|Search | Back Issues | Author Index | Title Index | Contents|
Southern Methodist University's (SMU) Central University Libraries (CUL) has embarked upon an ambitious program to digitize and catalog items from its unique special collections, and make them freely available on the web.
Since September 2008, CUL's Norwick Center for Digital Services (nCDS) has published 10 new collections and transferred two existing collections. Five more collections are under development, and many more are under consideration.
nCDS uses the ContentDM collection asset management system to allow users to browse and search the items, which include image, text, video and audio files. nCDS has also developed cataloging guidelines, based on customized and Dublin Core fields.
CUL's current collections contain items related to World War II, Southwestern art, rare photographs and films many depicting Texas and the U.S. West in the 19th century, SMU research and history, and corporate history. Some of the most popular items include 19 images of the 1944 eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, a series of color slides showing the aftermath of the devastating World War II battle of Monte Cassino, and a set of seven short films documenting the destructive San Francisco earthquake in 1906. As of March 2009, the collections received 17,775 visits and 83,807 page views.
The current collections, listed alphabetically, are:
Big iDeas Student Research (text): student research proposals that received grants from the Provost Office's Big iDeas grant program, as well as updates on the projects and related documents.
DeForrest Judd Sketchbooks (image): sample of the artist's sketches of Colorado, the Gulf Coast, Caddo Lake, Mexico, New Mexico, Big Bend, the Hill Country and more.
Frank J. Davis World War II Photographs (image): front-line photographs that portray a medical photographer's life during World War II, including battlefield images, from Washington, DC, Italy, France, and Saipan.
Historic Government Publications from World War II (text): informational pamphlets, government reports, instructions, regulations, declarations, speeches, and propaganda from the U.S. Government Printing Office during World War II.
JCPenney Dynamo Newsletters (text): samples of JCPenney's corporate magazine, which provided company news, inspirational messages, and sales training from 1917-1932.
John G. Tower Digital Media Collection (video, audio): a cooperative project with Southwestern University containing video and audio recordings from Southwestern University's John G. Tower Papers.
John N. Rowe III Collection of Texas Currency (image): a sample from SMU's John N. Rowe III Collection of Texas Currency of notes, scrip, bonds, and other financial obligations, from the 1820s through 1935.
Melvin C. Shaffer World War II Photographs (image): World War II photographs depicting the indigenous populations and local conditions of North Africa, Italy/Southern France, and Germany from 1943 to 1945.
Photographs from the DeGolyer Library (image): a sample of the extensive photographic collections at SMU's DeGolyer Library, including images on the U.S. West, Mexico, Texas, the Civil War and more.
SMU-in-Taos Research Publications (text): nine anthropological and archaeological monographs and edited volumes representing the past several decades of research at the SMU-in-Taos (Fort Burgwin) campus near Taos, New Mexico.
SMU Video Archive Series (video): oral histories with former SMU executives, administrators, and academics, who recount times of great excitement, challenges, and change at SMU.
Sulphur Springs Collection of Pre-Nickelodeon Films (video): two comedies, and seven short documentaries depicting the aftermath of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
CUL holds thousands of special collections and items relating to Texas, Mexico, the Southwest, U.S. West, Native Americans, the Civil War, railroads, corporate archives, and more. Ongoing and future digitization efforts will allow CUL to make a growing array of these rare items accessible throughout the world.
To view these collections, see Southern Methodist University's Central University Libraries digital collections at http://digitalcollections.smu.edu/all/cul.
Copyright© 2009 Southern Methodist University