The ULS has been engaged in the digitization of unique materials from our archives and special collections units since 1999. During that time we have built up scanning expertise primarily concentrated in our Digital Research Library (DRL). We operate several different scanning devices which enable us to digitize a wide array of material, including photographic items (e.g., glass plate negatives, slides, photographic prints, etc.), books, and manuscript content as well as oversize materials, such as maps, drawings and blueprints. We have found outsourcing audio and video materials to be the best method of reformatting this material from an analog to a digital source.

We rely on the open-source repository software, Fedora, as our back-end method of storing, managing, and accessing our digital objects. Islandora, another type of open-source software, is used to search, retrieve, and view our digitized materials. We believe that in combination with one another, these platforms provide an enhanced method of searching and viewing our digital collections and hope you agree! We also host content on behalf of Pitt faculty and departments to support research and teaching initiatives. Our collaboration has supported the University’s mission to directly engage in the “enterprise of knowledge creation, teaching, and learning on our campuses and beyond.”

Please contact us if you’re interested in exploring a partnership with you!