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The Wayne State University Libraries have recently developed a new Digital Collections platform for our growing set of images, publications, and manuscripts, many of which relate to the Detroit area. Based on the Fedora digital object repository, with an Apache SOLR search layer and a lightweight PHP front-end, the platform represents a solid technological and content infrastructure for research and innovation in Detroit-related Digital Humanities.

Driven by technology, metadata, and rich content from Detroit and beyond, the platform can serve as a workspace for Digital Humanities projects. The architecture and metadata allow for parsing, faceting, and curating across collections. And a robust API and affiliated tools allow for textual analysis and creative reuse of content.

This panel proposes to look at the development and features of the Libraries’ Digital Collections platform, with an eye to how the features of the system lend themselves to Digital Humanities work. We’ll feature three Detroit-related case studies (Detroit Focus Quarterly, The Changing Face of the Auto Industry, and the Michigan Opera Theatre Performance Image Archive), created in partnership with cultural institutions in the area, and made useable by this system. Finally, we’ll discuss the kinds of future partnerships/research made possible by the availability of a collaborative digital object repository and collections platform at a large regional research university.


Library and Information Science


This presentation was a panel discussion consisting of Amelia Mowry, Joshua Neds-Fox, Cole Hudson, and Graham Hukill for the Network Detroit 2014 conference at Lawrence Tech University, Southfield, Michigan, 09/2014.