Finally! Explore the wealth of digital cultural & historic materials in the Hampshire Archives through Five College Compass: Digital Collections

The Harold F. Johnson Library is pleased to announce the launch of Five College Compass: Digital Collections [] a site bringing together digital scholarship with cultural and historical materials contributed by Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges.

Compass offers stability for the rapidly expanding digital resources that constitute the library and archive of the future. The site is a collaborative implementation of the Islandora/Fedora open source framework and represents an ongoing commitment between the institutions to showcase and preserve our unique digital materials. With over three thousand individual items currently available and thousands more to be added, Compass will grow, providing access to the depth and breadth of digital output from our archives, special collections, and digital scholarship. This initial iteration of the site features diverse collections of letters, photographs, oral histories, campus newspapers, and student research. Users can easily search across institutions, or browse the materials of a specific collection or school. Most of the content on the site is publicly accessible.

Compass began in late 2015 with project planning by the three institutions and, by July 2016, work had begun to prepare the first round of collections for ingest. The colleges engaged Common Media, a digital firm, to build out and design the repository using the Islandora/Fedora framework. The Compass institutional teams and staff from Common Media continue to develop and grow the site and collections; enhancements to metadata, search, interface and integration with other systems are ongoing. Opportunities for expanded content from the Five College community is being considered for the future.

Compass will become the single and sole location for accessing Hampshire’s digital library resources, including student Division III’s and College archives. The library will be moving its collections out of our DSpace repository. DSpace will remain available through summer 2017, and will not be taken offline entirely until we have worked out the migration, and that migration will continue throughout the coming year.

Compass would not have been possible without the dedication and hard work of many people. We are grateful to the Three College Lead Team, Bob Crowley, Sarah Goldstein, and Elisa Lanzi; the Project Team members, Abigail S. Baines, Tristan Chambers, Jasmine Jones, Chris Kitzmiller, Rachel Leach, Sarah Ryder, and Shaun Trujillo; the staff at Common Media, in particular Liza Coburn, Pat Dunlavey, Gavin Morris, and Noah Smith. Neal Abraham and Barbara Lucey at Five Colleges Inc. provided additional administrative support.

 We encourage you to explore Compass! And please help us improve Compass by sharing your experience through the Feedback button found at the bottom right of any page on the site. We are actively tracking and planning for improvements and your input is very important. You can also reach us by using the Compass contact form.


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