Behind the “pretty pictures” – Audrey Drohan, Dani Montes, Órna Roche

Presented at the CONUL Conference, July 2015, Athlone, Ireland by Audrey Drohan, Dani Montes, Órna Roche, University College Dublin

Guiding the transformation of cultural heritage collections from a physical state to a digital state is both challenging and rewarding. Marrying research, archival, and library practices ensures a consistent level of standardisation and accessibility for disparate and heterogeneous collections. This is dependent on a comprehensive, yet accessible, workflow routine, one which UCD Digital Library has been refining for the past ten years. This workflow takes into account the variety of collection types, repository practises, skillsets, and accompanying metadata. By breaking the workflow into nine discreet processes, UCD Digital Library can progress collections simultaneously, while still retaining control over the quality assurance.

This lightning talk will give an overview of the nine processes in the workflow, along with the skillsets needed, the tools of the trade, and some details about the tasks involved. These include profiling a collection, digitisation and processing, cataloguing, copyright, preservation, ingestion, quality review, publicity, and evaluation.

UCD Digital Library is part of UCD Library, and is Ireland’s first certified Trusted Digital Repository. Established in 2005 as a government funded pilot project, the Irish Virtual Research Library and Archive (IVRLA) had evolved into the UCD Digital Library by 2012, and is now a fully comprehensive digital library service within the Research Services unit in UCD Library. There are currently 66 digital collections online, and almost 1 million digital files are being curated. UCD Digital Library partners with 23 source repositories, working with content types such as archival collections, books, pamphlets, letters, maps, LiDAR, databases, questionnaires, photographs, paintings, audio, and video. These are available through a responsive website, with a variety of additional discovery services, such as APIs, Linked Data, and geospatial services, under-pinned with the Open Source repository software, Fedora-Commons. The small team have wide-ranging skillsets, fusing traditional library expertise with rapidly evolving computing science practises.