Ohio Wesleyan Faculty, Librarians, Students Collaborate on Digital Collections

Information can be integrated into curriculum, shared with outside institutions

The Ohio Wesleyan University Libraries are among the best of the state's liberal arts college libraries. The Leon A. Beeghly Library, completed in 1966, houses a central collection of more than 550,000 items, including rare books, manuscripts, art, microfilm, and federal government publications. (Photo by Taylor Rivkin ’14)

Several digital collections have been produced by the Ohio Wesleyan Libraries with funding from a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation titled “Five Colleges of Ohio Next Steps in the Next Generation Library (NGL): Integrating Digital Collections into the Liberal Arts Curriculum.” Librarians and faculty from the Five Colleges of Ohio (OWU, Oberlin, Kenyon, Denison, and The College of Wooster) are working together to create best practices, provide ongoing staff development, and purchase needed technology for the creation of digital material.  On each campus, grants are available to fund faculty/librarian digital collections for use in the classroom.

Projects for the Next Generation Library are selected by the OWU NGL Steering Committee. The committee includes faculty members Jed Burtt, Barbara Andereck, Melinda Rhodes, James Peoples, Zack Long, Cynthia Cetlin, and Chris Fink, and librarians Carol Holliger and Emily Haddaway.

Completed projects include:

  • Auxin Transport during Gravitropism and Phototropism using a GFP-based Sensor, Chris Wolverton (botany-microbiology faculty), and librarian Deb Peoples.
  • Tree Growth Data for the Bohannan and Kraus Nature Preserves, Laurel Anderson (botany-microbiology faculty), and librarian Deb Peoples.
  • Krempley Gender Project, Anne Sokolsky (humanities-classics faculty), librarian Dee Peterson, and student Tema Krempley.

The following projects are currently in process:

  • Contemporary Issues in Media Law Podcast: journalism professor Melinda Rhodes is working with librarian Kristine Szabo.
  • Medieval Manuscripts and Incunabula at Ohio Wesleyan University: English professor Patricia DeMarco is working with rare books librarian Bernard Derr.
  • Developing a Pedagogical Chinese Movie Database for Chinese Courses: Chinese professor Ching-Hsuan Wu is working with librarian Joy Gao.
  • Developing of a Digital Image Resource and Online Database for Plant Museum Collections at Ohio Wesleyan University: botany faculty David Johnson and Nancy Murray are working with librarian Deb Peoples.
  • Baist’s Real Estate Atlases of Columbus, Ohio: geology-geography faculty John Krygier and David Walker are working with librarian Deb Peoples (see previous article about this project).
  • Japanese Language Skill Builder Program: Japanese professor Jun Kawabe is working with librarian Joy Gao.

All collections will eventually be accessible via OhioLINK’s Digital Resource Commons along with other NGL Projects.

During the second year of the grant (academic year 2011-2012), issues of scholarly communication will be a major focus for all five colleges. OWU will explore the possibility of creating openly accessible archives for the scholarly work of faculty and the research projects of students.

Questions about the grant application process can be sent to Holliger or Haddaway.

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