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Digitisation Projects: Hosting

This guide outlines the various options available to those undertaking digitisation projects, considering the entire workflow from planning, hosting, copyright, digital imaging, metadata, software, web publishing tools etc.

UCD Digital Library

Bringing a collection into the UCD Digital Library is similar to publishing an article and is a lengthy process.

From the initial profiling stage to going live in the UCD Digital Library, the following steps are undertaken over several months:

  • Profiling
  • Digital Asset Curation
  • Cataloguing
  • Copyright
  • Ingest

See an overview of the entire workflow:

Availability of resources rather than technical issues currently limits the UCD Digital Library services. See the table below to find out if the UCD Digital Library would suit your needs:

UCD Digital Library Is...

UCD Digital Library Is Not...

An infrastructure where digital collections are curated and preserved into the future. A website for a digital collection.

An environment from which digital collections can be freely and globally accessed.

A storage platform or inaccessible (“dark”) archive.
An environment in which digital collections are organised and managed in a structured way.  

UCD Digital Library Can...

UCD Digital Library Cannot...

Enhance existing descriptions or listings for a collection, or provide a template to compile an initial description of the items in a collection. Undertake the arrangement and description of unlisted collections.
Digitise print collections and add to the UCD Digital Library providing it meets the criteria in its Collection Development Policy – see link below. Archive websites or social media.
Add digital collections to the UCD Digital Library providing they meet the criteria in its Collection Development Policy and are compatible with the UCD Digital Library infrastructure. Undertake data analysis e.g. network / pattern analysis. 
Add digital collections to the UCD Digital Library where such a collection needs to be hosted in an open access environment, to satisfy the requirements of a funding body (subject to the criteria in the preceding point).   

Provide Gallery and Thumbnail views, where appropriate: 


Provide sophisticated viewing and download options.


Present geolocated items on a map. For example: 


Provides APIs (Application Programming Interface) that allow the data behind some of the Digital Library collections to be re-used in many ways.


UCD Project Website

A project website on the UCD web domain using UCD’s Content Management System is an option where the collection:

  • doesn't need to be maintained in the longer-term
  • needs to be regularly updated by the project staff
  • would like to incorporate an online exhibition using software such as Omeka
  • requires specific functionality not provided by the UCD Digital Library
  • may have a dedicated programmer attached to the project

UCD's IT Services can provide a number of different storage options. Information is available at: 

Useful Resources

JISC's Framing the Case for Host Support: Action steps and questions for digital project leaders : succinct and useful.

Mixture of UCD Digital Library and Project Website

You may wish to create your own, more explanatory, in-depth website and also to have your collection curated and preserved into the future.

Through the use of UCD Digital Library’s APIs it is possible to link to the collection from your website in a variety of different ways. Information is available from the Digital Library's API page.