Monday, April 27, 2009

Estimable Blogs #4: A Compendium of Digital Collections

A Compendium of Digital Collections: "The goal of this project is to connect researchers with digital collections on topics of interest to them. The guide includes brief descriptions of and links to digital collections (digital projects, digital initiatives, digital libraries, etc.) created by libraries, archives, government agencies, and other institutions. Projects included cover a wide variety of subjects and digital formats, but collections that are search-able, easy to navigate, contain primary sources, and allow unrestricted use of materials are given first consideration..."

This highly useful and focused blog from the UNH Library Digital Collections Initiative is devoted to highlighting the latest digital collections. Every week sees a new historic digital collection launched somewhere, and no one can keep track of them. This blog began as my own attempt to keep abreast of digital history efforts that relate to the Pacific Northwest, but even with that narrow focus I don't feel that I am keeping up.

A Compendium of Digital Collections features a clean design and a simple formula. The title of each post is the name of the featured collection. This is followed by the URL and a one paragraph description of the collection. That is it--no commentary or editorializing, on to the next post. Right now the blog features Sheet Music from Indiana, the Mountain West Digital Library (from which the image of the petroglyphs here is borrowed), and the Digital Library of the Caribbean. The site makes limited use of tags, but they are tags across a variety of blogs--so for example clicking on the native-american-history tag brings you a results page with a lot of content from other blogs that is not very good. Fortunately you can also sort the Compendium of Digital Collections archive by clicking on the box on the left that reads "Select Category." Choosing Native American History from the drop down list gets you only the relevant posts on the Compendium of Digital Collections blog.

This is really a useful site--I've added it to my RSS reader and will exploring it at length.

No comments: