Event box

A national union catalog of pre-modern manuscripts in the United States has been a scholarly dream (some might say a fantasy) since the early 20th century. This idea became more tenable with the advent of the internet, as many institutions with manuscript holdings began providing some form of online access to their collections. Digital Scriptorium emerged in 1997 as a leader in this field, offering cross-institutional digital access to manuscript metadata and images from collections across the country. But in the decades since then, little progress has been made towards the development of a true union catalog. Digital projects and online catalogs proliferate, but without a set of common standards that would make their data interoperable. The opportunities for collaboration and discovery promised by the digital age have been hampered by siloed platforms that limit the research potential of their information. Digital Scriptorium stands ready to become the national union catalog, but not before a consensus is reached on the data and image standards required to make that possible.


What is a national union catalog in the 21st century? What are the possibilities? What is its scope? How is it sustained?


The Digital Scriptorium consortium invites Digital Scriptorium stakeholders to gather together for a series of planning meetings on October 6, 8, 13, and 15 from 1-3pm ET. The meetings will feature presentations from experts in the field and breakout group discussions about how to build a national union catalog of pre-modern manuscripts in the United States. These meetings are offered as a part of the Digital Scriptorium 2.0 Planning Grant, funded via a National Leadership Grant for Libraries from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Dates & Times:
1:00pm - 3:00pm, Tuesday, October 6, 2020
1:00pm - 3:00pm, Thursday, October 8, 2020
1:00pm - 3:00pm, Tuesday, October 13, 2020
1:00pm - 3:00pm, Thursday, October 15, 2020

Registration is required. There are 65 seats available.

Event Organizer

Emma Cawlfield Thomson