Alabama Mosaic

FAQs

What is AlabamaMosaic?

AlabamaMosaic makes unique historical treasures from Alabama's archives, libraries, museums, and other repositories electronically accessible to Alabama residents and to students, researchers, and the general public in other states and countries. We do this by acting as a centralized searchable index for digital materials held by institutions across the state.

While we are not a repository of materials ourselves, we make other repositories more discoverable and accessible by indexing them here. Items you find while searching will take you to the item’s home repository. For example, if you find an item held by the Alabama Department of Archives and History, the page you access in AlabamaMosaic will have a link that directs you to that item in ADAH’s collection. You will need to follow the link to see that item.

How is AlabamaMosaic managed?

AlabamaMosaic was initiated under a National Leadership Grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and is now a program of the Network of Alabama Academic Libraries (NAAL). The NAAL policy which governs AlabamaMosaic can be found at the NAAL Web site.

AlabamaMosaic is operated and managed by Auburn University Libraries on behalf of NAAL. The digital content is contributed by people and institutions participating in AlabamaMosaic. See Contributing Partners for an up-to-date list of participating institutions.

What kinds of materials are in AlabamaMosaic?

AlabamaMosaic contains digitized materials from libraries and archives. It includes digitized photographs, letters, manuscripts, postcards, books, maps, and slides, as well as digital files of audio recordings. Go to Browse Collections on AlabamaMosaic, click on the name of a contributor to see the collections and the kinds of materials that have been included.

Who can contribute materials to AlabamaMosaic?

Any institution with materials related to Alabama can apply to contribute. There is no charge to contribute digital materials to the database or to use AlabamaMosaic. Digital files indexed on AlabamaMosaic must be made available for educational and research use at no charge to the end user.

Which content management systems are supported by AlabamaMosaic?

We support content management systems that use OAI-PMH plugins to make their metadata available to us. OAI-PMH stands for Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting. This is a mechanism that allows repositories to expose their structured metadata for their digital collections, which we then harvest into the search index.

In order for us to harvest metadata, the collection holder must have 'turned on' OAI-PMH access and provided us with an address for their metadata feeds. We currently have harvesting tools for CONTENTdm, DSpace, Omeka, Bepress, and Islandora. If your institution is currently invested in a different CMS that uses OAI-PMH, please contact us, and we will work with you to create a compatible metadata harvesting tool.

We are a small institution with few resources and little digitization experience. Can we still participate in AlabamaMosaic?

AlabamaMosaic is a statewide effort, and its current contributors assist other sites by giving advice on planning and creating digital collections. Contact us for more information on getting started with digital collections.

How do we get started?

First, complete and submit the Join Us form on the AlabamaMosaic Web site. We will review your completed form and get back to you with information on how to proceed-or with any concerns we have about your proposal.

Once your institution has been accepted as an AlabamaMosaic contributor, we will make every effort to help you. You can request advice on planning your digital collection, selecting appropriate scanning equipment, creating Dublin Core metadata, or other topics.

Our advice: start small. Do not try to create and contribute large digital collections until you gain experience in selecting and scanning materials for the collection, as well as creating metadata.

Useful Links
Required and Recommended Metadata Fields for AlabamaMosaic Contributors

Does it cost anything to use images from AlabamaMosaic?

No. AlabamaMosaic is available for educational and research use at no cost. Anyone can use the content for instruction and personal research. However, there may be a charge to obtain high-resolution versions of the materials in AlabamaMosaic. Contact the contributing institution for information on reproduction fees.

May I use the materials from AlabamaMosaic for class work and school assignments?

Yes. The primary purpose of AlabamaMosaic is to support the study of Alabama history. The items in AlabamaMosaic may be used for classroom instruction, homework assignments, class projects, or other educational purposes. Use of the items should be consistent with U. S. Copyright Law (U.S. Code, Title 17) and the guidelines for fair use. The source should be credited appropriately.

How do I credit the source?

If you use images from AlabamaMosaic, you should credit the source in any of your copies. Proper "attribution" or credit includes the creator/author of the item, the name of the item, the name of the copyright holder, and the phrase "Downloaded from [institution name] on [date]"

How does copyright apply to AlabamaMosaic?

All the digital files in AlabamaMosaic are protected by copyrights held by the institutions that scanned the original materials. The original materials which were scanned may also be protected by copyright. The digital image may be used for instruction and personal research under the provision of "fair use" in U. S. Copyright Law. Under fair use, you may view, print, copy, and download digital files from the hosting institution without prior permission provided that you give proper credit to the source of the material every time you use it.

Use of the materials in AlabamaMosaic for commercial purposes or in publications is not permitted without prior permission. If you wish to use images from AlabamaMosaic in a publication or a commercial product, please contact the contributing institution for information about obtaining permission.

Can I buy prints or high-resolution copies of items in AlabamaMosaic?

Generally, yes. Most institutions offer prints or high-resolution digital copies of materials contributed to AlabamaMosaic, for a fee. Please contact the contributing institution for information about the copyright status and permitted use of a specific item, or to inquire about obtaining a high-resolution copy for personal or commercial use.