In just one year, the University of Houston Libraries' Digital Projects team developed an exciting set of digital collections with the goal of documenting the history of the university, the city of Houston and the state of Texas.
The team also worked to make available other historically and culturally significant materials related to the university’s teaching and research mission. Today, more than 20 digital collections incorporating more than 7,500 items are available online from the University of Houston Digital Library all via OCLC's CONTENTdm Digital Collection Management Software.
"Our most popular collections are Historic Houston Photographs, Luis Marquez Photographs and India Illustrated," says Michele Reilly, Digital Projects Program Director. "They constitute the largest portion of our hits."
These online collections have received widespread support and great feedback from the campus and local community. Each month, 75 percent of visits come from users in Texas and 80 percent of those visits are from users in the Houston area. The Digital Library staff also often receives feedback about how much users enjoy looking at the images. The University's students like the collections because they can use the historic images in class presentations and papers.
In addition to leading the development of digital collections, Reilly works to promote their awareness and visibility using a number of tools from social media, including Facebook and YouTube, to WorldCat.org. She uses the OCLC WorldCat Digital Collection Gateway, a Web-based, self-service tool, to upload the metadata of almost all their collections to WorldCat for added exposure.
"Our ultimate mission," says Reilly, "is to provide our faculty and students with a really great resource for primary objects, so that they can further their own research."
(PHOTO) Tipos del Edo de Guerrero is from the Luis Marquez Photograph collection. These hand-tinted photos are by the Mexican photographer, who gave this collection to Mrs. Joe Betsy Allred, wife of Governor James Allred, after she visited Mexico in 1937.