Digital collections in Australian university libraries - opening Australia's research collections Thursday, 3 September 2015


Opening the door to collections – creating essential research infrastructure and
enhancing the international exposure of Australian research collections.


Australian university libraries provide the key resources for research in Australia. Within their collections is a vast wealth of unique or special material of national significance that are being digitised for discovery.

CAUL is committed to supporting access to these rich research and special collections to facilitate discovery, study and scholarship, and to provide new research and learning opportunities and practices. Support for digitisation is essential to safeguard resources for future generations, facilitate a multi-disciplinary approach, encourage collaboration, and foster an integrated approach across institutions.

This website highlights the many collections currently being digitised, and provides links, contacts to facilitate further activities and initiatives. It also provides resources for CAUL members to ensure best practice.

In developing these digital collections of national significance CAUL members work closely with national and state libraries and archives and international organisations to ensure coordination, discovery and preservation.

An Australian program

  • CAUL will co-ordinate a digitisation program across Australian university libraries to create high quality collections to support learning, teaching, research and engagement
  • Through consultation within the sector and other national bodies CAUL will define guiding criteria to inform prioritisation and selection of collections for digitisation
  • Work with funders and key stakeholders nationally to co-ordinate digitisation policy and investment and ensure that overlap in digitisation programs can be minimised to achieve a nationally cohesive vision/program.
  • Lead the sector in defining standards and best practices for digital capture, description and preservation. Utilise digitisation as a tool to preserve collections and make valuable information available without jeopardising its integrity.
  • Maximise access and use so that researchers will have optimal access to digital collections and showcase Australian content to the world. Support growth in organisational capability, skills and knowledge by sharing best practice and infrastructure.