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Economic Growth Center Digital Library: Creating Access to Statistical Sources Not Born Digital

Presenter 1
Ann Green
Yale University
Presenter 2
Julie Linden
Yale University

The Economic Growth Center Digital Library (, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, digitizes and makes accessible a selection of Mexican state statistical abstracts from Yale University Library's Economic Growth Center Library Collection.

In a departure from most digital libraries, which concentrate on images or texts, EGCDL focuses on statistical tables. This project addresses issues and challenges unique to statistical materials, such as:

  • Evaluating whether common digitization practices and standards, generally developed for images and text, are ideally suited to statistically-intensive documents.
  • Automating metadata production for thousands of PDF and Excel files.

Detailed table-level metadata records will be created in XML according to the Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) specification, including the DDI aggregate data extension. In addition to a user interface that presents the PDF versions of the statistical abstracts along with individual tables from the series, a selection of tables and metadata also will be presented in the Nesstar system. This will allow users to browse lists of tables by topic, state, and year, and to search across the entire collection for specific individual tables.

We also address the long-term preservation of the digital materials produced in this project and their relationship to the original printed source materials.

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