The following platforms are being used by York University Libraries for showcasing digital exhibits and authoring digital scholarship. These platforms are hosted by external institutions but are freely available for use by the global scholarly community. To explore these tools, visit the respective websites to create an account.
Scalar is a free, open source authoring and publishing platform that’s designed to make it easy for authors to write long-form, born-digital scholarship online. Getting started with Scalar is as simple as visiting the site and creating an account, as the Scalar platform is hosted by the University of Southern California and access to the platform is open to all.
Scalar is ideal for working with smaller content collections and gives authors tools to structure essay and book-length works in ways that take advantage of the unique capabilities of digital writing. The platform also supports an number of visualizations, collaborative authoring, and reader commentary.
Scalar enables users to assemble media from multiple sources and juxtapose them with their own writing in a variety of ways, with minimal technical expertise required. Some sites launched through York University Libraries include:
- a public history exhibit on Horse racing in Toronto by Alesha Grummett-Roesch
- four exhibits developed as pedagogical tools as part of a partnership between York University Libraries and four ORUs, led by Dr. Samantha Cutrara, Anna St.Onge, Marcos Armstrong and with contributions from Stephanie Power
- “Playin’ Mas, Play and Mas | A Pedagogical Journey of Children in Caribana” by Denise Challenger for the Harriet Tubman Institute
- “Popular Education in Revolutionary Times” by Juan Pablo Pinto Mendoza for Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean
- “The making of a digital archive, by a non-archivist” by Wendy Alejandra Medina de Loera for York Centre for Asian Research
- “Looking Back: Temporal and Spatial Connections of Post-War Migration and Displacement Through the Eyes of the Toronto Telegram” by Robyn LeLacheur for the Centre for Refugee Studies
- “Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Canada” by Dr. Nergis Canefe with Faida Abu-Ghazaleh and Robyn LeLacheur
- a public history exhibit on Yorkville and the Folk Revival in Toronto by Michael Primiani (supervised by Stacy Allison-Cassin during her term as W.P. Scott Chair in E-Librarianship)
The Libraries have created a step-by-step guide to working with Scalar.
Omeka is a frequent choice for the display and dissemination of digital collections as it allows for the description, organization, and sharing of digital objects. It adheres to the Dublin Core metadata standard which supports the description of digital objects and is interoperable with other platforms. Omeka is free to use for smaller collections via the Omeka.net website (as a non-expiring free trial), or can be downloaded and installed on a local server. Designed with the non-IT specialist in mind, it is designed to allow users to focus on content.
The Clara Thomas Archives and Special Collections at York University Libraries host a number of digital exhibits using the Omeka platform.
The Omeka team has developed an exhaustive and well-designed suite of documentation to support those seeking to learn the platform. In addition, they have created a page that describes how Omeka can be integrated into teaching. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss integrating digital scholarship into your teaching.
Digital Scholarship Infrastructure, in collaboration with Library Digital Systems and Initiatives (LDSI) and Library Digital Technology Services (LDTS), provides support on the digital publishing platform Pressbooks.
The Libraries hosts an instance of Pressbooks, which features the work of York University community members. Library staff can provide basic troubleshooting support and orientation on the use of the tool to York University community members. Users must register using their Passport York (PPY) credentials which are then approved by administrators.
We recommend York community members contact eCampusOntario for additional supports with Pressbooks, particularly in the development of open textbooks, and opportunities for collaboration.
To discuss best options for support, contact email@example.com for more information.
For detailed information about York University Libraries’ journal hosting program, see our York Digital Journals resource page.