This guide and best practices are for use by staff of the Special Collections Research Center who are digitizing material and will be uploading it to the W&M Digital Archive. All others, including those who need to upload their thesis or dissertation to the W&M Digital Archive, please see the Instructions for Contributors on the Digital Archive wiki.

The Special Collections Research Center puts all of its born digital and digitized materials into the W&M Digital Archive, with two notable exceptions: material that is entered into the ScanLog and material that is uploaded into Omeka for use with the Civil War Transcription Project and Staying Connected: The Carl Fehr Project. This includes all PDFs made for researchers on the photocopier; volumes that are digitized; born digital material; audio and video materials; and books, pamphlets, and other published material that is scanned or photographed. As of January 2012, we are no longer uploading files to the Archon Digital Library module, instead using only as a method of linking materials from the W&M Digital Archive into finding aids. All materials that are digitized should be uploaded, even if they are still under copyright; those materials can be put under embargo.

To begin the process of uploading material into the W&M Digital Archive, sign in, click on "Submissions," and start a new submission.

Initial Questions

Tick both the "Multiple Titles" and "Published" boxes as it will allow you the greatest number of options moving forward.

Describe Item (screen 1)

  • Author: The author is the person or organization responsible for the creation of the object. There can be one or multiple authors. Required field.
  • Title: Title is a property that refers to the name or names by which a resource is formally known. For a published work, it should be the name under which it is published. For archival material, the title should correspond to the title of the specific material being digitized. If possible, the title should match a container list entry from Archon, for instance, at the folder level. Include the date or circa date of the material in the title field. Required field.
  • Other Titles: Alternative titles refer to a name or names of a resource used as a substitute or alternative to the formal title. These are secondary titles, abbreviations, translations of a title, etc.
  • Date of Issue: Date of formal issuance (e.g., publication) of the resource. For manuscript material, the date of the creation of the document is used. It may be necessary to use a circa date in this field. If a circa date is required, add the date at the time you upload without including "circa" in this field. Include the "circa 1812" in the title and description fields. Required field.
  • Publisher: The publisher represents a relationship between the resource and a person, an organization, or a service responsible for making the resource available and provide access to the resource. For manuscript material, this is almost always “College of William and Mary, Earl Gregg Swem Library.” For published material, it is the cited publisher of the book, serial, etc.
  • Citation: For archival material, copy and paste the preferred citation from the Archon record and then add the call number, item or folder name, and the location of the item within the collection. For example, if you digitized folder 1 of series 1 of the Galt (I) Papers, this would read "A.D. Galt Lecture Notes On Anatomy, folder 1, Series 1, Galt Papers (I), Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, College of William and Mary." Published works from the library catalog should ignore this field.
  • Identifiers: An identifier is an unambiguous reference to a resource. Published works that are in the library catalog should have their LC call number put in this field. For archival material, the call number of the collection should be put in this field. Select “Other” from the drop down box for the type of identifier in both instances.
  • Type: Select the DCMI Type value from list. Images or facsimiles of texts are considered "Text"
  • Genre: Select term(s) that describe the form of material and/or what the object IS.
  • Language: The language of the object in question; often English (United States).
  • Embargo lift date: Only use if the object needs to be restricted until a certain date. For example, materials still under copyright should often be put under embargo.

Describe item (screen 2)

  • Subjects: Use a couple of subject headings to give a brief overview of the topic; Library of Congress Subject Headings are preferred. Consult the record in the library catalog for printed material or the finding aid in Archon.
  • Abstract: This is a brief scope and content note about the object being uploaded; include the preferred citation at the end of the abstract. (DACS chapter 3).
    • Examples:
      • Manuscript volume from the Galt Family Papers I, Mss. 78 G13 (MSV 175) Galt-Pasteur Apothecary 1770-1780, Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, College of William and Mary.
      • Photographs of Molly Elliot Seawell, circa 1911-1951. From Mss. Acc. 2010.398, Box 2, Folder 8, Molly Elliot Seawell Papers, Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, College of William and Mary.
      • Concerning the apprehension of David Bradford, William Sutherland, William McKinley, Robert Stephenson, John Moore, and James Marshall, participants in the Whiskey Rebellion. Questions whether Biggs should attend the session of the General Assembly. Found in: Mss.65 W87, Folder 141, Archibald Woods Papers, Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, College of William and Mary.
      • A copy of the Board of Visitors' resolution of 1993 authorizing the design of a new chancellors' robe, a description of the 1993 robe, and a copy of a Alumni Gazette news clipping about President John Stewart Bryan's robe as chancellor. Contents of the subject file as of 1/27/12. From the file Chancellor--Robe, University Archives Subject File Collection, Special Collections Research Center, Earl Gregg Swem Library, College of William and Mary.

    • For digitized audiovisual material, include the vendor that originally produced the item as well as the vendor that digitized the item. For example, The audio was originally recorded by Location Recording Service, Norge, Virginia in 1978 and was digitized by Safe Sound Archive in January 2012.
  • Sponsors: If money from an outside source was used in the digitization of this object, include the name(s) here.
  • Description: Any additional information that is not appropriate for the abstract, such as the fact that some materials from a folder were not digitized. (DACS chapters 6 and 7)

Upload files

This is where you add the file or files to the record. If uploading more than one file, make sure to fill in the description field so that users know what each file is. The filename for archival material is derived from the identifier given to that material in the Archon Digital Library. To create filenames, take the identifier and add .1, .2, .n to the end. For example, for the identifier Mss.Acc.2009.289.001, the individual files get the numbers, Mss.Acc.2009.289.001.1, Mss.Acc.2009.289.001.2, Mss.Acc.2009.289.001.n. If there is only one file for that record, it would be Mss.Acc.2009.289.001.


For the vast majority of items, ignore this box & do not assign a Creative Commons License.


After submitting an item to the W&M Digital Archive, an administrator will approve it or return it to you for revision.

After the item has been approved, if the item was a published item already cataloged in the library catalog, the administrator will forward the URI to Cataloging along with other items in a batch for a link to be added in the 856 field. For unpublished material not in the library catalog, a record must be added to the Archon Digital Library Manager by the submitter. If an entire folder or an entire book were digitized, it is recommended that you write "In DSpace" or something similar or the folder or call number flag.