Digitizing Murder: Inventory, Platform Choices, and Web Sites, Oh My!

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The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor donated files from the Sam Sheppard trials to our library, with the understanding that the library would digitize all fifty-plus boxes of materials in 18 months. The materials include thousands of documents, photos and physical items from the 1954 murder trial which found Dr. Sam Sheppard guilty of murdering his wife, the subsequent appeals, culminating in the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Sheppard v. Maxwell, the 1966 retrial, where Dr. Sam was acquitted and the 2000 civil wrongful imprisonment lawsuit against the State of Ohio. This presentation will discuss our workflow from inventory to web site development, and all the challenges along the way. In particular, we will discuss our choice of Digital Commons as a platform for the collection, and how we are working to build the collection within the parameters of the Digital Commons platform.

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