You think of school as this massive, durable mountain casting a shadow over your existence. It’s so huge, so important; it could never slip away, right? The notion that it may be even slightly temporary or forgettable seems nonsensical, if not impossible. But the truth is the opposite. Although your studies and scholarship are significant, they are also vulnerable to the passage of time. The preservation deserved is not guaranteed. The years of work and research you have accomplished look upon you with peculiar expressions asking, where are we going to live? We do not like your Google Drive.
The University of Cincinnati has found a way to implement this much needed preservation by providing its researchers, faculty, and students with an institutional repository. Meaning, a way to digitally archive information, essentially forever. The software is called Scholar@UC. And it’s the official institutional repository for the university.
UCIT and UC libraries have joined together; UCIT is hosting the servers and UC libraries are developing the software. The project is part of a bigger system, an international consortium of libraries called SAMVERA—which is, by the way, the Icelandic word for togetherness. And the symbolism does not go unnoticed. Scholar@UC’s purpose is to bring separated bodies of work together in indefinite, long-term preservation.
“The libraries have a mission to preserve the intellectual history of the university. But so much of that history is now born digital, both from individual faculty members and researchers—the output of their teaching and research but also the university’s own historical records,” says Linda Newman, head of Digital Collections and Repositories at University of Cincinnati Libraries, “And we recognize that. The libraries need to find new ways to preserve the born digital. That is the purpose of Scholar@UC.”