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The proliferation of electronic information—full-text documents, electronic journals, datasets, and multimedia files—has transformed the way that the libraries around the world acquire, organize, store, preserve, and deliver information. Digitization is a multifaceted process that involves many steps, from selecting materials to capturing images and ensuring copyright clearance. So far, University Libraries has digitized some of its collections with one great goal in mind: making them available to students, faculty, and the world via the Web.

Outside view of Culter after remodel
Culter, Ohio University

The continued digitization and preservation of our collections remain a priority for us.

The digitization of cultural heritage materials, prevalent in many of the University Libraries’ special collections, is particularly labor-intensive. Capturing high-quality images of fragile materials handled in a secure environment requires skill and an eye for color so that we can replicate, as closely as possible, the experience of viewing the original document. The most challenging and arguably the most important piece of the puzzle is creating the “metadata,” the descriptive terms that enable users to locate and search through specific materials online.

Providing high-quality digitization and care of more of these library resources will extend our reach, showcasing Ohio University’s resources to global audiences. As more students and scholars from around the world are able to search our collections remotely, our notoriety and reputation will increase. Supporting digital initiatives will ensure a technologically current, inter-connected, full-service library that supports global access to knowledge from OHIO’s rare and unique collections, like the E.W. Scripps Papers, University Archives, and the Alwin Nikolais and Murray Louis Dance Collection.