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Digital Collections Repository

The Digital Collections Department, the Library of Trinity College Dublin, is delighted to host our Digital Collections Repository. This new digital resource will provide free Internet access to our growing collections of digitised library materials.

Over the past few years the Library’s Digital Collections team has been hard at work digitising materials from the Manuscripts & Archives, Early Printed Books, and general collections, as well as designing and programming a unique new online repository interface. With the launch of the first version of the Digital Collections Repository we are providing access to the remarkable treasures of our library for students, researchers, and armchair scholars anywhere in the world.

For the first time, an Internet connection and a few clicks of the mouse or taps of a touchscreen are all that is needed to provide easy, intuitive access to the wealth of teaching, learning and research materials that sit at the centre of our historic university.

Please join us and explore the digital library collections.

Imaging Technology

Some of the most common questions that we receive in the Digital Collections Department centre around the specific types of imaging technologies we use for the capture of our library materials. The answer is always “It depends on the materials we are asked to digitise”, for there really is no "one size fits all solution" that will provide the quality of output and rate of throughput that we desire.

For day-to-day image capture activities within the Digital Imaging Lab, we principally use camera technology, controlled studio lighting and adjustable large format copy stands to capture our final image files. This allows us to adapt quickly and easily to the wide variety of materials; velum, paper, papyri, photographic and three-dimensional artifacts which are held within the Trinity College collections.

We take the utmost care when carrying out our digitising activities. Our staging materials are conservation grade, in line with best practice. Staff handling training has been undertaken in partnership with the Conservation and Preservation Department and we liaise with Departmental staff to provide the most delicate and rare collections appropriate support while they are being photographed.

In our digitisation lab we house a variety of Hassleblad digital cameras and lenses, including a 200 megapixel six-shot digital back which achieves extremely detailed imaging results of the finest manuscripts. We also have a custom designed book robot for high speed capture of the Library's more modern materials, a dedicated cradle for manuscripts and a large format Creo flat-bed scanner for our transmissive material collections which include glass plate negatives, lantern slides and photographic film media.

While each of these systems has distinct advantages, each of them also has significant limitations. It is our goal to maximise every capture to ensure that our digital output meets the needs of as many people as possible, for as long a period of time as possible. We do our best to recognise the inherent value of each object and provide digital images that ensure a balance between our requirements of high-quality, high-resolution output, with the need to be efficient and cost effective.