Libraries to Adopt Quartex, an Adam Matthew Digital Platform, for its Digital Collections

Syracuse University Libraries recently selected Quartex as its new platform for in-house digital collections. Quartex, designed by Adam Matthew Digital, is a flexible and responsive hosted digital asset management platform with extensive front-end capabilities that enables organizations to showcase, share and celebrate their archival materials with a global community of users. Déirdre Joyce, head of the Libraries’ Digital Library Program, led a comprehensive review of digital collection platforms before the Libraries chose Quartex. With Quartex, the Libraries will provide a more user-friendly system for students and scholars to use their’ unique digital materials. The first collections published will likely include materials from the Special Collections Research Center’s (SCRC) Plastics Collection Area, Glass Plate Negatives from the University Archives, and selections from various holdings related to Central New York social reformer and abolitionist, Gerrit Smith. Users may expect to see digital collections on the new platform by fall 2021, with a projected completion date by 2023.

Syracuse University Libraries has an established relationship with Adam Matthew Digital and, along with utilizing the Quartex digital collections platform, acquired most Adam Matthew published primary resource collections in 2020, adding a significant amount of interdisciplinary content for the Syracuse community.

“Adoption of this new platform will make it easier for Syracuse students and faculty to use our important collections in their courses and research,” said Déirdre Joyce. “In addition, we are working with the Quartex team to take advantage of innovative enhancements to their product, including greater platform accessibility, integration with third-party media players, expanding capabilities in the creation and use of transcript files for handwritten and audio-visual assets, and other practices that will enhance our digital stewardship work.”

The Libraries needed a system with an intuitive user interface, powerful tools to build and publish collection sites, and a platform that could host their diverse and complex multi-format digital objects. Using Quartex, their Digital Collections will become more discoverable and searchable thanks to improved metadata, Handwritten Text Recognition technology, and full-text searching of audio-video transcription files. The Handwritten Text Recognition functionality improves searchability of content using algorithms and artificial intelligence, marking a significant upgrade in user experience. Finally, Quartex will offer additional, multiple entry points into the world-class special collections and archival content held by SCRC – along with other locally-curated digital materials – that enhance teaching and learning.


Libraries offer Workshop and Online Collections for Teaching with Primary Sources

Syracuse University Libraries is hosting an online workshop for instructors, faculty, and educators interested in developing undergraduate course content using primary source archival collections. The workshop, organized in collaboration with Adam Matthew Digital, will be held on Friday, December 11, 2020, from 11am-12pm.

The workshop session will demonstrate real-life assignments and blended learning examples developed at other universities which utilize collections from Adam Matthew Digital available through Syracuse University Libraries. Teaching examples will be selected from African American Communitiesand Race Relations in America for black history and education; Nineteenth Century Literary Society with a focus on teaching the history of the book in a digital environment; and a class project creating an interactive timeline using Socialism on Film.

Libraries holdings of digital primary source archives span a variety of topics, including consumer culture, marketing, popular entertainment, drama, literature, history of trade and commodities, BIPOC history, and more. Archives of Gender and Sexuality from Gale, and Victorian Popular Cultureand London Low Life from Adam Matthew, have been highly utilized by the SU community in recent years. In response to this growing campus interest in incorporating primary source research into the undergraduate curriculum, Syracuse University Libraries acquired dozens of new collections from Adam Matthew Digital earlier this year. For more information on the collections, see the Libraries’ news announcement and contact your SU subject librarian for recommendations that fit your teaching and research needs.  

To register for the December 11th session on Teaching with Primary Sources, or request access to the recording, please fill out our RSVP form. A Zoom link will be emailed out to attendees the day before the session. For questions, please contact Rachel Fox Von Swearingen, Interim Collection Development and Analysis Librarian/Librarian for Music and Performing Arts, at rsfoxvon@syr.edu 


Libraries Acquire Major Collections from Adam Matthew Digital and Bloomsbury

Syracuse University Libraries has acquired access to the entirety of Adam Matthew Digital’s online primary source archives as well as nine collections from Bloomsbury Digital Resources.  These new holdings expand campus support for teaching and research across humanities, social sciences, architecture, visual and performing arts, and food, sport, and exercise studies.

About Adam Matthew Collections:

Adam Matthew Digital Archives comprises seventy-one themed collections of primary sources digitized from libraries and archives in North America, Europe, and Australasia, such as the Amistad Research Center, the British Archives, UCLA Ethnomusicology Archive, and the Folger Shakespeare Library. Study of gender, sexuality, Jewish life, civil rights, poverty, and social change is covered through photographs, audio recordings of speeches, diaries, correspondence, historic newspapers, film clips, and periodicals. Study of American consumer culture, food, and popular medicine is supported by catalogues, print advertisements, posters, pamphlets, cookbooks, and client lists. Collections from the “Confidential Print” and “Foreign Office Files” series are dedicated to British government papers from the 18th to 20th centuries, facilitating the detailed study of British foreign affairs, colonization, and trade globally. A full list of Adam Matthew archival collections is available in the Libraries’ database menu.

Both Adam Matthew Publishing and the Libraries provide personalized curriculum support to faculty for teaching with primary source materials. Adam Matthew provides a free course alignment service, and you can contact your SU subject librarian for assistance and recommendations for collections and items that fit your teaching and research needs. For researchers interested in digital humanities, Adam Matthew accepts text and data mining requests.

collage of images including black man on Gay magazine cover, protesters and illustration with words Adam Matthew Celebrating LGBT+ History Month February 2020

About Bloomsbury Digital Resources:

Bloomsbury Digital Resources are themed collections of books, images, video, academic reference works, screenplays, and exhibition archives. Syracuse University Libraries have acquired the collections focused on food studies, sport and exercise, cultural history, architecture, fashion and design, popular music, and screen studies. Content of note includes the major reference works Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion and the Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World, video collections for practitioners in human kinetics, Faber & Faber screenplays, images from the Culinary Arts Museum at Johnson & Wales University and the National Archives at Kew, and video archives of YOOX-NET-A-PORTER fashion shows in London, Milan, Paris, and New York. A full list of Bloomsbury Digital Resource collections is available in the Libraries’ database menu.

actors in costume period dress with words Bloomsbury Digital Resources in center

All authorized Syracuse University users can access these and other licensed resources through the Libraries home page, using a valid NetID and password.

For more information on Library collections or to make suggestions, contact Anne Rauh, Head of Collections and Research Services, and our collection development team at colls@syr.edu