The library both digitizes collections it already has and purchases new material that originates online, such as online journals and databases. The process of digitization is funded partly through grants.
Students and scholars have gravitated toward online resources because of their convenience.
“People can use them from their residence halls or home and don’t have to come in to the library,” Ann Riley said, who is the Assistant Director for Technical Services. “We want to provide what people will use and what’s most cost-effective, which means buying digital resources.”
“About half of our periodical literature now is only available online,” Riley said. “We can’t even buy paper if we wanted it for many things now.”
“It is not yet a matter of the digital replacing print or manuscript,” English professor Devoney Looser said. “Even where digital resources exist, they make things both easier and more difficult.”
Note: The article also mentions the “The Future of Archives in a Digital Age” conference is scheduled to begin on Thursday (February 24, 2011).
The official Twitter hashtag for the conference is MUDigArchives.