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Time to Say Goodbye?

Or is it?

Scanner and computer

There’s so much more hidden in Annex to digitize!

This site was created in 2020 as a temporary Alcohol Studies Archives, which is the online version of the Special Collections and Archives that used to be housed at the Alcohol Library maintained by the Information Services Division at the Center of Alcohol and Substance Use Studies (CAS). It was closed in December 2016.
Including this blog roll, the site preserves a great deal of valuable content from the CAS Archives Pages on CAS Information Services and the CAS Information Services Newsletter.

Launched in May 2023 and listed on the Rutgers Digital Collections portal, the Digital Alcohol Studies Archives Collection features its own landing page on the RUL website, developed on the Drupal platform, virtually all the content from this site, and more, except the blog posts.

As I explained in the post concluding my Spring 2023 sabbatical semester, the new site presents the history of CAS and the archival collection under headlines similar to this WordPress pilot. A great addition, the Digital Collections search portal, allows searching and browsing the 1,000+ documents in RUcore by document types and collections. There are multiple options to narrow down searches to full text, full records, or any of its parts, subject, and more. Stay tuned for a tutorial on how to benefit from this function.

Using its functionality to highlight items in exhibits, the Omeka digital collections platform focuses on images to showcase representative content for forthcoming events and celebrations.

So, should I keep this site or not? Let’s see the pros and cons.

PRO: Let’s keep it!

  • Pro 1 It’s done, no need to develop any further.
  • Pro 2 It’s well organized and mirrors the Drupal site
  • Pro 3 As such, it may help users discover items in the Digital Collection
  • Pro 4 The blog roll saves content from the CAS Newsletter and follows how the Digital Alcohol, Studies Archives Collection evolved, also documenting processes, decisions, and more
  • Pro 5 The Drupal site doesn’t have a blog component

CON: Delete this site!

  • Con 1 No need to duplicate content. With the Drupal site and links from the CAS homepage to that, this site seems to be redundant.
  • Con 2 It will be difficult to maintain both sites equally, in terms of quality, in the long run.
  • Con 3 Broken links, software updates, migration – all easier to do in Drupal.
  • Con 4 This site is owned by a singular person, Drupal is maintained by RUL IIS.
  • Con 5 This site may not have a lot of views anyway.

VERDICT: Time will tell.

I don’t want to make a decision just yet. I sorely remember a rather hasty decision (not mine, obviously) to ditch the entire CAS Library tab at the end of 2016 for the website migration after the Library was shut down. I also remember scrambling to run a rescue operation to preserve the unique content, a lot of which, by the way, was created and updated by the CAS Library staff not even a year prior to that.

I also remember how the new CAS leadership, missing this content, decided to add back the library to the site – but the only link I was able to provide in 2018 was the archived pages on the Internet Archive. Now the Center of Alcohol and Substance Use Studies website proudly features a CAS Library page, with links to the RUL Drupal page and its various components.