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Waring Historical Library Digital Collections Website and MEDICA@MUSC Launched

by Tabitha Samuel on 2022-09-02T15:01:30-04:00 | 0 Comments


Waring Historical Library Digital Collections Homepage

New Digital Collections Homepage

The Waring Historical Library Digital Archives program announces the launch of the new Waring Historical Library Digital Collections website and MEDICA@MUSC.

With a fresh, updated look, the site marks a new beginning for the system, formerly known as MEDICA, which was comprised of digital collections of selected collections within the holdings of the Waring as well as MUSC’s institutional repository, consisting of the University’s contemporary research and scholarly output. Both spheres of MEDICA were managed and maintained by one content management system called CONTENTdm, which conveniently allows institutions to structure materials in the collection as digital objects, arrange and organize collections, and display visual and multimedia content. However, CONTENTdm has not been the best option for keeping up with the trends and needs of a growing institutional repository. As a solution to this issue, the institutional repository has changed addresses, in a manner of speaking, and will be maintained in Digital Commons, which has become the industry standard for managing and providing access to institutional repositories. The digital collections of the Waring remain in CONTENTdm but with an updated look and feel.

Along with the new look and the separation of the two collections comes new names for these distinctive collections. The Waring’s digital collections will now be referred to as the Waring Historical Library Digital Collections while the institutional repository has been named MEDICA@MUSC. The Waring Historical Library Digital Collections speaks directly to what users can expect to find when searching the collection, while MEDICA@MUSC signals a departure from the former system but retains the overall intent of the inception of MEDICA, which has been an acronym for the MUSC Electronic Documents Initiative and Collected Archives, and the familiarity that the name has gained among MUSC faculty and students.

MEDICA@MUSC in Digital Commons Homepage

MEDICA@MUSC in Digital Commons Homepage

The new Waring Historical Library Digital Collections website makes resources more readily available that provide a broader context to each collection. A robust collections list allows users to sift through the digital collections by topical category, such as South Carolina history. The collections list also provides descriptions of each collection and where available, puts companion resources, such as finding aids, MUSC Quick Facts reference guides, and online exhibits, front and center. The website also features a list of resources within the Waring and external to the library’s collections, such as the Digital Public Library of America, which will better assist users with their research needs.

Finally, the new website includes links to MEDICA@MUSC in Digital Commons and its resources. MEDICA@MUSC provides access to MUSC's growing body of scholarly work, which includes articles, posters, theses, and dissertations produced by faculty and students of MUSC. Digital Commons gives authors, even if departing from MUSC, the opportunity to track statistics for their works including downloads, which are useful for upward mobility at academic institutions. The site includes access to these features, a step-by-step guide for submitting work to MEDICA@MUSC, and guides addressing topics like copyright. New additions to MUSC's institutional repository can be found in MEDICA@MUSC in Digital Commons while some of the existing content, currently moving over to MEDICA@MUSC, still lives in CONTENTdm.

For more information about the Waring Historical Library Digital Collections or MEDICA@MUSC, contact the Waring’s Digital Archivist, Tabitha Samuel, at

Special thanks to David McCabe, MUSC Libraries Systems Engineer, for providing technical support throughout the development and design process of the website and to the MUSC Libraries staff who volunteered their time during testing.

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