CORVALLIS, Ore. – A new tool puts the best of Oregon’s digital collections at users’ fingertips, allowing them to easily search through a variety of documents, photographs and other digital items from the state’s universities, libraries and museums.
Oregon State University Valley Libraries has just completed work on the project that will allow visitors to sift through a library of cultural assets.
The Oregon Digital Library Project (http://odl.library.oregonstate.edu) creates a portal that brings together all the public digital collections being created in the state – and provides a clearinghouse to help make them easier for more Oregonians to discover. The site also helps individuals interested in specific content make those connections with the digital collection owners and rights holders.
From early maps of Lewis and Clark’s trek across the western United States, to photographs of sailing ships anchoring in the Columbia River in 1900, to the latest dissertations from OSU doctoral students, the information provided by the project contains items both scholarly and entertaining.
The project includes collections from most of the seven Oregon University System institutions, as well as from public libraries and museums that make their collections available online. It collects metadata – that is, information about a digital item’s content – from collections around the state, and then using software developed by the library, indexes the collections and makes them available through a global search.
Terry Reese, the Gray Family Chair for Innovative Library Services at OSU, thinks the project will directly benefit Oregonians by providing them easy access to many digital resources.
“The fact that it is possible to build the Oregon Digital Library for the state of Oregon is a testament to the fantastic work being done by institutions around the state building high quality digital collections,” said Reese. “Institutions are not just creating collections, but they are creating collections that encourage the harvesting and re-use of their metadata to help patrons build connections to their data in ways that we maybe never saw possible.”