The California Loyalty Oath Digital Collection

Technical Information

Selecting the Source Materials

The California Loyalty Oath Digital Collection is a virtual archive of materials selected from the diverse collections at the UC Berkeley University Archives, The Bancroft Library; the UCLA University Archives, Young Research Library; the Scripps Institution of Oceanography Archives, UC San Diego; and the Office of the Secretary of The Regents, Oakland. Materials were selected based on their relevance to the loyalty oath controversy at the University of California. While there are many materials that were not selected, it is hoped that those made available online will help to frame the experience for users and encourage further research into the wealth of material on this topic that can be found by visiting the contributing institutions.

Intellectual Access to the Collection

The UC Berkeley Library's Project Control Database ("WebGenDB") was designed as a multi-user, web-based tool to build digital collections and digital objects of diverse archival materials such as photographs, drawings, letters, manuscripts, and books. It grew out of early tools used in numerous digitization projects including, the NEH-funded Making of America II; projects funded by LSTA to digitize the Bancroftís Honeyman Collection, The Cased Photographs Project, and The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire Digital Collection; and the Museums in the Online Archive of California (MOAC) project, funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The WebGenDB database was also used for the California Cultures project, funded through the Library of Congress.

The project control database manages the process of creating digital objects and collections from beginning to export. The database is designed to accommodate major metadata standards currently in use in digital collections, including Metadata Object Description Standard - MODS for descriptive metadata and access information, NISO Metadata for Images in XML - MIX for technical metadata, METSRights schema for rights and licensing metadata and Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard - METS for structural metadata. The database correlates descriptive, administrative (including technical) and structural metadata with associated content files such as electronic text and digital images. Information recorded includes: collection name, call number, series name/sub-collection number, shelving location, item identification - (volume, container, folder, item numbers), caption, biographical/corporate history, bibliography, acquisition information, origination (creator name, dates, sources, etc.); digital file (format, resolution and dimensions, file location, etc.), rights information (copyright holder, license term, etc.), file versions, and more. It tracks all of the administrative metadata for the text and images, storing important information as to how the archival files and their derivatives were processed, when, and with what methods. The database accommodates different image processing work flows (flatbed scanner, multipage scanner, and digital camera) and workflows for reformatting and marking up electronic texts (in-house transcription and vendor processes). This database is currently the standard tool in California Digital Library (CDL) digital projects and University of California digital collections.

Curators and project staff entered a brief descriptive record for each object into separate project control databases set up for each of the partner institutions. Descriptive and administrative metadata was keyed in as work was processed digitally. The descriptions present in the output finding aid follow rules set forth in Anglo-American Cataloging Rules, 2nd edition (AACR2) and Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS) and in some cases was taken directly from the MARC bibliographic records in some of the institutionís online public access systems. As necessary, local data conventions and guidelines were developed to aid in the consistency of data entry across institutions.

The database is hierarchical so that entries could be made for collections, series, and subseries, and all related items. Item records contain extensive description including identifying call numbers, titles, project batch numbers used for routing and tracking material for digitization, physical descriptions, subject headings and other cataloging information including contextual notes.

EAD container listings of finding aids were automatically generated from metadata in the databases at the end of the project. The export process also automatically bounds multi-part digital objects together into XML-encoded digital objects as METS files and combines these as appropriate into an associated EAD structure. The EAD and METS package was submitted to the CDL for online presentation on the CDLís Online Archive of California and Calisphere websites, as well as for digital preservation via the CDL Digital Preservation Repository.


The California Loyalty Oath Digital Collection website was built on a newly designed website template. The template was based on the structure of The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire Digital Collection website. The website is hosted locally but all digital content (finding aid and METS digital objects) is hosted at the CDL.

The website uses Extensible stylesheet language transformation - XLST and Cascading Style Sheets - CSS to call to the CDL METS Repository to pull back related objects and present them in a customized interface. In this way, the search and browse functions have the look and feel of the The California Loyalty Oath Digital Collection website yet in fact all the content in those sections is being served by the CDL.

So, while users of The California Loyalty Oath Digital Collection website enjoy a focused, customized look at that topic through the website, at the same time, the exact same content is also available in the broader context of all of the materials available on the CDLís Online Archive of California and Calisphere. Having the loyalty oath materials available in this broader context allows users access to a wide-ranging selection of digital objects and finding aids to assist in further study and to encourage further interconnections to be made.

Text Conversion

For textual materials selected for electronic conversion, photocopies were made from original documents. The photocopies were checked and logged and then sent to APEX CoVantage where they were converted to electronic text and marked up using the Text Encoding Initiative - TEI encoding standard. In addition, some documents not suitable for direct conversion were transcribed in-house by Library staff and then sent to APEX CoVantage for mark-up. When encoded electronic files were returned from APEX, Library staff enhanced the mark-up and proofed and edited the XML files, comparing them to the original documents. The TEI file headers were then updated with metadata extracted from the project control database and the TEI content file was wrapped with a METS wrapper to create digital objects (submission information packets) for ingest into the CDL.


The UC Berkeley Digital Imaging Lab (DIL) served as a service bureau offering digital image capture service. Following other CDL collaborative imaging projects, DIL and project partners met the standards described in the CDL's Digital Image Collections Standards. The image production process used by DIL in this project was originally designed for the California Heritage Digital Image Access Project (funded by NEH) and has been used to produce the images and detailed descriptive information for a number of projects including the projects mentioned above and the LSTA-funded Japanese American Relocation Digital Archive (JARDA) project.

DIL performed digital image capture using an Agfa Arcus II flatbed scanner and a PhaseOne Powerphase digital camera. The PhaseOne Powerphase digital camera scanning back was used with a Hasselblad with 120mm Makro-Planar CF lens, mounted on a copystand, with Kaiser daylight fluorescent illumination. The Agfa Arcus II flatbed scanner is used primarily for loose (unmounted) originals; while originals mounted in bound volumes, framed originals, and originals larger than the platen of the scanner (8 x 13 inches) are captured with the PhaseOne Powerphase digital camera scanning back on a Hasselblad with 120mm Makro-Planar CF lens, mounted on a copystand, with Kaiser daylight fluorescent illumination.

As part of the initial capture, images were balanced for brightness, contrast, and color using the proprietary software supplied by the equipment manufacturers. A compact target—including a grayscale, centimeter measure and standard color patches—was included for reference with each scan. Typical capture resolution is between 300 and 600 dpi, with the 600 dpi level utilized whenever practical. The digital master files are archived onto writeable cd media (CD-ROM) as 24-bit RGB TIFF files. Derivative (viewing) files were created from the digital masters in batch mode using Photoshop and Debabelizer software to produce JPEG (JFIF) and GIF format files at the reduced resolution levels appropriate for viewing. Quality review of work was done at a number of points in each production workflow, first at the point of capture on flatbed scanner and digital camera (since each is a 'one off' operation) and finally just before web presentation when both images and text were viewed with a browser to confirm their accessibility.

Copyright © 2009 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.
Document maintained by The Bancroft Library.
Last updated 06/29/09. Server manager: Contact

Background photograph: Murphy Hall (Administration Building), 1948, Rec. Ser. 100, Folder: Murphy Hall, Photograph Files (Reference Collection), University Archives, Young Research Library, UCLA. Small photographs (left to right): Portrait of Roger Revelle at microscope, 1958, In Memoriam, University of California History Digital Archive; UCLA Provost Clarence A. Dykstra at podium, ca. 1945, Rec. Ser. 745, Folder: Dykstra, Clarence, Biographical Files (Reference Collection), University Archives, Young Research Library, UCLA; Monroe Emanuel Deutsch, 1948, In Memoriam, University of California History Digital Archive.