BOPCRIS Digitisation Centre 2009
Experimentation with Sustainability and Partnerships for Library Digitisation Projects

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The University of Southampton’s Hartley Library has been engaged in a number of large scale, grant funded digitization initiatives focused on heritage materials such as parliamentary papers and British pamphlets. These projects left them with a challenge familiar to many grant-funded projects: developing a strategy to preserve access to the content after the grant period concluded. Early experiences suggested to library leadership that they were not well positioned to host this content locally, so with subsequent projects they began to experiment with different models of partnership with aggregators of scholarly content that enable the library to focus on content creation while the partner organization takes responsibility for facilitating public access. This case study traces the evolution of the library’s thinking about how best to provide access to these collections, explores the characteristics of the partnership models with which they are experimenting, and highlights some of the benefits and challenges associated with this approach to sustainability, in terms of both content and infrastructure.

 

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