In recent years, a number of scholarly digital projects were developed on the Washington University campus. These have ranged from small student projects to larger projects such as American Lives. Many of these projects were developed by individual organizations on campus concurrently, such as the School of Arts & Sciences and the Humanities Digital Workshop (HDW). A number of issues emerged from these experiences, such as:
- Long-term maintenance of digital projects.
- Short-term support for digital projects and content development.
- Role of University Libraries.
- Importance of standards and a central digital project repository.
Digital Library Services (DLS) was created in 2006 as a unit of the Washington University Libraries to support the entire Washington University community. DLS is committed to providing support for the development of digital projects, encouraging development of digital projects as a scholarly activity, and promoting this development in a disciplined way that will help to ensure the successful execution of digital projects and to most effectively leverage digital resources. In addition to DLS, support for the development of digital projects is also available from Arts & Sciences Computing, the Humanities Digital Workshop, and from computing within other schools and departments at the University.
DLS provides a variety of support services. After a project has reached completion, DLS will help host the data and web pages. We will work with clients to devise proper preservation strategies to ensure the longevity of projects.
In addition to the support we provide, we are also available for initial consultation on any project by working with you to give you a better understanding of the standards, metadata, intellectual property, and other digital library topics described here and elsewhere. We also encourage you to contact us with your questions.
If you anticipate hosting your project with the University Libraries, please review the following forms:
These forms specify the items to be donated to the library, as well as the associated rights granted to the libraries to preserve and make accessible your digital items or projects. The last document is an overview of some of the issues face when taking on a digital project.