The UNSW Library digitisation initiative started in 2016 when we embarked on a project to 'define the digital library'. The overarching philosophy was to digitise print born content and facilitate the discovery, and preservation of, scholarly content. Over the last 20 years, UNSW Library has worked strategically and systematically to build a digital library. The identified gap in building or curating our collection was the creation of digital content from UNSW owned print content. Valuable and unique collections were identified to be digitised to a high standard, freed from the confines of their original format and made openly available for teaching, learning and research.
The first priority was to address digitisation of UNSW Library print content including theses, handbooks, calendars and student publications.
The UNSW Theses Digitisation Programme was born out of recognition of the value of UNSW Library’s vast collection of print theses (13,500). UNSW print theses were not as easily accessible as those which became available online from 2007. There was an identified need to bring them into line with theses available on the open access repository UNSWorks, thereby improving discoverability and usage.
One of the outcomes of the Master Plan for Information Access project was the digitisation of four UNSW corporate publications (Tharunka, Uniken, Faculty Handbooks and University Calendars). The main objective was to identify a solution that could store, preserve and eventually exhibit these four digitised UNSW publications.
The Library’s ongoing digitisation programme continues to ensure that print-born theses and other resources are available online. Two automatic book scanners in the new scanning centre here at the Library allow us to provide increased access to valuable research and corporate material in our Library collection.