What is the Digital Pioneer Project?

Digital Pioneers is a project to document early innovations in the use of digitization in libraries, museums, archives, and historical societies in the words of the people who were an integral part of it all. Its purpose is not only to document these peoples’ experiences but also to compile and disseminate learning resources for LIS students and others interested in the evolution of the use and impact of digitization, digital materials and the Internet on cultural heritage institutions. These resources include valuable lessons for those currently in the field and those who will be joining it in the future.

We recognize that the Digital Pioneers featured on this website represent only a small selection of the many early leaders who contributed to development of new approaches to the many complex facets of digitization of cultural heritage resources. The project has come to an end, however, and no additional interviews will be added.

-- September 2012

Meet the Pioneers

Nancy AllenNancy Allen - Dean of Penrose Library at the University of Denver since 1992, Nancy Allen has had nearly 40 years of library experience. [Biography] [Full Interview] [Interview Breakdown] [Learning Resources] [Transcript] Kenning ArlitschKenning Arlitsch - Kenning Arlitsch is the Associate Dean for Administrative and IT Services at the Marriott Library at the University of Utah. [Biography] [Full Interview] [Interview Breakdown] [Learning Resources][Transcript]
Howard BesserHoward Besser - Howard Besser is Professor of Cinema Studies and Director of New York University's Moving Image Archiving and Preservation Program (MIAP). [Biography] [Full Interview] [Interview Breakdown] [Learning Resources][Transcript] Liz BishoffLiz Bishoff - Liz Bishoff is the former Director of Digital and Preservation Services for the Biographical Center for Research (BCR). [Biography] [Full Interview] [Interview Breakdown][Learning Resources] [Transcript]
Robin ChandlerRobin Chandler - Robin Chandler is Director of the Digital Library Program at the University of California at San Diego. [Biography] [Full Interview] [Interview Breakdown][Learning Resources] [Transcript] Stephen ChapmanStephen Chapman - Stephen Chapman is the Project Manager at Harvard Law School Library Digital Lab and builds digital collections for research and education. [Biography] [Full Interview] [Interview Breakdown][Learning Resources] [Transcript]
Sayeed ChoudhurySayeed Choudhury - Sayeed Choudhury is the Associate Dean for Research Data Management at the Sheridan Libraries of Johns Hopkins University. [Biography] [Full Interview] [Interview Breakdown] [Learning Resources][Transcript] Paul ConwayPaul Conway - Paul Conway is an associate professor in the University of Michigan School of Information. His research focuses primarily on digital preservation. [Biography] [Full Interview] [Interview Breakdown][Learning Resources] [Transcript]
Ricky ErwayRicky Erway - Ricky Erway is a Senior Program Officer in OCLC Research and works on topics related to mass digitization. [Biography] [Full Interview] [Interview Breakdown][Learning Resources] [Transcript] Peter HirtlePeter Hirtle - Peter Hirtle is a senior policy advisor in the Cornell University Library with a special mandate to address intellectual property issues. [Biography] [Full Interview] [Interview Breakdown][Learning Resources] [Transcript]
Kaye HoweKaye Howe - Kaye Howe is the National Science Digital Library (NSDL) Core Integration Director. [Biography] [Full Interview] [Interview Breakdown] [Learning Resources][Transcript] Joe JanesJoe Janes - Joe Janes is Associate Professor and Chair of the MLIS Program at the University of Washington Information School and founder of the Internet Public Library. [Biography] [Full Interview] [Interview Breakdown][Learning Resources] [Transcript]
Anne KenneyAnne Kenney - Anne Kenney is currently the Carl A. Kroch University Librarian at Cornell University Library. [Biography] [Full Interview] [Interview Breakdown] [Learning Resources][Transcript] Jim KrollJim Kroll - Jim Kroll currently serves as Manager of the Western History and Genealogy Department at the Denver Public Library. [Biography] [Full Interview] [Interview Breakdown] [Learning Resources][Transcript]
Clifford LynchClifford Lynch - Clifford Lynch has been the Director of the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) since July 1997. [Biography] [Full Interview] [Interview Breakdown] [Learning Resources][Transcript] Merrilee ProffittMerrilee Proffitt - Merrilee Proffitt is a Senior Program Officer in OCLC Research. [Biography] [Full Interview] [Interview Breakdown][Learning Resources] [Transcript]
Joyce RayJoyce Ray - Joyce Ray is currently a visiting professor in the Department of Information Studies at University College London. [Biography] [Full Interview] [Interview Breakdown][Learning Resources] [Transcript] Oya RiegerOya Rieger - Oya Y. Rieger is associate university librarian for digital scholarship services at Cornell University Library. [Biography] [Full Interview] [Interview Breakdown][Learning Resources] [Transcript]
Thornton StaplesThornton Staples - Thornton Staples is the Director of the Office of Research Information Services at the Smithsonian Institution, Office of the CIO. [Biography] [Full Interview] [Interview Breakdown][Learning Resources] [Transcript] Roy TennantRoy Tennant - Roy Tennant is the Senior Program Officer in the Research division of the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC). [Biography] [Full Interview] [Interview Breakdown][Learning Resources] [Transcript]
Helen TibboHelen Tibbo - Helen Tibbo is an Alumni Distinguished Professor at the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. [Biography] [Full Interview] [Interview Breakdown] [Learning Resources][Transcript] John WilkinJohn Wilkin - John Wilkin is the Associate University Librarian for Library Information Technology at the University of Michigan and Executive Director of Hathi Trust. [Biography] [Full Interview] [Interview Breakdown] [Learning Resources][Transcript]

How to Use this Website

Interviewees and Interview
Biographies of each Digital Pioneer and full, edited versions of their interviews (including transcripts) are available via the links on this page as well as by using the alphabetically organized navigation header at the top of the page. For ease of viewing, the full interviews have been segmented into shorter themes that can be accessed using the links labeled "Interview Breakdown."

These themes are:
How the Digital Pioneer became involved with a project or educational opportunity regarding digitization, digital materials, the Internet or other aspect related to the topic.
The technological, organizational or other challenges the Digital Pioneer faced.
What the Digital Pioneer would do differently if they could.
Words of wisdom for people entering the profession.

Learning Resources
Students involved in the Digital Pioneers project pulled out and summarized a broad array of information from each interview that they felt was valuable for their learning and education.