The University Archives is very pleased to announce a new free digitization service to increase digital access to archival material held by the Dal Libraries: the Archives Document Delivery Service.
For the next six months, the Libraries will test a new service where Dalhousie students, faculty, and staff can request free digital copies of archival material found in the Archives Catalogue and Online Collections. Consortia members and external researchers should continue to refer to the reproduction services and fee schedule document on the Archives website.
How Does the Service Work?
Dalhousie students, faculty, and staff can request digital copies of analog archival materials found in the Archives Catalogue and Online Collections. Digitization requests can be submitted online using a new “Archives Request” form available when you log into the Document Delivery Request Form:
Users should consult the Archives Catalogue and Online Collections to find files and items of interest.
When a request is received, Archives staff will work with Document Delivery staff to:
- Determine if the request can be fulfilled
- Prepare the file(s) for digitization
- Digitize the file according to the University Archives digitization standards
- Create a high-quality, fully-searchable (with some exceptions for illegible and/or handwritten text) PDF or high-resolution JPEG image
- Send users a link to download the file(s)
The service is very similar to the electronic delivery of journal articles requested through Document Delivery. But it is limited to archival material held by the Dalhousie Libraries. Please note that the actual archival materials will not circulate. The service will provide digital copies.
Where Can I Find Help Using the Archives Document Delivery Service?
Staff in the University Archives can provide assistance searching the Archives Catalogue and completing the Archives Request form.
You can visit the Archives and Special Collections Reading Room on the 5th Floor of the Killam Memorial Library between 11:00 and 5:00, Monday-Friday.
You can also call the Reading Room at 902-494-3615 or email us at email@example.com.
We have detailed instructions on searching and browsing the Archives Catalogue. The Guide to Archival Research has more information.
What Kind of Archival Material Can I Request?
- All private manuscript collections, including photographs
- Publicly available university records
- Certain university records may be made available to administrative staff
- Materials that exceed the definition of “short excerpt” in the Dalhousie Fair Dealing Guidelines
- Materials with access and/or use restrictions imposed by the donor of the material
- Unprocessed private manuscript collections that have not been appraised
- Audiovisual materials
- Fragile material that cannot be digitized using existing equipment in the Libraries
- Bound manuscripts or other formats that cannot be digitized using existing equipment in the Libraries
- Files with more than 100 pages
My Request was Cancelled. What Happened?
There are a number of reasons why Libraries staff might have to cancel your digitization request:
- The file has access and/or use restrictions.
- The request exceeds the definition of “short excerpt” in the Dalhousie Fair Dealing Guidelines.
- The materials are too fragile to be scanned with existing equipment in the Libraries
- The file contains a mix of material (e.g., textual records and photographs) that cannot easily be compiled into a PDF
- The file contains audiovisual material and/or electronic records that cannot be scanned with existing equipment in the Libraries.
- Some or all textual materials are bound in a way that prevents suitable preservation scans from being created with existing equipment in the Libraries.
In some cases, Libraries staff may contact you to discuss the possibility of scanning a portion of the material or to clarify the nature of your request.
How Long Does it Take to Receive a Request?
The Archives Document Delivery Service will use the existing document delivery time guidelines to measure the Libraries’ ability to fulfill free archives digitization requests in a timely manner. Members of the Dalhousie community may be accustomed to receiving scanned journal articles within a day or two even though delivery can take 2-3 weeks. The digitization process we will be testing is more complicated and time consuming and we anticipate an average request fulfillment time of 1-2 weeks.
If you have a deadline for your material please either use the “Not Useful After” calendar available on the web request form or add a note in the Notes field. You can also email the staff at firstname.lastname@example.org and they can check where the item is coming from and give you an estimated time of arrival.
Urgent surcharge and same day service are not available.
Can I Provide Feedback on this Service?
Yes, please! This is a pilot initiative to assess the Libraries’ capacity to digitize archival material as a free service for Dalhousie students, faculty, and staff. Digitizing archival material can be time-consuming and complex, so we anticipate a few bumps as we launch this pilot initative. Please provide feedback by emailing email@example.com.
andrea power says
I would like to digitize all new and modified program proposals that have been archived for the past 25 years. I believe that I have the digital files for the last 5 years, so my office can provide the name of each proposal for the archive to retrieve. Once they are digitized, I would like to store the files in a program proposal SharePoint database. Please let me know if this fits within the mandate of your free pilot archives document delivery service.
Creighton Barrett says
We’re using the regular document delivery service guidelines for this pilot project: https://libraries.dal.ca/locations_services/services/document_deliveryservices/requests.html
See the section on “Number of Requests”: Although there are no set limits on the number of requests that may be submitted at one time, staff time, other individuals’ requests and costs must be taken into consideration. If a large number of requests are received from one user staff may stagger the processing of those requests or may consult with the requester. If you know that you are going to be requesting a large number of items over a set period of time please contact the Document Delivery staff (902-494-3612) to discuss the options for processing your requests.
I don’t know how many proposals have been made in the last 25 years, but I think it would probably exceed what we could reasonably do for free.
The other issue is that the records have to be fully processed with a finding aid in the Archives Catalogue. The archives of the University Senate are unprocessed and, therefore, would not qualify for the pilot digitization project.
Check the Archives Catalogue to see if there are other records that may be of interest: http://findingaids.library.dal.ca/