Box of Chocolates: Surfacing Unique Collections in Small-Bite Form
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The University of Texas Libraries (UTL) is undertaking an approach to small-scale digital exhibition projects with the goal of surfacing a broad range of unique collections while minimizing workflow impacts on the Libraries IT and digitization infrastructure. The Box of Chocolates approach serves the purpose of introducing a tempting variety of content bonbons to scholars, seeking to both inform their awareness of lesser known content and inspire and enrich related research. Examples may include out-of-copyright Ottoman Turkish texts, Artists Books, South Asian collection content, rare Israeli Cinema periodical content and other image-rich collections, making content from underrepresented and under acknowledged communities, voices, and perspectives available via a web site or Google search for the first time. UTL s Digital Projects Cross Functional Team, comprised of colleagues from across the Libraries, is creating two tools to aid this effort. The tools are a digital project deconstructed overview and a template for small-scale Omeka digital exhibition construction outlining the steps required to create a morsel-like exhibition, the essence of a collection in 10 to 15 images or related files with intellectual framing, akin to DPLA Primary Source Sets. These will be called Collection Highlights. This approach provides a practical solution to collections-focused digital project engagement and discovery progress. It introduces a low-stakes way for liaisons to build their confidence in digital scholarship, while simultaneously doing foundational work to promote collections. Multiple subject liaison librarians will be able to learn and to promote distinctive UTL collections without maxing-out individual liaison or UTL IT resource capacity. This foundational work will then create a pathway for scaffolding up to doing more involved projects.