Digital University/Library Presses, Part 9: University of Cincinnati Digital Press

Established in 1995, the University of Cincinnati Digital Press is a service of the Digital Projects Department of the University of Cincinnati Libraries.

The mission of the University of Cincinnati Digital Press is described as follows:

The University of Cincinnati Digital Press is devoted to the electronic publication of original documentation of the Transmississippi West for use in research and instruction. The Press developed out of an effort to preserve special materials in the University Libraries and to increase their accessibility using new technologies. Collection strength and staff interest in Western Americana provided a subject focus for these efforts. The Libraries’ mission as well as staff experience and expertise in the requirements and technology of information access provided the concentration on collections of primary documentation. The Press came into being when it became clear that electronic publications resulting from these efforts would be of interest and use beyond the University of Cincinnati.

The press has two staff members, plus student assistants.

The press publishes both research publications and online publications.

Research publications are described as follows:

Research publications of the University of Cincinnati Digital Press are collections of primary documentation incorporating high resolution images, databases, texts, and supporting documentation with a software interface offering maximum opportunities for searching, examination, and analysis of the contents. The cataloging, organization, and electronic presentation of materials offers the means for comprehensive searching and detailed examination of a vast array of documentation from rare and often unique sources in widely separated collections.

The press distributes its research publications on CD-ROM for a fee, and it utilizes the locally developed Windows-based CUrator software, which has the following capabilities:

Individual items are displayed in multiple resolution images.

These images are incorporated into a database offering 85 fields for physical and bibliographic description as well as notes for all formats of materials.

Links can be made to associated documents in various formats including maps, charts and texts.

Database records are presented in several displays: list, brief record, full record, image contact sheet.

There are multiple searching capabilities: keyword, boolean, and geographic as well as filtering by format.

Searches can be conducted across multiple databases.

The software is easy to use and context sensitive online help is provided.

With the exception of monographs (partial contents accessible), online publications are freely available. They are categorized as bibliographies, exhibits, monographs, and Web sites.

For further information:

Kohl, David F. "Starting a Library-Based University Press." Reference Services Review 27, no. 1 (1999): 4-12. (Abstract)

Guernsey, Lisa. "Digital Presses Transform Librarians into Entrepreneurs." The Chronicle of Higher Education, 22 May 1998, A27-A28.

Also see the Articles & Reviews page.

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