Libraries launch preview of new Emory Digital Collections resource

The Emory Libraries have launched a beta preview of Emory Digital Collections. This new online resource is a key offering of the Digital Library Program (DLP), a multi-year Emory Libraries strategic initiative to deliver long-term digital access to distinctive cultural heritage and scholarship collections from Emory University. The Emory Digital Collections site is the digital front door to the Libraries’ newly redesigned preservation repository. The site provides direct access to new material not discoverable in the Libraries catalog, with many of the materials open to the public.

Students at Clark Atlanta University dressed in costume holding a starStudents at Clark Atlanta University dressed in costume holding a star. From the Robert Langmuir African American Photograph Collection.

In its beta launch, the site features three collections containing over 12,000 digital objects from the Emory Libraries, including the Robert Langmuir African American Photograph Collection from the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library; the Woodruff Health Sciences Center Library Artifact collection; and the Oxford College Collection of Asian Artifacts. These pilot collections include high-resolution digitized photographs, postcards, and digital photographs of historic artifacts held by the Libraries. The project team will also ingest over 1,200 digitized books this summer. The Libraries plan to bring online hundreds of additional digital collections over the coming years. In future releases, the site will also expand its scope to provide access to audio, video and other types of material from across the Emory Libraries.

Users familiar with searching library resources will find many of the same advanced search features and rich descriptions of material within the Emory Digital Collections site, while also gaining direct access to the content within the application’s interface and an enhanced browsing experience. Using an open-source plugin called the Universal Viewer, users can pan and zoom in on content as well as downloading, sharing and embedding content via HTML snippets and IIIF (International Image Interoperability Framework) links. Collections and digital objects in the repository all have persistent URLs for durable linking and sharing. Built using a responsive and accessible design, Emory Digital Collections can easily be used on a variety of web-enabled devices including tablets or phones.

The Emory Digital Collections interface sits above a platform of interrelated applications and integrations supporting the Libraries’ larger preservation mission. The robust digital asset management and preservation system is built on the Samvera community-sourced framework, which was co-developed by dozens of peer institutions in the cultural heritage sector. The larger technical infrastructure provides complex metadata and rights management, large-scale file management, and integrity monitoring and stores multiple copies of assets in geographically distinct regions.   

The project team welcomes feedback during its beta launch phase in order to enhance the usability of the resource. To send feedback or questions, email Emily Porter, digital repository program manager, at eporter [at] emory [dot] edu.