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Saturday, October 29 • 8:30am - 10:00am
#s1b: Building Bridges: Collaborating Within and Across Institutions

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Crossing Institutional Boundaries to Create a Collaborative Digital Archives: The Collegewomen.org Project
Eric Pumroy (Bryn Mawr College), Joanna DiPasquale (Vassar College), and Beth Seltzer (Bryn Mawr College)

The Collegewomen.org project is a collaborative effort by the colleges once known as the Seven Sisters to create a portal that brings together the institutions’ extensive collections of letters, diaries and scrapbooks that document the lives of the first generations of women to attend college. Funded by a planning grant from the NEH in 2014 and an implementation grant in 2016, the project aims to stimulate significant new work in women’s history and encourage a greater understanding of the role that women’s colleges played in advancing the position of women in American society. The session will examine both the work required to build and sustain a collaborative digital archive, the technical challenges to overcome in building a multi-institutional resource, and the additional outreach and supplemental content that is needed to make the digital archive a productive tool for research and teaching.

Erasing Borders Through Digital Discovery: EXPLORE Chicago Collections as the Foundation for Collaboration Among Libraries, Archives, Museums (and Others)
Tracy J. Seneca (University of Illinois at Chicago), Ellen Keith (Chicago History Museum), and Scott Walter (DePaul University)

In November 2015, Chicago Collections launched its foundational digital project, EXPLORE Chicago Collections, a “one-stop shop” providing access to primary source materials (and expertise) to citizens, students, and scholars with an interest in primary source collections related to the City of Chicago and its people. EXPLORE Chicago Collections provides access to more than 100,000 digital images and more than 4,000 finding aids to archival collections held at Chicago Collections member institutions, including academic libraries, public libraries, museums, historical societies, and other cultural heritage institutions. The initial release of EXPLORE Chicago Collections is not only “foundational” in the sense that work continues on the development of the portal, but in the sense that shared access to primary source content and expertise provides the foundation for a swiftly-expanding array of service programs, including, to date, a cooperative reference service, public exhibitions, public lecture series, professional development opportunities for staff, and a research partnership with Chicago’s public radio affiliate. Chicago Collections members will discuss the design of this new approach to collaboration among cultural heritage institutions of all types across a metropolitan area and describe some of the programs and services currently under consideration for the next phase of its development.


M. Isabella O'Neill

Head, Special Collections/University Archives, Bucknell University


Joanna DiPasquale

Vassar College

Ellen Keith

Chicago History Museum

Eric Pumroy

Bryn Mawr College

Beth Seltzer

Educational Technologist, Bryn Mawr College
Beth Seltzer is an educational technologist at Bryn Mawr College.
avatar for Tracy Seneca

Tracy Seneca

University of Illinois at Chicago

Saturday October 29, 2016 8:30am - 10:00am EDT
Center Room 2nd Floor, ELC