Digital Humanities 150

Social Justice

UCLA Digital Library

UCLA's Digital Library Collections is made up of primary sources that have been digitized, annotated with meta-data, and put online. 

You will also find links to the items and collections in the UCLA Library catalog, or, you can search the interface directly.  

Digital humanities scholars seek primary sources because we engage directly with evidence and artifacts: interpreting, reinterpreting, or analyzing collections of primary sources. We often work closely with digital libraries, partnering with them to collect, process, and eventually publish primary resources with our scholarly analyses or essays.  

DH scholars think of libraries as laboratories: and often engage with librarians, as directly as possible, in all phases of the research process. Digital Humanities projects often involve teams of scholars and staff with different areas of expertise.  We think of libraries as laboratories -- where we work together.  

Libraries tend to collect resources from local areas, but UCLA, because Los Angeles is a global city, has collections for around the world. In any case, you can structure your seach for primary sources based on concentric circles, from local to global. 




Exploring archives: Local to Global


Museums: Fowler, LACMA, Getty

Libraries: Huntington, USC, Loyola




Library of Congress



Community groups: South Asian American


Documenting the Now. 

When libraries acquire a collection of primary resources, they begin a labor-intensive process of creating an inventory and eventually producing a Finding Aid.  

1. Finding Aid for Los Angeles Times Photographs

2. Finding Aids are published online, and are indexed so that researchers can find the primary sources that libraries and archives have collected. Creating metadata that conforms to standards makes the content interoperable (with other collections) and discoverable.    

Now, researchers can make appointments and view the physical objects in the library's Special Collections.  

3. Meta-data are created for individual items.  

4. Items are scanned (digitized) and, sometimes texts are processed using OCR: Optical Character Recognition. 

5. With the meta-data, items are uploaded into the Digital Library system, and "published" online.

6. High-resolution digital objects are stored in repositories where they are preserved.  

6. Meta-data can be harvested from (or provided to) other systems, making researchers aware of new resources. 

Tools for working with digital resources

Opportunities to work in the library