Scope and Content

The UAB Digital Collections portal provides digital access to University Library collections and enables the preservation, access to, and promotion of the collections. The current 19 digital collections enabled the development of expertise in digitization techniques and provided access to the Library's collections, as well as other UAB related materials. Since 2006, Digital Collections staff worked with a variety of collections.

Examples of current and potential content for the collection:

  • Audio and visual materials
  • Digitized books and manuscripts
  • Faculty course-related output
  • Journals published by UAB
  • Organizational annual reports and newsletters
  • Published articles in which copyright permits
  • Photographs, digital images and art objects
  • Theses and dissertations
  • Working papers and technical reports

Some items may not currently be accepted. Reasons for denial may include:

  • The item does not reflect the academic output of faculty, students, and the greater UAB scholarly community.
  • The item is in a file format that cannot be deposited for technical reasons.
  • The item (or set of items) is of a prohibitive size (storage) (as in terabytes).
  • The item is not permitted for deposit due to copyright issues.

Mission and Plan

The mission of UAB Digital Collections is to identify and deposit material which reflects the needs of the University's academic, research, and service programs. The digital collection supports the Library’s goal of accessibility to provide “the members of the University community with access to the highest quality information resources required for teaching, scholarship, research and service.” Digital Collections staff plan to digitize additional unique collections through model access and delivery systems. We are committed to keeping up with emerging technologies in managing systems for both public and administrative access to the collections, developing methods for on-line deposit of multimedia objects and metadata, and providing customized user interfaces for search and retrieval options.


A non-exclusive grant of rights to preserve and reproduce the work, and to display, distribute and make the work available publicly without charge from the library is granted to UAB. Submitters retain copyright for all content deposited into the digital collections portal. When submitting work for deposit into the Digital Collections, submitters must meet with the Digital Collections staff to review and sign a Release Agreement for warranting that the material deposited does not infringe or violate any copyright or other rights of a publisher or any other party and distribution of the work from the UAB Digital Collections will not infringe or violate any copyright.


A baseline set of metadata is defined for each type of work added into UAB Digital Collections. Use of the required metadata elements will facilitate user access to archived works and provide the information needed to support ongoing access rights management and preservation activities. In most cases, Digital Collections staff are responsible for creating metadata application profiles and recommendations for metadata. We accept the author’s brief metadata (e.g. ETD collections), which will be reviewed and standardized by Digital Collections staff. The UAB Digital Collections Staff reserve the right to edit any metadata associated with works submitted to the digital portal.

Format and Preservation Support

Works added to UAB Digital Collections should be submitted in appropriate formats as specified in guidelines determined by Digital Collections staff. We offer full support for formats that are publicly documented, widely adopted, may be rendered by multiple software packages or have lossless data compression. Fully supported file formats (e.g., .pdf) are those that the UAB libraries will make readable and retrievable for the foreseeable future, employing migration and archival techniques as necessary. Partially supported file formats are those for which Digital Collection staff will recognize, but cannot guarantee full support for the foreseeable future. Examples of partially supported file formats are proprietary formats (e.g., .doc). Unsupported file formats are those that the Digital Collection Staff can only support as bit streams. Works will be preserved in the form of original deposit. When migration or other preservation strategies are required, the content, structure, and functionality of the files will be maintained when possible. Ongoing support will be provided for as many file formats as possible with the institutional resources that are available. Efforts will be made to monitor file format changes that may warrant transformation or reassessment, migration and onsite backup.

Withdrawal of Material

Reason for withdrawal may include discovery of a copyright violation or publication of an article with a publisher that does not allow previous versions to be available. Withdrawals may also be initiated by the depositor or an internal or external entity. Works may be withdrawn from UAB Digital Collections at the request of the submitting author or the author’s departmental or academic unit administration or at the discretion of UAB libraries administration. Written requests for removal should be submitted to UAB libraries administration.