The Digital Initiatives & Web Services department builds and preserves sustainable digital collections, and also supports digital preservation, open access, and digital humanities efforts campus-wide, partnering with library staff, faculty, IT, and other stakeholders. See our Digital Projects page and our Digital Collections blog for more about our projects and current activities.

Digital Collections

  • Amherst College Digital Collections
    • Digitized content from the Archives & Special Collections, including the Emily Dickinson Collection; papers of Edward and Orra White Hitchcock; a complete run of the Olio; and more
    • Images from the Art & Architecture Collection
  • The Octagon is a digital repository of open access articles and other scholarly works by Amherst College faculty in support the faculty's Open Access Resolution.

Digital Initiatives & Web Services is responsible for the selection, creation, delivery, and preservation of the Library’s digital collections. We adhere to national and international community-based standards and best practices in all our work. Our purpose is to provide digital collections to as wide an audience as possible, in keeping with our Amherst College Library Digital Content Strategy and Digital Collection Development Policy for archival and special collections materials

Digital Initiatives & Web Services also supports faculty who use images in their teaching. We acquire or create digital images where possible, in response to specific requests. Please contact Digital Initiatives & Web Services for more information.

Digital Scholarship/Digital Humanities

The Digital Initiatives & Web Services department consults on digital scholarship projects, and may provide support or guidance in digitization, text encoding, metadata, and project management, in partnership with faculty, the Library, and Information Technology. Since 2014, Digital Initiatives & Web Services has led the Digital Scholarship Summer Fellowship program, providing opportunities for current undergraduate students and recent graduates to learn digital scholarship methodologies and implement a project.

The Digital Scholarship Summer Fellowship for 2017 considered the archival collections documenting the early history of Amherst College, in anticipation of the bicentennial in 2021. Drawing from rich materials in Amherst’s Archives and Special Collections, they explored the intersections between the physical, social and intellectual environments of early Amherst. Their website, Early Amherst, provides a window into the places, people, intellectual activities and worldviews that founded Amherst College. You can also read the College's news story on their experience.

Past projects and consultations include:

Digital Preservation

The Digital Initiatives & Web Services department partners with Archives & Special Collections to ensure long-term, sustainable access to the digital content produced by the Library and the College. Current efforts to further digital preservation at Amherst include:

  • Implementing the Internet Archive’s ArchiveIt for archiving Amherst College websites
  • Provide training and resources for personal digital archiving
  • Members of the Five College Digital Stewardship Task Force, and also participated in the Five College Digital Preservation Task Force Archivematica pilot, which is an effort to evaluate that software for collaborative use by the Five College libraries
  • Developing strategies for digitally preserving born-digital content and legacy media through a working group in the library
  • Participation in the software development and community leadership for Fedora and Islandora open source repositories.


Frost Library, Rooms A25 & A29 (near the computer lab on A Level)