Professor Beth Plale and Dean David Lewis have been appointed to co-chair Indiana University's Digitization Master Plan (DMP). The plan was commissioned by IU President Michael McRobbie as one component of the forthcoming university master plan for IU's bicentenary year in 2020.

Plale and Lewis are charged with developing a strategy for digitizing and preserving IU's special collections, born-digital research data, and scholarship holdings that experts and scholars have judged to be of lasting importance to research and scholarship. Knowledge preservation and access are critical parts of the university's mission and essential for research and education. The continuing shift of accumulated knowledge from the physical to the digital world necessitates an intentional strategy for assessing various collections and means for digital preservation.

Beth Plale is a professor in the School of Informatics and Computing and director of the Data to Insight Center of the Pervasive Technology Institute at IU Bloomington. David Lewis serves as dean of the IUPUI University Library.

"The Digitization Master Plan is an incredibly important effort," said Plale. "It will position the university as a leader in scholarly digital holdings, be they media, data, digital objects, or unique collections that in digital form can bring new types of scholarship and recognition to the university."

As co-chairs, Plale and Lewis will survey various processes and digitization efforts that involve stakeholders across all campuses. In addition, they will hold a series of workshops and opportunities for faculty, staff, students, administrators, and IU's appropriate external constituencies to discuss issues and contribute content to the high-level plan. The DMP will also include an implementation timetable, as well as recommendations for managing intellectual property rights and digitization priorities.

"The plan will be both comprehensive and ambitious," said Lewis. "By digitizing special collections, research, and other scholarly works, we are preserving knowledge and providing future generations with collections they can use to further research."

IU President Michael McRobbie commissioned Brenda Johnson, Ruth Lilly dean of university libraries; Jorge José, vice president for research; and Brad Wheeler, vice president for IT and CIO, as executive sponsors with joint oversight for the development of IU's Digitization Master Plan. In that same address, President McRobbie unveiled the Media Digitization and Preservation Initiative for time-based media (audio, video, and eventually film).

Plale and Lewis are scheduled to submit a draft report of their findings to the executive sponsors in March 2014.

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