Collection Development Policy for the UNT Libraries’ Digital Collections

University Libraries, Unt Policy And Procedure Memorandum.


Collection Development Policy for the UNT Libraries’ Digital Collections.

Policy Scope

This document describes the policies governing the acquisition, curation, and management of materials in the UNT Libraries’ (UNTL) Digital Collections.

UNT Libraries’ Digital Collections Mission Statement

In support of the UNT Libraries Mission, the UNT Libraries’ Digital Collections is dedicated to the long-term collection, production, maintenance, delivery, and preservation of a wide range of high-quality digital resources and services for the UNT Community and users throughout the world.

Guiding Principles

The UNT Libraries’ Digital Collections are maintained in accordance with the following guiding principles:

  • Provide unified digital access to resources of value to the UNT Community
  • Make access to these digital collections easy and transparent
  • Sustainably manage the digital collections in perpetuity

UNT Libraries’ Digital Collections Purpose

Under the umbrella of UNTL’s mission, the UNT Libraries’ Digital Collections exist to:

  • Acquire, preserve, and provide access to digital resources required by the UNT community to successfully execute the mission of UNT as a major public research university deeply committed to advancing educational excellence and preparing students to become thoughtful, engaged citizens of the world
  • Provide an optimum research environment to faculty, staff, students, and community members by enabling open access to significant research collections
  • Support open access to and long-term preservation of the scholarly output of UNT to the best of its ability
  • Encourage long-term preservation of content contributed by partners, researchers, and institutions
  • Provide digital preservation support for non-UNT community organizations in Texas who otherwise do not have access to preservation support


The UNT Libraries’ Digital Collections have a broad audience interested in utilizing the digital resources, including:

  • The UNT Extended Community (comprising students, faculty, staff, alumni, and administrators)
  • Contributing partners and their constituents
  • The larger academic community and researchers
  • The general public throughout the world

Collection Scope

The UNT Libraries’ Digital Collections are comprised of three publicly-facing interfaces: The Portal to Texas History, the UNT Digital Library, and The Gateway to Oklahoma History. The digital holdings within these three interfaces are owned by the UNT Libraries or contributing partners.

It should be noted that these resources are different in scope from “Electronic Resources,” which are resources purchased from and managed by third party vendors.

the Portal to Texas History

The Portal to Texas History includes materials collected and curated by institutions throughout the State of Texas. Most often these resources align in some way to the subject of Texas history, the geography of Texas, or are somehow related to resources useful to users of the Portal. While the majority of the resources in the Portal relate to Texas history, the subject matter is broader and encompasses resource collected and held by institutions and private individuals in Texas.

The Portal to Texas History contains collections from partner institutions across the state. Collections that have received significant support either internally or externally include:

  • The Texas Digital Newspaper Program provides access and preservation to digitized and born-digital newspaper issues from the earliest days of Texas until the present.
  • The Texas Register is a partnership with the Office of the Texas Secretary of State, Texas Register Section, providing free access to all issues of the Texas Register from Volume 1, No. 1 (January 6, 1976). to the present.
  • Texas Laws and Resolutions Archive embodies a collection of legislative bills that were filed with the Office of the Texas Secretary of State - Statutory Documents beginning with the 78th Legislative Session. All bills, joint resolutions, and concurrent resolutions passed by the Texas Legislature, including those vetoed by the Governor. In partnership with the Office of the Texas Secretary of State.
  • Texas State Publications includes digitized Texas documents distributed to the UNT Libraries by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) as part of the Texas Depository Library Program. In addition this collection contains Web-harvested documents from Texas agencies which fall within the scope of the UNT Libraries Texas State Documents Collection.

UNT Digital Library

The UNT Digital Library is a centralized repository for the collections held by the libraries, colleges, schools, and departments at the University of North Texas. This system provides access to a wide range of collections from partners around campus. Collections of note include:

  • UNT Scholarly Works: This collection serves as the UNT institutional repository, housing materials from the UNT community’s research, creative, and scholarly activities.
  • UNT Data Repository: This collection is a central archive for research data outputs of the UNT community. The UNT Data Repository works in conjunction with the UNT Scholarly Works institutional repository to ensure accessibility to the full range of research outputs from UNT.
  • UNT Theses and Dissertations: This collection houses theses and dissertations created by masters and doctoral students in the degree-seeking process at UNT.
  • CyberCemetery: This collection is an archive of government websites that have ceased operation. The CyberCemetery features a variety of topics indicative of the broad nature of government information and in particular, websites that cover topics supporting UNT’s curriculum, and particular program strengths.
  • Technical Reports and Image Library (TRAIL): This collection includes hard-to-find reports published by various government agencies. The publications in this collection contain reports, images, and technical descriptions of research performed for U.S. government agencies prior to 1975 and covering a broad range of topics.

the Gateway to Oklahoma History

The Gateway to Oklahoma History is a portal to resources housed at the Oklahoma Historical Society and is made available in partnership between the Oklahoma Historical Society and the University of North Texas. Collections of note include:

  • Oklahoma Digital Newspaper Program: This collection houses digitized newspapers from throughout the state of Oklahoma.
  • Oklahoma Publishing Company Photograph Collection: The Oklahoma Publishing Company is the parent company several newspapers in Oklahoma. This collection features a wide-variety of photographs taken for stories in these newspapers.

Selection Criteria

The UNT Libraries’ Digital Collections make available collections that support research and scholarship according to the needs of the UNT Extended Community. For inclusion within the UNT Libraries’ Digital Collections, objects must meet all Level One criteria and at least one of Level Two criteria.

Level One criteria cover objective standards such as copyright, extent, and format issue. Items must meet all of the criteria in Level One to be eligible for addition into one of the UNT Libraries’ Digital Collections:

Each item must:

  • Be in the public domain, or have documented, non-revocable permission granted by the copyright holder, or be allowed by Section 108 (17 U.S.C. § 108)
  • Be intended for public viewing and use
  • Be complete, such as an entire publication, article, etc., and not a “part” such as an abstract, forward, or title page
  • Meet the standards required for long-term digital curation
  • Be in a standard format accessible through current file viewers or have a documented conversion path to move the format into a standard format
  • Be intended for permanent storage in the UNT Libraries’ Digital Collections

Level Two criteria cover subjective elements requiring review, assessment, and the professional judgment of UNT Digital Libraries’ librarians and staff in collaboration with subject experts. Items must satisfy at least one criterion from these categories:

  • Utility - the items support the University of North Texas’ Extended Community goals:
    • Research
    • Scholarship
    • Teaching
  • Demand - items meet anticipated or demonstrated community demands:
    • Departmental priorities
    • Citation frequency
    • Digital item usage
  • Commitment - items meet an obligation or requirement established by external means:
    • Institutional archives
    • Legal requirements
    • Contracts or MOUs

Retention And Evaluation

All objects included in the UNT Libraries’ Digital Collections are intended to be retained permanently upon acceptance into the UNT Libraries’ Digital Collections. The UNT Libraries’ Digital Collections will not be used as a temporary storage facility for digital items.

Collection Curators

The UNT Libraries provide curators for their digital collections who exercise intellectual and administrative stewardship responsibilities for digital objects stored in the UNT Libraries’ Digital collections. The Digital Collection curator is a role rather than a specific individual, and it is understood that, over time, many different individuals will play this role for a specific collection.

Each Digital Collection Curator will ensure sound stewardship of the collection and will appropriately manage these digital objects over the long-term through standard digital management practices, which include the following:

  • Intellectual property rights
    • managing the legal rights necessary for all services over time, and
    • where necessary, obtaining legal clearances for the right to
      • make copies for backup purposes,
      • make derivative copies, and
      • distribute publicly
  • Metadata - follow the UNT Libraries Metadata Guidelines, to support the design of appropriate descriptive, administrative, technical, and structural metadata are created for each object
  • Discovery and access - ensure that metadata, or descriptions of objects are publicly available

Access And Usage

Some materials may have restrictions on access and/or usage. See the UNT Libraries’ Digital Collections Usage and Feedback Policy, sections 2. Access and 3. Rights/Terms of Use for complete guidelines.

Review Cycle

This policy will be reviewed and updated as needed with a full review every two years to assure timely revisions as technology progresses, collection focus changes, and digital library collections mature.


  • Approved: 09/16/15
  • Revised: 01/12/17

License Information

This Policy: "Collection Development Policy for the UNT Libraries’ Digital Collections" by UNT Libraries is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.