What is UCME: the Utah Collections Multimedia Encyclopedia?
Purpose: UCME, the Utah Collections Multimedia Encyclopedia, is a project designed to give educators, students and the general public ready access to digital collections of Utah-related information and media items, specifically about the history, culture, geography, and landforms of the state.
Needs Assessment: An initial assessment conducted by the project team confirmed that there was a real need for a repository of media items about the state of Utah. In the mid 1990s, the Utah State Board of Education redesigned the state’s core curriculum standards and objectives in the Social Studies. At the time, a widely accepted textbook did not exist for the new curriculum. Consequently, educators had pressing demand for access to educational materials about the state of Utah.
Encouraging the discovery and exploration of information about Utah, UCME helps users compare and contrast primary and secondary resource materials from a wide variety of contributors. In this way, selected media items can be threaded together into novel and appetizing intellectual combinations that would otherwise never be seen side-by-side. In addition to its search and browsing features, UCME provides extensive options for downloading and repurposing any media item.
Participants: At its inception, Utah Collections was also a means for both the University of Utah's Media Solutions department and public television station PBS Utah to re-purpose a portion of the vast repositories of intellectual property they had created over the past 20 years. Many valuable documentaries and instructional programs were either inaccessible or had limited availability to Utah’s educators. The project made these resources available in a digital form, segmented and sized as learning objects or media elements of shorter durations, that were easily inserted into busy classroom activities.
Many institutions and organizations throughout the state of Utah were excited to participate and share their media items. Content contributors included: KUER-FM, the University of Utah Press, The Utah State Historical Society, the Utah Arts Council, the J. Willard Marriott Library, the Red Butte Garden and Arboretum, and the Utah Museum of Fine Arts. (see: What Collections are Included?)
Project Development Team: A dedicated team of developers was (and is) associated with the UCME project. Their commitment and tenacity for quality work are embodied in the media items and collections that you are able to search, display, and download. Enormous thanks is extended to...
Funding: The entire project was made possible by funding from almost a dozen different foundations, organizations, and entities, whose generosity and commitment to the educational mission of UCME was outstanding and unparalleled. For a list of our funders, please see the web page: How was the UCME Project Funded?
Phase 1: CD-ROMs: Ultimately, after five years of indexing and production, the Utah Collections Multimedia Encyclopedia offered access to 6700 digital videos, audio clips, images, maps, charts and text articles about Utah’s geography, history, natural history, art and cultures. In its first year, 1996, the project produced a CD-ROM for both Windows-based and Macintosh computers. The CD afforded a locally run, robust interaction with the digital assets found in UCME. With continuing changes in computer operating systems, the CD-ROM version of UCME was eventually no longer supported.
Phase 2: World Wide Web: In a second phase of development, a World Wide Web site was designed and deployed, using a database to house the content of the collections and a customized search engine to allow users to find any topic and media type they wanted. In 1997, such a database-driven web site was not just unusual, but was the first of its kind. Because of the scalable nature of the web site and the growing number of schools, universities and homes with Internet access, all newly collected assets were posted to the UCME web site rather than distributed as additional CD-ROM volumes.
Phase 3: Migration to UEN Digital Media Service: And now, UCME has moved into a third phase. With the growth of enterprise class digital asset management systems, the UCME project is pleased to offer its collections of digital media items to the Utah Education Network's Digital Media Service for K-12 (eMedia portal), for Higher Education (CollegeMedia portal), and the general public (MediaHub portal).
As part of the transition to UEN, all UCME digital files were re-encoded using the latest file formats, thus greatly improving the quality of the materials first collected and distributed in the mid-1990s. As well, video clips with sound are now closed captioned and transcripts are provided for all audio assets.
A total of 6671 media items are now migrated into UCME's new home at the UEN Digital Media Service.
For an overview of the various collections, please see the web page: What Collections are Included?
Visit UCME's new home and search its 6700 resources.
Learn more about the UCME project with these links. Go to UCME's New Home at UEN