Bright Ideas

Yale Digital Commons

Institution: ,

Implementation Date: May 2011

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In May 2011, Yale University announced that it would digitize millions of items in its museums, archives and libraries and offer free online access to anyone in the world, without license and with no limitations on use.  The Yale Digital Commons represents an unprecedented move towards an open-access collection, and is the first in the ivy league.

As of fall 2013, Yale’s Digital Collections Center (YDC2) has added more than 700,000 books, sculptures and other objects, scanned in 2D and 3D formats. Discover Yale Digital Content allows users to search 1.5 million digital assets from the Yale University Art Gallery, the Yale Center for British Art, the Yale Peabody Museum, the Lewis Walpole Library Print and Drawings, and the Yale University Library Map Collection, as well as iTunes podcasts produced by the Office of Digital Dissemination.

In May 2010, McMaster University announced a $2.5 million project to digitize its research collections as well. When the world’s finest library collections become freely available online, how will this alter the provision of library services on campus?

Below, Meg Bellinger, the Director of YDC2, describes the project in a 2-minute video clip:


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