Stephen F. Austin State University

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SFA opens Center for Digital Scholarship in Steen Library

April 7, 2014 - University Marketing Communications
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Stephen F. Austin State University's Ralph W. Steen Library has opened the Center for Digital Scholarship, which will assist with digital research projects, education and learning programs, scientific data, and digital humanities.

Located on the second floor of Steen Library, the CDS is a service center that offers support and assistance to faculty members, students and community members in the development and creation of digital information.

Services include digitization of documents, photos and maps; multimedia conversion for a variety of analog formats, including audio cassettes, VHS and MiniDV; and collaboration in planning, designing and developing projects.

"I have done more with digital preservation while working with the CDS than anywhere else," said Mark Musquiz, Department of History graduate student. "It let me apply what I learned in class while gaining experience."

The CDS is currently completing projects under the direction of the center's digital archivist, Dillon Wackerman. Several of the completed digital collections are collaborations between the East Texas Research Center and the CDS, including the extensive oral history of Texas Cowboy Churches, created by public administration graduate student Jake McAdams; the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster of 2003, created by Musquiz and the ETRC; and efforts to digitalize the collection of George Foreman's sermons and boxing artifacts.

Additionally, the ETRC and CDS have completed digitization of SFA's Stone Fort yearbooks from 1924-2013, a project made possible by donations from the SFA Alumni Association and the Office of Development.

The CDS also has worked extensively with Dr. Robert Selden and the Center for Regional Heritage Research, as well as Dr. Chris Talbot, director of the School of Art, on individualized projects. The collaboration with Selden involved testing and experimenting with 3-D images and viewers on a digitalization of Caddo pottery. Talbot, the CDS and faculty members in the School of Art explored several digital humanity projects, including a photography project documented with the National Park Service on the El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail.

Quickly adapting to new technologies as they emerge, the center aims to empower and equip the next generation of scholars in order to realize the creation of a more diverse and active digital environment.

"I can envision the CDS engaged in a number of digital research projects and collaborations both statewide and nationally," said Corrie Marsh, associate director of library information services. "I also believe the laboratory workrooms will be able to support digital media productions by students, all while allowing the CDS to continue developing 3-D scanning and advancing viewer services."

For more information, call the CDS at (936) 468-1841, email cds@sfasu.edu or contact Wackerman at wackermad@sfasu.edu.