Campus News

DLG director proposes repository for electronic scholarship

P. Toby Graham, director of the Digital Library of Georgia, has been selected to attend the Frye Leadership Institute at Emory University and plans to use the experience to help the University System of Georgia create a digital repository for electronic scholarship.

The institute’s purpose is to develop creative leaders to guide and transform academic information services for higher education in the 21st century by providing an understanding of the issues, including academic, technology, economic, public policy, student and constituent-relations dynamics.

Based at the UGA Libraries, the DLG is a collaborative project providing a gateway to Georgia’s history and culture found in digitized books, manuscripts, photographs, government documents, newspapers, maps, audio, video and other resources. The project now encompasses 90 collections from 160 institutions and government agencies.

“Acceptance to the Frye Institute is very competitive, and we are thrilled Toby has this opportunity,” said William Gray Potter, the UGA university librarian and associate provost. “In looking forward to hearing the ideas he brings back, we know that his experience will benefit the entire state as the DLG is part of GALILEO, the state’s virtual library, and it continues to grow under Toby’s leadership.”

Among the criteria for selection, applicants are asked to describe a yearlong project they will undertake after the two-week residential portion of the Frye Institute.

Graham proposed helping UGA and the 35-member University System make substantial progress toward the goal of a system-wide institutional repository program.

“The application of information technologies in academia has led to significant changes in scholarly communication among both faculty and students,” Graham said. “Much of the intellectual product of universities never appears in a permanent printed form. Instead, it exists as a disorganized and decentralized body of digital objects held in personal computers, Web and file servers or on various removable media across the university.

“These digital objects represent a vital part of the scholarly output of a university, but also the part that is most endangered of being lost and that often is the least visible to the scholarly community,” he added. “In response, institutional repositories have emerged as an important trend in higher education. These institutional repositories are designed to promote open access to scholarship, increase the visibility of faculty research and preserve the intellectual product of a university that exists in digital form.”