Digitization: 2018 Town Documents Data Mining

Purpose: We are looking for updated materials that have been added to the web since the initial data mining project which began in 2013.  Per consultation with Special Collections, the documents to search for are:  town reports, zoning maps, ordinances (found on a town’s website), charters, comprehensive plans and low frequency newsletters.


Here is a list of Maine town and city names pulled from Wikipedia.   Note: This helpful list designates some towns as cities.  Be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the site for link to the “city” list.  https://ipfs.io/ipfs/QmXoypizjW3WknFiJnKLwHCnL72vedxjQkDDP1mXWo6uco/wiki/List_of_towns_in_Maine.html

Some towns have their comprehensive plans on their website.  If not found there another resource to check is :  https://www.maine.gov/dacf/municipalplanning/comp_plans/

Typically most towns include zoning maps on their webpage(s) but an additional resource for municipal maps is: https://publicrecords.onlinesearches.com/Maine-GIS-and-Mapping.htm



  1. Search DC to see what is available for a given municipality
  2. Search web for new documents; usually search on phrase,”[town name Maine] town office.” [Note: This is especially fruitful for small municipalities]
  3. Download unique documents that fit the above noted criteria
    1. Use Acrobat to combine multiple ordinance documents to one file [see ancillary instruction]
  4. Print files to PDF – (this step compresses and standardizes viewing size to 8.5×11”) [see ancillary instruction]
  5. Run file through Adobe OCR; test using “find” command
    1. If file still large (20MB typically maximum) after Adobe OCR, use Abbyy for further compression.
  6. Ingest individual completed file(s) to DC; facilitates providing URL to Cataloging Unit
  7. Prepare spreadsheet to forward to Cataloging Unit (Cason)
  8. Notify Cason of additions to spreadsheet; he will parse out the cataloging workflow.
  9. Cataloging team will update holdings in OCLC as well as add 856 field to URSUS record.

Ordinances with multiples editions available.  Decision: keep them all and load them as separate documents in Digital Commons.  For example, Wiscasset 2009 (archived), 2013 and 2017 pending.  See this suite of examples for Wiscassett

[appended 10/2/18]

Ordinance Exclusions:  Some municipalities use a 3rd party to publish their ordinances – in these instances we are not including the documents in this project.  An example of ordinances (from Augusta) excluded can be found at:  https://www.ecode360.com/AU3534


To combine several files to a single PDF:

  1. Open Adobe Acrobat Pro
  2. Click on “Combine files to a PDF”
  3. From the Add Files menu, select Add Files
  4. Navigate to files to be combined
  5. Select all files, click on Open
  6. Click on “Combine Files”
  7. Save resulting file


To print to PDF (this step compresses file and is necessary to enhance patron usability):

  1. Open file
  2. From the File menu, click on Print
  3. In the Print dialog box, select Adobe PDF in the Printer drop down menu
  4. Click on Print
  5. Save file


Draft: 9/17/18 shr; rev. 10/11/18