For the past two years the Digital Projects Unit in the UNT Libraries has conducted research with a federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant to build a rapid development framework for digital libraries. The output of this project was first realized in The Portal to Texas History release in June of 2009. After several rounds of usability studies on the user interfaces and development of additional functionality for the internal management system, a second release of the Portal was launched in October. Our focus then shifted to employing the rapid development framework for the other digital collections maintained by the UNT Libraries.
These collections posed several new challenges: authentication, restricted content, and audio and video content, as well as other file types and formats not currently present in the Portal. In the conversion to the new system we were able to consolidate some of the previous "silos" that existed in our digital library space and now have a unified platform for providing access to all of our Digital Library content.
We designed the new infrastructure to allow for substantial growth in all areas from the amount of content we put online to the number of visitors we receive. The systems are built using standards in the digital library community including Dublin Core, ARK, METS, PREMIS, OAI-PMH, SRU and OpenSearch.
The UNT Digital Library is home to materials from the University’s research, creative, and scholarly activities, and also showcases content from the UNT Libraries’ collections. Materials currently include theses, dissertations, artwork, performances, musical scores, journals, government documents, rare books, and historical posters. We make the majority of our content freely available to users via the Internet. However, due to licensing agreements and/or university policies, some materials in the UNT Digital Library are restricted to use by members of the UNT community.
We are actively seeking to support research and scholarship at UNT. If you would like to work with the UNT Libraries to host content in the UNT Digital Library or are curious about any aspects of this project please contact Mark Phillips (firstname.lastname@example.org), Head of the Digital Projects Unit.