The Rare Books and Special Collections Digital Library (RBSCDL), established in Fall 2011, provides a platform for Rare Books and Special Collections Library and Archives collection managers to publish born digital and digital surrogates of cultural heritage materials. Resources from the University Archives, Rare and Special Books, Archives and Manuscripts Collections, Oral History Interviews, Regional Architecture Collections, and Photography Collections may be included in the Rare Books and Special Collections Digital Library. Further, the digital library supports collaborative digitization and digital collection projects. The library’s collection policies and content are managed by the Rare Books and Special Collections Library and technical support is supplied by University Academic Computing Technologies.
The Rare Books and Special Collections Digital Library is powered by CONTENTdm, a digital asset management system available from OCLC. Item descriptions and digital imaging speficiations follow standards and best practices outlined in the American University in Cairo Best Practices for Digitizing and Describing Cultural Heritage Materials. To find project-specific best practices, visit the Rare Books and Special Collections Digital Library category of the AUCWiki.
For more information, contact Digital Collections Archivist Ryder Kouba at email@example.com or +20.2.2615.3656.
Rare Books and Special Collections Digital Library at the American University in Cairo supports research and teaching in the arts, culture, and society of Egypt and the Middle East by providing online access to cultural heritage resources.
Collection Development Policy
The Rare Books and Special Collections Digital Library supports the teaching, learning, and research needs of academic programs and faculty at the American University in Cairo. Additionally, the digital library collects materials related to the American University in Cairo’s history, mission, and activities.
- Topical, Geographic, Temporal, and Linguistic Scope
Resources in subjects that support the curriculum or faculty research at the American University in Cairo are housed in the Rare Books and Special Collections Digital Library to provide background and context for courses offered in all disciplines. The digital library does not exclude content based on geographical area or chronological scope. The Rare Books and Special Collections Digital Library collects resources in any language in accordance with the curricular and research needs of the American University in Cairo academic community.
- Media and Formats
Photographs, slides map, diaries, manuscripts, broadsides, newspapers, journals, monographs, musical scores, government publications, architectural drawings, sound recordings, moving images, works of art, physical objects, and finding aids comprise the types of resources collected by the Rare Books and Special Collections Digital Library. The digital library collects analog and born digital formats.
The Rare Books and Special Collections Digital Library relies on a number of criterion to prioritize digitization projects that meet the criteria outlines in the Collection Development Policy. We take into account the following:
- Researcher and instructor requests
- Popularity of the material
- Fragility of the resource
- Rarity and uniqueness of the collection
- Availability of digitization equipment and personnel
Many of the digital collections housed in the Rare Books and Special Collections Digital Library are representative samples of the full contents of archival collections. Criteria for inclusion in the Rare Books and Special Collections Digital Library include the following:
- Topical relevance of the material
- Uniqueness of the resource
- Visual or aural clarity of item
All digital assets are reviewed and selected for inclusion in the Rare Books and Special Collections Digital Library by Rare Books and Special Collections Library personnel in accordance with United States Copyright Act of 1976.