The UWM Libraries established a digitization program in the fall of 2001. The primary mission of the program is to serve the UWM academic community and the general public by providing remote access to unique library resources. The UWM Libraries use digital technologies to expand access and enhance discovery of these resources through development and management of distinctive digital collections.
The nature of historical materials is such that some material may represent positions, norms, and values that are no longer (or never were) consistent with the positions, norms, and values of the UWM Libraries or of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee as a whole. Some materials that are part of our digital collections may be considered offensive. For more information, please see our Potentially Offensive Materials Policy.
Collection Development Process
New projects for digitizing unique library resources are proposed by faculty and library staff. Cooperation with UWM faculty is strongly encouraged and projects supporting the teaching and research mission of the campus are given priority.
Materials for approved projects are carefully selected by collection curators and subject specialists in the libraries and departments housing the source collections. UWM Libraries Department of Digital Collections and Initiatives is responsible for digitizing the selected materials according to established digitization standards and best practices. The digitized resources are researched and described to provide additional access points and to facilitate their discovery and use. CONTENTdm digital media management software is used to build online collections. We retain digital master files in a separate storage infrastructure to ensure their integrity and accessibility in the future. High-resolution digital images can be ordered using the online Order Images form.
Over seventy digital collections have been created since the inception of the program. They provide remote access to visual resources on global issues as well as treasures of local cultural heritage. Currently, UWM Libraries Digital Collections contain over 180,000 digital objects including photographic images, maps, and books drawn from the holdings of the American Geographical Society Library, the Archives, Special Collections, the Music Collection, and the Curriculum Collection. The collections are available to the public at https://uwm.edu/lib-collections. There are no restrictions on access for public collections.
Our digital collections are also selectively available through the World Digital Library, the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), Recollection Wisconsin, Umbra: African American History, the Civil Rights Digital Library, and the Digital Transgender Archive.
Digital Collections Committee
Marcy Bidney, Assistant Director for Distinctive Collections (Curator, American Geographical Society Library)
Ann Hanlon (Chair), Head, Digital Collections and Initiatives
Nathan Humpal, Metadata Librarian, Collection & Resource Management
Derek Webb, Head, UWM Archives
Max Yela, Head, Special Collections
Digital Collections and Initiatives Department
Jie Chen, Application Development Specialist
Ann Hanlon, Head, Digital Collections and Initiatives
Karl Holten, Information Systems Specialist (50%)
Ling Meng, Digital Collections Librarian
Nathan Humpal, Metadata Librarian