Profiles of Academic Library Efforts to Develop & Publicize Special & Digital Collections

Profiles of Academic Library Efforts to Develop & Publicize Special & Digital Collections

Collection Use

Digital collections are stored and accessed via the LUNA platform as well as the OMEKA platform, which is a digital collection tool created at George Mason’s Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media. Use of the collections is tracked through Google analytics and other online analytic tools, and all descriptions are Google searchable.

Digital collection use was also facilitated through the creation of DiSC that expanded the opportunity for students and faculty to explore new ways to experience and manipulate data and digital collections.


This engaging report profiles the efforts of five higher education institutions of different types and dimensions – George Mason University, the University of South Florida, Pennsylvania State University, Pacific Lutheran University, and the University of Central Florida – to develop and especially to publicize and market their special and digital collections. Among the issues covered are: assessing the needs of primary end users such as student, faculty and researchers; transitioning from an acquisitions-based to a services-based approach to collection development; digital archive creation; treatment of born-digital materials; the incorporation of special collections into open access strategies and general coursework; and cataloging, findability, email promotion and social media strategies. The author also explores the growing use for special and digital collections of institutional digital repositories.Other issues of note discussed include the use of 3D mapping, use of emerging technology platforms and tools such as SiteImprove, BitCurator, ArchivesGrid, Aeon, SketchFab and others, as well as strategies for developing key partnerships and collaborations both within and outside academic institutions, and much more of interest to anyone involved in developing and marketing library special and digital collections.

Collection Priories
Collection Use
Cataloging & Findability
Promotion & Marketing
Partnerships & Collaborations

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