Charles Cooke, Jessie Maye Smith's nephew, had a vision of his aunt's birding columns being available for research on the internet. He scanned the columns and their respective tear sheets according to Library of Congress specifications. In 2005, The University of Texas at Arlington Library Special Collections received the donations of the original Fort Worth Star-Telegram tear sheets from the Jessie Maye Smith estate, and the digital scans of the same from Charles Cooke. The project was incorporated into the Library's strategic plan in 2005/2006.
Each column has been converted from a TIFF image into a PDF file. Optical character recognition (OCR) allows the columns to be searched in their entirely by keyword. In addition, each column has been catalogued using Dublin Core. Subject headings were assigned using a custom-created bird name thesaurus.
This digital collection and its website have been a collaborative effort of several program areas within The University of Texas at Arlington Library: Digital Library Services, Metadata Services, Information Services, The Science & Engineering Library, and Special Collections.
Original column tear sheets: Jessie Maye Smith Fort Worth Star-Telegram Birding Columns Collection, AR481, OS Boxes 460-463, The University of Texas at Arlington Library Special Collections, Arlington, Texas.
Scans of column tear sheets: Gift of Charles Cooke to The University of Texas at Arlington Library Special Collections, 2005.
Photos of Jessie Maye Smith: Courtesy Fort Worth Star-Telegram Collection, The University of Texas at Arlington Special Collections, Arlington, Texas.
Photos of birds: Courtesy of Felton Beasley.
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