Through the Empire State Library Network, WNYLRC is involved with 2 statewide digitization projects: New York Heritage and New York State Historic Newspapers. WNYLRC's original repository of digital collections was Western New York Legacy. In 2011, that website was merged with the websites of digital collections from six other library councils, to form New York Heritage. Newspapers that were originally part of New York Heritage were later moved to their own site, forming New York State Historic Newspapers.
Many of WNYLRC's digital collections are funded through the Regional Bibliographic Data Bases and Interlibrary Resources Sharing Program (RBDB) that is awarded to the Western New York Library Resources Council by the New York State Education Department. These digital collections are loaded onto the New York Heritage or New York State Historic Newspapers server.
Libraries wishing to add a collection to New York Heritage or New York State Historic Newspapers outside of an RBDB grant still need to complete an Application and Copyright and Use Agreement. These should be sent to Sheryl Knab at firstname.lastname@example.org. The documents will be reviewed by WNYLRC's Regional Advisory Committee (RAC) at their next quarterly meeting. Upon approval, the WNYLRC digitization project manager will work with the library to set up the collection.
WNYLRC welcomes and encourages contributions to New York Heritage from any member institution with material that will help document the rich history of Western New York. Contributors should read the following information to ensure that their project proposal is successful.
New York Heritage is a collaborative project among New York State’s nine Reference and Research Library Resources Councils (NY3Rs): Capital District Library Council; Central New York Library Resources Council; Long Island Library Resources Council; METRO-Metropolitan New York Library Council; Northern New York Library Network; Rochester Regional Library Council; South Central Regional Library Council; Southeastern New York Library Resources Council; and Western New York Library Resources Council.
The NY3Rs, funded by New York State, work with their member institutions (libraries, archives, museums and historical societies) to digitize original research materials and make those materials available for free on the Internet. The Councils are continually adding new collections to nyheritage.org and actively seek collections to expand the site.
New York Heritage utilizes CONTENTdm software with a site-license purchased by WNYLRC from OCLC; this site license is shared by WNYLRC, Capital District Library Council, Central New York Library Resources Council, Northern New York Library Network, Rochester Regional Library Council, and South Central Regional Library Council.
WNYLRC members wishing to include collections in New York Heritage should consult the WNYLRC Regional Digitization Plan March 15, 2006, and its supporting documents. These documents detail guidelines and requirements for metadata, scanning and imaging standards, workflow procedures, and other related information.
At the present time, there is no software-related cost associated for WNYLRC members using WNYLRC’s CONTENTdm license (newyorkheritage.org) to host their collections. There may be a nominal fee associated with participation in the future, which would cover software maintenance and hosting fees. Any future fees assessed will be based upon WNYLRC budgetary considerations and will be fully communicated to WNYLRC members.
The WNYLRC member library or organization is responsible for digitizing the proposed collection, including selecting the collection, scanning and retouching the images, and describing the items/assigning metadata. Additionally, the WNYLRC member is responsible for funding, staffing, and equipment needed to work with the CONTENTdm software. The software allows participants to upload their collection into New York Heritage.
WNYLRC also allows members to utilize the digitization lab at WNYLRC’s headquarters free of charge. The lab consists of a computer with the CONTENTdm software and a scanner – the Microtek Scanmaker 1000XL Pro. Arrangements can be made to use the equipment by calling Heidi Ziemer at (716) 633-0705 x114.
New York Heritage was created to provide a freely accessible digital repository of materials to the general public to support the study of New York and its history.
The Western New York Library Resources Council (WNYLRC) facilitates cross-institutional cooperation and encourages collaborative projects with its member libraries and library systems. New York Heritage establishes the potential for collaboration among diverse institutions. These institutions are encouraged to contribute materials in topic areas not currently represented in New York Heritage or materials that enhance or complement existing collections. WNYLRC strives to bring non-members with potential collections under the umbrella of WNYLRC by encouraging membership in WNYLRC as a key component of the collaboration. Membership in WNYLRC not only provides opportunities to take part in New York Heritage but also affords opportunities in training, support, education, grants, and other professional development resources.
While the materials in New York Heritage are available to anyone visiting the site, the primary focus of the program is geared to New York audiences. The target audiences include:
WNYLRC member content on New York Heritage reflects aspects of New York culture, history, natural history, character and economic conditions, as well as Western New York's contributions relative to New York State and U.S. history. Collections and materials selected for inclusion in New York Heritage reflect Western New York's history from colonial times to the present, its varied population, urban and rural experiences and divergent points of view.
Although member library and library systems are the primary sources for digital collections, WNYLRC does not limit collections to members. Items and collections housed by non-members may be included if some relationship can be established between the non-member and a WNYLRC member organization in a collaborative agreement. At least one contributor in a collaborative project must be a WNYLRC member.
Institutions supplying materials, not in the public domain must have the appropriate permissions to digitize and make the materials publicly available. Digital collections and resources should support the educational, recreational, and scholarly needs of the people of Western New York and other researchers outside the region. Collections should not be so institution-specific that they have limited appeal to those outside the institution. Materials included in New York Heritage must conform to both technical and metadata standards established by work groups that oversee the development of New York Heritage. Material submitted to New York Heritage should not be freely available online through other sources as to avoid unnecessary duplication. Existing physical exhibits may be appropriate for digitization and development into an online collection as long as the exhibit's subject matter focuses on an aspect of Western New York history.
For a collection to be considered for inclusion in New York Heritage, the institution must submit a collection proposal to WNYLRC that will be reviewed and evaluated by a selection committee determined by WNYLRC. For additional information on the application process, please refer to the Western New York Regional Digitization Plan and the supporting documents listed on this page.
Collections to be digitized may include (but are not necessarily limited to) the following subject matter:
Collections that explicitly duplicate the materials that already exist in New York Heritage will not be approved for inclusion. Digital objects should be created from the best copy of the original or the cleanest copy of microform available. Materials that are freely available online from another source may also be excluded from New York Heritage. It is at the sole discretion of WNYLRC and its selection committee and/or work groups to allow duplicate materials to be included in New York Heritage.
Items included in New York Heritage are made freely available online in order to enhance and contribute to scholarly and educational research and are therefore subject to Fair Use provisions. Fair Use includes making reproductions for education, research, and private study, with credit being given to the source of the material. Fair Use does not include making reproductions for commercial gain. Items may not be used for commercial gain unless prior permission is granted by the owner or steward of the collection or item.
Neither New York Heritage nor WNYLRC claims ownership of the digital objects included in newyorkheritage.org. Ownership remains with the originating site and/or participating institution. Note that the collections included in New York Heritage are developed for educational and scholarly purposes. Those who wish to use any item included in New York Heritage for commercial purposes must contact the originating site. A rights statement is included with each item in each collection.
Responsibility for the accuracy of data, facts, and information presented rests with the institution providing the digital resource or contributing to scholarship included in the site. WNYLRC does not guarantee or certify the accuracy of any information on the New York Heritage site. WNYLRC asks that each participating institution collect information regarding the accuracy of the content they supply to New York Heritage and follow a policy for the review and revision of collections.
Collections or items may be removed from New York Heritage for one or more of the following:
WNYLRC will take action to correct any infringements and/or remove collections or items that infringe on copyright. Parties with copyright concerns regarding collections or items on New York Heritage may contact WNYLRC directly at:
Airport Commerce Park East
4950 Genesee Street, Suite 170
Cheektowaga, NY 14225
For each collection that is accepted for inclusion in New York Heritage, there must be a guarantee from the participating institution that absolves WNYLRC of any liability regarding copyright. The participating institution must complete the New York Heritage Copyright and Use Agreement before grant funds are dispersed or before digital assets are loaded into newyorkheritage.org.
New York Heritage contributors are required to use the New York Heritage Metadata Template. This template is under council-wide development, and the most current version of the New York Heritage Metadata Template will be posted on this page. Required fields for WNYLRC members are in yellow. (However, due to specifics of each collection, some tweaking of the basic New York Heritage Metadata Template by the Digital Services Librarian may be required prior to beginning your project.) Please request all metadata template changes during the planning phase of the project.
Institutions should pay particular attention to the Rights metadata field, which is a required field. Each institution should develop a rights statement for each collection, and in some cases for each item (if different items carry different rights). Collections without a rights statement for each item will not be made available to the public.
Please review the New York Heritage Metadata Template and contact the Digital Services Librarian BEFORE you begin your digitization project. If you are outsourcing the digitization and/or metadata, consult with your vendor regarding any metadata fields that they will be adding. Many vendors have default templates that are very different from the New York Heritage Metadata Template. All changes to the metadata template, including renaming or adding fields, should be coordinated with the Digital Services Librarian at WNYLRC in advance of the collection being created in New York Heritage.
We recommend that participants follow the standards and best practices set forth under the New York Heritage Digitization Guidelines, which were based in part on BCR's CDP Digital Imaging Best Practices.
Each participating institution is required to maintain archival copies of their own master images and metadata. Minimally, New York Heritage participants should adhere to the following standards for master images:
*WNYLRC will soon be looking into the issue of Digital Repositories, and more fully exploring the issues surrounding storage, maintenance, and migration of digital images and data. As more information becomes available, recommendations for storage may change based on WNYLRC's findings. All New York Heritage participants will be informed of any changes in the recommendations.
CONTENTdm will accept the following file formats; however, please consult with WNYLRC as to the most appropriate format for each item type (example: photographs, books, audio recordings, etc.):
Please check that your computer meets the following requirements:
Each institution should catalog the digital collection that they contribute to New York Heritage with one bibliographic record describing the collection. If an institution does not have the means to create and upload a catalog record to OCLC/WorldCat, the University at Buffalo has offered to do so for the institution.
If you have questions about a digitization project that you or your institution would like to pursue, please contact Heidi Ziemer with the details of your proposed project. She is available to advise members on best practices, materials selection, preferred formats and will assist with any aspect of the project as needed. Please be aware that certain materials may not be good candidates for digitization, such as acetate microfilm. These documents may assist you with project planning and materials selection:
How to recognize acetate microfilm (courtesy of Joan Dashiell, Backstage Library Works)
The NYS Historic Newspapers project provides free online access to a wide range of newspapers chosen to reflect New York's unique history. The website, NYSHistoricNewspapers.org uses the CHRONAM software platform developed by the Library of Congress Newspaper Project to provide immediate free access to millions of newspaper pages published in New York State. Researchers may search by city, county, date, title, and full-text keywords. Metadata includes MARC records, persistent URLs, consistent file names, ABBY OCR text files, and functional METS/ALTOS.
Libraries and cultural institutions are encouraged to submit their scanned historic newspapers for inclusion. There are no hosting charges.
Scanned newspapers should meet the following minimum standards:
nowheresville-gazette-18590621 – 001.pdf
nowheresville-gazette-18590621 – 002.pdf
nowheresville-gazette-18590622 – 001.pdf
nowheresville-gazette-18590622 – 002.pdf
OCR files should be included should they be available.
Libraries that wish to have their newspaper microfilm digitized may do so by submitting it to the Northern New York Library Network Digitization Center. The fee is $0.15 per page. Libraries that wish to load post-1923 newspapers should look into obtaining a release, which is available from the NNYLN.
Scanned, formatted newspaper files may be sent to:
NYS Historic Newspapers Project
6721 US HWY 11
Potsdam, NY 13676
The Digital Public Library of Americal (DPLA) has collaborated with trainers at partner libraries to write and iterate a workshop curriculum based on documented best practices in digitization. This curriculum is available in a self-guided version intended for digitization beginners from a variety of cultural heritage institutions. Each module includes a video presentation, slides with notes in Powerpoint, and slides in PDF. Please feel free to share, reuse, and adapt these materials.
Of the following list of digitization vendors, only Backstage Library Works provides both digitization services and full CONTENTdm processing. (All New York Heritage Digital Collections run on the CONTENTdm platform.)
Additional vendors can be found on the New York State Archives Consultants and Vendors page, in the category "Imaging Services Vendors."
PO Box 5640
Port Ewen, NY 12466
Contact: Toya Dubin, President, 845-338-5785
7620 Omnitech Place
Victor, NY 14564
Contact: (585) 924-2420