Friday, February 7, 2014

UW Digital Collections

In relation to the idea of digital preservation, I thought it would be interesting to look at some of the ways libraries at UW are ensuring their materials are transitioning into the digital realm.

One of my favorite examples of what Paul Conway would consider "digitization for preservation" (if I'm understanding the distinction correctly) is the UW Digital Collections Twitter feed, which can be found at Surprisingly hilarious, the feed often connects resources from UW's past to current topical issues. Case in point, this tweet:

Which leads you to this picture:

While some may argue the usefulness of such resources, I recognize that I have a much clearer picture of the scope of the UW collection, just based on the few humorous tweets they post everyday. And for those of you who may not prefer Twitter, there is a UW digital collections Facebook page as well: 

Along with the Twitter feed, I came across this article from UW-News about the Robinson Map Library, which is housed in the Science Hall on UW-Madison's campus. 

The article profiles Jaime Stoltenberg, and her library's collection of aerial photos, maps, and data from various governmental surveys. What I found refreshing about Stoltenberg's attitude towards digitization of materials was a quote near the end of the article: 

"Going forward, Stoltenberg is working on a project to make the library’s data collections downloadable so students can more easily access the information, such as assessment data and tax parcels. “(It) kind of defeats the purpose of born-digital data when you really think about it, someone having to be a gatekeeper,” she says."

There are many more examples of libraries at UW-Madison digitizing materials, which just goes to support the shifting nature of digital preservation.

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