F&M College Library

Collection Policies

Purpose of Scholars Square

Scholars Square provides online access to digital collections which support the liberal arts curriculum and intellectual endeavors of the F&M community as well as contribute resources for research in the broader scholarly community. It is a repository for collections created at F&M, specifically:

  • Archives and Special Collections digitized collections

  • Scholarship produced F&M students, faculty, and staff

  • Visual resources (primarily from photographs taken by Art and Art History faculty)


This policy pertains to collections accessible through Scholars Square. Archives and Special Collections holds other digital objects, specifically born-digital College records and items digitized for preservation only, which are not included in Scholars Square. This policy does not pertain to those items.

Digital Collections Responsibilities

Digital Objects

A&SC stays up-to-date on best practices for the creation of useable digital objects, including the use of openly-documented formats.


Scholars Square metadata follows library standards and aims to be understandable and interoperable beyond its local use. Metadata is created in Dublin Core, an internationally recognized metadata standard.


The majority of collections in Scholars Square are openly accessible to the general public, and A&SC endeavors to make new collections as open as possible. Some items are available to the F&M community only based on license agreements.


A&SC is working toward a comprehensive preservation plan for our digital collections.


Scholars Square is continually assessed based on use statistics and feedback from the F&M community. This assessment helps to inform collection development decisions.



NISO Framework Working Group. (2007, December). A Framework of Guidance for Building Good Digital Collections (3rd ed.). Retrieved from http://framework.niso.org/

Federal Agencies Digital Guideline Initiative Still Image Working Group. (2016, September). Technical Guidelines for Digitizing Cultural Heritage Materials. Retrieved from http://www.digitizationguidelines.gov/guidelines/digitize-technical.html


Selection Criteria

Potential digital collections are assessed based on the following criteria. Collections may be selected for inclusion in Scholars Square based on their fulfillment of a majority of the criteria or because of their high level of significance for several criteria.

Curricular Relevance

  • Would the collection be used in the liberal arts curriculum? Is the collection relevant to the content and methods taught in F&M courses?

Research Significance

  • Would the collection be useful to the broader scholarly community?

  • Is the collection unique? Does it contribute to a research area not represented in other digital collections?

Support for F&M Intellectual Output

  • Does the collection promote scholarship, creative work and teaching materials created by F&M students, faculty and staff?

  • Would the collection give the F&M community an opportunity to provide open access to their intellectual output?

Potential for Improved Access and Use

  • For digitized A&SC collections: Does the physical collection receive a high level of use? Would the existence of a digital collection help to meet the demand for the collection?

  • Would the existence of a digital collection afford opportunities for creative use of the material (such as digital scholarship projects)?

  • Does the collection complement an existing digital collection which sees demonstrable use?

Copyright Status

  • Does the College own the copyright for the items? Has A&SC received permission from the copyright holders to provide access to the items online? Is the material in the public domain?

Available Resources

  • Does A&SC have the resources necessary to create and maintain the collection, including equipment, staff time, and digital storage? Can A&SC obtain funding to acquire these resources?