Technology has proven to benefit human experience and achievement in many ways and has become a growing aspect of visitor engagement, documentation, and research in museums. Collections professionals in libraries and archives, as well as museums, are committing to processing artifacts, in many cases, to make them digitally accessible online. Such collections of online assets are classified as digital libraries, which become online tools used for research and descriptive search engines to assist individuals beyond the need of the physical interaction at the place of learning. This thesis provides an overview of the four outline digital repositories based in the United States, including the Smithsonian, the Library Company of Philadelphia, the Digital Public Library of America, and the Library of Congress. Further, I provide a case study of one particular library repository: the Rochester Voices collection which is a part of the Rochester Public Library’s local history site. I describe my experience as a volunteer during the summer 2014 and winter 2015 at the Rochester Public Library’s Local History department where I digitized a collection of manuscript documents, the Raymond L. Rohner papers. I provide a step-by-step process of document digitization and offer reflection and analysis of this experience. This project provides an understanding of how digital libraries are created and maintained, demonstrates how these resources are accessible to and useful for online visitors as well as future researchers, and reveals, ultimately, how libraries, archives, and museums can and should take advantage of new technologies.

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Museum Studies (BS)


Juilee Decker

Advisor/Committee Member

Jody Sidlauskas


RIT – Main Campus