Digital Case Collections Management Policy

Policy Scope

This document outlines the policies governing the acquisition, curation, management, and deaccessioning of materials in Digital Case.

Digital Case Mission Statement & Goals

In support of the Kelvin Smith Library and its mission as the knowledge and creativity commons of Case Western Reserve University, Digital Case is dedicated to the long-term collection, production, maintenance, and preservation of unique digital resources with high scholarly and historical value for the CWRU community and beyond.

Digital Case aims to

  • Provide open access to our collections online
  • Sustainably manage the preservation and access of digital collections

Collection Scope

Digital Case holds collections from the Kelvin Smith Library, Case Western Reserve University, and affiliated partner institutions.

  • Kelvin Smith Library
    • Unique materials from Special Collections and University Archives
    • Freedman Center-facilitated digital scholarship (e.g. capturing online exhibits, blogs, wikis, websites, etc.)
    • Research datasets
    • Content from online exhibits
  • Case Western Reserve University
    • The scholarly output from CWRU faculty, staff, and students (e.g. peer-reviewed articles, author manuscripts, student scholarly posters, presentation notes or lectures, Open Access or traditional department scholarly journals, capstone projects, faculty white papers, IRB-compliant fieldwork)
    • Digital scholarship (e.g. capturing online exhibits, blogs, wikis, websites, etc.)
  • Partner Institutions
    • Collections from Northeast Ohio partner institutions and libraries in accordance with our content criteria and collection scope

Content Criteria

All objects included in Digital Case must meet the following criteria.

  • All its incorporation is technically and economically feasible
  • Applicable Digital Case and university policies and laws are followed (e.g. the author has retained copyright and/or is legally entitled to deposit the content in Digital Case)
  • Meets digital preservation technical requirements (e.g. file format, size, etc.)
  • Meets accessibility requirements
  • Intended for public viewing and use with a Creative Commons or similar license that allows public access and use
  • Intended for permanent storage in Digital Case

Objects included in Digital Case cannot be

  • Externally linked content where KSL has no control over the management of those objects
  • Objects that are freely available via other online platforms (e.g. digitized books that are not unique to KSL collections and can be found on Google books or as a PDF elsewhere) unless that object’s creator is a CWRU affiliate
  • Personal work unrelated to the collection scope


    *The Kelvin Smith Library is actively working to upgrade our digital collection objects in order to comply with standards for accessibility. If you have a specific request, please contact us for assistance.

Digital Case is designed for inclusion and considers auditory, cognitive, physical, speech, and visual learning preferences. In order to comply with Level A of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0, all objects must include

  • Captioning of films and video clips
  • Transcriptions for audio files
  • Alt text for images


Case Western Reserve University agrees to preserve the content deposited in Digital Case for the long term. Each digital object deposited in Digital Case will receive a persistent URL (called a Handle), which will continue over time. Materials will be deposited in standard formats (.PDF, .jpg, .tiff, .mpeg) for a higher chance of long-term viability.

Digital Case content is stored and managed as part of Case Western Reserve University’s technology infrastructure. The data is backed-up daily, and regular backup copies are stored off-site in multiple locations.

Digital Case reserves the right to migrate content to future mechanisms of digital storage and reserves the right to migrate file formats to future compatible formats for display. Because of our dedication to an ecologically sound digital preservation footprint, the emerging nature of digital preservation, and the ephemeral nature of file formats, no guarantee of perpetual access can be made at this time; however, Digital Case agrees to use “best practice” models and emerging standards to increase the likelihood that materials deposited in Digital Case will be available for generations of scholars to come.

Embargoed Content

At the request of the depositors content can be “embargoed” from public view for a limited amount of time; for example, for pending patent applications, or for reasons of personal privacy. However, Digital Case requires an end date to the embargo, at which time the content will become freely available for viewing in Digital Case. Embargoed content cannot be viewed by anyone except system administrators.


Content is not to be removed once it is deposited in Digital Case except under extraordinary circumstances, including those related to copyright violation, academic fraud, or deemed harmful to our community. In the extremely rare instance when an item is removed, the metadata for the item is retained with a notation that the item was removed from the archive. Depositors are welcome to deposit additional updated versions of their work, in lieu of replacing existing versions.

Campus Collaboration

Storing scholarly work long term to the highest level of digital preservation standards requires a great deal of digital infrastructure. While we are happy to accept individual deposits, departments wanting to ingest large collections (1TB or more) may be subject to a storage charge to fund the preservation of their work. Rates will be determined according to collection size.

Policy Review Cycle

This policy will be reviewed and updated annually to stay current on technological advances and institutional needs. The Kelvin Smith Library is dedicated to preserving and providing access to new areas and mediums of scholarship as we move into the future.