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NC State Libraries Adds Data Mining To Archive Usage

North Carolina State University Libraries is shifting its contractual agreements with external archive collections to include text and data mining as part of its access. One of the latest deals involves the American history archives maintained by Accessible Archives, a company whose collection is managed by Unlimited Priorities, which negotiated the terms on its behalf.

Text and data mining involves computationally intensive techniques for examining and transforming data and metadata within the digitized content. The process uses high-speed computing technology to explore large data sets in order to uncover meaningful patterns and rules.

The university's libraries have undertaken a major project to align its collections with emerging needs in research informatics, including providing its users the capacity for text and data mining of purchased and licensed resources.

"Through this model agreement, Unlimited Priorities and Accessible Archives have become even stronger partners with libraries in supporting the current and emerging needs of researchers," said Darby Orcutt, assistant head of collection management at the institution's libraries. "They quickly and positively responded to the opportunity for a win-win relationship in this area. Not only does this agreement open up large and high-quality historical datasets for mining by our users, but as scholars come to understand this content in ways that only such computational research makes possible, the value of these resources for academia correspondingly increases."

The Accessible Archives databases contain primary source materials from books, newspapers and periodicals across 18th and 19th century American history and culture. Unlimited Priorities handles sales and marketing, among other work, for the archive company.

"We recognize our responsibility to our library clients to ensure that all their content needs are met, whether they are involved in digitization or simply using current databases," said Unlimited Priorities President Iris Hanney. "Our awareness of the ongoing growth of cutting-edge technology allowed us to respond to NC State's needs, and we look forward to continuing to work with them and other clients to support the utilization of their archival materials in every way, including data mining and similar areas."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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