Breathe new life into special collections

The McClay Library at Queen’s University Belfast relies on CONTENTdm to serve as a virtual reading room, opening up international collaborative research across special collections. This digital environment has facilitated global access to an unprecedented collection of 19th century Chinese photographs taken by university alum Sir Robert Hart as well as other unique primary sources, flexing up special collections for study and collaboration.

The popularity of these primary sources, and the ease with which library staff can add them to CONTENTdm and WorldCat, has encouraged them to digitize other collections as well. "The digitization of humanities brings huge advantages to special collections in terms of access and preservation. Digitization relieves the tension around maximizing access and maximizing preservation," said Head of Special Collections ad Archives, Deirdre Wildy. CONTENTdm gives these digital resources a discoverable home, which has opened up access to rare visual artifacts that celebrate the global impact of Irish culture.

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