Digital Collections Stewardship-A Collaborative Learning Opportunity

Mar 14, 2024

Female teacher standing in front of a Greeley classroom of middle-grade students in 1969

Greeley Tribune. Teaching in a classroom. 1969-01-08. Retrieved from the City of Greeley Museums, cdm/ref/collection/p16720coll1/id/409. (Accessed March 4, 2024.)

  • Do you want to enhance your knowledge of the digital collections lifecycle?
  • Do you want to feel more confident about creating digital collections that support the goals of your organization and the priorities of your community?
  • Do you work with archival collections or local history collections but do not have formal archival training?
  • Do you enjoy learning in a group setting?

Colorado State Library (CSL) and the Wyoming State Library (WSL) are seeking staff members at Colorado and Wyoming libraries, museums, archives, and historical societies who want to enhance their digital collections knowledge by participating in a 15-month facilitated peer group learning experience. CSL and WSL are two of five state libraries partnering with OCLC/WebJunction to lead participants through Digital Collections Stewardship, a free online course designed specifically with the needs of small cultural institutions in mind. To apply what they’ve learned, participants will create and share an online digital collection via their own content management system (CMC) and if they choose the Plains to Peaks Collective (PPC).

Why consider joining?

Expansive scope. The Digital Collections Stewardship course will take you through the entire lifecycle of digital stewardship, going beyond technical training in digitization and metadata to address organizing, managing, preserving, and sharing digital collections.

Peer accountability. The peer group learning model will help you stay motivated and accountable as you work towards completing the online course.

Expert support. The group’s facilitators—Leigh Jeremias and Amy Hitchner from CSL—will keep you on track by facilitating meetings and filling in learning gaps, while guest speakers will enrich and contextualize the content you learn.

Hands-on practice. This project is designed to strengthen your knowledge of digital collections while giving you the opportunity to practice what you learn. The tangible outcome of the project is the digital collection you will create and share with your community.

A female student and a female professor sitting in a computer lab at the University of Denver sometime between 1980 and 1989

University of Denver. Student and Professor in Computer Lab, between 1980-1989. between 1980-1989. Retrieved from the University of Denver, (Accessed March 4, 2024.)

Project Outline

Phase 1: Complete WebJunction’s Digital Collections Stewardship online course.

August 2024 – April 2025

The course consists of 7 units. Each month, you will complete a self-directed walkthrough of each unit (1-2 hrs each), then meet virtually with your peer learning group (facilitated by a CSL consultant) to discuss the unit and its associated activities. A second virtual meeting each month will include enrichment content—like guest speakers—to expand and contextualize what you learn.

Phase 2: Create one new digital collection and share it online in a CMS and with the Plains to Peaks Collective (PPC).

May 2025 – October 2025

In this phase you will apply what you learned in Phase 1, walking through the steps of creating and sharing a digital collection. The peer learning group will continue to meet once a month to discuss questions and share solutions. The end product of the entire project is the digital collection that you share online and if you choose with the PPC.


  • April 2024 – May 2024: Application period.
  • May 31, 2024: Applicants will be notified.
  • August 2024 – April 2025: Complete the Digital Collections Stewardship course. Participate in peer group meetings and activities.
  • May 2025 – October 2025: Continue peer group meetings. Create and share a digital collection.


  • All meetings will be held virtually over Zoom.
  • During Phase 1 (August 2024 – April 2025) we will meet twice a month.
  • During Phase 2 (May 2025 – October 2025) we will meet once a month.
  • Meetings will be scheduled within normal working hours—up to 5:00 pm (MST), but no late evenings or weekends. Exact times will be determined with participant input.
  • A mailing list will be available for communication and peer support.

How to join/apply

  • We will open the application process from April through May 2024. Look for communication in early April.
  • The application will ask for basic information about your title and organization, goals, and experience level.

Nichols, Lora Webb, 1883-1962. [Teachers Vera Schultz and Stella Woody?]. 1932. Retrieved from the University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center, https://digitalcollections. luna/servlet/detail/ uwydbuwy ~6~6~18697~330461. (Accessed March 4, 2024.)

Meet your facilitators

Leigh Jeremias is the Digital Collections Senior Consultant for the Colorado State Library where she manages the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection and the Plains to Peaks Collective, the Colorado-Wyoming Service Hub of the Digital Public Library of America. Leigh has over 23 years experience working to make historical collections more accessible to the widest audience possible. She has extensive experience in the development, care and refinement of archival and digital collections as well as knowledge of several collection management databases, metadata schemas and aggregation, copyright and risk assessment, and project management. Prior to working at the State Library, Leigh worked at History Colorado and the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia. In her current role she works to expand state and national access to all types of historic collections found at both small and large cultural heritage institutions.

Amy Hitchner is the Metadata and Integration Services Senior Consultant for the Colorado State Library, where she manages CVL Collections, a program that helps small cultural heritage organizations get their digital collections online using the Omeka platform. The program is also an on-ramp to participate in the Plains to Peaks Collective, the Colorado-Wyoming hub of the Digital Public Library of America. In addition to managing CVL Collections, Amy publishes the Friday Grab Bag, a weekly series highlighting Colorado library programs and events. She has 17 years of library experience in cataloging, metadata, technical services, electronic resources, serials, and collection management at academic and school libraries.


  • Do I need to be brand new to digital collections to join the project?
    • No. Even if you have some experience creating digital collections you will likely find value in participating, as the online course explores digital stewardship topics that you may not have encountered before. Contact Leigh Jeremias if you have questions about whether participation is right for you.
  • Do I need to be a current member of the Plains to Peaks Collective (PPC) to join the project?
    • No, but if you would like to share the collection you create with the PPC you will need to join the PPC. We strongly encourage participants to share their collections in a variety of ways and that includes the PPC. There are several ways to join the PPC. Members of Marmot Digital Archive and Mountain Scholar are already participating through their consortia. CMS that we currently work with are PastPerfect (online version), Islandora, CatalogIt, CONTENTdm, Argus, Luna, CollectiveAccess and DSpace. Organizations that have their own content management systems (CMS) should contact Leigh Jeremias to discuss next steps.
  • Do I need to have a content management system (CMS) to join the project?
    • Yes. Organizations without their own CMS should see the next question for information about joining CVL Collections.
  • What if I don’t have a content management system (CMS)?
    • Organizations without a CMS should contact Amy Hitchner to discuss joining CVL Collections, a program administered by the Colorado State Library that utilizes an open-source platform called Omeka. Joining CVL Collections can be done in parallel with the Digital Collections Stewardship project.
  • Do I need to have existing online collections to participate?
    • No, you don’t need to have existing online collections but you should have a historic collection in mind for digitization. You will create a digital collection from scratch as part of the project.
  • Do I need to be available for all the meetings in order to join?
    • You’ll get the most out of the experience if you come to all the meetings. Of course, if you need to miss a meeting from time to time that is OK.
  • Can more than one person from my organization join?
    • Yes.
  • Is there a registration cost for the course?
    • No.
  • Do I need any special equipment?
    • For the course itself you just need a device with a camera and microphone for participating in online Zoom meetings.
    • To create a digital collection, you will need access to digitization equipment appropriate for whatever you are digitizing. Colorado State Library has a limited supply of digitization equipment that you can borrow. The Wyoming State Archives also has digitization equipment that you can borrow.
  • Will there be any certificate awarded?
    • OCLC/Webjunction offers a Certificate of Completion for the Digital Collections Stewardship course.

If you have more questions that aren’t answered here or if you would like to express your interest in participating, please reach out to Leigh Jeremias,

Reposted with permission.
Amy Hitchner
Metadata & Integration Services Senior Consultant at Colorado State Library

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