Digital Collection Development Policy


This policy pertains to digitization projects undertaken by the Library for the purpose of providing the campus and the public with access to digitized materials.  It applies to the Colorado School of Mines’ academic and historical resources in various print and media formats used for teaching, research, and scholarship, and excludes campus business records.  Projects initiated by outside parties, in which the Library is a partner, are also included.

Digitization Project Guidelines

  • Digital collections created by the Library should align with the missions and strategic directions of the Colorado School of Mines and the Library.
  • Digital collections created by the Library should follow its general collection development policy.
  • Digital collections created from the Library Archives and Special Collections Departments holdings should follow their collection development policies.
  • Digitization projects shall be approved by the appropriate Library faculty or staff.
  • Digitization projects should be initiated by or partnered with Library faculty or staff.
  • The material should not have been digitized already, unless the current digital format is inadequate.
  • Mines has the intellectual property rights to the material, will request permission to use, maintain, and transcode the materials as part of the project, or the material is in the public domain.
  • The material should be digitized safely without damaging or destroying the originals.
  • The material does not require extensive preservation work or the project allocates funding and/or staff time for preservation treatment.
  • The digital format will provide important added value, such as the ability to search across a large volume of material.
  • Pilots or proof-of-concept projects may be implemented in order to further assist in development of digital collections.
  • Digitization of whole collections or sub-collections or complete items (i.e., a whole book) is usually preferable to partial digitization, for context and convenience.


Criteria for Selection and Prioritization

The Library identifies five general criteria that assist in selecting and prioritizing materials or collections to be digitized.  Those appropriate for digitization ideally should meet at least three of these criteria, or be very strong in two criteria:  

  1. Access

a. Materials are high-use or have a high potential for use once digitized (e.g., items with a specifically identified and interested audience).

b. Materials must have value, e.g.

i. Research and pedagogical value
ii. Monetary value
iii. Artifactual value
iv. Socio-cultural value
v. Administrative value
vi. Political value (facilitate donor relations, recruitment, etc.)

c. Materials are unique or rare.

d. A patron requests the material for purposes of research, teaching, or study.

  1. Preservation

a. Materials are at risk because of fragility, chemical instability, etc.

  1. Outreach

a. Material is digitized for campus events, programs, and exhibits, branding, fundraising, and related community functions.

  1. Development potential

a. Funding for digitization is available, or there is potential to secure future funding.

b. Material is digitized at the behest of a donor.

  1. The Library may have a prior commitment to digitization of specific collections. 

These policies and criteria should be reviewed on an annual basis and updated according to evolving best practices and standards in digitization.



© 2017 Colorado School of Mines | | Equal Opportunity | Privacy Policy | Directories | Text Only | | rss

Last Updated: 08/01/2017 16:00:50