Collections UofT brings wide array of digital special collections into one tool

Collections UofT screenshot of search results page

Collections UofT preserves and provides access to UofT digital special collections, as well as scholarly digital projects, using the Islandora platform. The site was developed in early 2014 as a collaboration coordinated by the University of Toronto Libraries Information and Technology Services in partnership with libraries, archives, departments, faculty, and stakeholders across the University of Toronto community. Collections UofT represents just a portion of the digital collections that are part of University of Toronto's vast academic resourcesspecial collections, and research output - but it is a step towards the de-siloization of our digital content.

Collections UofT is made up of many components. First, there is the portal site (, which will allow users to search across UofT digital collections. Second, multi-sites for each collaborator allow users to go directly to a collaborator’s site to search within a specific library or department's collections.

Current collaborators that are testing out their beta multi-sites include the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, the Government Information collection (coordinated by UTL Reference / Government Publications Librarian, Sam-Chin Lee), and the University of Toronto Archives and Records Management Services - just to name a few. 

UTL ITS is continuing to work with Collections UofT collaborators to gain feedback on the types of features needed as well as design and usability. The launch of Collections UofT is scheduled for January 2015. ITS will be sending a call out later this year for user testing and feedback. In the meantime, get in touch with us if you have any questions about Collections UofT.

At a glance, Collections UofT...

  • Is an open access digital repository created and maintained according to digital repository best practices and standards
  • Enables searching across UofT digital collections through the Collections UofT portal
  • Highlights areas within UofT where users can access special collections - both in person and online
  • Enables UofT content collaborators to take an active role in submitting, modifying and creating digital collections using Islandora as a user-friendly and customizable front end
  • Preserves digital objects according to best practices defined by the digital curation community
  • Supports the dissemination of UofT digital collections through Open Archives Initiative Protocol Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH)
  • Allows for the analytics of UofT digital collections use
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