Digital Collections Survey

The following has been posted on behalf of Jodi Allison-Bunnell of Orbis Cascade Alliance.

Four organizations–the Orbis Cascade Alliance, the Oregon State Library’s LSTA program, the Washington State Library’s Rural Heritage Program, and the Oregon Heritage Commission–are collaborating to support digital collections at cultural heritage organizations in Oregon and Washington. Our work together began in 2015 with the Northwest Digital Summit, which brought together cultural heritage organizations in Washington and Oregon to discuss the types of support most needed. Based on the report from that summit, we worked together successfully in 2016-2017 to develop standards, documentation, and training. We’re honored to have received LSTA funding for 2017-2018 as well.

One of the outcomes that this year’s project must produce is a census of all cultural heritage organizations in Oregon and Washington that have, or soon expect to have, digital collections. The Oregon Heritage Commission is gathering census data from its stakeholders as part of a larger survey effort.

What do we mean by digital collections? These can include cultural heritage materials that have been scanned (like photographs, postcards, court records, or letters) or that originate in digital form (like digital photos or oral histories recorded digitally). Digital collections include the type of content you’ll find in Washington Rural Heritage and Oregon Digital. They do not include published digital content (like ebooks).

To answer the survey, please go here. It should take ten minutes to complete at most. You can preview the questions here, but please answer the questions online. The survey will remain open until March 31, 2018.

Once we know how many cultural heritage organizations in Washington and Oregon have (or will soon have) digital collections in a publicly available system, we’ll use this information to determine what types of support would be most helpful for a diverse group of cultural heritage institutions, and plan what we can offer. And we’ll gain information that would be required for offering all these institutions an on-ramp to get their collections into the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). More background on that initiative is available here.

In the meantime, we’re also working with nine institutions on rights and creating or revising the descriptions of the material to be compliant with our Dublin Core Best Practices. Those institutions met specific criteria to receive support from the project this year.

All organizations that complete the census and include an email address will receive a copy of the results no later than June 30, 2018.

If you have questions or are having trouble completing the survey, please contact Jodi Allison-Bunnell at the Orbis Cascade Alliance.