The mission of Stanford Libraries' digitization services is to advance teaching, learning, and research at Stanford by using digitization to support the following library functions:

  • Public services: patron requests, public exhibits, and materials for class use

  • Research support: digitization in support of text mining and other computationally driven modes of research

  • Accessibility: for students who request accommodation

  • Collection development: through digital acquisition, or digitization as a condition for donation

  • Preservation: reformatting materials in obsolete formats, or for creating surrogates for high use or fragile items.


Digitization is provided through four broad service areas:

  • Project-based digitization: digitization of a library collection and large enough to require a project manager and significant coordination. 

  • Patron and one-off internal requests: a single image or small set of items requested by SUL staff on behalf of a patron, classroom instruction, and exhibits. 

  • Systematic digitization: materials digitized en masse, typically for logistical or programmatic reasons. 

  • Consulting and digitization outsourcing management: expert advice to other campus groups or in support of digitization work performed by vendors for Stanford projects broadly.


In addition to generating high quality digital surrogates of the original item, digitized items are accessioned into the Stanford Digital Repository (SDR), making them discoverable (findable) in SearchWorks (Stanford's Libraries' online catalog). Inclusion in the SDR ensures that these materials are available to researchers and scholars (while upholding appropriate access restrictions), now and in the future through a secure, sustainable stewardship environment. Once digitized items have appropriate description, they are also eligible for inclusion in an online exhibit

Digitized items receive a PURL (a persistent URL), which ensures that these materials are available from a single URL over the long-term, regardless of changes in file location or application technology. Images are delivered via the Mirador viewer, and all images are IIIF compliant. 


Stanford Digital Library

Stanford Media Preservation Lab

Digital Production Group