Since returning from SALALM LVI in Philadelphia I have been busy with my colleagues working on the digitization of the Puerto Rican Civil Court Documents Collection. Thanks to the CRL’s LAMP award we were able to retain our digital photographer and start digitizing the collection right away. Because of the excellent workflow at the digital lab, we are able to digitize and, after post-production, upload the files into the Internet Archives, which allows users to start reading and downloading the records as they are made available online. You can see what we have done already here (http://tinyurl.com/3lfhnl9).
In addition, the library submitted an article about the digitization of the collection to the university magazine, UConn Today, titled Shedding Light on Life in 19th Century Puerto Rico, http://today.uconn.edu/blog/2011/07/shedding-light-on-life-in-19th-century-puerto-rico/. The story was picked up by the Associated Press (AP) the same day (July 26, 2011) as well as by at least 5 online newspapers online and the story was featured briefly on TV at Univision New England—Hartford & Springfield Edition. Later that week, Univision came to UConn to interview my colleague Michael Bennett, our digital librarian, and myself for a longish feature (1:30 minutes) discussing the project. You can see the video at http://www.wuvntv.com/noticia/2011/07/29/274681-documentos-puertorriquenos-uconn.html
So far, we have received good feedback and some genealogical inquires but we hope as more people learn about this project that more users will take advantage of this amazing collection. We are in the process of creating a press release in Spanish to distribute in Puerto Rico to continue to spread the word about the project. Again, we thank CRL’s LAMP support in funding this project, which we feel is already bearing fruit.
Curator of the Latin American and Caribbean Collections
Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, UConn Libraries