By: Amy Chen, CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow
The Division of Special Collections and Digital Services work closely together. One of the mandates of Digital Services is to digitize materials from Special Collections to place into the University of Alabama’s online repository, Acumen.
While Acumen contains only a small percentage of the overall materials found in the W.S. Hoole Library and the A.S. Williams III Americana Collection, Digital Services works continuously to increase the amount of items that can be viewable online. Just this summer, Acumen released its new interface. Now, users can contribute to the repository themselves by adding their own tags and transcriptions to what they find.
Digital Services has its own blog, which features longer articles on topics related to the materials they are digitizing, fun features on interesting items they come across, as well as guides and discussions of the technical aspects of their division. And, if you want to keep up with the most recent happenings in Digital Services, check out their Facebook and Twitter feeds (@UALibDS).
Most recently, Digital Services’ blog did a profile on the Corolla — the University of Alabama yearbook that began in 1893 and, it was announced recently, will conclude publication after the 2013-2014 edition due to low sales numbers. Those of us in Special Collections and Digital Services were sad to hear this announcement, as the Corollas are some of the most fun items to pull out to show students and patrons. The Corollas are all available in a special cabinet in the reading room of the W.S. Hoole Library as “ready reference,” which means you can select and browse these volumes independently, unlike the majority of materials in Special Collections that can only be pulled by staff.
In response to the announcement that the Corolla would cease publication this school year, Kate Matheny, the Digitization Outreach Coordinator from Digital Services, generated a series of blog posts documenting aspects of the Corolla as seen in issues from the 1890s-1900s, 1920s-1930s, 1950s-1960s, and the 1980s-1990s. As Digital Services has an initiative to digitize all the Corollas, many more issues than can be featured on the blog are also available through Acumen. So far, issues from 1893-1909, 1938, and selected volumes from the 1950s-1960s can be found.
We encourage readers of Cool@Hoole to check out Digital Services. Our content is different: Digital Services focuses on longer-form articles and in-depth features written by their staff, while Cool@Hoole strives to recruit short pieces from a diverse set of authors. However, we both feature items and content of general interest to the University of Alabama community, such as information pertaining to the traditions and content found in the Corolla.