Cheng Library Launches Digital Archive

A variety of materials pertaining to the University’s history, including yearbooks, student newspapers, course catalogs, books about the University, and a collection of documents connected to Hobart Manor are now available for perusal online as part of a new digital collection compiled by the Cheng Library.

The William Paterson University Digital Collection contains approximately 1,600 items to date. “By digitizing these items, we are making these materials available to alumni, faculty, staff, students, and researchers around the world,” says Kurt Wagner, assistant director, library information systems.

Funding for the project came from gifts in memory of Lorraine Cheng, who died in December 2012 and with her husband, the late David Cheng, was the library’s benefactor. The Lorraine Cheng Digitization Center is equipped with state-of-the-art scanners for digitization of printed materials and photographs, a book edge scanner for bound materials, and a large format photography studio set-up.

The project began as an effort to preserve correspondence, newspaper clippings, documents, and photos pertaining to Hobart Manor, the national historic site that is the centerpiece of campus. In addition to the Hobart Manor Collection, the collection includes issues of The Beacon and The Pioneer Times, the two student newspapers on campus; a large number of Pioneer yearbooks, which date back to 1925; and undergraduate course catalogs dating from 1978. The collection also includes several histories of the University, including Paterson State College: A History 1855-1966 (also known affectionately on campus as “the orange book”); and William Paterson University, a pictorial history published in connection with the University’s 150th anniversary in 2005. Online visitors to the collection can also view selections from the University’s Joan and Gordon Tobias Collection of African Art.

“The collection is fully searchable through Google and adheres to the latest library cataloging standards so it allows anyone to conduct research in these collections,” says Wagner. “We look forward to the evolution of the collection and welcome any suggestions for additional items we should include.”
To access the archive, visit bit.ly/digital-wpunj

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