Recap of ALIA Digitisation and Preservation Engagement webinar!

by | Oct 23, 2023 | ALIA Students and New Graduates News, Events, Professional Development


The ALIA Digitisation and Preservation Group recently held a webinar on the theme of engagement. The webinar encouraged digitisation professionals to look outside their institutions and discover how to connect, communicate, and collaborate to promote their collections.

If you are a student or new grad not directly involved in digitisation, this webinar will get you thinking about partnerships and creative solutions to engage audiences. The webinar covered aspects of engagement relevant to all information professionals, including:

      • Working and collaborating across organisations
      • Using an external communications plan
      • Approaches and strategies for audience engagement
      • How to extend online reach
      • Advocating for open access

The event was hosted by Jacqui Lucas (ALIA), Jill Rogers (QUT), and Kerrie Shaw (City of Newcastle).

Guest Speakers:

Kate Ross. Assistant Director of Trove Partnerships / Stephanie Morris. Program Manager, Communications and Social Media – National Library of Australia.

Trove contains 14 billion digital collection items on any topic. Kate Ross and Stephanie Morris discussed how they share these collections with the people they were digitised for. The talk outlined:

        • Benefits of an audience-centric approach to public engagement. This approach considers who the audience is and what they want from Trove.
        • Digital strategies mentioned include interest-based campaigns such as ‘Where’s the Source’ for ALIA’s Library and Information Week, sharing audience stories, daily monitoring of online discussions, and online community guidelines.
        • Trove’s partner services and how these are promoted.

Belinda Spry. Executive Officer – Wikimedia Australia.

Wikimedia supports people and organisations to contribute to Wikipedia and other Wiki platforms. Belinda Spry discussed the Wikimedia Australia and Queensland University of Technology digitisation project. This project uploaded 436 historical images onto WikiCommons and generated many positive outcomes for QUT, including:

        • Increase in awareness of QUT digital collections
        • Increase in staff skills
        • New collaborative relationships

Nicole Kearney. Manager, Biodiversity Heritage Library (Australian Branch).

The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) is the world’s largest virtual library of biodiversity literature and archival materials. Free access to biodiversity knowledge online is essential for natural science, especially in the current climate crisis. BHL Australia now consists of 42 contributing organisations, including GLAM organisations, government agencies, clubs, and societies. Nicole Kearney discussed engagement stories from BHL which show how freely accessible online content allows others to engage with your organisation and share knowledge. Examples discussed were:

        • Digitisation of the Kenelm Henry Digby manuscript (1810-1817), held by the State Library of New South Wales.
        • George Shaw’s The Naturalist’s Miscellany (1789-1813), allowed modern researchers to discover the origins of the very first Kiwi specimen collected by Europeans.
        • A newly announced Public Record Office of Victoria funded Local History Grants project: Capturing the history of Victoria’s Field Naturalists.

Mentioned in the webinar: 

Read more about the story of George Shaw’s The Naturalist’s Miscellany (1789-1813).

Check out the National Library of Australia’s digital community strategy.


ALIA Digitisation and Preservation. (2023, September 25). ALIA Digitisation and Preservation engagement [Video]. Vimeo.


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