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West Library unites Institutional Repository and Digital Archives

10.12.2021 | By: Texas Wesleyan University

Eunice and James L. West Library is celebrating the launch of archives.txwes.edu, its new digital collections site in Quartex, marking the achievement of an ambition to unite the University’s institutional repository and digital archives into one public-access website.

Eleven collections have been published to the newly launched site, including works by the University’s faculty and students, alongside flagship collections such as the George Anson Collection and Mason Johnson Theater Collection, both of which celebrate the legacy of former professors at Texas Wesleyan University.

The new digital archive has been built in Quartex, the digital collections platform from primary source publisher Adam Matthew Digital, which was selected by the library team for its powerful asset management capabilities and numerous options for organizing and displaying assets in ways that are intuitive and rewarding for users of the collections.

I am excited to have consolidated our various institutional resources into one comprehensive digital archive in Quartex. Our faculty now has one place to go for everything they may be looking for, while uniting formerly disparate resources adds importance and relevance to our varied collections,” said Elizabeth A. M. Howard, director of the Eunice and James L. West Library.

The library worked closely with Quartex’s customer experience team, which managed the design and build of the site, drawing from in-house expertise and existing digital collections in Quartex for inspiration.

“Working on the digital collections site for Eunice and James L. West Library has been a great project and shows what can be achieved when library and vendors work together to create an engaging site that improves discovery. The library team has been rewarding to work with and I am delighted that the site has received such a great response at this early stage,” said Martin Drewe, head of customer experience, Quartex.

Early promotion of the newly launched site has focused largely on internal liaison, such as orienting faculty and library staff with collections and pathways to discovery. Initial feedback has been incredibly positive, with the digital exhibits feature singled out for particular praise, exemplified by the Texas Wesleyan Theatre Playbills 1954-1984 exhibit.

“The united digital archive is everything we hoped it would be and more. It is much more visually exciting than our old repository; it invites exploration, to the point that we even have members of our faculty reporting having seen historical images they didn’t even know we had in our collections,” said Howard.

“The digital exhibits are really exciting and our faculty and library staff are really impressed with them. We are already talking about creating more exhibits and how we can use them to open up our collections to new avenues of study,” said Caitlin Rookey, digital initiatives librarian, Eunice and James L. West Library.

“The ‘Not sure where to start’ search form on the home page is particularly helpful to students in navigating and narrowing their searches, for example, those searching for previous dissertations, by providing the ability to search by format, subject, relation, asset type and more,” said Marquel Anteola, reference and instruction librarian, Eunice and James L. West Library.

The library team plans to further enhance the site with further work on the George Anson collection and by adding university publications and graduation robing and commencement programs, as well as building on the already popular Scholar Works collection, a resource for the intellectual output of the University’s faculty.

Find out more about Quartex at quartexcollections.com.

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