Digital Collections@FAU Libraries, are groups of information resources in digital format, related by subject or origin and searchable through DigiTool, a digital asset management system. Digital Collections@FAU Libraries allows remote researchers to access online a wide array of locally held content and enable users to discover unique and rare library materials. The goal of the FAU Digital Library that maintains Digital Collections@FAU Libraries is to digitize, preserve, and provide access to significant FAU scholarship, special library collections, and treasured community resources for the benefit of a wider audience in support of the university's educational mission.
Digital Collections are an important way for users to discover unique primary resources that might otherwise be restricted in use because the item is irreplaceable or holds intrinsic value. Digital collections are not electronic resources such as subscription databases containing journal articles but are digitized textual, visual, and audio files of original resources such as letters, diaries, manuscripts, photographs, or recordings that should not be circulated or handled frequently.
Primary resources are first-hand recorded accounts from participants or witnesses to an event. These include newspaper accounts, birth, death, or marriage records and other types of documents such as legal contracts, deeds, or minutes of meetings published near to the time when the event occurred. Statistical data, experiment results, aerial maps, architectural and urban planning documents, ephemera distributed at an event (concert tickets, play bills, programs, posters), sound recordings, videos, and photographs are examples of primary resources.
A secondary resource is a work that interprets, discusses, analyzes, or comments on an historical event or phenomenon. It generally occurs during a period after the event took place and is often based on primary resources. Examples of secondary resources include scholarly books and articles, reference books and textbooks. It is important to note that a scholarly article, thesis, or dissertation that details the results of an experiment or research project conducted would be a primary resource while another article or paper discussing that research project, experiment results, thesis, or dissertation would be a secondary resource.