California Digital Library

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The California Digital Library (CDL) was founded by the University of California in 1997. Under the leadership of then UC President Richard C. Atkinson, the CDL's original mission was to forge a better system for scholarly information management and improved support for teaching and research. [1] In collaboration with the ten University of California Libraries and other partners, CDL assembled one of the world's largest digital research libraries. CDL facilitates the licensing of online materials and develops shared services used throughout the UC system. Building on the foundations of the Melvyl Catalog (UC's union catalog), CDL has developed one of the largest online library catalogs in the country and works in partnership with the UC campuses to bring the treasures of California's libraries, museums, and cultural heritage organizations to the world. CDL continues to explore how services such as digital curation, scholarly publishing, archiving and preservation support research throughout the information lifecycle. [2]



The California Digital Library (CDL) is an eleventh library for the University of California (UC). A collaborative effort of the ten campuses, organizationally housed at the University of California Office of the President, it is responsible for the design, creation, and implementation of systems that support the shared collections of the University of California. Several CDL projects focus on collaboration with other California Universities and organizations to create and extend access to digital material to UC partners and to the public at large.

The CDL was created as the result of a three-year planning process, beginning with the Digital Library Executive Working Group commissioned by Library Council and culminating with the Library Planning and Action Initiative commissioned by the Provost, which involved UC faculty, librarians, and administrators.

On February 7, 2012, CDL partnered with the Public Knowledge Project (PKP), joining several other institutions including Stanford University School of Education and the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. [3] As one of PKP's first official development partners, CDL undertook a review of PKP's Open Journal System, analyzing journal setup, article submission and review, account set up, and publication processes. [4]

Access & Publishing Services

The Access & Publishing Group, comprising the Publishing and Digital Special Collections (DSC) teams, develops and maintains production services that enable robust access to the unique digital assets of the University of California and beyond. The Publishing team provides the University of California scholarly community with innovative digital publication and distribution opportunities through the development of advanced technologies and creative partnerships. The DSC team supports collaboration between libraries, archives, and museums throughout the State of California to provide access to a world class digital collection that serves an array of end users, from researchers and scholars to students and the general public.


eScholarship is a suite of open access scholarly publishing services and research tools that enable UC departments, research units, publishing programs, and individual scholars to have direct control over the creation and dissemination of their scholarship. [5] The eScholarship program provides e-print repositories where submissions can be made using a standard web browser. Tools are available to help submit, review, find, and use scholarly information. The program also opens the door for new monographs and journals to be created using existing articles within the repository. [1] Currently, the repository houses over 200,000 scholarly works from 10 major disciplines: Social and Behavioral Sciences, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Engineering, Medicine and Health Sciences, Arts and Humanities, Education, Law, Business, and Architecture. [6]

Online Archive of California (OAC)

The Online Archive of California (OAC) provides free public access to primary sources—including manuscripts, photographs, artwork, scientific data and more—through more than 38,000 collection guides and 200,000 digitized images and documents.


Calisphere is a free website that offers educators, students, and the public access to more than one million primary sources such as photographs, documents, newspapers, political cartoons, works of art, diaries, transcribed oral histories, and other cultural artifacts. These materials reveal the diverse history and culture of California and its role in national and world history. [7] [8] CDL digital collections, plus the collections of over 100 libraries and institutions, can be accessed through this site with the primary purpose of providing free access to historically significant and unique items. [9]

Collection Development and Management

The Collection Development and Management Program oversees and coordinates shared library collections on behalf of the ten University of California campuses. The program acquires scholarly content, manages UC's mass digitization efforts, organizes and supports shared physical library collections, and is responsible for the system-wide negotiation and licensing of shared digital materials for the UC libraries.

Licensed Resources

These are the electronic journals, databases, ebooks and other e-resources licensed by CDL on behalf of and in coordination with the ten UC campuses.

Shared Print

The University of California Libraries' shared print collections consist of information resources jointly purchased or electively contributed by the libraries. Such resources are collectively governed and managed by the University Librarians.

Mass Digitization

The UC Libraries are digitizing millions of books from their collections through participation in mass digitization projects with Google, the Internet Archive, and the HathiTrust Digital Library. These projects expand the UC Libraries’ ability to give faculty, students and the public access to information and support our exploration of new service models.

Shared Cataloging

The Shared Cataloging Program (SCP) provides catalog records for the University of California campus libraries. [10] Established in January 2000, the program is based at UC San Diego.

Discovery & Delivery

The focus of the CDL's Discovery and Delivery team is the integration of library services and resources in order to remove barriers between users and content. [11] The goal is to connect faculty, students, and staff with access to the University of California libraries’ extensive research collections. [11]


Melvyl is the discovery platform for the UC Libraries. Melvyl, powered by OCLC WorldCat Local, offers the ability to search 800 million+ items from research institutions throughout the world.

UC-eLinks is a feature developed to request resources in the CDL. The UC-eLink button is inserted, through personalized URL manipulation, into library catalogs, online databases, citation programs, and in the citations of articles themselves. [12] Users can then use UC-eLinks to access the associated publication, or request access if it is a print-only resource. Interlibrary loan requests can also be made. [13] Additionally, UC-eLinks has provided a new opportunity for the analysis of user's resource utilization and request patterns.


The Request service provides interlibrary loan (ILL) and document delivery service (DDS) to UC faculty, students, and staff. Users can access Request from Melvyl, UC-eLinks, PubMed, or via Citation Linker.

UC Curation Center (UC3)

UC3 helps researchers and the UC libraries manage, preserve, and provide access to their important digital assets.

Merritt Repository Service

Merritt is a repository service from the University of California Curation Center (UC3) that lets the UC community manage, archive, and share its digital content.


EZID (easy-eye-dee) creates and manages unique, persistent identifiers for UC researchers. [14] The service currently uses digital object identifiers (DOIs) and Archival Resource Keys (ARKs), which can be provided prior to publication and aid in linking related datasets and articles. [15]


DMPTool helps researchers create and manage data management plans. [16] It provides templates that researchers can customize based on their funding source and partner institutions. [15] It has been noted that the DMPTool is of more use when planning funding applications than in stewarding the data through its lifecycle. [17]

See also

Related Research Articles

Interlibrary loan is a service whereby a patron of one library can borrow books, DVDs, music, etc. and/or receive photocopies of documents that are owned by another library. The user makes a request with their home library; which, acting as an intermediary, identifies libraries with the desired item, places the request, receives the item, makes it available to the user, as well as arranges for its return. The lending library usually sets a due date and overdue fees of the material borrowed. Although books and journal articles are the most frequently requested items, some libraries will lend audio recordings, video recordings, maps, sheet music, and microforms of all kinds. In some cases, nominal fees accompany the interlibrary loan services.

An institutional repository is an archive for collecting, preserving, and disseminating digital copies of the intellectual output of an institution, particularly a research institution.

The University of Michigan Library is the university library system of the University of Michigan, based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in the United States.

The University of California operates the largest academic library system in the world. It manages more than 40.8 million print volumes in 100 libraries on ten campuses. The purpose of these libraries is to assist research and instruction on the University of California campuses. While each campus library is separate, they share facilities for storage, computerized indexing, digital libraries and management.

Melvyl was the name of the online catalog of the University of California's library system. The Melvyl union catalog was produced by the California Digital Library — a unit within the department of Academic Planning, Programs, and Coordination at the UC Office of the President in downtown Oakland, California. Melvyl was named after Melvil Dewey, the library pioneer who invented the Dewey Decimal System. Melvyl was supported by the OCLC's WorldCat Local platform, which was retired in July 2021.

The Harmer E. Davis Transportation Library —also known as the Institute of Transportation Studies Library (ITSL), the Berkeley Transportation Library, or simply as the Transportation Library— is a transportation library at the University of California, Berkeley, devoted to transportation studies.

Digital Commons is a commercial, hosted institutional repository platform owned by RELX Group. This hosted service, licensed by bepress, is used by over 500 academic institutions, healthcare centers, public libraries, and research centers to showcase their scholarly output and special collections.

Public Knowledge Project

The Public Knowledge Project (PKP) is a non-profit research initiative that is focused on the importance of making the results of publicly funded research freely available through open access policies, and on developing strategies for making this possible including software solutions. It is a partnership between the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia, the Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing at Simon Fraser University, the University of Pittsburgh, Ontario Council of University Libraries, the California Digital Library and the School of Education at Stanford University. It seeks to improve the scholarly and public quality of academic research through the development of innovative online environments.

The Hamilton Library at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa is the largest research library in the state of Hawaii. The Library serves as a key resource for the flagship Manoa campus as well as the other University of Hawaii system campuses.

The Center for Research Libraries is a consortium of North American universities, colleges, and independent research libraries, based on a buy-in concept for membership of the consortia. The consortium acquires and preserves traditional and digital resources for research and teaching and makes them available to member institutions through interlibrary loan and electronic delivery. It also gathers and analyzes data pertaining to the preservation of physical and digital resources, and fosters the sharing of expertise, in order to assist member libraries in maintaining their collections. The Center for Research Libraries was founded in 1949, as the Midwest Inter-Library Center (MILC). The traditional role of CRL was as an aggregator of tangible collection materials, however this has been updated in the digital age into the CRL's current role as a facilitator of collection development, digitization, and licensing collections by individual libraries and interest groups. This transformation required CRL to adopt new funding models from partnerships with key organizations, and an updated use of current technology to support community outreach and engagement. The funding was provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and the IMLS.

The Water Resources Collections and Archives (WRCA), formerly known as the Water Resources Center Archives, is an archive with unpublished manuscript collections and a library with published materials. It was established to collect unique, hard-to-find, technical report materials pertaining to all aspects of water resources and supply in California and the American West. Located on the campus of the University of California Riverside (UCR), it is jointly administered by the UCR College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences (CNAS) and the UCR Libraries. WRCA was part of the University of California Center for Water Resources (WRC) that was established and funded in 1957 by a special act of the California State Legislature and was designated the California Water Research Institute by a federal act in 1964.

An open-access mandate is a policy adopted by a research institution, research funder, or government which requires or recommends researchers—usually university faculty or research staff and/or research grant recipients—to make their published, peer-reviewed journal articles and conference papers open access (1) by self-archiving their final, peer-reviewed drafts in a freely accessible institutional repository or disciplinary repository or (2) by publishing them in an open-access journal or both.

The Center for Digital Research and Scholarship (CDRS) at Columbia University was a unit of the University Libraries that partnered with researchers and scholars at Columbia to share their research broadly with the world. Using innovative new media and digital technologies, CDRS sought to empower the Columbia research community with online tools and services to enable them to make the most of scholarly communication, collaboration, data sharing, and preservation. CDRS was part of Columbia University Libraries/Information Services (CUL/IS).

A library consortium is any cooperative association of libraries that coordinates resources and/or activities on behalf of its members, whether they are school, public, academic, special libraries and/or information centers. Consortia exist on a variety of levels, e.g., local, state, regional, national or international. Libraries commonly belong to multiple consortia. The goal of a library consortium is to amplify the capabilities and effectiveness of its member libraries through collective action, including, but not limited to, print or electronic resource sharing, reductions in costs through group purchases of resources, and professional development opportunities. The “bedrock principle upon which consortia operate is that libraries can accomplish more together than alone.”

Digital Scriptorium

Digital Scriptorium (DS) is a non-profit, tax-exempt consortium of American libraries with collections of pre-modern manuscripts, or manuscripts made in the tradition of books before printing. The DS database represents these manuscript collections in a web-based union catalog for teaching and scholarly research in medieval and Renaissance studies. It provides access to illuminated and textual manuscripts through online cataloging records, supported by high resolution digital images, retrievable by various topic searches. The DS database is an open access resource that enables users to study rare and valuable materials of academic, research, and public libraries. It makes available collections that are often restricted from public access and includes not only famous masterpieces of book illumination but also understudied manuscripts that have been previously overlooked for publication or study.

D-Scribe Digital Publishing

D-Scribe Digital Publishing is an open access electronic publishing program of the University Library System (ULS) of the University of Pittsburgh. It comprises over 100 thematic collections that together contain over 100,000 digital objects. This content, most of which is available through open access, includes both digitized versions of materials from the collections of the University of Pittsburgh and other local institutions as well as original 'born-electronic' content actively contributed by scholars worldwide. D-Scribe includes such items as photographs, maps, books, journal articles, dissertations, government documents, and technical reports, along with over 745 previously out-of-print titles published by the University of Pittsburgh Press. The digital publishing efforts of the University Library System began in 1998 and have won praise for their innovation from the leadership at the Association of Research Libraries and peer institutions.

Makerere University Library

Makerere University Library, established in 1949, is the oldest academic library in Uganda. In addition to its primary role as an academic library, it also serves as the national reference library and the legal depository of all works published in Uganda. It has been a depository for the United Nations since 1956.

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign University Library

The University Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign is the network of libraries, including both physical and virtual library spaces, which serves the University's students, faculty, and staff, as well as scholars and researchers worldwide. The University Library continues to evolve to serve the needs of the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign campus.

The following is a timeline of the international movement for open access to scholarly communication.

A collective collection, also known as a shared printprogram, involves mostly academic or research libraries collaborating to retain, develop, and provide access to their physical collections. Most collective collections comprise monographs and/or serials. Other efforts have addressed acquisition and/or retention of microform, federal government documents, and digital collections.


  1. 1 2 Candee, C. H. (2001). "The California Digital Library and the eScholarship program". Journal of Library Administration. 35 (1/2): 37–59. doi:10.1300/J111v35n01_04. S2CID   62161562.
  2. "California Digital Library". International Coalition of Library Consortia (ICOLC). Retrieved 28 June 2012.
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  8. "Collections in Calisphere". University of California Calisphere. UC Libraries. Retrieved April 19, 2020.
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  10. French, Patricia Sheldahl; Culbertson, Rebecca; Hsiung, Lai-Ying (March 2002). "One for Nine". Serials Review. 28 (1): 4–12. doi:10.1016/S0098-7913(01)00169-1.
  11. 1 2 California Digital Library. "Discovery & Delivery: What we do".
  12. California Digital Library. "What UC-eLinks Does" . Retrieved 16 March 2014.
  13. Huwe, Terence (March 2004). "Convergence of Interlibrary Loan and Local Collections" (PDF). Computers in Libraries. 3 (24). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-06-14. Retrieved 2014-03-16.
  14. "What is EZID?". University of California EZID. The Regents of the University of California.
  15. 1 2 Steinhart, G. (2013). "Partnerships Between Institutional Repositories, Domain Repositories and Publishers". Bulletin of the Association for Information Science & Technology. 39 (6): 19–22. doi: 10.1002/bult.2013.1720390608 .
  16. "DMPTool FAQ". DMPTool. University of California Curation Center. Retrieved April 19, 2020.
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