Publishing digital collections

Using Special Collections Online to publish digitised collections of primary source material

Special Collections Online

Screenshot of the Affective Digital Histories landing page from Special Collections OnlineSpecial Collections Online is the Library's platform for publishing online collections of digitised primary source material. It provides an effective and sustainable way of displaying large digital collections. It is recommended for use by research projects where there is a need to:

  • Share large collections of images, documents, audio and video
  • Document these collections using descriptive metadata
  • Make collections discoverable via WorldCat and other discovery platforms
  • Incorporate digitised content into other websites and mobile applications
  • Sustain access to collections beyond the term of a funded project

Collections are hosted by the CONTENTdm digital collection management system, supplied by OCLC. Full research life-cycle support is available from the Library, covering planning, research phase and post-funding. The service is centrally funded, although funding may be required to support digitisation, metadata creation, and the development of external websites and mobile applications.

Case Study: Affective Digital Histories

Affective Digital Histories was an AHRC funded research project, that ran from 2013-2015 (PI Ming Lim, School of Management). The project investigated how communities change with urban decline and regeneration, exploring the hidden and untold stories of the people who lived and worked in former industrial buildings in two locations in the East Midlands - Leicester's Cultural Quarter and Glossop, a market town in north Derbyshire. The research team worked with archives from the Library's Special Collections, sound recordings and video. Archive material was uploaded to Special Collections Online and catalogued by the Library's metadata specialists. An external IT company, Cuttlefish Multimedia, was commissioned to create an integrated project website, which presented the archival content through a custom interface including a gallery, timeline and map.

For a discussion about how Special Collections Online can be used for disseminating research outputs contact Simon Dixon, Archives and Special Collections Manager. T: 0116 294 4871 | E:

Share this page:

Contact Us

T: +44 (0)116 252 2056

E: specialcollections

Opening times

Archives and Special Collections is currently closed until further notice. For further information about onsite services please visit see our Covid-19 Library Advice.