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Strategies to Sustain Digitized Special Collections: Key Lessons from Ithaka S+R/ARL Report “Searching for Sustainability”

A A S Vigilantes of Montana poster
Vigilantes of Montana poster, courtesy American Antiquarian Society

Museums and libraries are taking advantage of advances in technology to move their rare and unique collections online.  What most institutions learn quickly is that digitization is the easy part. As grant funding rarely covers ongoing operations, the larger challenge is to develop a successful strategy to make sure the digitized collections remain accessible and relevant over time.

ARL and Ithaka S+R are offering a free web seminar that will bring together leaders of seven of the eight cases profiled in the recently published study funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), Searching for Sustainability: Strategies from Eight Digitized Special Collections, to share lessons from their own experience in developing and supporting their digital resources. In this interactive session, project leaders and team members will discuss the strategies they have employed to build the audience, infrastructure, and funding models necessary to maintain and grow their digital collections for the long term. 


Judy Ruttenberg, Program Director for Transforming Research Libraries, ARL

Nancy Maron, Program Director, Sustainability and Scholarly Communications, Ithaka S+R


American Antiquarian Society: Ellen S. Dunlap, President

Biodiversity Heritage Library: Carolyn Sheffield, Program Manager

Florida Folklife Collection: Jonathan Grandage, Archives Historian, and Katrina Harkness, Education Officer

Grateful Dead Archive Online: Robin L. Chandler, Associate University Librarian, University of California, Santa Cruz

Maine Memory Network: Kathy Bolduc Amoroso, Director of Digital Projects, Maine Historical Society

Quakers & Slavery: John Anderies, Head of Special Collections, Haverford College

Vanderbilt Television News Archive: Joseph D. Combs, Associate Dean, Vanderbilt University Library

Save the Date & Time

Friday, January 31, 2014, noon–1:15 p.m. eastern standard time. Registration will open in early January.

The Association of Research Libraries (http://www.arl.org) is a nonprofit organization of 125 research libraries in the US and Canada. Its mission is to influence the changing environment of scholarly communication and the public policies that affect research libraries and the diverse communities they serve. ARL pursues this mission by advancing the goals of its member research libraries, providing leadership in public and information policy to the scholarly and higher education communities, fostering the exchange of ideas and expertise, facilitating the emergence of new roles for research libraries, and shaping a future environment that leverages its interests with those of allied organizations.

Ithaka S+R (http://sr.ithaka.org) is a strategic consulting and research service provided by ITHAKA, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping the academic community use digital technologies to preserve the scholarly record and to advance research and teaching in sustainable ways. Ithaka S+R focuses on the transformation of scholarship and teaching in an online environment, with the goal of identifying the critical issues facing our community and acting as a catalyst for change. JSTOR, a research and learning platform, and Portico, a digital preservation service, are also part of ITHAKA.

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