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Digital Collections Inventory Report

By Patricia A. McClung
February 1996

A Linear version of this text, suitable for printing is available (128 Kilobytes)



CPA/CLR Inventory
The Data
Finding out about Digitized Collections

Preliminary Results of the CPA/CLR Digital Collections Inventory

conducted by
Patricia A. McClung
August 1995
(Updated, December 1995)

For discussion purposes, and in an attempt to find coherence in what is still a very chaotic and fluid information environment, the survey results are grouped as follows:

I. Very large projects featuring national literature, history, and/or politics
II. Examples of broad subject areas with significant activity
(e.g. law; literature, history, and culture; and science and technology)
III. Examples of special, archival, and manuscript collections
IV. Infrastructure projects and “List of Lists”

Admittedly, these categories are arbitrary. Several other groupings could have been made (and, in fact, were before settling on these). The important thing was to find a logical framework, arbitrary or not, to give a sense of the types and scale of activities that are increasingly available to scholars at all levels and in all fields.

In general, the focus is on the conversion of library collections. Occasionally, commercial projects are mentioned when their content features existing library collections. CD-ROM publications and videodisk projects were not included. Examples of other types of initiatives–e.g. electronic text and image database projects–are mentioned in a few instances, in order to highlight the range of activity underway. Projects are listed only once, even if they might logically fit under several headings.

The report concludes with a section that describes several significant projects aimed at defining and improving the existing infrastructure for on line access to information. It also mentions some noteworthy Websites that lead to digital collections online. The are intended to be illustrative of the hundreds of similar sources increasingly available on the Internet.

I. Very Large Projects Featuring National Literature, History, and/or Politics
National Digital Library Project (The Library of Congress)
Bibliotheque Nationale de France Mass Digitization Project
ARTFL: A Textual Database of French Literature, Philosophy, Arts, Sciences, 15th-20th Centuries
Australian Cooperative Digitisation Project (1840-45)
Making of America (Cornell University and the University of Michigan)
Archivo General de Indias, Seville, Spain
II. Examples of Broad Subject Areas with Significant Activity
The law field has a long history of networked access to key resources, pioneered by the Westlaw and Lexis services. A number of law libraries have formed a Consortium for Optical Imaging in order to promote and coordinate scanning activities.10
International Relations Project: Chicago-Kent School of Law
Project Janus: Columbia University Law Library
Project DIANA: University of Cincinnati College of Law
United States Patent Office Project
Patent Express Jukebox
Studies in Scarlet: Research Libraries Group
Brazilian Government Documents Project: Center for Research Libraries/Latin American Microfilm Project (LAMP)
Caribbean Newspaper Project: University of Florida
Ancient Near East and Classics Material: University of Chicago
Papyrus Archives: Duke University
Maine Folklife Center: University of Maine, Fogler Library
Melchior Center for Recent History: University of the Virgin Islands
Project Open Book: Yale University
Burney Collection Microfilm Digitisation: British Library
American Memory: Library of Congress
Steel Worker’s Organizing Committee (SWOC) Collection: Penn State
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Photographic Database
Heinz Electronic-Library Interactive Online System (HELIOS)
Paul Laurence Dunbar: Wright State University
Electronic Beowulf: British Library
Bureau of American Ethnology Reports on Studies of Native Americans:
The Andre Sakharov Papers: Brandeis University
CLASS Project: Cornell University
Networked Computer Science Technical Reports: Cornell University
U. S. Naval Research Laboratory Technical Reports: Ruth H. Hooker Library
DAISY (Dissertations Available on Internet Systems)
Oppenheimer Papers: Library of Congress
The Pauling Collection: Oregon State University
Louis Agassiz Fuertes Papers: Cornell University
National Agricultural Library (NAL) Projects
National Agricultural Library (USDA), Special Collections Program
Pennsylvania Agricultural County Agent Reports Collection: Penn State University
Core Literature of the Agricultural Sciences, 1860-1950: Cornell University
III. Examples of Special, Archival, and Manuscript Collections
Projects that involve scanning of photographic or other pictorial materials are by far the most common. There are probably thousands of them. Kodak Photo CD and other scanning systems have enabled libraries, archives, and museums to experiment with the technology for improving access to these collections. Below is a sampling of the types of image scanning projects that are proliferating. There are still some major technical and legal hurdles in the way of large scale conversion and networked sharing of images. Until these issues are resolved, most of these projects are restricted to local use; however, some are designed to forge solutions to these problems. (See also the listings under Infrastructure Projects.)
Performing Arts Collection: University of Florida
Pacific Collection: University of Hawaii
Israeli Posters: Harvard University Library
Digital Image Access Project: Research Libraries Group
University of Georgia Rare Books and Manuscripts
The Huntington Library
Wright Brothers Photographs: Wright State University
Basel (Switzerland) Mission Archive
Project Delphi: California State University, Long Beach and San Jose State University
California Heritage Digital Access Project: University of Calffornia at Berkeley
Project Utopia: Cornell University
IV. Infrastructure Projects and “List of Lists”
There are a number of significant projects underway–some quite ambitious and well funded–to either resolve issues, establish standards, or build tools that will enhance the effectiveness of an international on line information infrastructure. Noteworthy among these are:

RLG/CPA Task Force on Digital Archiving
Online Books Evaluation Project: Columbia University
Integrated Library Multimedia System Project: New York University
Museum Educational Site Licensing Project (MESL): Geuy Art History
Encoded Archival Description (EAD) Project: University of California at Berkeley
National Digital Library Federation: Commission on Preservation
National Science Foundation
Cultural Heritage Information Online (CHIO): Consortium for the Interchange of Museum Information (CIMO)
Journal Conversion and Access
JSTOR: The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (Hosted by the University of Michigan) Internet Library of Early Journals: Universities of Oxford, Manchester, Birmingham, and Leeds TULIP Prototype Digital Library: IBM and ISI
List of Lists: Selected World Wide Web Internet Addresses for Other Sources of Information about Digital Collections
Clearinghouse of Image Data bases
EJournal SiteGuide: a MetaSource
Examples of Online Resource Guides Accessible Via the Internet
There are innumerable Web-based resource guides available on the Internet. Most refer to at least some digitized collections. A few examples are included to illustrate the kinds of tools that students and scholars already have at their disposal. Any online guide to digital collections should link to sources such as these discipline-based ones.
Latin American Studies:
Medieval Studies:
Literature and Literary Studies:
Electronic Text Archives:
ALEX: A Catalog of Electronic Texts on the Internet:
Electronic Text Center: University of Virginia:
Center for Electronic Texts in the Humanities:
Carnegie Mellon Online Books:


Appendix I
ALA Survey of Imaging Projects


Electronic Imaging Technologies Committee, Compiled May 1994 [Includes responses to an informal survey conducted by the RLMS Electronic Imaging Technologies Committee in March 1993 and May 1994]

1. Archivo General de Indias, Seville, Spain
2. Arizona Sun Newspaper
3. AT&T Information Services
4. Basel (Switzerland) Mission Archive
5. Bodleian Library, Oxford
6. Birmingham Public Library
7. Boulder Public Library
8. Brigham Young University
9. California Polytechnic State University
10. California State Long Beach
12. Cleveland Public Library
13. Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Library
14. Columbia University
15. Columbia University Law School
17. Cornell University
18. Cornell University
19. Cornell University
20. Cornell University
21. Duke University
22. Elsevier TULIP Project
23. Ford Motor Technical Information Center Library
24. Georgetown University
25. Harvard University
26. Library of Congress
27. Louisiana State University
28. Marquette University
29. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
30. Milwaukee Public Museum
31. National Agricultural Library
32. National Agricultural Library Photo Image Project
33. National Gallery
34. National Geographic Society
35. National Railway Museum (UK)
36. Naval Research Laboratory Library
37. North Carolina State University
38. Penn State University
39. Research Libraries Group–AVIADOR Project
40. Research Libraries Group–Digital Image Access Project
41. Rush University
42. San Diego State University
43. Schoenberg Institute
44. Smithsonian Institution
45. Sotheby’s Library
46. State Library of New South Wales (Australia)
47. Thomas Jefferson University
48. Suny-Binghamton
49. United States Patent OFFICE
50. University of Arizona
52. Universlty of California-Los Angeles
53. University of Cincinnati
54. University of Hawaii
55. University of Maine System
56. University of Maryland-College Park
57. University of Massachusetts-Amherst
58. University of North Texas
59. University of Southern California
60. University of Tennessee-Knoxville
61. University of Tennessee-Knoxville
62. University of Victoria
63. Universlty of Virginia
64. Vanderbilt University
65. Walt Disney Pictures Animation Research Library
66. Yale University
Institutions Planning Projects
1. AMGEN Inc.
2. Freer Gallery
3. Harvard University
4. Kenyon College
6. Rice University
7. St. John’s Abbey and University
8. State Library of Victoria (Australia)
9. Suny-College at Buffalo
10. Suny-University at Buffalo
11. University of California-Berkeley
12. University of Kansas
13. University of Michigan
I4. University of Rochester Memorial Art Gallery
15. University of Washington
16. Washtenaw Community College
Some Other On-going Projects
1. Princeton University
2. California Historical Society
3. National Agricultural Library
4. Swiss National Library
Appendix II
Clearinghouse of Image Databases
WWW-based Image Databases
The University of Arizona Library–Imaging Projects
Appendix III
Informal Law Scanning Project List
and Consortium for Optical Imaging List
I. International Materials
Multilaterals Project
Fourth World Documentation Project
South African Constitutional Repository
Brazilian Serial Documents Digitization Project
Global Legal Information Network (GLIN)
International Human Rights Decisions
International Labour Organization Materials
World Health Organization Materials
Interamerican Health Law Materials
UN Convention on the Sale of Goods
National Bank Legislation
International Relations
II. Finging Aids to Manuscript Collections
Karl Llewellyn Papers
Papers of Justices Brennan and Warren
III. Other Law-Related Projects
American Law Institute Archives
Slavery manuscripts
IV. Other General Projects
University of Michigan Journal Storage Project (JSTOR)
Project Open Book
California Heritage Digital Image Access Project
American Heritage Virtual Digital Archive Project
National Digital Library
Visible Man Project
Consortium for Optical Imaging List
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