caribbean and
copied into the Florida Digital Archive (FDA) for long-term digital preservation.
FDA is a state-of-the-art digital archive, funded in part by the U.S. Institute for
Museum and Library Services. It is one of only a handful of such "trusted"
archives worldwide. UF will report successful data processing back to the
scanning workstation in Haiti, and the Haitian partners will then clear files from
the scanning workstation.
Once processed into the digital library, Haitian resources will become freely
available, via the Internet, to researchers using the Digital Library of the
Caribbean including patrons of the Haitian institutions, researchers in the U.S.,
and at the U.S. State Department including the U.S. Embassy in Haiti.
Digitization will enhance the reputation of the Digital Library of the Caribbean and
increase the ability of its partners to secure funding for additional digitization and
e-learning. Use of Haitian resources will help these libraries, particularly the
BHPSE and the BHFIC, to gain international World Heritage Library status and
draw the funding necessary to ensure their physical preservation.
CopiBook Scanner, with keyboard attachment ............................. $50,000
Bound volumes, newspapers and documents Color and grey-scale -
French and English interfaces Includes keypad Includes shipping fees.
N.B. The French list price is $47,000. The U.S. list of $39,000 is sold at a
loss by the French, who may insist on full price for deployment in Haiti.
The Keyboard attachment is listed at $180 U.S.
Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) ...................................... ............. $125
Protects scanning equipment and workstation from power surges and
spikes experienced by even the best supplied electrical power.
Lighting w/ replacement lamps ...... ......................................... .. .... ......... $312
Illumination of the source document 2 sets
Worklight (Case 2) Vendor No. 100SWL2 .................................... $196
Replacement bulb (4 at $29) ....... ............ ................... ............. $116
H ood, Foam C ore (B lack) .............................................. ........ .................. $5
Mitigates intrusion of light from unwanted sources This item can be
procured and delivered by the set-up team using funds contributed
personally by Erich Kesse.
Computer Mouse for use with CopiBook.................................................$35
Increases efficiency of CopiBook use.
Computer Workstation and dual monitors................................. $2,500
Optimized for speed and handling of very large files
Workstation should include Ethernet card; 2GB memory minimum; two
500GB internal RAID-1 hard-drive; DVD-R/+R read/write drive; fire-wire
card; dual monitor card; and two monitors (17" minimum, 19" preferred);
also includes mouse for workstation.
Use of dual monitors greatly facilitates image quality control and correction.
External Hard-drive (2TB RA ID) ................................... .... .............. .... $700
Used for storage of digital objects until transfer to dLOC servers has been
verified. Western Digital recommend exact purchase documentation
specified upon request.
2TB fire-wire drive with RAID capacity for redundant storage as protection
against corruption of data resulting from drive failure.
D V D R aw M edia ............. ......................... .............. .............. $ var.
Secondary digital archive, for use in Haiti presumes need to periodically
carry copies back to home institutions or to distribute particular titles to
other Haitian libraries for use throughout the country.
Budget Software & dLOC Applications
Adobe Photoshop CS3 (Educational/Government License) ................... $400
Image capture and processing interface
N.B. $400 is a typical single education (teacher/student) user cost. Actual
cost of educational institution or government institution license may be
considerably less, as low as $180.
Adobe Acrobat Professional 8 (Educational/Government License) ........ $160
Generation of page bundled digital resources.
N.B. $160 is a typical single education (teacher/student) user cost. Actual
cost of educational institution or government institution license may be
considerably less, as low as $80.
Microsoft Windows Vista...................... .......................... $0
Bundled with the Computer Workstation
d L O C T o o lK it ............. ........... .... .. . ......... ... .... ................................ .. $ 0
Suite of applications maintained by UF in support of the Digital Library of
the Caribbean Updates and new versions shipped via Internet and DVD
Currently available in English, French and Spanish interfaces.
Set-up & Training (estimate) ............ ........... ..... ...... ........... $ 3,433
For four individuals as specified above
Car rental from Gainesville to Miami ($400 total)
Airfare from Miami to Port-au-Prince ($155 ea. OR $620 total today's $)
Grand transport Haiti ($100 maximum presumes stay at Olafson Hotel)
Olafson Hotel Suite for one week ($1333 total estimate)
Per Diem (7 days x 4 persons x $35 = $980 total)
Staff time (contributed in exchange for deployment of digital resources to
dLOC servers at the University of Florida)
Operations Inspection Visits (estimate)................................... ........... $2,060
For two individuals as specified above 2 trips: 2 days each see price
estimates above $1030 each trip