By Michelle Lampariello
The Library announced on Thursday, Sept. 7, that it will now offer two new online services to students and community members: TCNJ Scholars, a collection of scholarly materials produced by College students and faculty, and TCNJ Digital Archive, a growing collection of digitized materials from the library’s Archives and Special Collections.
TCNJ Scholars “provides a central site to collect, manage, and preserve” the works of College students and faculty “and facilitates access to them by a wide audience, including potential students and faculty, college partners and funding agencies, and other academic colleagues,” according to a campus-wide email from Taras Pavlovsky, the dean of the library.
The goal of digitizing the College’s scholarly work and archived publications is to preserve and raise awareness for works that may have otherwise been forgotten over time.
“With TCNJ Scholars, our hope is that TCNJ students and faculty are given a new online venue to store and highlight their academic output and to
maximize exposure of their content to a wider local, national, global audience,” said Yuji Tosaka, the College’s cataloging and metadata librarian. “TCNJ as a brand will be promoted more; both prospective students and faculty at other institutions will be awed by the scholarly work being done at the College.”
While the TCNJ Digital Archive is still growing, as only a small portion of archived material is currently available, it is nonetheless a helpful research tool.
“Only a small subset of these materials is currently available online, but more is being added daily,” Pavlovsky wrote.
Presently, the largest collection available through the Digital Archive is The Signal Archive Online, which will include issues of The Signal that date back to its original publication in 1885.
“In the future, the Digital Archive will provide access to a variety archival material including, but not limited to, historical photographs, college annual reports, course catalogs and a variety of other materials. Priority for future projects will be determined by user need and current ease of access to the material. As the archive grows, a greater number of users will be able to access archival material while limiting the wear and tear on delicate aging material,” explained Amanda Cowell, the College’s emerging technologies librarian.
The College is not the first institution to create digital repositories for scholarly work.
“It should be noted that by setting up TCNJ Scholars, TCNJ is joining most of its comparator institutions, which also have already created similar digital repositories for academic works produced by their faculty and students,” Tosaka said.