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Drexel Libraries to Launch New Online Systems to Deepen Engagement with University Archival Collections & Research Assets

September 13, 2021

Later this month, the Drexel Libraries will formally launch two new systems: the Drexel University Archival Collections platform, a new platform for the University’s digital archival collections, and Drexel Research Discovery, new research repository portal. These new systems will continue the Libraries’ mission to enable preservation and discovery for all Drexel digital objects and research outputs so they are findable, accessible, interoperable and usable through an efficient integration of search and discovery tools. 

This migration splits Drexel-generated research and the University’s digital archival collections into two systems. Previously, Drexel-generated research (such as research outputs, theses and dissertations) and the University’s archival collections were maintained in iDEA, the University’s digital repository. iDEA has served the University well since 2014 but is now reaching its end of life. 

Both platforms will connect to 
DragonSearch, the Libraries’ online discovery search tool. That means members of the Drexel community will be able to use DragonSearch to identify and locate University-affiliated research outputs and archival collections, as well as to access books, articles and licensed databases all in one place.  

“We wanted a sustainable and integrated system that would provide a better searching experience for clients and make Drexel-generated research more discoverable both within and beyond the University,” said Danuta Nitecki, Dean of Libraries. “The ultimate goal for having these two systems is to make our most valuable digital assets, Drexel-generated research and archival collections, easily accessible.”  

New & Improved Access to Drexel’s Digital Archival Collections 

The new Drexel University Digital Archival Collections platform makes it easy for students, faculty and researchers to explore the University’s digital archival materials, including historical images, audio recordings, video and text, from the Drexel University Archives and the College of Medicine Legacy Center Archives & Special Collections. 

Moreover, the new platform lets researchers easily search through the different archival collections. Enhancements to the platform will be ongoing, along with the addition of new collections and digitized materials as they become available.  

Maximizing the Impact of Drexel Research

In addition to the new digital archival collections platform, the Libraries is migrating Drexel-generated research assets previously hosted in iDEA (including research outputs, theses, dissertations and graduate student projects) to the new Drexel Research Discovery Portal, hosted on the 
Esploro research services platform from Ex Libris, a ProQuest company.

This new research portal will help Drexel researchers easily identify and streamline the capture, management, and dissemination of their research publications and data output. The research discovery portal will also broaden the impact of Drexel’s research output, offering a single platform to show case all Drexel research assets, including publications, data sets, and creative works, with integrated search and display.  

After more than a year and a half of hard work, the Libraries looks forward to using these new systems to bring existing and new collections to the global research community. Stay tuned for more information about these exciting new systems over the coming weeks!