MnDOT Library launches digital library

The MnDOT Library recently got a request for a copy of Minnesota Standard Specifications for Highway Construction from 1938. It might seem obscure, but the request was easy to fulfill because a digitized version of the manual was readily available in the newly launched MnDOT Digital Library.

The MnDOT Digital Library is a public repository of publications produced by MnDOT, including documents originally created in a digital format and those that have been digitized. It features 12 collections that include research reports, State Aid publications, annual reports, photographs, state highways maps, photographs and historical publications.

Each item in the digital library has a persistent link, which means that it won’t break, making access to this information reliable into the future.

“The digital library serves as a central location for MnDOT publications available to MnDOT staff and the public. It’s a user friendly interface with powerful search capabilities,” said Sheila Hatchell, MnDOT Library director. “It’s easy to find information searching by keyword, creator, collection date or format.”

MnDOT Library staff developed the digital library to address the reality that more and more publications are published digitally. Once COVID-19 hit, the demand to receive information digitally grew exponentially.

“The digital library solves the problem of how to provide access to the library’s digital items and it creates an online source of MnDOT print publications that we’ve digitized,” said Marilee Tuite, MnDOT librarian and project manager for the digital library development.

Scanning thousands of pages of items – some dating back as far as 1917 – was a two-year team effort between MnDOT Library staff and MnDOT Printing and Electronic Media Services.

To date, there are more than 2,247 items in the digital library, with plans to make thousands more available.

“It is an ever-evolving repository of information,” said Hatchell.

More Information

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