January 27, 2022

Assessment Leads to Strategic New Directions for OAC (Online Archive of California) and Calisphere

From the California Digital Library:

The CDL has recently completed a multi-faceted assessment of the Online Archive of California (OAC) and Calisphere, in order to plan for the continued development of these platforms–especially as relates to hosting and providing access to digitized special collections materials.


The assessment uncovered immensely valuable information about the OAC and Calisphere platforms. Key findings included the following:

  • Calisphere had a much broader user base for the survey period than its defined audience of K-12 teachers. College and graduate students, in particular, comprised the largest user group in this survey period.
  • Many users of Calisphere arrive at digital objects from the open web and may not explore the site further. This trend suggests that more could be done to connect objects to other relevant content.
  • Contributors to the OAC and Calisphere cite many benefits for doing so. However, there are some barriers, namely a lack of steady digitization funding, an ingest system that is “downstream” from current workflows, and lack of a user-facing destination that showcases contributors’ unique collections.
  • There may be additional ways of expanding the contextual information available for digital objects through user tagging, subject access, and curated collections.

Direct to Complete Report (15 pages; PDF)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.