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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

Suggestions for a Successful Proposal

  • Think outside the box—seek collaborators among faculty, other institutions, and the community to create projects of excellence for the UL Libraries Digital Collection. Consider working with other faculty and staff across the Penn State community, as well as with colleagues at other institutions.
  • Give yourself plenty of time to complete a thorough Digital Project Proposal. There are many considerations involved in proposing a digitization project -- verifying or obtaining metadata and copyright, preparing and/or conserving the original material, calculating staff time and cost estimates, and seeking potential collaborators and recommendations.
  • Review the timeline - There are a number of teams and departments involved in this process , requiring strict adherence to the timeline.
  • Read all instructions thoroughly; ask questions at any stage when in doubt.
  • Have all the items in your proposed project been cataloged? Is item level metadata available? Does the metadata adhere to current standards and recognize local constraints?
  • Check the copyright status of all materials your proposed project.
  • Define your target audience and clarify the value of the proposed project.
  • Check to make sure the project which you are proposing has not already been digitized by another unit or institution.
  • Past projects have shown that smaller projects are more successful than bigger ones. Fewer items allow you to focus more attention on each item in your project, including metadata creation, image quality, conservation of original materials, error correction, or website design. Larger projects focus on volume and due to the time and budget constraints involved with large projects, require uniform treatment of all items.
  • Specify exactly how this project addresses one or more of the University’s or Libraries’ strategic goals and mission. Generalities, such as “useful to scholarship,” will not help DCRT advance your project.
  • Make sure to include your proposal on your annual work plan.
  • Please no hand-written proposals
  • The project does not end once the digitization has been completed. Remember, if your project is selected you will also collaborate in website creation and publicity. You will need to collaborate on the maintenance of the site on a regular, on-going basis.