The Tretter Transgender Oral History Project

The Tretter Transgender Oral History Project is part of the Jean-Nickolaus Tretter Collection in GLBT Studies at the University of Minnesota Libraries. Transgender voices and experiences are often missing in contemporary documentation and the historic record. The goal of this Project is to empower individuals to tell their story, while providing students, historians, and the public with a richer foundation of primary source material about the Transgender community. Materials are housed within the Tretter Collection.

Digital Preservation at the University of Minnesota Libraries


The need to develop strategy and take action in the area of digital preservation and data archiving has grown significantly in the Libraries and at the University in recent years. In response, the Libraries aspire to take a campus leadership role in digital preservation and data archiving. The Digital Preservation and Repository Technologies (DPRT) department is in the Data & Technology Division of the University of Minnesota Libraries. The department’s mission is to provide contemporary and enduring access to digital objects under the collection stewardship of the University Libraries, through the application of professional digital preservation methodologies, standards, and technologies. This work is accomplished through the delivery and support of robust high quality discovery, access, management, and preservation systems, achieved in coordination with relevant Libraries’ departments, the Office of Information Technology (OIT), and other University and external partners and collaborators.

What is Digital Preservation?

Digital preservation encompasses a broad range of activities designed to extend the usable life of machine-readable computer files and protect them from media failure, physical loss, and obsolescence.


Planning and Development

The department researches and develops a digital preservation and data archiving plan for University Libraries, designed with potential extensibility for broader campus participation. In this process, they review all relevant existing Libraries practices, assess needs, researches best practices, standards, reference models, and state-of-the-art technologies, and closely collaborate with Libraries staff and other stakeholders to establish policies and best practices for long-term digital preservation and archiving. Data types of concern include, but are not limited to, images, audio, video, text, and scientific datasets. They assist in ongoing policy development concerning format specifications for preservation purposes. Over time, the department will play a role in the selection and/or development of a certified trustworthy repository of digital resources for the Libraries and, potentially, the campus and beyond.

Collaboration and Education

The department assists in the ongoing development of requirements and specifications, including formats, for digital material accepted through the University Digital Conservancy (UDC). It informs members of the UDC Management and Working groups on strategies and best practices to preserve digital objects deposited in the institutional repository. Similar interactions with the Data Management and Curation Initiative and efforts to establish a media repository are expected. Through these exchanges and others, the department works to increase staff awareness about and knowledge on the issues related to digital archiving and preservation. In addition, general digital preservation trainings (often based on the Library of Congress' Digital Preservation Outreach & Education program) are given online or in person in partnership with Minitex.

Campus Partnerships & Services

The department fosters collaboration and exchange with departments, labs, and centers across the University in identifying, storing, and preserving digital resources; identifies assets in need of Libraries services; develops relationships with those responsible for managing such assets; shares expertise in digital preservation management with the campus; and builds strong working relationships towards these ends.

External Connections

The department identifies external funding opportunities for digital preservation projects. They prepare specifications for vended services that support the digital preservation program, evaluate responses to proposals for such services, and makes recommendations for selecting vendors. The department acts on behalf of the Libraries as a technical liaison on digital preservation issues to vendors providing services. They also represent the University Libraries in external projects or programs in the area of digital preservation.

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Upcoming Events

Stedman Archive Now Online!

The John Gabriel Stedman Archive at the Bell Library is now available online: Bell Digital Collection as part of the University Libraries UMedia Archive.

Through a special grant, we were able to digitize all of the papers, journals, diaries, and other manuscript materials that compose the Stedman archive. You'll be able to read first hand his remarkable experiences in Surinam in the last quarter of the 18th century. Learn More


Guide for Peer Learning Facilitators - a training resource

Guide for Peer Learning Facilitators 

 Just released: A training resource for programs providing peer learning support

Learn more and request a copy.


SMART Locations

Walter Library
Room 204 (2nd floor)
Phone: 612-624-1584

Wilson Library
Room 401 (Gallery outside Bell Library)
Phone: 612-626-8262

Magrath Library
Room 75
(just outside library gates)
Phone: 612-624-2125

Note: Media Help available only in Walter and Wilson


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