The UD Library’s Digital Collections Steering Group (DCSG) accepts proposals for faculty, staff, students, or the community to submit for consideration through this online form.
Digitization Requirements and Rationale
If any aspect of the following is unclear, especially any aspect of the project requirements or criteria, please do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com. This email address will notify all the members of the Digital Collections Steering Group and someone will contact you to provide assistance.
This policy provides a framework to guide the Digital Collections Steering Group (DCSG) in prioritizing requests for digitization and allocating resources (time, equipment, staff labor, platforms, etc.). These policies and processes must be shared publicly in accessible language in order to support the instructional and research needs of the University of Delaware community, and implement the values of both the Library, Museums, and Press and University of Delaware.
DCSG recognizes that digitization helps shape social and historical memory. Nationwide discussion about the systemic and institutionalized basis of racism in America following continuing police violence against Black Americans in 2020 prompted DCSG to consider how existing digitization criteria reflected this problem. This also has prompted us to consider how these criteria address systematic bias beyond racism. We agree that:
- Our digital collections reflect systemic racism and other forms of systemic bias
- Our current physical and digital collections impose limitations in addressing these biases
- Diversifying representation alone does not fully address bias
- We are undertaking this work as part of a larger ongoing conversation both within the University of Delaware Library, Museums and Press as well as within a larger professional context
DCSG is empowered to create digitization criteria and digital collections. The criteria listed below structure ways of sharing that power with others in taking action against systemic bias. The criteria are intended to structure specific kinds of engagement with people, communities, and organizations. They are not meant to be static, exhaustive, or indicate any hierarchy of importance.
In making decisions about what can be digitized, DCSG will confirm that the proposed project:
- Comprises material that is available and cataloged/processed in University of Delaware Library, Museums and Press collections
- Does not violate copyright or licensing agreements
- Conforms to the University’s Personal Non-Public Information (PNPI) Policy
- Will not damage fragile materials that are rare or unique in a way that cannot be repaired
- Can be completed by existing staff using available equipment, unless funding for additional resources is provided
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) values are inherently high priorities for digitization. We contribute to the social justice goals of the Library, Museums and Press by prioritizing projects that center and give voice to marginalized or excluded communities. While the following criteria embody EDI values, they are not listed in rank order, and not all criteria must be met by any project proposal.
DCSG will prioritize projects that support:
- Library, Museums and Press Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Values
- Library, Museums and Press Strategic Directions
- Research and Instruction
- The project responds to requests by faculty, students, staff, community, or collaborative efforts between these groups by considering, among other factors, all instructional ranks, tenure-statuses, contracts, student status at all levels (undergraduate, graduate, postgraduate), Library, Museums and Press and University of Delaware staff regardless of rank, classification, or institutional affiliation
- The project responds to requests from organizations, groups, or individuals both internal to and external to the university, especially those introducing underrepresented perspectives
- The project supplies material for upcoming exhibitions or events
- The project has been requested by the collection donor or has received grant funding.
- The project serves a local, national, or international collaboration or partnership
- Preservation and Access of Materials
- The project digitally preserves materials that are rare, unique, and/or fragile and are not yet available via open repositories such as:
- The project provides access to materials for which communities external to the University itself are primary stakeholders and may share stewardship. In these cases, we evaluate who else we need to work with and employ on a consultative basis to ensure we’re working towards social justice and not compounding problems. Some examples include:
- Friends of School Hill oral histories and images
- New London Road/Cleveland Avenue oral histories & research materials
- The Chrysler Corporation Newark Assembly Plant oral history collection
- Iron Hill Museum oral history recordings and transcripts
- DCSG commits to working to make it as clear as possible how researchers and students and community members can use the material that is digitized by providing sufficient information about copyright status.
This is a living document subject to revision on an annual basis. Ongoing education and social change will continually facilitate updates to these criteria. Consultations with represented and diverse (student, faculty, staff, community) populations are intended to form an integral part of the revision process.
last revised: November 17, 2021