Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
Wallace Library

Academics

Wheaton Digital Repository

Background

In late 2006, Wheaton elected to enroll in the National Institute for Technology and Liberal Education (NITLE) DSpace Pilot Service, an offering that provides digital repository services for participating NITLE colleges via a hosted and shared instance of the DSpace open source software.

Documents and files currently in DSpace from a number of the NITLE colleges can be browsed or searched at the NITLE DSpace site.

Wheaton's Digital Repository using DSpace is one important step toward producing a master plan for digital content preservation and management at Wheaton. Its focus is on the preservation of and wider access to Wheaton-produced and unique intellectual content, using DSpace open-source software, in what is often called an institutional repository (IR) or digital repository.

DSpace at Wheaton

The Wallace Library has long considered the collection, preservation, and provision of access to academic content central to our mission. Particularly through our Archives and Special Collections, we have attended to the collection, preservation, and access to Wheaton-produced intellectual content. In the case of honors theses, for example, we have bound, catalogued, preserved and loaned photocopies of our honors theses for decades. In providing and supporting an institutional repository at Wheaton, we are fulfilling our mission by digitally preserving material -- we are even extending it, by sharing scholarship more widely and more easily via the Internet.

In April 2007, staff in Library and Information Services (LIS) decided to begin our DSpace experiment using selected student publications and honors theses. Several issues of Rushlight, Wheaton College's literary and visual arts journal, have been digitized and deposited in Wheaton's IR. Honors theses, across a variety of academic departments were solicited, resulting in four that were enthusiastically supported by faculty advisors and student authors for deposit in our IR.

Honors Theses

In 2008, we expanded the honors thesis digital repository collection by asking all faculty advisors to select theses for inclusion in Wheaton's institutional repository. We strongly encouraged thesis advisors and thesis authors to carefully consider the benefits of depositing theses there.

Beginning in 2011, all honors theses are normally submitted in both print and digital formats. Thesis authors, with faculty advisor approval, agree to one of two access levels for their honors thesis: 1) open access, allowing access by the global scholarly community or 2) restricted access, restricting access to the current Wheaton community. See Benefits and Considerations for posting honors theses and other scholarship in DSpace. After permission decisions are made and the Honors Thesis Permission & Consent form completed, students submit an electronic copy of their thesis and the permission form, following thesis preparation and submission instructions available from the right sidebar of this page.

Additional Content

We are actively adding issues of the following student publications to our repository:

  • Rushlight (student literary magazine)
  • Midnight Oil (faculty nominated student scholarship, published annually)

We are placing important material -- text, images, sound files -- from Wheaton's history located in the Archives, including selected exhibits.

Future Plans

We plan to deposit additional content in our Digital Repository as follows:

  • Student academic work (posters, web pages, projects, art work, etc.)
  • Material creating a record of important campus-wide activities
  • Faculty scholarship

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