Primary Sources, Research, and the Internet: The Digital Scriptorium at Duke

Steven L Hensen


As the digital revolution moves us ever closer to the idea of the "virtual library," repositories of primary sources and other archival materials have both a special opportunity and responsibility. Since the materials in their custody are, by definition, often unique, these institutions will need to work very carefully with scholars and other researchers to determine what is the most effective way of making this material accessible in a digital environment.
In the Special Collections Library at Duke University, there is currently an office called the "Digital Scriptorium." It is intended to be a place where faculty and students can come to use computers to conduct their research into digital primary sources as well as to enhance their research by creating digitized versions of materials from the library's collections that can then be made available on the Internet for others to use, contributing, it is hoped, to a new paradigm for research and scholarship.

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