UTA Libraries launches enhanced digital photo gallery

UTA photography collection used for research, news programs, books and more

Monday, Nov 23, 2020 • Devynn Case :

digital gallery

The University of Texas at Arlington Libraries has launched an expansive, enhanced Digital Gallery.

This repository of 76,000-plus images is designed to broaden access to the rich materials in UTA Special Collections. The simplified and intuitive web interface is supplemented by rich metadata that allows users to browse by collections or date range or to search specific subject terms.

“Special Collections is a jewel,” said Brenda McClurkin, department head of Special Collections. “Our photographs are used for school papers, genealogy research, club programs, instruction, theses and dissertations, news broadcasts, documentaries, books and more. We want to share the extraordinary collections that have been built and nurtured over the past 50-plus years with our community.”

Some of the upgrades that users can expect include:

  • The items are now arranged in user-friendly categories, such as Labor and Politics, Sports and Recreation, and World Events.
  • There are more, larger thumbnail images provided for categories and collections to give users an immediate sense of what they might find.
  • Each item contains links to related categories and subjects so that users can easily discover similar images and documents.

Jeff Downing, digital projects librarian and lead on the Digital Gallery upgrade, said the goals of the site remain the same.

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“By placing these images online, we’re giving global access,” Downing said. “Anyone can access the Gallery from anywhere in the world, and at a time convenient for them.”

Somaly Kim Wu, director of open archives and discovery, said she hopes the Digital Gallery will provide opportunities for course integration.

“Special Collections already works alongside researchers and faculty to incorporate archival materials into the classroom,” she said. “I would like to expand this effort further and meet the users at their point of need. To achieve this, the team will work to engage researchers and scholars this academic year to increase awareness and use of the Digital Gallery and of how technology can eliminate barriers to discovery.”

Users can explore the Digital Gallery or one of the Libraries’ other digital collections today.

Written by Alexandra Pirkle, UTA Libraries