From books to bytes: Transforming access to the printed word in the digital age

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BOBCATSSS_Harrington.pdf(15.84 MB)
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Harrington, Elaine
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Special Collections at University College Cork, Cork, Ireland has a rich history of engaging with a wide community through blogging & Twitter (@theriversideUCC), physical and digital exhibitions, digitised collections, stand-alone events and seasonal guides. These communicate to different target audience groups information about UCC Library’s unique and distinctive collections. However, since 2020 when access to physical spaces was not guaranteed or was restrictive, Special Collections expanded the use and range of its digital and virtual platforms to continue and enhance access to its collections. This was achieved both through creating new content via internationally available technologies: 3D Scanning and 360° tours, in addition to uploading new content to internationally available platforms: #ColorOurCollections, SpringShare, Google Maps, Scalar and Sketchfab. This poster case study describes & analyses a multi-technological & multi-platformed pilot approach where Special Collections used themed content to partner with other UCC Library sections & international organisations to enhance access for learning/research and to continue its work placement/internship program. The range of technologies enabled library staff to develop new skills and has encouraged us to continue considering new ways of accessing and exploring our collections. Evaluative methods have included use of digital content in comparison to original hard-copy items, and new collaborations derived from and building on these pilot approaches. While these examples use material from Special Collections, they serve as an example of what is possible and are not limited to unique and distinctive collections but can be applied to all types of collections and material.
Digital platforms , University College Cork , Special Collections , Library , Access , #ColorOurCollections , SpringShare , Google Maps , Scalar , Sketchfab , UCC Library , Academic libraries , Digital first
Harrington, E. (2023) From books to bytes: Transforming access to the printed word in the digital age. BOBCATSSS 2023: A New Era - Exploring the Possibilities and Expanding the Boundaries, Oslo Metropolitan University, Oslo, Norway, 25-27 January.
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