Publication Date


Document Type



Digitization, Primary sources, Cultural heritage materials, Digital collections, Thematic collections, Historical photography, Digital humanities


Objective – this article examines the role of libraries in expanding access to primary sources through digitization and in providing support for humanities research. Research method – the author analyzes the literature on information behavior of humanist scholars in light of the increased use of digitized primary sources. Next, using the example of the digitized photographs and diaries from the Harrison Forman Collection, the author explores the emerging role of libraries in creating a new source of scholarly materials and supporting research in humanities. Results and conclusion – digitization increasingly matters not only for practical reasons of ease of use and access but also by offering a new potential for humanistic research. Digitization projects provide enhanced intellectual control of primary resources, offer an opportunity to uncover hidden collections, and bring together scattered materials. Digital collections in their present design demonstrate some limitations in supporting scholars’ browsing behavior and in providing contextual information. Creating digital collections in support of humanities research requires the transformation of library roles and collaboration with digital humanities scholars.

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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Copyright held by the author or publisher. User is responsible for all copyright compliance

Rights Holder

Krystyna K. Matusiak


Received from author

File Format



English (eng)


14 pgs

File Size

801 KB

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This is a post print version of an article published Przegląd Biblioteczny/Library Review.