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Digital Library Program

Main Library E170

1320 E. 10 th St.





August 2, 2005


Ms. Martha L. Crawley

Senior Program Officer

Institute of Museum and Library Services

1800 M St. NW, 9 th Floor

Washington DC 20036-5802


Dear Ms. Crawley:


In response to your e-mail of July 26, I am pleased to provide the following additional information regarding Indiana University’s 2005 IMLS National Leadership Grant application LG-05-05-0209, titled Variations3: An Integrated Digital Library and Learning System for the Music Community.


If the project is funded by IMLS, Indiana University will take the following actions, in addition to those outlined in our original proposal:


  1. Funding for graduate assistant tuition support will not be provided from IMLS funding but from other university sources, as shown in the attached revised project budget.
  2. We will establish an advisory board to help inform the development of Variations3, with membership to be approved by IMLS. This board will include representatives of the following communities: Music Library Association, Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR), the Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard (METS), cooperative cataloging, and open source software development. A total of $15,000 in travel funding has been reallocated in the attached revised budget to fund three meetings of the advisory board in Bloomington.
  3. We will ensure that the Variations3 test sites represent a diversity of institutional types, sizes, financial resources, and technical infrastructures. The two test sites identified in our proposal are the Ohio State University, a large public research university, and the Tri-College Consortium consisting of Haverford, Bryn Mawr, and Swarthmore Colleges, representing small liberal arts colleges. We plan to seek two additional test sites, one of which would ideally be a standalone music conservatory to represent the third type of institution we see as a potential implementer of Variations3.
  4. We will consult with the Moving Image Collections (MIC) project on issues of metadata mapping and community development.
  5. As part of our second Interim Narrative Report to IMLS after year one of the project, we will submit a proposed model for cooperative metadata.

I should note that Indiana University’s fringe benefit rates have changed since the original proposal submission, and these changes are also reflected in the attached revised budget.



In response to your requests for more information on the sustainability of Variations3 as a bibliographic utility and on the relationship between Variations3 and the Johns Hopkins University Digital Audio Archives Project, I offer the following clarifications:


  1. Effective support of metadata creation in the Variations3 model will require the adoption of a model for cooperative cataloging. We envision users of the Variations3 system will be able to retrieve and deposit records created according to the project data model into a shared cataloging resource. This shared resource will therefore be a bibliographic utility of a sort; however, its scope and operation might likely be very different than traditional bibliographic utilities such as OCLC and RLIN. Support for cooperative cataloging activities may be based on a centralized database of records, similar to existing bibliographic utilities, or on a completely distributed system of record sharing between institutions based on a peer-to-peer model. As part of this project, we plan to design models based on both approaches and then evaluate them in terms of workflow, technical feasibility, cost, and prospects for sustainability. At first glance, the fully distributed model appears to require less ongoing support than the centralized model as long as institutions continue to use the Variations3 system, though both models require some amount of centralized support. As part of this project, we will work with our test sites and with other potential implementers to develop a plan for the continued support of both the Variations3 software and metadata model, which could include establishment of a consortium or other membership organization to fund continued software development and maintenance of other necessary central services.
  2. Indiana University is a subcontractor on the IMLS National Leadership Grant-funded Digital Audio Archives Project (DAAP) at Johns Hopkins University. The DAAP and Variations3 projects are complementary. The primary focus of DAAP is on the development of best practices and workflow management systems for large-scale audio digitization and on the creation of a body of digitized content from the recording archives of the Indiana University School of Music. In addition, Johns Hopkins University is developing a simple digital audio library system based on Greenstone or other open-source digital library software to provide basic access to publicly available digitized audio.

    Variations3 is a comprehensive digital music library and learning system, going far beyond the basic access capabilities developed in DAAP and intended for institutions who wish to integrate both local and licensed digital music content (both audio and scores) deeply into their teaching, learning, and research activities. Variations3 will be capable of ingesting the content digitized by the DAAP project, as well as additional content digitized later using workflows and procedures developed as part of DAAP.

Thank you for your consideration of our application, and please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any additional questions.






Jon W. Dunn

Associate Director for Technology

Indiana University Digital Library Program