Digital Services: Twenty for 2020

2020 was a busy and challenging year for the Digital Services Department at the University Libraries. Despite those challenges, we were able to start, advance, and complete an amazing array of projects. We present here twenty of our proudest accomplishments of 2020.

1: MOspace Grows by 12%

In 2020, we added 4,200 new items to MOspace, the online institutional repository for MU. This was the third largest number of new items added in a single year since MOspace was launched in 2008. MOspace now includes more than 35,000 research articles, presentations, theses and dissertations, maps, MU publications, etc.


2: New Scanner Enables New Projects

A generous donor provided funding for a new scanner, adding to our overall capacity to complete digitization projects of large and fragile materials. The Atiz Mark 2 also has a v-cradle which puts less stress on the material during digitization. We have completed the digitization of several items we could not previously have done.


3: Office of Undergraduate Studies Partnership

This year we partnered with the Undergraduate Studies to host the Undergraduate Research & Creative Achievements Forum in the MU Digital Library. Held in the spring, summer, and fall, the Forum highlights the scholarship of MU students, and included abstracts describing the project, posters, PowerPoint slides, and videos. While previous Forums were in-person events, the move to remote classes in the spring was the prompt for this new partnership.



4: Faculty Research is Focus of MOspace Collection

Faculty research at the University of Missouri is the focus of a new collection in MOspace. The collection includes research material already in MOspace that we are in the process of adding to the new collection. It also includes articles published with open access licenses which were added in Phase 1 of a library project to identify and make published articles by MU faculty available in MOspace.


5: More Rare Materials Now Available Online

Digitization of rare materials was put on hold during the campus closure. Still, during the spring and fall semesters we were able to complete the digitization of rare materials in the Special Collections and Rare Books Department and unique materials on loan from a private collection. These are now available in the MU Digital Library


6: Sanborn Maps of Missouri

The Sanborn Fire Insurance Map Company, established in 1867, compiled and published maps of United States cities and towns. The maps are large scale plans that were used by the fire insurance industry. In 2020, maps published in 1924, along with other 1924 publications, entered the public domain in the United States. While we did not get all of our 1924 Sanborn maps digitized, we were able to add the 1924 sheets for Liberty and the Webster Groves sheets issued as part of the St. Louis volume. They are now available in the MU Digital Library.


7: New Collection of Concert Programs

When the recently established MU Budds Center for American Music Studies asked us to partner on digitizing and making a collection of archival documents available in MOspace, we were thrilled. While this is an ongoing project, many MU concert programs, photographs, and posters, as well as miscellaneous publications are now in MOspace and available for use. Dates of items range from 1977 to1997. Check back for updates to this growing collection.



8: Global Journalist Archive Added to MOspace

In 2020, MOspace became the archive for audio recordings of the radio program, “Global Journalists.” As noted on the Global Journalist website: “Global Journalist covers press freedom, human rights and international affairs. The weekly, half-hour discussion is produced by faculty and students of the Missouri School of Journalism and Mid-Missouri Public Radio.” This is a growing collection, with 66 segments produced between 2002-2020 now available.



9: SISLT Webcast  Recordings

The School of Information Science and Learning Technologies produced webcasts between 2005 and 2015.  On each show practicing librarians and educators were interviewed about topics such as literacy, library positions, library programs, and educational technologies. 245 recordings now are archived in MOspace.


10: History of Missouri Place Names in Historical Theses

We are getting close to completion of a project to digitize 18 theses detailing the history of Missouri place names. They were written in the 1920s through the 1940s under the direction of Robert L. Ramsey, professor of English, and provide the origins of the names of counties, townships, post offices, rivers. branches, creeks, ridges, prairies, mounds, hills, valleys, gaps, churches, etc. These are great resources for historical information about Missouri.


11: MU Theses and Dissertations

MOspace is the online repository for MU theses and dissertations published since 2006. This collection highlights research being completed at MU. In 2020, we added more than 470 theses and dissertations issued in 2019-2020. In addition, we added 61 older theses and dissertations which we digitized as part of an ongoing project to make these available online. This collection is one of our larger collections, with 9,200 total items, 8,366 of which were issued after 2005. Note: Because Fall 2020 items have not yet been added and authors may request a one-year delay before publication, the 2020 numbers in the graph are not complete.



12: MU Publications in MOspace

In addition to the MU material mentioned elsewhere, we added current or historical items to several ongoing collections in MOspace, including:



13: Support for Remote Teaching and Learning

Since our unit focuses on creating and hosting online resources, we were able to support online teaching and learning by digitizing material and hosting online forums.

As an example, we digitized rare items for use in a history course and made the images available in the MU Digital Library:


14: University of Missouri Extension

Our MU Extension digitization project got a boost in 2020. As we prepared to move to remote work, we quickly digitized historical MU Extension publications that would provide opportunities for remote work. The publications we digitized were in good condition and could be fed through a scanner with a sheet-feeder, so we were able to quickly digitize a large number of them. Staff reviewed and edited images from their home worksites. In 2020 we added 1,280 MU Extension publications to MOspace. They cover a variety of topics including agriculture, homemaking, recipes, and annual reports.


15: Instagram Posts Highlight Work

Digital Services joined forces with the Special Collections and Rare Books Department to inform and entertain Instagram viewers by providing information about the work of both departments and of the resources available in the University of Missouri Libraries.



16: Celebrating MU Students in Digital Services

In Digital Services, our excellent undergraduate student workers do most of our scanning work. That productivity was missed when we moved to remote work. With a return to campus, we were pleased that two of our long-term students re-joined us in the fall and picked up digitization projects related to rare materials and MU publications.


17: Personnel

This year Digital Services saw a lot of new faces. We welcomed a new staff member, Antanella, to our permanent staff of four, and had temporary help from two library staff members – Mara and Peter — who contributed to specific projects. We rely on MU student workers to accomplish our work and were fortunate to have excellent help this year. In addition, in the spring we had two graduate assistants (one of whom was short-term) who helped move projects forward.



18: Campus Closure Prompts Move to Remote Work

With the rest of the campus, Digital Services moved to remote operations in March. In preparation, staff packed needed resources and made plans for virtual connections. Digital Services was fortunate in being able to continue its work off-site. Staff reviewed and edited digital images, added items to MOspace and the MU Digital Library and worked with others on campus to make their resources available. Other stories on this page feature some of these projects. Fortunately, we were able to return to campus in staggered shifts for the fall semester and resumed our on-site scanning work.


19: Mission, Vision, and Values

The members of the University Archives, Special Collections, and Digital Services Division collaboratively drafted mission, vision, and values statements with guidance from Julie Brandt (Institutional Research & Quality Improvement). These will be posted on a forthcoming division website. As part of that process Digital Services reviewed and refined its own mission statement, which is posted here.


20: Giving Back to the Library Community

Ying Hu and Felicity Dykas shared tips about supervising students at the 2020 statewide MOBIUS conference held virtually in June. The annual MOBIUS conference is attended by academic and public library workers and provides an opportunity to share with and learn from colleagues.


Looking Forward to 2021!

Many of our projects are ongoing and will continue into 2021. We also plan to resume activities that were put on hold due to the accommodations we had to make for Covid-19, including HathiTrust submissions. New in 2021: We will be launching a new site for digital exhibits and forums, such as online poster sessions. We will partner with others on campus to host their events and to develop digital exhibits.
home Resources and Services Reach the World with MOspace

Reach the World with MOspace

Open access refers to the free access of online resources and is of particular importance when those resources are research articles, papers and publications. Open access makes these resources available to more people in more places. The University of Missouri Libraries support the goals of open access for MU research materials though the provision of MOspace, the MU institutional repository. MOspace is an online repository for creative and scholarly works created by MU faculty, students, staff, and departments.

What difference does open access make? Materials freely available on the web often reach a wider audience than those available in high-cost journals. For example, a postprint of the following article was added to MOspace in 2018.

Fisher, P. J., & Yao, R. (2017). Gender differences in financial risk tolerance. Journal of Economic Psychology, 61, 191-202.

Postprint in MOspace:

In the past six months, the postprint in MOspace was downloaded 350 times by users in the United States, Romania, the United Kingdom, Portugal and Germany. The top ten countries for all MU material downloaded from MOspace in the past six months are:

  • United States;
  • Germany;
  • Philippines;
  • United Kingdom;
  • China;
  • India;
  • Canada;
  • Indonesia;
  • France; and
  • Australia.

Additional countries in Europe, Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East are reflected in the top 40 countries with MOspace users. Most of these users were referred from internet browsers or search engines including Google, Google Scholar, DuckDuckGo, Bing and Yahoo.

Open access supports the efforts of MU researchers by making their research more widely available and supports scholars around the world by ensuring free and open access to important research. To find out more:


Ask me about open access?


home Staff news Library Space Needs in 1971

Library Space Needs in 1971

A single service desk in Ellis, a new location for Archives, and re-purposing Ellis Room 52 are some of the current topics being discussed under the umbrella of “space needs.” Back in 1971, the need for more space was a topic of interest, too. An article in the Missouri Alumnus (May 1971) highlights how crowded Ellis library and some of the specialized libraries were even then.

  • Dr. C. Edward Carroll, director of libraries “knows that the building was designed to hold two million volumes and, counting the items in the State Historical Society and the Western Historical Manuscripts collection, it already exceeds that number.”
  • “The main library building was built in 1914. It became crowded as the campus grew and a new addition was added in 1939. With time and continued growth the new addition also filled to capacity. Planners at the University fore-saw the growth and another addition was completed by 1962. Since then, more than half a million volumes have been added to the library’s shelves. The number of students on the campus has nearly doubled.”
  • “Also included in the request for next year are the funds to operate not only the main library, but also the network of seven branch libraries, housed in the professional schools. ‘The only one that has any space at all is the mathematics library,’ in the newly-opened Mathematical Sciences Building, Carroll said. If the veterinary medicine complex is built, that school will also have enough library space.”

The good news is that, despite space shortcomings, the strengths of the libraries were extolled, too:

  • “The strengths are impressive: More than 1.5  million books and 18,OOO current journals make the main library complex on the Columbia campus one of the largest in the Midwest; its microfilm collection is the second largest of any research library in the country; its rare book collection is the best in the Big Eight; it is a nationally-recognized pioneer in library computer applications … “

Additional historical details are given in the article, which is available in MOspace:  Mizzou Alumnus, 1971 May, pages 8-11.





home Resources and Services, Special Collections and Archives Crossword puzzle to test your knowledge of Mizzou

Crossword puzzle to test your knowledge of Mizzou

Digital Services staff recently discovered a fun crossword puzzle when working on the Missouri alumnus (later called: Mizzou) Collection in MOspace. This crossword puzzle was published in Missouri alumnus, volume 067, number 02 (1979 January-February)  “Test your vocabulary and knowledge of Mizzou in this game constructed especially for alumni.”

Check out the answers in MOspace:



home Staff news Mizzou Alumni Magazine Articles in MOspace

Mizzou Alumni Magazine Articles in MOspace

While the size is relative to the individual, work from home is an obstacle for all of us. Away from important scanners and physical materials, the Digital Services Department has kept on its toes with other digitization opportunities. One current project involves processing and uploading title stories from MIZZOU, the magazine of the Alumni Association, enhancing their availability as individual articles in MOspace and enhancing discoverability through tools like Discover@MU or Google Scholar. The magazine, formerly titled Missouri Alumnus, has chronicled University life, challenges, academic pursuits, and athletic accomplishment for over one hundred years. Through this project, Digital Services staff have been rediscovering the legacy of obstacles, successes and highlights, for instance:

  • Summer 1991article about the MSA president pushing a state ballot initiative for more financial support in higher education;
  • Jill Raittbeginning the Religious Studies department during a budget crunch, November 1982;
  • the removal of ‘temporary’ barracks that covered campus in order to accommodate the incredible enrollment increase following World War II, May 1983;
  • the excitements of Ellis Library in “Stacks of Knowledge,” Fall 1992.

The articles – currently numbering 982 — are available in the Mizzou Alumni magazine feature stories collection.

home Databases & Electronic Resources MOspace – Available 24/7 

MOspace – Available 24/7 

MOspace is an online repository for the scholarly and creative works of MU faculty, students, and staffMOspace also includes numerous University of Missouri publications from an 1857 list of library publications to the most recent copy of the Mizzou alumni magazine. Most of the resources are freely available on the web. 

Start here: 

Check these out: 

Contribute your works:


home Staff news Digital Services update: Current digitization projects

Digital Services update: Current digitization projects

Digital Services is carrying out several digitization projects to meet the needs of different units in the library and on campus. This is a quick overview of most of our current projects, several of which are long-term.

Typography books. The Journalism Library reviewed the University Libraries collections and identified books on typography which were not yet in the HathiTrust. We are digitizing these volumes and are contributing them to the HathiTrust.

HathiTrust collection:;c=1491577794

Early British pamphlets. This project supports the goal of making resources in the English Short Title Catalog (ESTC) available in the HathiTrust. Special Collections and Rare Books has identified 15,000 titles in their collection that meet the criteria of ESTC. We have added 900+ titles to the HathiTrust so far and  have several items in the process of being added.

HathiTrust collection:;c=1689078988

MU Extension material. We received copies of older Extension publications when Agricultural Economics weeded their collection of resources and from the duplicates SHS didn’t retain. We seized this opportunity to digitize these duplicates, because we can disbind and scan them quickly. We have added 800+ titles to MOspace since Summer 2019.

MU Extension collection in MOspace:

Missouri Place names theses. Under the direction of advisory Robert L. Ramsey, students in the 1920s and 1930s completed theses documenting the origins of places names in Missouri, including names for “counties, townships, post offices, rivers. branches, creeks, ridges, prairies, mounds, hills, valleys, gaps, churches, and mills.” We have completed digitization of twelve of the eighteen so far, and they are available in MOspace. We have gotten requests to make these available from the general public and from Missouri government agencies.

Example: Place names in six of the west central counties of Missouri

University of Missouri course catalogs. Partnering with the Registrar’s Office, we have been digitizing MU Course Catalogs. Early volumes included histories and reports of departments and the university. For some years, we have catalogs for individual schools and colleges, too. We are currently digitizing catalogs from the 1990s, and are filling in gaps for other decades.

MOspace collection:

University Missourian. This serial publication was added to the University Libraries collections in 2019. It began publication in 1871; we have issues through 1880. We have completed scanning it and It will be available in MOspace soon.

MERLIN record:

Shamrock. The Engineering Library had a duplicate set of the Engineering yearbook and asked to have them added to MOspace. These volumes provide an interesting look at the history of Engineering over the years.

MOspace collection:

Muse. We are partnering with the Museum of Art and Archaeology to make all issues of the MUSE, the annual publication of the Museum, available online. We are digitizing copies not in digital form and sharing copies with the Museum and are harvesting issues we need that are already available online.on the Museum site.

MOspace collection:
Museum website:

Focus. At the request of HSL, we have digitized over 300 articles published between 1967-2001 under the banner, “Highlights” or “Focus” in the periodical, Missouri Monthly Vital Statistics. This series of articles covers a range of topics related to the health and vital statistics of Missourians, and include statistical information. We hope to make these available in the HathiTrust, but will host them locally if full view cannot be provided in the HathiTrust.

As you can tell, we have been busy. We also are wrapping up other projects and processing one-time requests, on top of processing current MU theses and dissertations (Fall 2019 were added to MOspace this week) and other MU publications to MOspace.



home Resources and Services, Special Collections and Archives Digitized slides from Hiller Collection are now available in MU Digital Library

Digitized slides from Hiller Collection are now available in MU Digital Library

Digital Services is excited to share that about 250 photographs from the newly acquired Hiller Collection are now available in MU Digital Library. A description of the collections and list of contents can be found in the Hiller collection library guide.

This collection is a valuable resource for students’ and faculty’s research. Yueheng Lyu, a spring 2019 history intern, worked with Special Collection and Digital Services to make part of this collection available online. She chose to digitize slides about two cities in China, Nanking and Soochow. She conducted research on the content of the photographs and curated a digital exhibit with some images that she had digitized. A professor in MU History Department also showed research interests in these slides, especially the ones related to the hardship that Chinese people experienced during the Chinese Civil War.

So far, about 370 slides have been digitized and 250 are available in MU Digital Library. We will continue working on digitizing the rest of the slides in the Hiller Collection and making them digitally available, accessible, and discoverable to more people.

Here are a few examples of the digitized slides:

home Resources and Services Celebrate National Poetry Month with MOspace

Celebrate National Poetry Month with MOspace

April is National Poetry Month. Celebrate with MOspace! MOspace includes audio recordings of poets reading their poetry. Here are a few podcasts from The Missouri Review to get you started.

home Databases & Electronic Resources Celebrating Women’s Contributions in the Workforce

Celebrating Women’s Contributions in the Workforce

Celebrate Women’s History Month by exploring women’s contributions in the workforce through MOspace. Here are a few items to get you started:

Women and the newspaper (1924)

Women in the laundry industry in Columbia (1915)

As equals and as sisters : feminism, the labor movement, and the Women’s Trade Union League of New York (1980)

Sisterhood as strategy : the collaborations of American women artists in the gilded age (2018)