Building a Digital Museum: Opportunities for Scholarship and Learning

2:00pm - 3:00pm EDT May 13, 2014

Imagine being able to provide students and researchers access to 50 years of professional art and design artifacts created by renowned New York theatre designer, producer, painter, sculptor, and photographer Peter Wexler. That was the opportunity presented Furman University’s Digital Collections Center: create the Peter Wexler Digital Museum. Find out how they are tackling this ambitious project, overcoming the challenges it presents, and aligning it with institutional goals. (Times EDT)

Most students and researchers of the theatre arts would seize the chance to stroll through a virtual museum featuring work by one of the world’s most prolific producers of scenic, costume, and lighting designs. That was the vision presented to Furman University when they were given the extraordinary opportunity to digitize the life’s work of renowned New York theatre designer, producer, painter, sculptor, and photographer Peter Wexler. The opportunity also presented a challenge. For a small staff at a liberal arts college, developing a strategy to digitally archive more than 6,000 artifacts within a tight timeframe could be daunting. Before converting the first item into digital format, consideration had to be given to how the collection might be used for teaching and scholarship. Learn how Furman’s Digital Collections Center is tackling this challenge as they document the creative process from preliminary sketches to final productions. Join Furman University’s James B. Duke Library colleagues Rick Jones, manager of the Digital Collections Center, and Christy Allen, assistant director for Discovery Services, as they detail the strategy and process of digitizing Peter Wexler’s work and how they are preparing for the ways in which it will support teaching and scholarship.

Recommended Resources

Learn more about the Peter Wexler Digital Museum at Furman University [Video]

Seminar Leaders

Rick Jones is manager of the Digital Collections Center at Furman University’s James B. Duke Library. He has seventeen years of academic library experience, twelve of which were spent in cataloging and metadata. He graduated from Furman University with a B.A. in studio art, and earned an M.F.A. from the University of North Dakota in ceramic sculpture with a minor in printmaking. He has spent the last 18 months combining his art background with his cataloging skills, leading a collaborative effort to create the Peter Wexler Digital Museum at Furman University.

Christy Allen is the assistant director for Discovery Services at Furman University’s James B. Duke Library. Since her arrival at Furman in January 2013, she has been involved in the migration of the Library’s website and in planning for the Peter Wexler Digital Museum at Furman University. She previously worked as the Digital Projects Librarian at the University of Texas at Arlington and the Digitization Projects Manager at the State Library of North Carolina. In her 8 years as a digital librarian, she led the creation of 11 digital collections including North Carolina Family Records Online and A Continent Divided: The U.S. - Mexico War.

Event Hashtag

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Those interested in creating digital collections should attend this seminar. Attendance by institutional teams is encouraged; individuals are also welcome to participate.

Please register online by Friday, May 9. Participation in NITLE Shared Academics is open to all active member institutions of the NITLE Network as a benefit of membership and as space allows. No additional registration fee applies.


For more information about this event, please contact Georgianne Hewett at

NITLE Shared AcademicsTM models a new approach to liberal education – made possible through strategic collaboration, driven by shared knowledge, and supported by emerging technologies. Campuses learn how inter-institutional academic exchange works by actively participating in it, building the knowledge and experience to re-architect liberal education.