VCU Libraries updates digital collections

May 7, 2024
Allegheny Monkey Flower

VCU Libraries Digital Collections are now housed on Scholars Compass, marking a milestone toward a more integrated and accessible digital library experience. 

These digital collections include photographs, posters, maps and other content. Since September 2023, a team migrated 67 collections of 30,856 items from an outdated digital platform to Scholars Compass, VCU’s institutional repository.

Users will experience these improvements:  

  • New subcollections offer easier searching. For example, all Richmond Professional Institute, Medical College of Virginia and VCU yearbooks are individually searchable but they may also be searched as a group under VCU Yearbooks. Future projects will further expand subcollections like Comic Arts.
  • Expanded metadata for accessibility and discoverability. “Metadata” is a broad term that encompasses all the additional information attached to an item such as date, title, subject keywords and more. This updated and expanded metadata makes it easier for users to find what they want and make connections between elements in different collections. 
  • Improved descriptions of materials. Library collections contain materials related to difficult aspects of university and Richmond history. VCU Libraries continuously works to improve how holdings are described and organized. One focus is on identifying language or materials that can be offensive or potentially harmful and therefore require historical or social context and sensitivity in use of these materials.  

VCU’s Digital Collections encompass a variety of materials. A sampling: 

Oral histories from community experiences including:  Carver-VCU Partnership Oral History Collection, Goochland County Rosenwald Schools Oral History Project, 2013-2015, Historic Fulton Oral History Project and VCU Oral History Archive

Comic Arts Collection elements including Sykes Editorial Cartoon Collection and PS Magazine.

Richmond City architecture, photos and survey information including Richmond Architectural Survey Collection, Richmond Commission of Architectural Review Slide Collection and  Richmond Comprehensive Planning Slide Collection.

Historical VCU documents including VCU Alumni Publications, VCU News Publications, VCU Student Newspapers and Magazines and VCU Yearbooks.


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