Crossing Institutional Boundaries to Create a Collaborative Digital Archives: The Project

Eric Pumroy (Bryn Mawr College), Joanna DiPasquale (Vassar College), and Beth Seltzer (Bryn Mawr College)

The project is a collaborative effort by the colleges once known as the Seven Sisters to create a portal that brings together the institutions’ extensive collections of letters, diaries and scrapbooks that document the lives of the first generations of women to attend college. Funded by a planning grant from the NEH in 2014 and an implementation grant in 2016, the project aims to stimulate significant new work in women’s history and encourage a greater understanding of the role that women’s colleges played in advancing the position of women in American society. The session will examine both the work required to build and sustain a collaborative digital archive, the technical challenges to overcome in building a multi-institutional resource, and the additional outreach and supplemental content that is needed to make the digital archive a productive tool for research and teaching.

Eric Pumroy is the Associate Chief Information Officer and Seymour Adelman Director of Special Collections at Bryn Mawr College. He has been active in numerous collaborative projects in the Philadelphia region, and was president of the Philadelphia Consortium of Special Collections Libraries from 1998 to 2001. He is the project director for “College Women: Documenting the Student Experience at the Seven Sisters Colleges,” funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Joanna DiPasquale is the Head of Digital Scholarship and Technology Services at Vassar College, working to create, maintain, and preserve the digital collections of the College and to foster digital scholarship initiatives on campus.  She holds degrees in history and mathematics, and received her MA from New York University and her MLIS from Rutgers University.

Beth Seltzer is the Educational Technology Specialist at Bryn Mawr College. She fosters digital pedagogy on campus through her work with the Mellon Blended Learning in the Liberal Arts initiative and other projects. She holds a PhD in English from Temple University.

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