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University of Wyoming - Libraries

Liaison Librarians: Services and Best Practices: Digital Collections

This guide is intended to provide context, contacts, services offered, and best practices for the subject liaison program at the University of Wyoming Libraries.

Digital Collections

The Digital Collections Office has two primary emphases, the first of which is Collection and Digitization by:

  • Operating the Digital UW Repository which offers access, discovery, secure (Digital UW runs on Islandora 7, currently undergoing migration to 7) storage, and long-term preservation of content curated by the Digital Collections Office.
  • Working with a broad range of constituencies to identify unique content to collect.
  • Preserving & converting analog content of all kinds to digital formats with the ultimate goal of open and broad dissemination online.
  • Supporting born digital research and creative outputs of the University of Wyoming and its partners.

The second area of emphasis is to support UW’s scholarly output by:

  • Operating the Wyoming Scholars Repository (WySR) which stores, disseminates, and preserves UW scholarship of all types and formats.
  • Offer a scholarly output and publishing platform to UW faculty, students, and staff.
  • Enabling faculty, student, and staff works to be easily discoverable on the web.

Digital collections and projects can be large or small and can take very little time to complete or span multiple years of ongoing work. We have partnered with individuals, departments, colleges, and welcome all opportunities to work on projects with other institutions as well.

We can handle a wide variety of content including still images (such as photographs), large scale maps (up to 54″ in one dimension), books, loose papers & manuscripts, audio, and video. See here for details on equipment employed by the Digital Collections Office.


Project Examples

  • Digital Herbaria
    In partnership with the National Park Service, the University of Wyoming Libraries has been digitizing vascular plant herbarium collections for selected National Parks. Specimen data for over 4 years running.
  • Botanical Fieldbooks
    An offshoot of the Digital Herbaria project, the Botanical Fieldbooks Collection is comprised of original handwritten field notebooks of Botanists including Aven Nelson, Elias Nelson, Leslie N. Goodding, Edwin B. and Lois B. Payson, Louis O. Williams and others identified only by initials. Specimens were collected primarily in Wyoming, but also in parts of Colorado, Nebraska, Montana, Idaho, and other states.
  • University of Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletins
    Beginning in 1893, these bulletins describe various research projects undertaken by UW’s Agricultural Experiment Station to aid residents of Wyoming in all things related to agriculture. These are full-text searchable and downloadable in PDF format.
  • Manifold Greatness: The Creation and Afterlife of the King James Bible
    A series of recorded lectures available as streaming video within our Open Access repository, WySR. These videos are born digital and prepared for streaming format by UW TV as well as the UW Libraries.

Contact Information

Digital Collections Website

Chad Hutchens, Head of Digital Collections



Digital UW: A look under the hood

Islandora version 7x.1.3 is the software behind Digital UW.  Islandora is a Drupal front end with modules that allow Drupal to connect to a preservation repository system called Fedora Commons (v. 3 currently).  Additionally, Islandora is comprised of a number of "solution packs" that enable web access of digital content stored in Fedora.  Therefore, Islandora offers not only access to and discovery of digital content, but also preservation of digital objects over the long term that enable forward migration.


Currently Installed Islandora Solution Packs and examples
Solution Pack (SP) Digital Object File Type(s) Explanation and Example
Audio SP WAV, MP3 The Audio SP creates an audio object that is viewable via JW Player, downloadable, and that can be embedded elsewhere (WyoCourses for example).
Audio SP example
Basic Image SP GIF, PNG, JPG/JPEG Creates a simple image file viewable and downloadable.
Basic Image SP example
Book SP TIFF Creates a book that is made up of multiple images of pages.  Original TIFFs are ingested and JPG, PDF, and OCR derivatives are created for access and download.  Pages are rendered through the Internet Archive Book Viewer in paged form and are full-text searchable (depending on OCR accuracy).
Book SP example
Compound SP Any of other SP supported types A Compound object is simply two or more objects based on different SPs.  For example, a grouping of individual audio and image objects may be grouped together via a Compound object.
Compound Object example
Newspaper SP TIFF The Newspaper SP functions just like the Book SP except that it is designed to render serialized content such as newspapers or journals. 
Newspaper SP example
PDF SP PDF The PDF SP renders original PDF objects as viewable and downloadable PDFs. 
PDF SP example
Video SP OGG, MP4, MOV, QT, M4V, AVI, MKV The Video SP creates a vidio object that is viewable via JW Player, downloadable, and that can be embedded elsewhere (WyoCourses for example).  We're currently working on loading this content so we have no examples right now.

Detailed Islandora Documentation