Collection Guidelines


Digital collections from Virginia and West Virginia cultural heritage organizations including libraries, library systems, historical societies, museums, archives and educational institutions will be considered for inclusion in the Digital Virginias Service Hub based on the criteria outlined below. All metadata harvested by the Service Hub will be ingested by the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) and made available under a Creative Commons Zero Public Domain Dedication.


Digital collections should:

  • Support the educational, recreational, and information needs of the people of Virginia and West Virginia
  • Adhere to the Digital Virginias rights statement guidelines
  • Be made available for use online without authentication, firewall, paywall, or other restriction
  • Conform to Digital Virginias metadata guidelines and requirements

Collection Strategy

Digital Virginias welcomes all collections from partners and prioritizes among those collections materials originating from or respectfully reflecting the lived experience of Black people, indigenous people, and people of color; as well as people from other marginalized or minority groups.

Digital Virginias collection strategy aligns with DPLA’s 2020 IDEAS Statement:

In order to address gaps in collections, we will actively identify, incorporate, and preserve the collections of communities that have been historically marginalized and overlooked. We will also assess our existing collections and our metadata and cataloguing standards to ensure that they reflect and convey the diversity and context of our collections, and accurately and respectfully represent historically misrepresented and underrepresented cultures, socio-economic groups, and races.

Content Scope

The Digital Virginias Service Hub harvests metadata and preview images describing cultural heritage materials from libraries, library systems, historical societies, museums, archives, or educational institutions in the states of Virginia and West Virginia, or consortia or other entities authorized to act on behalf of these institutions. Formats may include, but are not limited to, photographs, postcards, maps, letters, diaries, articles, books, artifacts, artwork, audio, film, and video.

The following categories are outside of the program’s scope:

  • Data-only records, such as birth, death or other genealogy indexes, or other resources that do not resolve to full digital objects
  • Items at the page level, such as individual newspaper pages or book pages
  • Finding aids or EADs
  • Institutional repository content, such as student dissertations, theses, or research data

Additional content may also be out of scope. The Digital Virginias Service Hub Strategy Team reserves the right to review and determine whether content is acceptable for inclusion.

Statement on Watermarking

Digital collections with watermarks are not prohibited, but the use of watermarks, bands, or other visible digital marking is strongly discouraged. Digital objects with watermarks will not be featured in online exhibits, social media, or other promotional activities on the part of Digital Virginias or DPLA.

Removal Policy

A Content Partner’s digital collection may be removed from the Digital Virginias Service Hub metadata aggregation for one or more of the following reasons:

  • Digital collection is not stable or not consistently available for harvesting
  • Demonstrated violation of copyright law
  • Digital collection is no longer available to the public at no cost or free of license
  • Digital collection includes content outside of program scope

Removal of a collection will follow the terms of the Digital Virginias Service Hub Participation Agreement.

Policy Review

Adopted February 2021. This document will be reviewed annually by the Digital Virginias Strategy Team.

Adapted with gratitude from Recollection Wisconsin’s May 2020 guidelines.