DS-Access is a data capture utility created to facilitate the contribution of metadata for the Digital Scriptorium online web database project. Based on the Microsoft Access platform, it was originally developed in 1997 at the University of California, Berkeley by John Hassan and Merrilee Proffitt, with content specifications by Consuelo Dutschke. Since that date it has undergone several modifications, although underlying structures remain unchanged. After many small and an occasional large change in its structure and fields, it settled into the tool used through Phase II of the DS project.
With Phase III, and the movement of DS to Columbia University, the database underwent an entire reworking from the bottom up. Every table, query, form and report changed in order to make the database more readily updatable in the future (via transparency in naming conventions), less liable to human error in inputting (via automating features), and much stronger in predicting and tracking workflow patterns (those of the inputter; those of the photographer; those of the technical analyst who will merge data from many institutions). The architecture of the database thus remains identical, while its functionalities are completely rebuilt. In addition, the database has been compiled into a runtime version to avoid complications of varying versions of Microsoft Access held by the partner institutions.
Dmitri Laury of Columbia's Libraries Digital Programs Division, in consultation with other members of the LDPD team, in particular Terry Catapano (Systems Analyst) and Dave Ortiz (Imaging Specialist), envisioned, planned and executed this fundamental revision of DS-Access.
For more information about the newest version DS-Access, see About Version 9.