Syracuse University Libraries recently created the Department of Digital Stewardship as the next step in the ongoing development of its Digital Library Program. The new department will enhance organization-wide focus on a variety of specialized, digital activities and the necessary infrastructure to ensure persistent access to our unique digital collections. The newly formed department supports the campus community by efficiently managing the Libraries’ digital collection initiatives through the entire digital curation lifecycle. Déirdre Joyce, who has served as head of the Digital Library Program, will now also assume responsibility as the Head of Digital Stewardship. Other initial team members include Suzanne Preate, Digital Initiatives Librarian, and Sarah Pohley, Library Technician for Digitization. Three additional permanent positions are currently being recruited that will fall within the Department of Digital Stewardship once filled: Digital Content Coordinator, Digital Preservation Librarian, and Metadata Strategies Librarian.
“A solid digital library rests on the twin pillars of digital scholarship and digital stewardship. Digital scholarship supports teaching and learning through the active curation of digital collections, including digitizing and describing locally held materials to create digital objects, making these available to end users. Digital stewardship coordinates and manages the activities and infrastructure related to the production, description, maintenance, preservation, and delivery of the Libraries’ unique digital resources so they can be available to users for years to come. One activity is essentially public facing, the other more behind the scenes, but both are equally necessary to ensure success. With creation of the Libraries’ Digital and Open Scholarship Team within the Department of Research and Scholarship in 2020 and now the Department of Digital Stewardship, we are better able to address both pillars to support the growing needs of University research and teaching in this area,” said Scott Warren, Associate Dean of Research Excellence.
“Activities as critical as ensuring platform and object accessibility, coordinating digital preservation and digital production, creating and implementing metadata strategies, managing repositories and processing of digital collections now all have the same home within the Libraries’ organizational structure,” said Déirdre Joyce, Head of Digital Stewardship and the Digital Library Program. “Our newly formed team will build on many years of successful digital projects and initiatives, for example the Marcel Breuer Digital Archive; Belfer Latin American 45s; and SURFACE, our institutional repository, which serves as an open access digital repository for faculty, staff, and student scholarship as well as a publishing platform for several open access journals, published here at SU.”