UMass Amherst Libraries Launch Retrospective Digitization Project

This article originally appeared on UMass Amherst's Library news site.

The UMass Amherst Libraries have embarked on an ambitious program to digitize all theses and dissertations of the University. These research works have been available in electronic format since 1997 for dissertations and 2007 for theses, but public online access has not been available. Other dissertations and theses spanning more than a hundred years have long been available only in print.

Beginning with the oldest dissertations and theses, whi ch are rarest and most at risk for physical damage, the University Libraries have begun digitizing the works and making them available in ScholarWorks @ UMass Amherst (http://scholarworks.umass.edu/). ScholarWorks will provide high visibility to the works, making them easily searchable via Google and the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD), an international digital library that supports open access to theses and dissertations. The digitized dissertations are also fully accessible to persons with disabilities, which was not the case in their print forms.

The University is taking this opportunity to contact alumni, to let them know about the process and give them a chance to weigh in on the public accessibility of their works.

After digitizing the oldest works in 2013-2014, the Libraries have begun digitizing works on a departmental basis. The first departments to be digitized include: Afro-American Studies, followed by Astronomy, Chinese, History, Psychology, and Polymer Science.

For more information, contact Jessica Adamick, jadamick@library.umass.edu.