Contributor FAQ

Who can participate in Recollection Wisconsin?
All Wisconsin libraries, archives, museums, historical societies, and other cultural heritage institutions that hold materials related to Wisconsin 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.

Can I post my personal collection of historical materials?
At this time, Recollection Wisconsin only brings together digital collections contributed by collecting institutions, 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.

Why should my organization participate?
Every organization has different needs, goals and outcomes in mind when it comes to a digital project. Some common reasons our partners cite for digitizing collections include:

  • Reaching new audiences
  • Improving access to collections
  • Protecting fragile or heavily used materials
  • Contributing to our shared understanding of Wisconsin history

How can my organization participate?
There are two main ways to include your digital collection in Recollection Wisconsin:

  • Build a collection hosted by the Milwaukee Public Library
  • Build a collection using the compatible platform of your choice

For more details, see Share a Collection, or contact us to discuss the best options for your organization.

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.

How do we get started?
Take a look at the Share a Collection page and Contributor Guidelines to find out more about how the program works and whether it’s a good fit for your organization. Then contact us and we’ll be in touch to discuss next steps.

What resolution should we use to scan our photos? How should we catalog our images?
See our Contributor Guidelines for answers to those questions and many other technical questions related to digital projects.

If we share our content through Recollection Wisconsin, who owns the content?
Recollection Wisconsin does not claim ownership of any digital objects linked from the Recollection Wisconsin website. All ownership remains with contributing partners.

Where is our digital content stored?
Contributing partners are responsible for the preservation of high-resolution digital master files. Aggregated metadata and thumbnail images are harvested, archived and maintained by the University of Wisconsin-Madison General Library System.

What can users do with our digital content?
Your content may be used for non-profit research or teaching purposes or other Fair Use as defined by Section 107, U.S. copyright law. If users want to copy, adapt, publish (including blogs or other publication for the web) or otherwise distribute your content, it is their responsibility to determine copyright status and obtain permissions for use. See our Terms of Use for more details.

I don’t see my question on this list. How can I find out more information?
For assistance, please contact Recollection Wisconsin Program Manager Emily Pfotenhauer.