Shared infrastructure supports long-term sustainability and modest growth

Launched in 2009, Quakers and Slavery is an online collection of letters, images, and other materials related to the role of Quakers in the American abolition movement. A collaboration between Haverford College and Swarthmore College, the collection aligns closely with the missions of these Quaker-founded institutions. Quakers and Slavery is one of the most visited sites on Triptych, the platform for digitized special collections shared by the Tri-College partnership of Haverford, Swarthmore, and Bryn Mawr. The Triptych digital initiative was launched in 2002 as a way to make the creation and ongoing support of digital collections at these colleges more practical. Because both the management of the project and additions to the site are covered by funds internal to the Tri-College system, Quakers and Slavery has been able to continue to grow incrementally over time.

This case study is one of eight conducted as part of an IMLS-funded project in collaboration with the Association of Research Libraries. The final report, Searching for Sustainability: Strategies from Eight Digitized Special Collections, offers findings drawn from all eight cases, highlighting the ways in which libraries and cultural heritage organizations have undertaken to move their special collections into the 21st century through digitization and ongoing investments to ensure the collections remain valuable to users over time.