Fitting a Square Peg into a Round Hole Public

Migrating Legacy News Content to Open ONI

Providing access to historical newspaper content has remained a strategic priority for the Penn State University Libraries for decades. As early participants of the United States Newspaper Program (USNP) in the mid-1980s, successful awardees of three National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP) grants in the 2000s, and early adopters to host an in-house newspaper repository for its own student newspaper and U.S. Civil War era titles, the online collection has grown as substantially as its user base. As with all systems the time comes when adopting a new one is both necessary and prudent due to system obsolescence, infrequent vendor upgrades, and maintenance and user needs. Such was the case in 2016 when the University Libraries decided to investigate the use of the Library of Congress' open-source Newspaper Viewer Software to replace its aging Olive Software ActivePaper Archive™ system. Building the necessary expertise and system infrastructure to host an in-house instance of the Library of Congress' web-based software application was essential to the success of the project as was adopting the Scrum project management framework. Moreover, the actual process to migrate legacy news content from one system to another is not an easy task even though both systems maintain the same data and perform similar functions. This paper chronicles the decisions, planning and design phases of the project, the adoption of new organizational methodologies and roles, and the migration processes now underway to transfer 500,000 pages of historical legacy newspaper content to an Open ONI system hosted at the Penn State University Libraries.

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