Alabama Mosaic

FAQs

What is AlabamaMosaic?

AlabamaMosaic is an online repository of digital materials about Alabama's history, culture, places, and people. Its purpose is to make 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. It was originally created to support the curriculum enrichment guide, Alabama Moments in American History, developed by the Alabama Department of Archives and History for the study of Alabama history. Since then, the repository has evolved into a general-puproose collection of publicly available images and documents on the state and its history.

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 or individual 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 added to AlabamaMosaic must be made available for educational and research use at no charge to the end user.

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

Yes. AlabamaMosaic is organized especially to help any repository create digital collections for public access. AlabamaMosaic is a statewide effort, and its current contributors assist other sites by giving advice on planning and creating digital collections. Most can also assist with some training. Potential contributors are encouraged to schedule a site visit to the Auburn University Libraries, the University of Alabama Libraries, or the Alabama Department of Archives and History for training in getting started. An advantage of participating is that AlabamaMosaic is designed to assist smaller repositories with creating digital collections so they do not have to first invest in new equipment or special digital content management software.

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. We will also give you instructions for downloading and installing the AlabamaMosaic client software, which is provided at no cost to you. Depending on your experience with digitization, you may be encouraged to schedule a site visit for training at the Auburn University Libraries in Auburn, the University of Alabama Libraries in Tuscaloosa, or the Alabama Department of Archives and History in Montgomery-whichever is most convenient for you.

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, training on using CONTENTdm, 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
Guide to Becoming an AlabamaMosaic Contributor

Does AlabamaMosaic provide training to use the client software?

Yes. We use CONTENTdm software from OCLC. Librarians at NAAL member libraries have volunteered to help new contributors learn to use it. From time to time, OCLC also sponsors online training sessions. To learn more about CONTENTdm, visit the OCLC site and read the "CONTENTdm Overview".

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. Also, please credit the source.

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 http://www.alabamamosaic.org/ on [date]"

What is copyright?

Copyright is the legal right granted by the U. S. Government (U.S. Code, Title 17) to the creators of original works. A creator is an author, composer, playwright, musician, or artist, among others. Copyright is granted to give the creator (or designated agent such as publisher) the exclusive right to publish, produce, sell, or distribute a literary, musical, dramatic, or artistic work. Copyright applies to both published and unpublished works.

The U. S. Copyright Office provides helpful information on understanding copyright, including "Copyright Basics" and a tutorial for students and teachers, "Taking the Mystery out of Copyright."

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 AlabamaMosaic 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 use the content and still obey copyright laws?

Contributors to AlabamaMosaic agree to post only materials that can be used without copyright restrictions for education and personal research. There are no restrictions on using AlabamaMosaic content for instruction, homework assignments, class projects, or other educational purposes. You may also use AlabamaMosaic content for personal research (genealogy, for example), as long as the content is not published or distributed for financial gain.

May I use the materials from AlabamaMosaic for a published article?

AlabamaMosaic content is made available for use in education and for personal research only. For other uses, you should ask permission or take a legal risk of using copyrighted materials without permission. These materials may not be used for commercial purposes without explicit, prior written permission from the copyright owner. To obtain such permission, contact the contributing repository. AlabamaMosaic images are low-resolution copies, and these are not generally suitable for publication. Higher quality images may be available from the repository for publication.

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. Information about obtaining copies, as well as contact information, should appear in the "Rights" statement that is attached to every item in the repository. 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.

Whom should I contact if I have other questions about AlabamaMosaic?

For general questions, please contact:

Tracey Berezansky
Alabama Department of Archives & History (ADAH)
P.O. Box 300100
624 Washington Avenue
Montgomery, AL 36130-0100
Phone: (334) 242-4452
E-mail:

Midge Coates
Auburn University Libraries
Auburn University, AL 36849
Phone: (334) 844-8716
E-mail:

For technical questions, please contact:

Clint Bellanger
Auburn University Libraries
Auburn University, AL 36849
Phone: (334) 844-1747
E-mail: