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Penn State University Libraries

Digital Collections Review Team Digital Toolkit

  • Timeline: Annual calendar including dates for submitting proposals
  • Useful Links:
    • UL Strategic Plan
    • Subject Specialists (useful for finding collaborators)
    • Copyright Information


Bonnie Osif, Chair, DCRT

How to Submit a Proposal



Late July, early August























January 30 (TBA)









April (TBA)




June (TBA)

Three Steps in Submitting a Proposal

Most years the Digital Collections Review Team (DCRT) will announce a call for proposals via email and in the Interview.

Step 1 – Submit a preliminary proposal.
Purpose - provide basic information to DCRT that will be the basis for a consultative discussion with the proposer.

Required information for the preliminary proposal:
Name of your project

  • Size of the collection to be digitized (in linear feet on the shelf, number and size of boxes, or number of items).
  • Type of materials (data, text, maps, visuals, audio, etc.)
  • Brief description of the project

Other information to include:

  • What metadata is available?
  • Has the collection as a whole been cataloged or have the items been cataloged?
  • Are any materials protected by copyright?
  • What is the physical condition of the collection?
  • What staff resources can the project sponsor provide to the project and does the unit supervisor support it?
  • Are there potential funding sources?

Vital data for ranking the final proposals and valuable to discuss at the preliminary stage:

  • Importance of digital access to collection for specified user groups;
  • How digital access to these materials enhances the Libraries’ overall collections as well as the ability to conduct research entirely online;
  • How digital access furthers goals or initiatives in the Libraries’ Strategic Plan, etc.

Step 2 – Consultation/preliminary meeting with DCRT
As soon as the preliminary proposal is received, DCRT schedules a consultation/meeting that includes project proposers, some members of DCRT, and representatives from I-Tech, Cataloging and Metadata Services , and Digitization and Preservation (D&P).
This preliminary meeting is a chance for both the committee and the proposer to ask questions and better understand both the proposal process and the project. The goal is to strengthen the content of the final proposal and discuss in detail the information required in the final proposal form.

Step 3 – Complete and submit final proposal
The proposer will receive a copy of the final proposal form at the preliminary meeting. It should be completed and returned to the committee chair by the deadline on the form. Request resource in an alternative format


  • DCRT meets in February to begin reviewing final proposals. If the DCRT has additional questions, the DCRT chair will contact the proposer.
  • DCRT’s chair then consults with members of Digital Operations Team (DOT), Digital Library Technologies (DLT), I-Tech, Cataloging and Metadata Services, and D&P to gather information about server space, cataloging and metadata requirements, preservation and handling issues, platforms, time and cost estimates, etc.
  • DCRT’s chair presents the proposals to the Collection Services Advisory Group, whose main interest is to weigh how the proposed digital project would suit/enhance the overall UL collection.

Final ranking
DCRT meets to consider the data from all the consulted groups and ranks the project proposals. When this is done, a spreadsheet of ranked proposals with priorities noted, is sent to the offices of Associate Dean for Research and Scholarly Communications and Associate Dean for Collections, Information and Access Services where final decisions will be made as to what projects will move forward

Project proposers are notified of decisions by Associate Deans and DCRT Chair