Students, researchers, and the Memphis community now have online access to the digitized portions of the University Libraries' rich special collections through Content Pro, Innovative's digital collection management solution.
Of special significance is the digital repository's National African American Photographic Archive (NAAPA) collection. This collection is a collaborative project between The University of Memphis Libraries and Ampro Industries, Inc. of Memphis. The aim of the project is to collect, scan, and make available to the public photographs and informative metadata illustrating the daily and work lives and social activities of African Americans. The collection currently contains 374 images, which date from the 1880s to the 1980s. As the part of the ongoing project, the University Libraries solicits the donation or loan of significant materials from the public, along with background information, that it can digitize to help document of people, places, and events of importance to African American and American history and culture.
The University Libraries founded its digitization program for several reasons, says Dr. John E. Evans, Head of Library Information Systems and Coordinator of the Digital Repository: "Libraries have long been challenged and somewhat frustrated in their attempts to make their unique holdings accessible to the broader research community. By making use of Content Pro, we're able to represent, describe (to professional standards), and distribute to the world the artifacts, images, and documents in our collections that have remained hidden from view. This unpacking of the vault, as it were, offers one of the greatest opportunities to shed light on America's previously less documented past."
Evans says the University Libraries intends to grow for the number and variety of its digital collections: "The potential for the continued growth of these newly available resources is practically limitless. The versatility of Content Pro broadens our resource offerings by providing pathways to streaming audio and video in addition to renderings of static objects. Currently, we're focused on continuing to build our root collections of images from our Special Collections Department, as well as adding audio recordings of many years' worth of recitals from the School of Music."
About The University of Memphis Libraries
The University of Memphis Libraries is a significant resource for both The University of Memphis and the Mid-South region. While the primary mission of the University Libraries is to serve the University community, library services are extended to students and faculty in other colleges and universities in the Memphis area, local and regional corporations, governmental agencies, and adult citizens of the community. The University Libraries includes the McWherter Library and four branch libraries: Communication Sciences, Lambuth Campus (Jackson, TN), Mathematics, and Music.
About Content Pro
Content Pro is the digital collection management system that makes archives, special collections, and other digital materials visible and accessible to the widest possible audience on the Web. With its intuitive Web-based submission forms, powerful search interface, and harvestable metadata design, Content Pro provides a complete solution to the digital collection publishing needs of libraries.
About Innovative Interfaces
Innovative (iii.com) creates cutting-edge products that allow libraries to succeed in a modern technology environment and the freedom to implement solutions that best meet their specific needs. The company’s versatile and market-leading solutions include: the Sierra Services Platform, the Millennium ILS, the Encore Synergy discovery application, Electronic Resource Management, and INN-Reach resource sharing. An established company with a vision for the future, Innovative connects with thousands of libraries of all types in over 50 countries. Innovative’s commitment to service is reflected by its 24/7/365 Help Desk, Innovative University, and the CSDirect Web support center. The company is located in Emeryville, California with offices around the world.