UMMS Affiliation

Lamar Soutter Library

Publication Date


Document Type


Subject Area(s)

Libraries, Medical; Archival materials; Digitization; Digital preservation; Cataloging; Libraries, Digital; Pincus, Gregory, 1903-1967; Contraceptives, Oral; History, 20th Century


Library and Information Science


Purpose:This electronic poster will report on the process of digitizing a special collection, from obtaining funding and deciding what to scan, to options for scanning and making the collection available for faculty and student use.

Setting/Participants/Resources: The Lamar Soutter Library at the University of Massachusetts is a mid-sized, academic health sciences library. The library holds a small collection of original research in genetics and reproductive studies carried out by Gregory Pincus, Sc.D., in the mid-twentieth century. The Library Systems Department and Technical Services Department worked together to obtain funding to digitize the special collection.

Brief Description: The library received funding that would allow archival material to be scanned using an outside vendor. After interviewing a number of state contractors, the library realized it would need to write a request for proposal (RFP) and bid the work to handle unique materials. At the same time, the library partnered with two other libraries in the state university system to obtain university funding that would pay salaries for a graphic editor and cataloger to process the digitized collection. In deciding how to store the images for search and retrieval, the library looked at other imaging projects already in progress in the university and chose to use the same software, Cumulus. This poster will cover the issues of defining the scope of the project, obtaining funding, choosing scanning options and formats, deciding whether to enhance images or note or to use watermarking options, dealing with cataloging and indexing issues, and evaluating the options for presenting a digital collection to the public.

Results/Outcomes: Six hundred slides have been scanned, enhanced, watermarked, cataloged, and indexed. By using Cumulus software, the collection was made available for faculty and student use.

Evaluation Method: Comments from faculty and students were gathered to determine if digitizing special collection is worth the cost and effort associated with such projects.

Presented at the Medical Library Association Annual Meeting, Dallas, TX, May 19, 2002.


special collections, digitization, Gregory Pincus, academic medical libraries

Rights and Permissions

Copyright the Author(s)

DOI of Published Version


Journal/Book/Conference Title

Medical Library Association Annual Meeting

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.