Share a Collection

All Wisconsin libraries, archives, museums, historical societies, and other cultural heritage institutions that hold materials related to state and local history and culture are invited to become contributing partners of Recollection Wisconsin by building digital collections and sharing digital content.

No special expertise is required–Recollection Wisconsin provides contributing partners with guidelines and training for all the steps involved in building digital collections, including planning, copyright, imaging, metadata, and digital preservation. We can also recommend software solutions to help you organize and display your digital collection.

Please note: At this time, Recollection Wisconsin can partner with libraries, archives, museums, historical societies, and other cultural heritage institutions to build digital collections, but not private individuals. If you have a personal collection of materials you want to share, we encourage you to connect with your local library or historical society to discuss options for providing access to your content. If you have just a few images you’d like to share, or a personal story you’d like to contribute, head to the Recollection Wisconsin Shared Collection to find out how.

Contributing Partners are expected to . . .

  • Apply Recollection Wisconsin standards and guidelines for digital imaging, metadata, and digital preservation.
  • Ensure that digitized resources are freely available to the public for personal, educational, informational, recreational and research use.
  • Ensure that digitized resources are in the public domain or cleared for public access.
  • Accept responsibility for preservation of digital master files.

Getting started

There are several ways to include your digital collection in Recollection Wisconsin:

Option 1

Use a web-based form to add up to 50 items to a shared collection hosted in Omeka by WiLS.
This no-cost option is intended for local historical societies and small public libraries dipping into digitization for the first time. Contact us to get started.

Option 2

Build a collection hosted in CONTENTdm by the Milwaukee Public Library. 
This option is intended for small organizations without the technical or financial resources to maintain their own OAI-compliant database. Examples of collections hosted by the Milwaukee Public Library include the Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum, Milwaukee Area Technical College, and Langlade County Historical Society.

Steps:
  1. Contact us and we’ll schedule a phone call or an in-person visit to help you develop a plan for your digital project.
  2. Submit the Collection Hosting Application. We’ll use the information you provide to do the preliminary collection setup and help you develop a timeline for completion of your project.
  3. Schedule a training session. Our staff will provide training in the skills you need to execute a successful project.
  4. Start digitizing. Scan or photograph your materials and add metadata (catalog information about each item) using the spreadsheet templates we’ll provide. Read more about these requirements in our Contributor Guidelines.
  5. After you’ve added some content (at least 20 items) to your digital collection, we’ll harvest it so our users can search and discover your materials through our website. Subsequent data harvests take place once per month, picking up any additions or changes you make to your collection.

Costs: A one-time start-up fee of $200 is required, which includes training, custom collection branding, and customized metadata templates.
Annual hosting fees are based on the size of your digital collection.
$75/year                  Fewer than 500 items
$125/year                500-1,000 items
$175/year                1,001-1,500 items

Notes: Collection size capped at 1,500 (exceptions may be negotiated for additional fee). One collection per organization (a collection is defined as a configured collection space in CONTENTdm). Organizations interested in multiple collections or other customizations should pursue Option 3.

Option 3

Build a collection using the compatible platform of your choice. 
In order to harvest metadata into our aggregated database, the software and server you use for your digital collection should be OAI-PMH compliant (Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting). OAI-compliant solutions we suggest are CONTENTdm, ResCarta and Omeka, but there are others available. We may be able to harvest metadata from legacy collections that are non-OAI compliant, e.g. PastPerfect Online or a home-grown database. Contact us for more information about this option.

Steps:

  1. New to digitization? Contact us and we’ll schedule a phone call or an in-person visit to help you develop a digitization plan. Have an existing digital collection you’d like us to harvest? Contact us to discuss your options.
  2. Submit the Collection Harvesting Application.
  3. If needed, schedule a training session. Our staff can provide guidance in digital imaging, metadata, and digital preservation. Read more about these requirements in our Contributor Guidelines. After you’ve added some content (at least 20 items) to your digital collection, we’ll harvest it. Subsequent data harvests take place once per month, picking up any additions or changes you make to your collection.After you’ve added some content (at least 20 items) to your digital collection, we’ll harvest it. Subsequent data harvests take place once per month, picking up any additions or changes you make to your collection.
  4. After you’ve added some content (at least 20 items) to your digital collection, we’ll harvest it. Subsequent data harvests take place once per month, picking up any additions or changes you make to your collection.

Costs: A one-time start-up fee of $100 is required. A one-time fee of $50 will be assessed for each additional collection (data set) harvested for the first time from the same OAI base URL.
Annual harvesting fees are based on the number of digital collections (sets) we harvest from the same OAI base URL.
$50/year                  1-5 collections
$100/year                6-10 collections
$150/year                11+ collections

Questions?

Check out our Contributor FAQ or get in touch with Program Manager Emily Pfotenhauer.