USC Libraries establish new digital site
The USC Libraries have launched a new version of the USC Digital Library, providing improved search and discovery tools to help the USC community integrate digital collections more easily into teaching, learning and research.
Several recently digitized collections are available now, and more will come online throughout the remainder of this year and early next year.
New and upgraded research capabilities include fully searchable text for every page of every document, supplementing the metadata developed by the libraries to describe the content of the Digital Library. This combination creates a richer corpus of descriptive text that supports discovery of relevant digital materials.
A much more powerful document-viewing tool reveals details — such as names on street signs and words on billboards — that previously were inaccessible to researchers. The new Digital Library also offers improved engagement tools, including a system for creating individualized collections of materials that are relevant to specific papers, courses and other research projects, as well as easier integration with social media services, such as Facebook and Pinterest.
“Our libraries’ innovative digital collections and services are essential to the transformative teaching and research that our students and faculty conduct at USC and beyond,” said Catherine Quinlan, dean of the USC Libraries. “Our new Digital Library represents a significant step toward our goal of improving discoverability of library collections and integrating those collections more meaningfully into the research activities of our community.”
The Digital Library’s new graphic design highlights the many striking photographs and other visual materials in the collection. The design also showcases academic work by USC community members and invited scholars that draws upon the collections and emphasizes how collections unique to USC inform news stories and social media activity in Los Angeles and around the world.
As the Digital Library upgrade has progressed, the libraries have continued digitizing collections that will debut in the coming weeks and months. Collections that are newly available or will be available soon include materials digitized through grant support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the John Templeton Foundation, and the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation, as well as through collaboration with USC campus partners.
The USC Digital Library now holds more than 600,000 items, with an additional 100,000 becoming available during this academic year.
The new USC Digital Library was live as of Nov. 28 in a soft-launch phase at digitallibrary.usc.edu. The soft launch will continue for several weeks as the libraries collect feedback from the USC community and make refinements in preparation for the full launch in the spring semester.