RLP discussion on collections as data: State of the field and future directions

Join us for an informal conversation about the state of work on collections as data initiatives in RLP institutions.

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Dates (two sessions available)

Thursday, 9 March 2023 | 11:00 am – 12:00 pm EST (UTC -5) (Europe/North American East Coast friendly time)
Thursday, 9 March 2023 | 6:00 – 7:00 pm EST (UTC -5) (North American West Coast/Asia Pacific friendly time)


In recent years, evolving practice around digital collections has included a focus on collections as data, or making collection materials held in libraries, archives, and museums available for computationally-driven research and teaching. There has been a great deal of experimentation and learning as the field evolves and works to develop sustainable approaches to offering collections as data programs and services. Work on collections as data is no longer brand new, but it is still evolving.

In April 2023, RLP Senior Program Officer Chela Scott Weber will attend Collections as Data: State of the Field and Future Directions, a Mellon Foundation supported symposium intended to assess the state of the work on collections as data internationally and chart prospective ways forward. This conversation will inform her contributions at the symposium, helping to bring the realities and aspirations of RLP institutions to bear on the conversation.

During the RLP discussions, we hope to get a general sense of the current work on collections as data in partner institutions and desires for near- and longer-term futures. Grounding questions for our discussion may include:

  • Where is collections as data on your priority spectrum now? Do you expect that to change?
  • Where is your institution on the project to program spectrum? What kind of resources do you now have for this effort? What do you anticipate in the future?
  • How has your institution supported collections as data efforts? What has your institution found challenging about these efforts? What has made the most positive impact?
  • What are you hearing from researchers about collections as data needs and approaches?

This discussion will be facilitated by three RLP program officers with complementary areas of expertise:

Participants are encouraged to come prepared to listen, contribute questions, and share about your own institutional efforts (even if these are still emerging). This is a rich opportunity for us to learn from each other and inform understanding in the field of the state of work on collections as data.

This will be a live discussion. A recording will not be available after the fact, but we will summarize the discussion in a forthcoming post in the OCLC Research blog, Hanging Together. Insights from the conversation will also be shared with the organizers and attendees of the Collections as Data: State of the Field and Future Directions symposium.

All affiliates of OCLC Research Library Partnership organizations are invited to participate. 


09 March 2023


11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Eastern Standard Time, North America [UTC -5]

Live webinar sessions are exclusively for OCLC Research Library Partners. A recording will not be available for this discussion, but it will be summarized in a forthcoming blog.