California Digital Library

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The California Digital Library (CaDL) is the University of California's 11th University Library. The CaDL was founded to assist the ten University of California libraries in sharing their resources and holdings more effectively, in part through negotiating and acquiring consortial licenses on behalf of the entire University of California libraries system. Its current mission is to support the assembly and creative use of the world's scholarship and knowledge for the University of California libraries and the communities they serve.

Among its programs and services are the Online Archive of California, Calisphere, Counting California, Melvyl (the union catalog of the UC libraries), and the eScholarship Publishing Program,[1] which provides open access and alternative publication services to the University of California.


This mass digitization project will further the libraries capabilities of giving faculty, students, and the public access to information. This public access will make books and resources available more readily. The digitization will also serve to maintain and safeguard the library’s collection, aiming to circumvent any loss should a disaster occur. [2]

The California Digital Library plans to digitize a large scope of books from libraries across the world, including books from the UC Libraries. This is made plausible, more practical, and efficient by photographing books and imposing those images on software that creates findable text. This greatly decreases human intervention and increases productivity. Google is doing the digitizing, and they are scanning books through the Google Books project in a facility managed by Google. After the books are digitized, they are returned to their original locations to ensure that no books are destroyed in the process. [2]

The California Digital Library's mission is "to support the community’s pursuit of scholarship and to extend the University’s public service mission.[3]" The California Digital Library’s vision is to provide quality collections that are accessible to everyone, available in all digital formats, and available on a global scale. The California Digital Library believes it can make a difference by transforming research, teaching, and learning by exemplifying their values of innovation, collaboration, openness, sharing, privacy, and learning.


The origination of the California Digital Library (CaDL) began with its integration into the Online Archive of California (OAC) and the CaDL works to contribute to the OAC’s database and public usefulness.[4]

In 1998, the OAC was formally integrated into the CaDL. Immediately, in the same year, the combination began developing digital content. CaDL received additional funding for encoding finding aids from the LSTA program. With the money from the LSTA program the CaDL initiated two projects: MOAC (Museums and the Online Archive of California) and JARDA (Japanese American Relocation Digital Archive). Later in 2001, CaDL launched LHDRP (Local History Digital Resources Project), a program that encourages and helps public libraries and other local California institutions contribute to the OAC. In 2006, CaDL launched California Cultures. [4]

In 2002 the interface of the CaDL was redesigned completely for the first time to include a device for locating financial aids associated with digital content. July 2008 marked the second site reconfiguration tailored to user feedback and previous site testing. The site currently incorporates MARC records and EAD into a singular searching system. [5]

Today, the CaDL has a Digital Special Collections (DSC) program that looks for ways to improve the OAC for its users and contributors. The DSC continuously searches for techniques to improve site functionality, to better integrate collection guides and associated digital content. The DSC also engages in user testing to promote the best online practices and provide new, improved services for OAC supporters. [5]

Information retrieval services[edit]

The California Digital Library utilizes different tools and techniques in order to connect users with the information they're searching for in an efficient and timely manner. This subject is the focus of the CaDL's Discovery and Delivery team, whose goal is the integration of library services and resources in order to remove barriers between end-users and content, specifically as an alternative to commercial information providers.[6] Tailoring to academic users, the Discovery & Delivery team works on customizing the ways users access content.[6]


Melvyl is an online library catalog employed by the CaDL, and is one of the first examples where an attempt has been made to revolutionize library catalog systems with modern information resources.[7] The development of Melvyl has been specifically targeted at closing the gap between user desires and expectations for information recommendation systems and what services library recommendation systems generally offer. Exploratory work has been conducted in evaluation of Melvyl's services, including relevance ranking, auto-correction, use of a text-based discovery system, user interface strategies, and recommendation. Specifically, Melvyl's recommending services utilize both keyword similarities to make recommendation as well as historic resource circulation data in order to make recommendations that are educated based on other user's data.[7]


UC-eLinks is a feature developed to make resource requesting ubiquitous and streamlined. The UC-eLink button is inserted, through personalized URL manipulation, into library catalogs, online databases, citation programs, and in the citations of articles themselves.[8] Users can then click on the button in order to access the associated publication, or request access if it is a print-only resource. Inter-library loan requests can also be quickly made with the UC-eLink request form, as well as tutorials on library resource requests in general.[9] This sort of system impacts the perceptions of its users, putting all library resources seemingly in the realm of digital, as well as allowing all credit for the resources to be claimed by UC-eLinks, creating an association between the library and the experience.[9] Additionally, UC-eLinks has provided a new opportunity for the analysis of user's resource utilization and request patterns.

Publishing services[edit]

Within the California Digital Library there is an organization that focuses on making publishing efforts easily accessible to UC students and faculty. They also have the responsibility of providing the University of California with a surplus of primary sources, digitized works, and other useful resources. [10] They use a variety of services to fulfill their mission, many of which are listed below.


EScholarship is a research platform that is available to the University of California through the CaDL that provides Open-Access scholarly publishing services. Departments, research units, publishing programs, and individual scholars in relation to the University of California have control over the resource. With eScholarship, these groups have the ability to publish original scholarly works in the form of books, journals, working papers, previously published works, and conferences that will be accessible to scholars worldwide. [11] Works published on eScholarship have access to manuscript and peer-review management systems, along with preservation services. [11]

Online Archive of California[edit]

The Online Archive of California provides access through the CaDL to those affiliated with the University of California to in depth descriptions of primary resource collections. [12] Many institutions contribute resources to be accessed, including libraries, special collections, archives, historical societies, and museums. Within the CaDL, the OAC is organized by the Digital Special Collections Program. [12] The primary purpose of the OAC is to provide UC students and faculty with easy access to detailed descriptions of pieces of work, often including background information, analysis, and historical context.


Calisphere is a point of access for the University of California to a plethora of primary sources. Calisphere includes newspapers, photographs, documents, political cartoons, and works of art, among many other digitized items. [13] Through the various mediums of expression supplied on Calisphere, California's vibrant culture and history are revealed and accessible. The content included on Calisphere was carefully selected by a variety of libraries and museums on UC campuses, as well as cultural heritage organizations. Calisphere offers a very organized way for UC members to browse A-Z topics or people from Californias history. [13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ eScholarship Publishing Program
  2. ^ a b California Digital Library. "UC Libraries Mass Digitization Projects". Retrieved 19 March 2014. 
  3. ^ California Digital Library. "Mission, Vision, and Values". Retrieved 19 March 2014. 
  4. ^ a b California Digital Library. "OAC History". Retrieved 19 March 2014. 
  5. ^ a b California Digital Library. "Historical Bibliography". 
  6. ^ a b California Digital Library. "Discovery & Delivery: What we do". 
  7. ^ a b Whitney, Colleen; Schiff, Lisa (December 2006). "The Melvyl Recommender Project: Developing Library Recommendation Services". D-Lib Magazine 12 (12). 
  8. ^ California Digital Library. "What UC-eLinks Does". Retrieved 16 March 2014. 
  9. ^ a b Huwe, Terence (March 2004). "Convergence of Interlibrary Loan and Local Collections". Computers in Libraries 3 (24). 
  10. ^ California Digital Library. "Access & Publishing". Retrieved 19 March 2014. 
  11. ^ a b eScholarship. "About eScholarship". Retrieved 19 March 2014. 
  12. ^ a b Online Archive of California. "About OAC". Retrieved 19 March 2014. 
  13. ^ a b Calisphere. "About Calisphere". Retrieved 19 March 2014. 

External links[edit]