Z652 Digital Libraries, Fall 2022, Section 3874

A course on digital libraries and building digital collections.

View the Project on GitHub jawalsh/z652-Digital-Libraries

Week 3: CollectionBuilder Introduction


For this week, you will complete a tutorial to set up a sample CollectionBuilder collection in GitHub.

Olivia Wikle and Devin Becker will join the class to discuss the CollectionBuilder project and answer questions about CollectionBuilder.

Olivia Wikle is the Digital Initiatives Librarian and Co-Director of the Center for Digital Inquiry and Learning (CDIL) at the University of Idaho. She is also Communications Director for CollectionBuilder and a former ILS student at Indiana University.

Devin Becker is the Head of Data and Digital Services and Co-Director of the Center for Digital Inquiry and Learning (CDIL) at the University of Idaho. He is the Project Director for CollectionBuilder and also a former ILS student at Indiana University.

Weekly Learning Objectives

Before class: Readings, Resources, and Tasks



Build a digital collection with CollectionBuilder

You will need a GitHub account and Google Drive account to participate in this exercise. Both account types are free. Go to https://github.com/ and https://www.google.com/drive/ to set them up if you don’t already have them.

We recommend using following demo data as you’re building your collection for the first time:

This exercise will use the CollectionBuilder-GH repository (https://github.com/CollectionBuilder/collectionbuilder-gh) which allows you to build a free digital collection website using GitHub Pages. You can explore a demo collection here: https://collectionbuilder.github.io/collectionbuilder-gh/, and the CollectionBuilder website here: https://collectionbuilder.github.io/.

Homework—Set up an instance of CollectionBuilder-GH following these steps (links to documentation are included):

  1. Log in to GitHub (https://github.com/)
  2. Copy the CollectionBuilder-GH template (follow the “Generate from Template” documentation and choose the “GH (GitHub pages)” repository option: https://collectionbuilder.github.io/cb-docs/docs/repository/create/#generate-from-template)
  3. Turn on GitHub Pages (https://collectionbuilder.github.io/cb-docs/docs/deploy/gh-pages/)
  4. Objects:
  5. Metadata:
  6. Configure site-wide settings using the _config.yml file (https://collectionbuilder.github.io/cb-docs/docs/config/)
  7. At this point your site should be functional! GitHub Pages can take a minute or two to update, so after you’ve edited your _config.yml file, wait a bit, then refresh your GitHub Pages site to see your objects appear.
  8. Configure a few display options using the _data/theme.yml file (https://collectionbuilder.github.io/cb-docs/docs/theme/). Commit any changes you make, then refresh your site to see the results.
  9. Further configure and customize pages using a few of the _data/config- csv files (https://collectionbuilder.github.io/cb-docs/docs/customization/). Commit any changes you make, then refresh your site to see the results.

Note: you can also follow along with these steps using our video tutorial (https://collectionbuilder.github.io/workshop/gh/), but please note that these videos are a little out of date so you’ll want to refer to the documentation linked above as well.

If you’d like to prepare your own objects and metadata for your digital collection instead of using the demo data, follow these guidelines:

  1. Prep objects for your digital collection
    • Number: 10-30 objects
    • Formats: jpg, pdf, mp3, YouTube, Vimeo
    • Size: GitHub repositories are limited to 1GB, so make sure the total size of your objects folder is less than around 500MB. Secondly, since CollectionBuilder-GH does not use thumbnails, keep your objects to a reasonable size for access on the web. The objects are usually not your full resolution versions. For example, jpg images about 1000px wide and pdfs less than 1 MB will work well.
    • Location: for easy uploading to GitHub, gather your prepared objects in one folder on your computer.
  2. Prep metadata