Digital Collections Receives $80K LSTA Grant to Support Large-Scale Digitization Training

The UNLV University Libraries Digital Collections department has received an $80,685 Library Services and Technology Act Grant to support a large-scale digitization project.

“We appreciate the support from the Nevada State Library, Archives and Public Records in funding this project to further our work on large-scale digitization efforts,” said Maggie Farrell, Dean of the UNLV University Libraries. “These projects help us quickly provide access to historical documents and photographers for researchers around the globe.”

The project, “Building the Pipelines: Large-Scale Digitization Models for Nevada Cultural Heritage,” will build upon UNLV University Libraries’ existing efforts to ramp up digitization capacity across the state of Nevada.

“‘Building the Pipelines’ not only focuses on the digitization and online delivery of archival collections using a rapid-capture digitization practice, but also enables us to document and share our digitization models with other cultural heritage institutions in Nevada,” said Cory Lampert, Head of Digital Collections and lead investigator on the grant.

UNLV University Libraries has partnered with the Las Vegas Water District to prioritize water-related manuscript collections for large-scale digitization practice, particularly the Las Vegas Land and Water company records.

“This collection offers special challenges because the materials being digitized are fragile, have no pre-existing standards-based metadata, and are text-heavy rather than visual,” said Lampert. “Fortunately, we will be able to incorporate lessons we have learned through our previous work digitizing records from our Culinary Union project and the 2017 LSTA-funded Raising the Curtain project, which resulted in the digitization of more than 40,000 objects.”

Once completed, the grant will provide access to 10,000 new, high research value, digital objects, as well as offering several new recommendations for handling the challenges of archival collection digitization at large scale.

These recommendations will be shared at the second Nevada Statewide Digitization Workshop, to be hosted next spring at UNLV. The event will offer a venue to share new lessons learned while following up with other state cultural heritage organizations to discuss progress on digitization plans made at the 2017 workshop.

For more information about UNLV University Libraries Digital Collections, visit our website at

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