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Carolina Digital Library and Archives: vision and mission statements, priorities. (2008)

Vision statement

The Carolina Digital Library and Archives (CDLA) is an integral part of what the UNC University Library is and hopes to become. As such, it strives to create an integrated environment where the local digital assets will evolve naturally as a logical complement to both the existing library-wide collections in traditional formats and the rapidly growing purchased/leased electronic collections. Within this context, the CDLA looks simultaneously to past efforts and achievements at curation of tangible media in the general and special collections and forward to the new ways of collecting digital resources, providing comprehensive and sophisticated access to them, and ensuring their long-term preservation.

Carolina Digital Library and Archives seeks to realize the following goals:

  • Develop strategies to improve web access to informational, intellectual, and cultural resources in all formats.

  • Create or assume responsibility for the library's digital assets that support instruction and research at UNC and those of the University's nascent institutional repository.

  • Devise sustainable operations for programs and projects that can accommodate large-scale digitization as well as long-term management and preservation of digital resources.

  • Investigate, recommend, and implement technologies to advance innovations in research and scholarship within a networked environment.

  • Provide scholars, students, librarians, and interested members of the general public with new web-based technological resources, services, and tools. Increase its role as a center of advice and consultancy to faculty on new ideas and solutions, development and management of projects and programs, technological, funding and other opportunities in the digital area.

  • Support other libraries, archives, and related cultural institutions with digital technologies and services, especially in North Carolina.

  • Collaborate with other institutions, programs, and projects – both at UNC and elsewhere – to advance these goals.


Mission statement

Carolina Digital Library and Archives brings the technical expertise of its staff and power of digital technologies to library and archival collections in order to support the work of scholars, students and librarians at UNC and beyond. Established in 2007, the CDLA builds and stewards digital collections at UNC while developing standards and practices that will empower libraries and archives and promote scholarly communication broadly. These efforts are aimed to reach the common goal of advancing scholarship. CDLA works collaboratively with faculty, librarians, and archivists and welcomes cooperation with other institutions in research and development efforts and for support of the full cycle of creation, dissemination, use, and preservation of knowledge. In pursuing its vision and advancing its goals, CDLA adheres to the core values, standards, and processes inherent in scholarly research and the library world in which it is nested; combines tradition with innovation in library and archival practice and science; provides and promotes user-focused service; and employs open standards and open source software whenever possible. CDLA recognizes the need to be an adaptable, flexible and responsive organization in order to grow with the rapidly changing environment and technologies.


Priorities and planning

Online collection development and improvement of access: continuous digitization of library, special and archival collections in the streamlined production mode, mature Institutional Repository collections and workflows (online collection development in the production mode). Facilitate the integration of access to resources in digital, paper and other formats amongst libraries, archives, special collections, and other heritage institutions (integration of access to resources in all formats, cooperative online collection development).

Current activities

  • CDLA's ongoing projects: Digital Publishing/DocSouth projects, Scribe, ContentDM and other DPC activities.

  • Collaborative digitization efforts with Duke, local public libraries.

  • Linking of digitized materials with OPAC records and web sites.

Near/mid term plans (6 to 12 months)

  • ECU/State library/UNC project for large scale digitization of NC state materials; MESDA partnership, other potential projects and seeking of new projects.

  • Introduction of Fujitsu high speed scanning/OCR operations.

  • Streamlining of ContentDM operations.

  • Improvement of CDLA's project management and coordination, communications with Systems dept.

  • Development of technological infrastructure which would allow cross collection searching and browsing.

Additional funding may be required for

  • Development of IR collection building and related operations.

  • Programming support.

Technological infrastructure: industrial strength, extensible, and flexible infrastructure that can handle 75% or more of CDLA’s needs for ingest, access and discovery, management and preservation of digital content. Existing applications will be migrated over time to common infrastructure as feasible and practical without losing any capacity or capabilities; new applications and services will be built on common infrastructure to the extent possible.

Current activities

  • Carolina Digital Repository project (currently in-sourced to the Systems Dept.).

  • R&D efforts to explore new solutions which can serve as components for future infrastructure (eXist, Solr, and others).

Near/mid term plans

  • CDLA will attempt to combine available project assigned R&D resources and will seek new projects in the way that serves needs of these individual projects, on the one hand, and contributes to development of the common infrastructure, on the other (LCRM and MESDA opportunities, for example).

Additional funding may be required for

  • R&D staff

Production-level workflows: production-level capacity for digitizing, processing, ingesting, and presenting all types of digital content through standard policies, procedures, and workflows with minimal intervention by programmers or project managers.

Current activities

  • CDLA efforts to increase efficiency in project management, coordination, planning, resource allocation (departmental project roaster and timelines, efforts to improve longer term planning of resources for projects, and project scope changes); introduction of the work tracking system for the Digital Production Center.

  • DPC's increased experience in ContentDM use, Digital Archiving.

  • Ongoing Scribe and Zeutschel large scale digitization projects.

Near/mid term plans

  • Introduction of Fujitsu high speed digitization/OCR operations.

  • Streamlining of ContentDM workflows.

  • Introduction of unified project management approaches and software.

  • Better policies for metadata and file formats.

  • Better policies for the Digital Production Center operations and increased communication with the Systems dept.

  • CDLA's ability to develop and implement efficient online access solutions will depend on effectiveness of our R&D efforts and the availability of resources to support these efforts.

  • CDLA’s ability to support digital preservation solutions will depend on the development and availability of the Carolina Digital Repository and its support for integration with systems developed by R&D.

Additional funding may be required for

  • Programming support for process automation and ContentDM projects.

  • Digital production staff.

Long-term preservation: established policies, procedures, workflows, and capacity to provide long-term preservation services for digital resources in accordance with professional standards.

Current activities

  • Carolina Digital Repository project (in-sourced to the Systems dept.).

  • DPC's operations and Digital Archive management.

Near/mid term plans

  • CDLA as a service window for the Institutional Repository.

  • integration of CDLA's access systems and workflows with the Carolina Digital Repository.

  • Improvement of the "preservation component" of digital projects and programs through better consideration of these issues at a project/program planning stages and development of preservation strategies based on best practices and available resources.

Additional funding may be required for

  • one full time IR project manager, one or two TRAs to handle initial IR workflows.

Digital humanities and research computing: recognized resource and strengthened capacity for supporting scholarly digital projects, developing new services and tools, and providing secure management and standard discovery and presentation tools for institutional and personal digital assets (institutional repository) on UNC campus. This includes research and development efforts in Web 2.0, data mining, visualization, GIS and other areas.

Current activities

  • Ongoing Digital Publishing/DocSouth projects (Oral Histories, NC Maps, Watson-Brown, Going to the Show and others): content development, editorial and copyright work; metadata creation and enhancement, encoding and structuring of data.

  • Research & Development efforts: interfaces and navigation; indexing and searching solutions; geo, image and text linking; panning and zooming solutions for images.

  • Consultation to scholars, librarians and other digital projects (Blake Archive, RBR and others).

Near/mid term plans

  • Continuous work and improvements to current DigPub/DocSouth projects and R&D efforts in digital humanities and research computing; increased project cross-polination and development of reusable solutions.

  • New potential projects: one of Harvey award projects; Digital Blue Ridge Parkway; NEH Startup grant application to develop image-text linking solution, and others.

  • Growing technical expertise of the Digital Production Center and its ability to support value added projects in the production mode: development of high productivity OCR operations, streamlined processing of minimal descriptive and technical metadata, ContentDM uploading services, Digital Archiving, and others.

  • Seeking of new projects and funding opportunities.

  • Addition of value added modules to CDLA's common tech infrastructure will depend on our success in R&D area, and availability of resources.

Additional funding may be required for

  • R&D staff.

  • Project manager for digital humaties and research computing projects.

Engagement with faculty, library staff and outreach: develop consulting services for  library constituents which would stimulate new ideas, growth of digital collections,improvement and introduction of new services and technological solutions. Positioned to expand the awareness of collections and public services staff on the value, methods andmpotential uses of online access to digitized collections (i.e. knowing what to digitize, whymand how). Promote library collections, innovative technologies and digital library services on and off campus through presentations, workshops, special projects, CDLA tours; support engagement through collaborative activities; development of educational components of digital projects and their incorporation into classroom learning; integration of UNC Library and CDLA's resources with the web sites and resources of other cultural institutions.

Current activities

  • CDLA work with faculty and librarians on existing and new digital projects and programs (Digital Publishing/DocSouth, Scribe, ContentDM, DPC's digitization activities).

  • Staff presentations, workshops, DPC tours and other ongoing activities and projects with enhanced educational components (NC Maps, Going to the Show).

  • Introduction and promotion of CDLA's new services: ILL, scan and print on demand, and others.

Near/mid term plans

  • Pursuing new collaborative projects.

  • Improved access of faculty and librarians to ContentDM and CDLA's ability to handle these projects effectively in the Scribe manner.

  • Development of new services and opportunities for faculty and librarians using Fujitsu high speed sheet scanning, Optical Character Recognition, PDF production and others.

  • Continue efforts to develop and promote new services: advice and consultancy on digital projects; scan/print on demand and others.

  • Upgrade of CDLA's web site and introduction of the quarterly newsletter.

Additional funding may be required for

  • Programming support for the web site development.

Collaboration with UNC centers and departments: positioned as a trusted collaborator and with well-defined and developed expertise in selected areas with other digital services on campus and in other institutions and programs.

Current activities

  • CDLA cooperation on digital projects with faculty/departments and librarians (Digital Publishing/DocSouth and other projects).

  • Long Civil Right Movement project with UNC Press.

  • Scribe cooperation with RENCI.

Near/mid term plans

  • Seeking of new collaborative projects with RENCI, ITS, SILS, Computer sciences dept. and others.

  • More DPC services to UNC centers and departments, including large scale digitization of sheet fed material, OCR, production of PDF files, etc.

  • More active advertising of CDLA's services on-campus and introduction of formal pricing structure for DPC's services.

  • Upgrade of CDLA's web site and introduction of the quarterly newsletter.

Regional center of excellence and service: capacity for acting as a regional center of excellence and service provider of digital library and archives services to other cultural institutions and repositories, especially in North Carolina.

Current activities

  • NC Maps cooperative project; Scribe digitization of Duke and NC public libraries' material.

Near/mid term plans

  • Potential cooperative ECU, State library/agencies and UNC project for large scale digitization of NC state materials; MESDA partnership.

  • Seeking of new regional and national collaborative projects in the areas of research computing, large scale digitization and others.

  • More aggressive seeking of new funding opportunities, and closer work with the Development Office.

  • Upgrade of CDLA's web site and introduction of the quarterly newsletter.