Baylor > Lariat Archives > News

Digitization center to provide new tools to library system

Sept. 25, 2003

By Kimberly O'Donnell, reporter

A digitization center for using rare materials will soon open at Moody Memorial Library thanks to a contribution from Harold and Dottie Riley. The Riley Digitization Center will open Oct. 25.

The center, located on the third floor of Moody Library, will preserve rare materials owned by Baylor, such as 19th century sheet music, audio resources, manuscripts, posters and cartoon collections.

'It was a desire to make resources available that were rare collections that would be detrimental to touch,' Anthony Lapes, technology project manager, said. 'I think our goal was to create a technically functioning room that is also aesthetically pleasing. It should be a unique space.'

Students may be able to work in the digitization center.

'As far as I know, yes, it will be a work-study job,' Darryl Stuhr, electronic access services coordinator, said. 'At this point we don't have any staff scheduled.'

According to The Legacy, Baylor's library advancement newsletter, the digitization center will enhance Baylor's scholarly reputation further. With a high-quality digitization center, the collections can be described in detail and accessed through the Internet. Digitization also will preserve the materials from increased physical use.

'The library wanted to move forward,' Stuhr said. 'Now we have the personnel to do that. [The digitization center] will increase access to special collections and preserve them from handling.'

Kelly Owen, an Arlington junior, is excited about the new center.

'I think it is wonderful that Baylor is taking the initiative to make the libraries more technologically advanced to help the students in their education,' Owen said.

Holding four work stations, the center will have modern furniture and equipment. Three of the work stations will use Dell personal computers for imaging, and the fourth workstation is a Macintosh G5 that will be used for audio and video digitization. The center will protect rare works, which will be available on Baylor's online card catalog BearCat. However, BearCat also will have a Web site for all the rare digitized collections. Because of the center's advanced technology, students will be able to search for collections by composer names, dates or lyrics.

The Rileys donated $100,000 for the digitization room. Renovations for the room cost $38,000, and the equipment cost approximately $30,000.

'Everything in the room was covered by the donation,' Stuhr said.

The digitization center was named after Harold Riley's father, Ray I. Riley. A father of three, Ray I. Riley moved to Waco with his family in 1938. He attended Baylor and pastored churches in the Texas Panhandle, Central Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona and California. He passed away in 1963.

For more information on the Riley Digitization Center, call John Wilson at 710-3457 or Darryl Stuhr at 710-7356.