Technical Reports in the Repository: Syncing a unique grey literature collection in multiple Columbia University Library systems

Bielskas, Amanda S.; Holmes, Emily; Jackson, Esther M.; Wacker, Melanie; Mercurio, Jeremiah R.

Columbia University Libraries has a robust digitization program that aims to preserve fragile collections and to increase their accessibility and discoverability. The Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO) Technical Reports, a set of scientific reports dating from 1949 to 2003, are a grey-literature collection representing a unique set of materials that encapsulates important ecological research that remains pertinent to our current understanding of climate change. To digitize this collection, our team had to adapt existing libraries workflows to accommodate a new data source and this specific physical collection. LDEO is an active Library user community and partner, and digitizing this collection was a great opportunity for collaboration. Therefore, a cross-departmental team of 21 people at Columbia University Libraries set out to creatively adapt existing workflows and to digitize 298 of these technical papers comprising 32,597 pages and including 151 foldouts of various sizes, for the purpose of sharing them openly with the public through a suite of collections-based websites. Metadata was already largely available for these works through WorldCat (a union catalog that includes records from many libraries around the world) and for this reason the team devised a workflow that enabled the team to reuse that existing MARC metadata and at the same time increase access and visibility of these resources by making them digitally available through WorldCat, HathiTrust, CLIO (Columbia’s local integrated library system [ILS]), Internet Archive (IA), and Academic Commons (AC), Columbia University’s digital repository.


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Academic Units
The Geoscience Information Society (GSIS)
Published Here
May 10, 2022