Teaching Them How to Fish: Supporting Digital Collection Building Through Regional Partnerships
Michigan Archival Association's 2021 Annual Meeting.
When asked what the barriers were to digitizing and sharing their unique collections online, many smaller cultural heritage institutions say a lack equipment, systems, and expertise. Our answer to that: mobile digitization lab, training, and digital collections hosting. Western Michigan University Libraries, in partnership with the Gilmore Car Museum and Richland Community Library, has been developing a model that aims to make digitization, metadata creation, and digital collection building possible for smaller-scale regional libraries and cultural heritage institutions. Supported by a LSTA grant though the Library of Michigan, and leveraging digital collection building expertise at WMU, this pilot project will allow these two institutions to digitize, describe, and share their materials with a larger audience. More importantly, the deployable service model and training materials will be shared and used to guide further partnerships, creating access to more of Southwest Michigan’s hidden collections.