DLPS is a unit within Library Information Technology (LIT) at the University of Michigan Library. DLPS works closely with the others in LIT, and departments across the Library, to preserve and provide access to the collections of the library in digital form. Longstanding collaborations with Preservation and Conservation, Special Collections, Michigan Publishing, departments across the campus, and often other institutions, have produced policies, specifications, methods, workflows and applications for digitization, preservation and access.
DLPS strives to serve the needs of the Library first, and is often able to extend services to the university and broader community. Contributing to pioneering, internationally-recognized efforts such as HathiTrust has helped to establish the Library’s reputation for innovation and leadership in the digital library realm.
DLPS grew out of the Digital Library Program at the University of Michigan. The unit was formed in 1996 in response to a need for around-the-clock production-level support for digital library resources. DLPS was originally jointly funded by the University Library, Information Technology Services, the James and Anne Duderstadt Center, and the U-M School of Information. Today, DLPS is supported by the library, with additional funding from grants and partnerships with other universities. It cooperates closely with other units in LIT and, in particular, depends on Archtecture & Engineering for server infrastructure, systems integration, and automation of workflows and processes.
Additional details about the first decade of work can be found in Digital Libraries: A Vision for the 21st Century: A Festschrift in Honor of Wendy Lougee on the Occasion of Her Departure from the University of Michigan (online or in print).
DLPS has three main functions:
Digitize library collections:
The University of Michigan Library began building digital collections in the early 1990s and over the course of a decade played important roles in seminal projects including the Humanities Text Initiative, Making of America, the Advanced Papyrological Information System. Today, the Michigan Digitization Project has resulted in the scanning of millions of volumes.
The Digital Conversion Unit within DLPS has staff knowledgeable in the use of a variety of specialized scanners and photography equipment to achieve the library’s digital preservation goals. Texts, images, audio and video are handled with a combination of local methods and contracted services.
Provide access to collections:
DLPS is responsible for providing access to digitized books and journals, museum images, archival finding aids, and bibliographies. This work includes the preparation, management and deployment of digital collections as well as the development of digital library software called DLXS. Since the founding of HathiTrust in 2008, DLPS has developed major components of the HathiTrust access system and helped to shape repository policies and procedures. DLPS staff contribute to a number of other efforts including Deep Blue, the Copyright Review Management System (CRMS), and MiVideo.
Provide leadership in digital library development:
The University of Michigan Library participates in national and international organizations, partnerships, and collaborations such as the Digital Library Federation, Text Encoding Initiative, Text Creation Partnership, Google Library Partners, National Digital Stewardship Alliance, APTrust, Digital Preservation Network (DPN) and HathiTrust where DLPS staff, along with others from across LIT, have the opportunity to participate in the creation of best practices, standards, and cutting-edge research in digital libraries. We provide advice and expertise throughout the University on digital library issues. These efforts are changing the nature of libraries and scholarship.