Case Studies Monday, 24 August 2015

Benefits of digitising collections

Charles Darwin University - digitisation of Indigenous collections

Rich resources created in bilingual school programs in the NT are being digitised to create the Living Archive of Aboriginal Languages. Northern Territory Historical Photographs Collection is being progressively digitised. The AraDA project funded by the Australian Research Council digitised signifi cant East Timor material that is out of copyright.

University of the Sunshine Coast - Diverse and Distinct CollectionsOver 10,000 plant specimens have been collected from local regions for more than 50 years. The records have been made available in USCs institutional repository, USC research bank.

University of Melbourne - Middle Eastern Manuscripts
The University of Melbourne holds almost 200 Middle Eastern manuscripts, dating from the 12th to the 20th century.The collection was built by Reverend Professor John Bowman,head of the semitic studies department at the University between 1959 and 1975. The collection was digitised in 2012 to support heightened interest from researchers, students and the general public. It supported the major Love and Devotion exhibition at the State Library of Victoria which included items from this collection, the Bodleian Library in Oxford and the State Library. It was the fi rst major exhibition of Persian manuscripts to be held in Australia.

Curtin University Library - enabling access to digital content via collaboration
The John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library (JCPML) ( and its digital archive focuses on the life and times of John Curtin.

Developing and digitising the JCPML collection involved collaboration with a number of archival institutions including the National Archives of Australia, National Library of Australia, Noel Butlin Archives, State Library of WA and the MacArthur Memorial Library, as well as individual and organisational donors, stakeholders and copyright holders (e.g. the Australian Labor Party and members of the John Curtin family).

University of New England - early adopters

The UNE Heritage Centre has digitised research material since 2004. This has protected original documentary material and provided access to researchers unable to visit the Centre. The initial digitisation project undertaken by the UNE Heritage Centre was through the ACR LIEF project 2002 ‘Unlocking Regional Memory’. This involved regional university archives from Newcastle, Wollongong, New England, and Charles Sturt. Following this pilot UNE has continued to digitise records to support research in conjunction with volunteers from the NSW National Trust, academics from Newcastle University and the Dalwood Restoration Society. Members of the public also volunteer to be part of individual digitisation projects within the UNE Heritage Centre. In one case the donor of the material also volunteered as part of the digitisation team.