DPCóDigital Collections


Next Steps: Establish guidance and recommendations for the selection, creation, application of metadata, access, and storage of digital image files and related documentation. Guidelines should not be viewed as binding, nor should they be designed to inhibit digital initiatives across YUL. However, the guidelines can be used to determine whether a central preservation repository will make a long-term investment in a YUL digital collection.


Two types of Digital Collections:

1.      Projects born digital (i.e. Judicial Nominees Database)

2.      Projects that represent digital surrogates for analog source documents (the majority of YUL collections)


  1. Scope and selection

Selection happens both at the front-end of a collection, i.e., at a projectís conception when appropriate materials are selected for digitization, and at the back-end of a collection when decisions are made regarding which components of a digital collection should be selected for ingest into a preservation repository. In some cases, some components of a collection may be selected for preservation, and some components will not be selected.

Digital collections should meet any combination of the following criteria:

a.       Support teaching mission at Yale University

b.      Support scholarly research

c.       Allow close examination of and familiarization with fragile materials through surrogates

d.      Enable new kinds of research, not possible in the analog form

e.       Support outreach by extending learning and research beyond the geographical boundaries of the University


  1. Copyrights and restrictions

Materials should meet one of the following requirements:

    1. Digital image materials are in the public domain
    2. Copyright holder as granted permission for network distribution
    3. The digital copy has been made to replace a damaged, deteriorating, lost, or stolen copy of a work that cannot be obtained at a fair price, and the digital copies of which will not be made available outside of the library
    4. Digital image materials are not openly available and are restricted by IP or physical location


  1. Technical standards


    1. Imaging requirements

                                                               i.      File formats

                                                             ii.      Resolution

                                                            iii.      Bit depth

                                                           iv.      Compression


    1. Access mechanisms

                                                               i.      Online/offline

                                                             ii.      Web address

                                                            iii.      System design, characteristics, and requirements

                                                           iv.      Key interface features (forms, style sheets, JavaScripts, etc.)


    1. Databases

                                                               i.      Proprietary (i.e. SQL, ContentDM, Access)

                                                             ii.      Open source (mySQL, D-Space, Greenstone)

                                                            iii.      VITAL Fedora


    1. Storage requirements†††

                                                               i.      Storage and maintenance prior to deposit in central repository

1.      CD/DVD/magnetic disk standards


    1. Schedule for receipt into a repository


  1. Metadata best practices
    1. Descriptive

                                                               i.      e.g. Yale Element Set for descriptive metadata, MARC, other

    1. Structural
    2. Technical
    3. Preservation

                                                               i.      PREMIS (or subset)