Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Nena Couch and Wes Boomgaarden.

The Ohio State University Libraries’ Strategic Plan clearly articulates the intent of the Libraries to “increase the scale and scope of distinctive and digital collections and enhance access to and usage of these materials to support research and anytime, anywhere learning.” [Strategic Focus Area 4] It accomplishes this through its supporting initiative (4.3) to “build OSU programs and projects that digitize and make accessible high value high impact works in library collections.”

OSU faculty meeting minutes from 1875, from the OSU Archives

OSU faculty meeting minutes from 1875, from the OSU Archives

The focus and initiative are administratively located in the Libraries primarily within the purview of the Associate Director for Collections, Technical Services and Scholarly Communication.   In that structure, the Collections Reformatting Review Sub-Committee (CRRS-C) of the Collection Development and Management Committee is charged “to review and set priorities for the generation of digital content in the Libraries where analog content is being digitized.”   The CRRS-C develops and maintains a regularized process for calling for and reviewing proposals within the Libraries.   As project proposals are vetted and approved, the many tasks involved with digitization and delivery of content are handed to the Digital Reformatting Working Group (DRWG) for implementation.

Thus, in brief, CRRS-C covers the “what” and the DRWG handles the “how” of digital reformatting projects and delivery in the Libraries.

This review-and-implementation structure was initiated in early 2012 and at this writing has nearly 18 months of experience with the processes.   The following is a summary of the first year’s selected projects, many of which have been digitized either internally or through out-sourcing and are in the final stage of being made accessible, and some of which are in process (digitization and access):

  • The Makio, 1880-2011, Ohio State’s student yearbook (University Archives).  The 50,000-page effort can be found at https://news.arcasearch.com/usohosy/
  • Actress scrapbooks (1881-1903) of the Lawrence & Lee Theatre Research Institute.
  • Selection from the Toyo Suyemoto Collection, from Rare Books & Manuscripts.
  • Selected analog reel-to-reel music recordings from the McGinnis Collection (Music & Dance).
  • The Rubin Collection of Kliegl Lantern Slides (Theatre Research Institute).
  • Will Eisner lateral-cut disk spoken-word recordings, and the ASKC and Canemaker cartoon history interview audiotapes (Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum).
  • The Capital, a 19th-century Washington, DC newspaper (Rare Books & Manuscripts).
  • The University’s first faculty meeting minutes (1873-1901) (University Archives) .
  • Three (3) selected early modern dramatic texts from the Stanley J. Kahrl Collection of Renaissance and Restoration Drama (Rare Books & Manuscripts).
  • Samuel Beckett manuscripts (Rare Books & Manuscripts).
  • Bebe Miller master videotapes conversion for preservation and access (Theatre Research Institute).
  • Jessica Mitford videotapes conversion for preservation and local access (Rare Books & Manuscripts).
  • Mid-19th-century naval manuscript materials (Japanese Studies and Rare Books & Manuscripts).

The Collections Reformatting Review Sub-Committee has recently completed its spring 2013 round of proposal reviews and has sent its recommendations forward.

Sarah Bernhardt in various roles, from the Theatre Research Institute's Actress Scrapbooks

Sarah Bernhardt in various roles, from the Theatre Research Institute’s Actress Scrapbooks

In this year-and-a-half of effort, the Sub-Committee has gained experience in considering research value, assessing intellectual property rights, developing priorities, and identifying larger issues that require a thorough and in-depth review.  This last item was the case with student works (theses and dissertations), where the Sub-Committee recommended to Administration that a thoughtful and comprehensive plan was needed for this essential body of research literature. (The Stewardship of Student Works Task Force recently submitted its final report.)   A parallel review of the Libraries’ significant audiotape, videotape and motion picture resources is being considered as a next effort for a comprehensive inventory and assessment of values and priorities.

Nena Couch, Chair, Collection Reformatting Review Sub-Committee
Wes Boomgaarden, Chair, Digital Reformatting Working Group