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For People Who Are Not Ashamed Of Having Brains: Digitising A Notorious Student Newspaper

Poster Summary:
Honi Soit is the student newspaper of the University of Sydney and the collection forms one of the Library’s most well-used resources for research. As a pilot project to utilise the new Digitisation Plan developed by the Library, a program was developed to create digital surrogates of Honi Soit and preserve the hardcopy newspaper collection. In making the Honi Soit Digital Archive accessible online, the Library had to address issues surrounding conservation, rights management, storage, access, and discoverability.

Poster Abstract
Honi Soit, the student newspaper of the University of Sydney, has been published continuously since 1929 and is one of the Library’s best-used collections for research and scholarly enquiry. Contributors number in the thousands and include notable figures such as Germaine Greer and Clive James in addition to former Australian Prime Ministers, and the content was often provocative and controversial. The age of the collection coupled with high-demand by Library users resulted in unavoidable degradation to the physical items, and the digitisation project aimed to preserve Honi Soit and simultaneously push the digital derivatives to a wider audience via the Library website interface. This became the pilot project of the new Digitisation Plan developed by the Library in order to support the research and education goals of the University and set a standard for our digitisation programs going forward. Beyond the conservation considerations in scanning cultural heritage items, the Library had to address issues around rights management in addition to infrastructure questions relating to storage, access, delivery, functionality, and discoverability. A working group of Library staff convened to leverage existing Library technology against new platforms and develop an integrated solution to make the Honi Soit Digital Archive accessible.