Member Story: TDL-hosted Galveston Bay Bibliography disseminates essential information for researchers

iStock 000000899863Medium galveston bay webversion Member Story: TDL hosted Galveston Bay Bibliography disseminates essential information for researchers

A wading bird on the shoreline of Galveston Bay.

It produces one-third of the state’s commercial fishing income and accommodates the third largest concentration of recreational boats in the US. It serves as a spawning ground and nursery for a rich and varied mix of wildlife, including shrimp, crabs, fish, and oysters. It is at the center of one of the world’s busiest shipping hubs. Some four million people live in the counties that border it.

What is it? Galveston Bay, the 600 mile area of Texas where the Gulf of Mexico meets and mingles with fresh water sources like the Trinity and San Jacinto Rivers. Like all estuaries it is a tremendously productive natural and economic resource, and TDL member Texas A&M Galveston works to safeguard its future through the Galveston Bay Information Center (GBIC), a clearinghouse of information resources about the Galveston Bay Area.

The Texas Digital Library hosts a key piece of the GBIC collection, the Galveston Bay Bibliography, which is stored and disseminated through Texas A&M Galveston’s TDL-hosted DSpace repository. The Bibliography includes references to some 10,000 works of historical and current research and artifacts related to Galveston Bay, including maps, published and unpublished reports, books, videos, photographs, charts, computer files, and press releases.

“The Bibliography is really the core of the information center,” said GBIC research assistant Kristen Willis. “It’s where people come to answer their questions for research or other needs, and having it available online is incredibly valuable in this information age.”

Many of the references in the Galveston Bay Bibliography include the digital items themselves or links to those available online. However, the bibliographic references alone provide important information about available resources, according to Willis, and most of the physical items can be found at the GBIC and the Jack K. Williams Library at Texas A&M Galveston, where the GBIC resides.

The GBIC moved the Galveston Bay Bibliography to its TDL-hosted DSpace repository from a legacy system that was more costly and labor intensive. With the GBIC losing state funding in June 2010, the need for a solution that was cost effective and required minimal technical labor grew stronger. As Texas A&M Galveston was a member of the TDL consortium, they opted to use the existing DSpace repository hosted by TDL as part of their membership.

Through a collaborative effort between GBIC and TDL technical staff, the bibliographic records were migrated from an existing Access database to DSpace. Since the initial migration, Willis has added roughly 800 new records to the bibliography.

The Galveston Bay Bibliography is available at http://repositories.tdl.org/tamug-ir/handle/1969.3/10190.  For more information about the Bibliography and the Galveston Bay Information Center, please contact Kristen Willis at willisk@tamug.edu.

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