UC Digital Press Improves Software for Latest Release
Date: Sept. 21, 2000
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Archive: General News
The University of Cincinnati Digital Press (UCDP) will release its latest publication in
October with a new software platform developed by the UCDP. In addition to
James Otto Lewis' Aboriginal Portfolio: The Complete Edition, the press is
marketing a revised edition of its first publication, George Catlin: The Printed
Works, to take advantage of the new "CUrator" software.
publications are contained in a two-disk CD-ROM which include images and a database
with maps, texts and a bibliography. The digital press converts rare documents and
images of Western American history into an electronic format to preserve these works
and make them more accessible for research and instruction around the world.
is a platform that integrates a number of packages within a single architecture, and it has
pioneering features in three key areas," explains David Kohl, dean, University Libraries
and director of UCDP. "First, both Lewis and Catlin published accounts of their travels
as well as biographies of their subjects. CUrator links the images and text together so
you can flow back and forth between the two. For instance, if you're looking at a picture
from Aboriginal Portfolio, you can link to all of the places in his journal where he refers
to that picture.
"Secondly, CUrator moves beyond text-based information searching.
For example, I can bring up a map and outline an area on that map where I want to see
everything that happened in that area -- both journal and picture entries -- and it will call
up everything. You just visually outline, point and click, and it pulls up everything you
"Third, the bibliography includes links from records to web sites, if you want
supplementary information. It's rather remarkable stuff for the library world," says
Background on artists and their works
In the mid 1820s,
James Otto Lewis was hired by the U.S. government to paint portraits of Native
Americans visiting Detroit, where Lewis lived. Lewis also recorded the developments out
of the treaty councils in the Great Lakes Region between 1825 and 1827 and released his
work in five editions that were published before 1854.
Alice Cornell, assistant
director/editor and chief, UCDP, says the first edition, a compilation of portraits of
North American Indians published between 1835 and 1838, covers one of the finest and
rarest efforts of 19th century American lithography. The Aboriginal Portfolio publication
showcases one of only two complete copies of the first edition that are known, containing
80 plates (lithographic pictures). The later editions were not completed, but the most
extensive copies are included in the collection.
Cornell adds that James Otto
Lewis' The Aboriginal Portfolio: The Complete Edition is a logical sequel to
George Catlin: The Printed Works. Catlin dedicated his career to recording
the disappearing Native American culture, and in both paint and print, he recorded the
people, customs and traditions of tribes as he traveled the North American continent
through the 1830s.
Future projects for UC Digital Press
The press is
currently at work on a third production, McKenney & Hall's History of the Indian
Tribes of North America: The First Issue. The Digital Press is operated by a
staff of five in University Libraries:
David Kohl, directorAlice Cornell, assistant
director and editor-in-chiefLinda Newman, technical research and development
managerMarie Scheponick, assistant editor/assistant business managerPamela
Get more information on the UC Digital Press Web site.