Project Information

The E. Azalia Hackley Collection, 19th & 20th Century Sheet Music of Negro Themes, of the Detroit Public Library consists of digital reproductions of over 600 works published between 1799 and 1922. Created in 2003, the adaptation of this collection to the digital environment was a collaborative project between the Detroit Public Library and the Detroit Area Library Network (DALNET).


An AmeriTech Foundation grant to the Friends of the Detroit Public Library for DALNET enabled DALNET to provide $5000 to the Detroit Public Library, which was used for some of the project staffing. Equipment used for scanning and file creation was purchased with a grant from DALNET, distributed by the DALNET Board of Directors. This equipment is located at the Detroit Public Library and comprises one of three DALNET Digital Labs. Work on the project began in August 2002.

Project Staffing

Detroit Public Library
Barbara Martin, curator of the E. Azalia Hackley Memorial Collection identified the material for this project and provided introductory and biographical material for the web site. Adrienne Aluzzo, Librarian II in the Bibliographic Division, created MARC records in OCLC and the library's Horizon database, and also scanned the music. Cheri Gay, Librarian III in the Bibliographic Division, managed the project on a daily basis, including establishing technical standards for scanning and file creation, performing quality control, and scanning. Randolph Call, Assistant Director for Technical Services, provided project oversight.
Detroit Area Library Network (DALNET)
The creation of the digital collection drew on the expertise of many members of the DALNET staff. Duryea Callaway developed bibliographic and biographic materials, acquired audio files, and worked with the web presentation. Jacqueline Wrosch developed and implemented the hackley.org web site and contributed to file naming standards development and naming conversions. Anaclare Evans provided metadata expertise and is working with the DALNET Database Standards Committee to finalize DALNET metadata standards recommendations. George Marck extracted MARC records from the Horizon database. Negib Sherif configured the DALNET web server for image storage, backup, and delivery. Laura Sheble managed DALNET's contributions to the project, configured digital library software and presentation interfaces, performed MARC to Dublin Core data conversion and data import, built the image viewing application, performed quality control, and contributed to standards development. Scott Muir provided project oversight.

Selection of Materials

The 19th century sheet music collection with Negro themes was selected because of its historical significance and its public domain status. A decision was later made to include 20th century music up to 1922. All of the 20th century sheet music with African American themes in the Hackley collection was cataloged, but post-1922 music was not scanned because of possible copyright infringement. In the future, the copyright status of this music can be investigated and the music scanned if appropriate. True duplicates were not scanned or described but where differences existed in cover illustration, publisher or other areas, a separate record and images were created.

Image Creation

All pages of the sheet music, except blanks, were scanned at 300 ppi, 24-bit RGB color, on an Epson 1640XL flatbed scanner, driven by Epson Twain Pro 2.0. A Dell 530 workstation with a 21" monitor and 68.3 gigabyte hard drive was used to save the 300 ppi scans as uncompressed tiffs in Adobe Photoshop 6.0. All images files were inspected for orientation, skew, moiré pattern and file size. The unaltered tiffs were copied onto Mitsui Gold 650 MB CDs.
An access image was created for each at 72 dpi, 600 pixel width, and saved in JPEG format. Thumbnail images with a standard height of 150 pixels were subsequently generated from the display images using IrfanView.

MIDI Audio Files

Several Midi audio files were obtained from Benjamin Robert Tubb of Public Domain Music. MIDI files are an ideal format for the web because of the small file size.


Description and Subject Indexing
Description was done using AACR2 and LCRI. The OCLC Authority File was used for topical subjects, personal and corporate names. The Thesaurus for Graphic Materials (TGM), created by the Prints & Photographs Division of the Library of Congress, was used for form and genre terms.
Metadata Record Formats
Original cataloging was created in MARC format in Horizon. MARC records with links to images are available from the Detroit Public Library Online Catalog. MARC records were extracted from the Horizon database and translated into Dublin Core encoded HTML, as specified in http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2731.txt, and according to the draft DALNET MARC-Dublin Core Crosswalk Specification, using perl modules customized for the collection.

Digital Library Software

DALNET chose Greenstone Digital Library Software, an open source software solution developed by the Computer Science Department of the University of Waikato (New Zealand) to serve our digital content because of its extensibility, active development and support community, and open source value and access to code.

Detroit Public Library   |   The E. Azalia Hackley Collection   |   Detroit Area Library Network

Detroit Public Library The E. Azalia Hackley Collection Detroit Area Library Network