Digital Curation Lab

Service Description

The Digital Curation Lab is a collaborative workspace for digitization, digital curation, and data management projects. On any given day one might see Preservation staff scanning historical Rice’s theses, oversized charts and maps; Woodson archivists scanning irregular scrapbooks items; and a project team meeting around the collaborative tables. By providing a common space and the tools for digital curation, the DCL promotes interdepartmental and cross-campus collaboration.


The Digital Curation Lab (DCL) offers digital preservation services and digitization of analog or at-risk materials as well as a meeting space for small teams to discuss digital scholarship projects. Fondren Library staff can consult on best practices for imaging, archival storage, digital forensics (tasks such as identifying file formats and creating file inventories), metadata development and other digital curation activities as needed.

Expertise includes:

  • Handling rare and fragile items
  • Project management, including large-scale digitization projects
  • Digitization consultation, training and ongoing support
  • Liaising with digital scholarship publication systems, including the Rice Research Repository (R-3), JSTOR Forum and Omeka.

Items eligible for digitization include:

  • bound items (rare/non-rare)
  • maps (oversized)
  • flat materials (photographs, manuscripts)
  • multiple AV formats

Equipment includes:

  • Indus Large Format Scanner, which can handle items 50 inches x 36 inches or books up to 9.24 inches thick and a maximum weight of 55 lbs.
  • Media workstation (Mac) configured to handle resource-intensive formats such as video and audio, with large storage capacity and specialized software.
  • BitCurator workstation that performs digital forensics analysis of analog formats (such as 3.5" floppy, jaz, zip, superdisk) and supports the preservation of electronic records.
  • Modern desks, rolling tables, and comfortable ergonomic chairs provide welcoming meeting space for team discussions.


Policies & Procedures

  • The Digital Curation Lab (DCL) primarily serves Rice faculty, staff, and students. Priority is given to research or teaching projects or those requiring  assistance with digital preservation.
  • DCL staff may support small digitization projects, which can include scanning oversized or fragile materials (approximately 50 book pages/scans, 10 oversized materials, etc), batch conversion of audiovisual materials (such as conversion of Oral History interviews), project planning or metadata consultation and identification of files from analog formats (assuming existing hardware is available for legacy media).
  • The DCL has a small staff of trained experts. It may take up to two weeks to complete your work depending on the complexity of the project and current demands on staff time. If you need to complete a project more quickly, please consult with DCL staff.
  • Users are responsible for handling copyright issues in regards to digitized materials. For help with determining copyright, please see Copyright and Fair Use guide or contact Shannon Kipphut-Smith, Scholarly Communications Liaison ( with questions.
  • All users are responsible for storage and backup of their own files. For help with storage options, see OIT’s Rice Storage, File Sharing, and Backup Solutions.
  • We encourage users to share digital files created by DCL through one of Fondren’s digital platforms, such as the Rice Digital Scholarship Archive (if the project fits collection guidelines).
  • Please note that all projects supported by the DCL must abide by Rice's intellectual property and computer usage policy.

For inquires please contact or submit a Work Request Form.

Additional Library and campus support is available from:

  • The Digital Media Commons offers self-serve computers, scanners and software as well as knowledgeable staff.
  • Fondren Library's GIS-Data Center supports using geospatial tools and resources in research and teaching.
  • For inquiries regarding scans of special collection materials from the Woodson Research Center, please see Scanning & Copying WRC Materials.
  • Educational Technology supports Rice's IT infrastructure for teaching and education; for instance, it maintains hardware and software in the labs and classrooms.