Library Contributes to Digital Archive
The University Library has joined the Open Content Alliance (OCA), an international group of cultural, technological, governmental, and nonprofit organizations working to build a permanent archive of digitized text and multimedia content. OCA partners also include Adobe Systems, Smithsonian Institution Libraries, the Universities of California, Chicago, and Texas, and Yahoo!
Formed less than two years ago, OCA has digitized and made available over 100,000 electronic books in the public domain, all downloadable through its parent organization, the Internet Archive. The University Library is poised to contribute significantly to the alliance: by year’s end, Library staff anticipate digitizing and uploading to the Internet Archive about 6,000 volumes. All digitization will be conducted at the new OCA Scanning Center in the Library’s high-density shelving facility.
“Our partnership with OCA represents a very significant milestone for our Library, positioning us to share our rich collections much more easily with people in Illinois and throughout the world,” said Karen Schmidt, acting university librarian at Illinois. “We can take our reputation for strong collections and progressive sharing of these resources to the next level through this digital work.”
Last year, the Library received nearly $1 million to invigorate its mass digitization program: $200,000 each from the Provost’s and Illinois Comptroller’s Offices and an additional $500,000 from the Illinois Legislature through an initiative led by Representative Naomi D. Jakobsson. The funding supports OCA projects, staffing costs, and a server to store new digital content. It also supports development of the Illinois Harvest Portal, a “virtual doorway” to resources on the Web, including items digitized at the Library, resources about the state of Illinois that have been digitized elsewhere, and full-text articles by scholars from the University of Illinois as well as other academic institutions in the state.
Current scanning projects include:
Some digitization projects have provided an opportunity for the Library to collaborate with other institutions, including the Chicago Field Museum. Through this collaboration and digitization of the Fieldana series, the Library has been named as a participating member of the Biodiversity Heritage Library Project, which is working to digitize the published literature of biodiversity held in the collections of member institutions.
The Library looks forward to working with individual faculty to support their teaching and research efforts. For more information, please contact Betsy Kruger, head of circulation and coordinator for digital content creation at 4-2062 or email@example.com.
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