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Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about the Digital Library of Georgia

Questions about digitization projects

Policy/technical questions

Other questions


What is the Digital Library of Georgia?

The Digital Library of Georgia is a GALILEO initiative based at the University of Georgia Libraries. The DLG works together with Georgia's libraries, archives, museums, and other institutions of cultural heritage to provide access to the cultural and historical resources of the state of Georgia. This primary mission is accomplished through the ongoing development, maintenance, and preservation of digital collections and online digital library resources. These may include materials such as original manuscripts, typescripts, books, photographs, maps, sheet music, posters and broadsides, newspapers, primary source materials on microfilm, audio, video, and other formats.

The DLG participates on local and national levels in the development of digital library standards, practice, and technology, facilitates cooperative ventures with other organizations, and provides leadership for cooperative digital initiatives throughout the state.

The Digital Library of Georgia also includes the Georgia Newspaper Project microfilming operation, which generates and distributes film of both current titles and historic newspapers.

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What is a digital library?

A complete definition of the term "digital library" is difficult due to the fact that it can mean different things to different people and communities. Generally, those with a background in computer science may view a digital library as a networked information system containing digital resources, while librarians may define a digital library in terms of organizations and services.

The Digital Library of Georgia incorporates both these views and may be defined as:

An online collection of digitized library and historical materials related to the history and culture of the state of Georgia, and the organization that builds, maintains, and preserves those materials for ongoing access.

For more information on defining the digital library see:

Borgman, Christine L. "What Are Digital Libraries? Competing Visions." Information Processing and Management 35 (May 1999): 227-243.

Arms, William Y. Digital Libraries. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2000.

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Why digitize historical materials?

  • More people can access and use unique, highly valuable, and often fragile materials
  • Users can view the materials from any computer connected to the Internet, any time of day
  • Searchable text allows users to conduct research in ways not possible before
  • Users gain an understanding of the context of the materials in history through associated supplementary resources such as timelines and historical overviews
  • Libraries can build "virtual collections" made up of related materials that are physically separated between repositories
  • Digitized Materials can be used in new and exciting ways for research and instruction when combined with the communications facilities of the Internet

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How does the Digital Library of Georgia select items and materials for digitization?

Selection of materials and collections to be included in the Digital Library of Georgia is guided by the Digital Library's Collection Development Policy.

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How is the Digital Library of Georgia related to Georgia HomePLACE (Providing Libraries and Archives Electronically)?

The Georgia Public Library Service (Board of Regents, University System of Georgia) and the Digital Library of Georgia and GALILEO (University System of Georgia) are collaborating on a long-range initiative called Georgia HomePLACE (Providing Library and Archives Collections Electronically) to digitize valuable collections on Georgia local and family history and to support partnerships between public libraries and the Digital Library of Georgia. The Vanishing Georgia historical photograph collection, digitized in partnership with the Georgia Archives (Office of the Secretary of State) was the first Georgia HomePLACE project, and it includes 18,000 images documenting Georgia history and life between the 1850s and 1980s. Subsequently, the Digital Library of Georgia has partnered with individual public libraries and library systems to digitize and provide online access to key resources held by those institutions. A Georgia HomePLACE survey provides data on local and family history holdings at Georgia public libraries. Also, the Digital Library of Georgia has provided training opportunities for public library personnel.

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Where does funding for the Digital Library of Georgia come from?

As a GALILEO initiative based at the University of Georgia Libraries, most of the funding for the Digital Library of Georgia comes from GALILEO, the University of Georgia, and other state sources. Grants from institutions such as the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Institute for Library and Museum Services (IMLS), the Georgia Historical Records Advisory Board (GHRAB), the Taylor Foundation, and other sources also support current and past Digital Library Projects.

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My repository has Georgia historical materials that we'd love to have online, can we contribute to the Digital Library?

Yes! The Digital Library of Georgia is currently building a list of historical materials and collections related to the history and culture of Georgia from libraries, archives, museums, and other institutions of cultural heritage around the state. Selected collections may be digitized and made available online in the Digital Library of Georgia and GALILEO. Your ideas will help us obtain funding and resources for building a statewide digital library of Georgia's history for audiences from Kindergarten through University Scholars, available over the Internet to anyone in the world. All suggestions are welcomed and multiple nominations from the same repository are encouraged! See the Nomination Form to submit your nomination.

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I have a site or my repository has a site with information on Georgia history that includes historical materials. Will you link to it?

In addition to content digitized by DLG staff, the DLG promotes and provides access to high quality digital collections on Georgia's history and culture that are converted and hosted by other repositories. More information on how sites are selected may be found in the Digital Library's Collection Development Policy. If your institution has digital content that you think should be included in DLG, please Contact us.

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How should I get started on a digital project, how should I select materials, what computers and scanners should I use, etc.?

See the Digital Library of Georgia Digitization Guide for answers on these questions and more relating to the planning and technical aspects of digitization projects.

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Do I need special plug-ins to view Digital Library of Georgia Collections?

Some of the collections available do require plug-ins that are available without cost via Internet download. The most commonly used plug-ins within the DLG are Adobe Acrobat Reader, DjVu plug-in, and MrSID plug-in. The multi-media components of the New Georgia Encyclopedia require QuickTime player.

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May I use Digital Library of Georgia materials in my school project, my publication, or on my web page? Are these materials protected by copyright?

The digital reproductions included in the Digital Library of Georgia have been made available for use in research, teaching (including distribution to classes), and private study. For these purposes you may reproduce (print, make photocopies, or download) materials from this web site without prior permission, on the condition that you provide proper attribution of the source in all copies. See the Using Materials from the DLG page for more information.

Those interested in publishing or other commercial uses of materials should contact the repository responsible for the custody of the original materials. Web pages for DLG collections include a link to the holding repository where the contact information may be found. Note that some DLG collections contain related materials from multiple repositories.

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How do I cite materials found in the Digital Library of Georgia?

See the Using Materials from the DLG page for instructions on how to cite resources from various repositories contained in the Digital Library.

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How can I get reproductions of materials found in the Digital Library of Georgia?

Because the items included in the digital library of Georgia come from a variety of repositories throughout the state, reproductions such as photographs, negatives, or photocopies of materials should be obtained directly from the holding repository. Availability of these services depends on the individual repository holding the original materials. Web pages for DLG collections include a link to the holding repository where the contact information may be found. Note that some DLG collections contain related materials from multiple repositories.

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Can I link to a site or materials in the Digital Library?

Anyone may link to the Digital Library of Georgia online collections without permission from the Digital Library of Georgia. We do like to hear how our site is being used, and appreciate hearing from teachers, students, and researchers who are using our resources in interesting ways. (Please use the GALILEO comment form to let us know and indicate that your comment refers to the Digital Library of Georgia. Thanks for your help!)

We also ask that any links not give the impression that the Digital Library of Georgia or GALILEO is making an expressed or implied endorsement of any particular viewpoint, product, or service.

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I found a mistake in an image, text, or other information included in the Digital Library. How can I let someone know?

Use the GALILEO comment form. Please indicate that you are commenting on the Digital Library of Georgia and which collection or resource you are using.

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What should I do if I have comments about the Digital Library or its collections or more questions that are not answered here?

We appreciate hearing comments and especially hearing how users are making use of Digital Library of Georgia resources for scholarship, teaching, and learning. For comments and other questions, use the GALILEO comment form. Please indicate that you are commenting on the Digital Library of Georgia and which collection or resource you are using.

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July, 2001
Revised Sept. 2004