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For Contributors:

Western New York Legacy welcomes and encourages contributions from any institution with material that will help document the rich history of Western New York. Contributors should read the following information to ensure that their project proposal is successfull.

Introduction to WNY Legacy
Repository Purpose
  Partners and Cooperation with Other Institutions
  Description of Audience
Repository Inclusion Criteria
  Scope of Coverage
  Source of Materials
  Selection Criteria
  Preferred Subject Matter
  Duplication of Materials
Use and Removal of Content
  Proper Use of Materials Guidelines
  Ownership Statement
  Removal and Copyright Adherence Policy
  WNY Legacy Copyright and Use Agreement
Best Practices
  Metadata Guidelines
  Scanning and Image Storage Standards
  Technology Specifications
  Catalog Records
List of Vendors
WNY Legacy Participation Documents


Introduction to Western New York Legacy

This project was funded through the Regional Bibliographic Data Bases and Interlibrary Resources Sharing Program (RBDB) that is awarded to the Western New York Library Resources Council by the New York State Education Department. The WNY Legacy project utilizes CONTENTdm software with a site-license purchased by WNYLRC from OCLC.

Interested in including your collection in Western New York Legacy?

WNYLRC members wishing to include collections in WNY Legacy should consult the WNYLRC Regional Digitization Plan March 15, 2006 and its supporting documents. These documents detail guidelines and requirements for metadata, scanning and imaging standards, workflow procedures, and other related information.

At the present time there is no software-related cost associated for WNYLRC members using WNYLRC’s CONTENTdm license ( to host their collections.  There may be a nominal fee associated with participation in the future, which would cover software maintenance and hosting fees.  Any future fees assessed will be based upon WNYLRC budgetary considerations and will be fully communicated to WNYLRC members.

The WNYLRC member library or organization is responsible for digitizing the proposed collection, including selecting the collection, scanning and retouching the images, and describing the items/assigning metadata.  Additionally, the WNYLRC member is responsible for funding, staffing and equipment needed to work with the CONTENTdm software. The software allows participants to upload their collection into the WNY Legacy.

WNYLRC also allows members to utilize the digitization lab at WNYLRC’s headquarters free of charge. The lab consists of a computer with the CONTENTdm software and a scanner – the Microtek Scanmaker 1000XL Pro. Arrangements can be made to use the equipment by calling the Regional Service Manager at (716) 633-0705 x116.


Repository Purpose

Western New York Legacy (WNY Legacy) is a collaboration between libraries, museums, archives, and cultural organizations located in the six counties of Western New York:  Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, and Orleans.  The program was created to provide a freely accessible digital repository of materials to the general public to support the study of Western New York and its history.

WNY Legacy is a project of the Western New York Library Resources Council (WNYLRC).

  Partners and Cooperation with Other Institutions

The Western New York Library Resources Council (WNYLRC) facilitates cross-institutional cooperation and encourages collaborative projects with its member libraries and library systems.  WNY Legacy establishes the potential for collaboration among diverse institutions.  These institutions are encouraged to contribute materials in topic areas not currently represented in WNY Legacy or materials that enhance or compliment existing collections, as well as in topic areas not currently represented on WNY Legacy. WNYLRC strives to bring non-members with potential collections under the umbrella of WNYLRC by encouraging membership in WNYLRC as a key component of the collaboration. Membership in WNYLRC no only provides opportunities to take part in WNY Legacy but also affords opportunities in training, support, education, grants and other professional development resources.

  Description of Audience

While the materials in WNY Legacy are available to anyone visiting the site, the primary focus of the program is geared to Western New York audiences. The target audiences include:

  • Students and teachers of all levels
  • Scholars and researchers
  • State and federal government employees
  • Business community
  • Tourists & tourism agencies
  • Genealogists
  • Residents and former residents of WNY


Repository Inclusion Criteria

  Scope of Coverage

The content of WNY Legacy reflects aspects of Western New  York culture, history, natural history, character and econonic conditions as well as Western New York's contributions relative to New York State and U.S. history.  Collections and materials selected for inclusion in WNY Legacy reflect Western New York's history from colonial times to the present, its varied population, urban and rural experiences and divergent points of view. 

  Source of Materials

Although member library and library systems are the primary source for digital collections, WNYLRC does not limit collections to members.  Items and collections housed by non-members may be included if some relationship can be established between the non-member and a WNYLRC member organization in a collaborative agreement. At least one contributor in a collaborative project must be a WNYLRC member.

  Selection Criteria

Institutions supplying materials not in the public domain must have the appropriate permissions to digitize and make the materials publicly available.  Digital collections and resources should support the educational, recreational and scholarly needs of the people of Western New York and other researchers outside the region. Collections should not be so insitution-specific that they have limited appeal to those outside the institution.  Materials included in WNY Legacy must conform to both technical and metadata standards established by work groups that oversee the development of WNY Legacy.  Material submitted to WNY Legacy should not be freely available online through other sources as to avoid unnecessary duplication. Existing physical exhibits may be appropriate for digitization and development into an online collection as long as the exhibit's subject matter focuses on an aspect of Western New York history.

For a collection to be considered for inclusion in WNY Legacy,  the institution must submit a collection proposal to WNYLRC that will be reviewed and evaluated by a selection committee determined by WNYLRC. For additional information on the application process, please refer to the Western New York Regional Digitization Plan and the supporting documents listed on this page.

  Preferred Subject Matter

Collections to be digitized may include (but are not necessarily limited to) the following subject matter:

  • Agriculture
  • Art and architecture
  • Corporate history
  • Erie Canal
  • Ethnic groups
  • Events or topics unique to Western New York -
    • Erie Canal
    • Festivals
    • Great Lakes (Erie and Ontario)
    • Love Canal
    • Niagara Falls
    • Niagara Movement
    • Pan-American Exposition
    • Steel industry
  • Fine and performing arts -
    • Theater
    • Music
    • Dance
    • Art
    • Architecture
  • Historical figures
  • Historical records of educational and cultural instiutions and local businesses
  • History -
    • Civil rights
    • Civil War
    • War of 1812
    • WW1
    • WW2
  • History of cities, towns and villages in WNY
  • Immigration
  • Industry
  • Natural history
  • News sources
  • Popular culture
  • Records enhancing genealogical and family research -
    • County, city, town and village records
  • Science and technology


Collections to be digitized may include but are not limited to the following formats:

  • artifacts
  • business ledgers
  • directories
  • letters & diaries
  • manuscripts
  • maps
  • monographs (published and unpublished)
  • newspapers & newsletters
  • photographs
  • postcards
  • posters
  • scrapbooks
  • sheet music
  • sound recordings (musical and non-musical)
  • transcriptions
  • works of art

  Duplication of Materials

Collections that explicitly duplicate the materials that already exist in WNY Legacy will not be approved for inclusion. Digital objects should be created from the best copy of the original or the cleanest copy of microform available.  Materials that are freely available online from another source may also be excluded from WNY Legacy. It is at the sole discretion of WNYLRC and its selection committee and/or work groups to allow duplicate materials to be included in WNY Legacy.


Use and Removal of Content

  Proper Use of Materials Guidelines

Items included in WNY Legacy are made freely available online in order to enhance and contribute to scholarly and educational research and are therefore subject to Fair Use provisions.  Fair Use includes making reproductions for education, research and private study, with credit being given to the source of the material.  Fair Use does not include making reproductions for commercial gain.  Items may not be used for commercial gain unless prior permission is granted owner or steward of the collection or item. 

  Ownership Statement

WNY Legacy or WNYLRC does not claim ownership of the digital objects included in  Ownership remains with the originating site and/or participating institution.  Note that the collections included in WNY Legacy are developed for educational and scholarly purposes.  Those who wish to use any item included in WNY Legacy for commercial purposes must contact the originating site.  A copyright use statement is included with each item in each collection.

Responsibility for accuracy of data, facts, and information presented rests with the institution providing the digital resource or contributing to scholarship included in the site.  WNYLRC does not guarantee or certify the accuracy of any information on the WNY Legacy site.  WNYLRC asks that each participating institution collect information regarding the accuracy of content they supply to WNY Legacy and follow a policy for the review and revision of collections.

  Removal and Copyright Adherence Policy

Collections or items may be removed from WNY Legacy for one or more of the following:

  • Inaccurate content or metadata
  • Violation of copyright or ownership
  • Content is no longer free to the public

WNYLRC will take action to correct any infringements and/or remove collections or items that infringe on copyright.  Parties with copyright concerns regarding collections or items on WNY Legacy may contact WNYLRC directly at 4455 Genesee St., P.O. Box 400, Buffalo, NY 14225, (716) 633-0705. 

  WNY Legacy Copyright and Use Agreement

For each collection that is accepted for inclusion in WNY Legacy, there must be a guarantee from the participating institution that absolves WNYLRC of any liability regarding copyright.  The participating institution must complete the WNY Legacy Copyright and Use Agreement before grant funds are dispersed or before digital assets are loaded into


Best Practices

  Metadata Guidelines

WNYLegacy contributers are required to use the WNYLegacy Metadata Template as presented in the Excel spreadsheet and on the WNYLegacy Metadata Wiki. Certain collections may require changes to the metadata field names, or may require the addition of new metadata fields. An institution may want to add additional metadata fields for capturing technical specifications from scanning and processing the materials, or may want add additional title, subject, or creator fields to more fully describe the collections through metadata. Please request all metadata template changes during the planning phase of the project.

Institutions should pay particular attention to the Rights metadata field, which is a required field. Each institution should develop a rights statement for each collection, and in some cases for each item (if different items carry different rights). Collections without a rights statement for each item will not be made available to the public.

Please review the WNYLegacy Metadata Template BEFORE you begin your digitization project. If you are outsourcing the digitization and/or metadata, consult with your vendor regarding any metadata fields that they will be adding. All changes to the metadata template, including renaming or adding fields, should be provided to WNYLRC in advance of the collection being created in WNYLegacy.

Deviation from the metadata template may result in improper display of metadata or of collection items in the browse view.

**IMPORTANT** Each image MUST have an accurate Title, which is entered into the Title field in the metadata template. The Title will be the only piece of metadata that displays along with the thumbnail in the browse and results view of images, and therefore should be descriptive of the item, i.e. each title should be unique. This is particularly important for newspapers and assists the end-user in navigation of the search results. Any questions about the Title field should be directed to WNYLRC before creation of the collection or supplying your vendor with the metadata template.

Additional metadata resources:

Tab-delimited file containing WNY Legacy Metadata Template field names: upload.txt

  Scanning and Image Storage Standards

We recommend that participants follow the standards and best practices set forth in BCR's CDP Digital Imaging Best Practices (

All data (images and metadata) uploded to WNY Legacy will be backed up by the WNY Legacy hosting agency.  However, each participating institution is required to maintain archival copies of their own master images.  Minimally, WNY Legacy participants should adhere to the following standards for master images:

    Creation of Master Images

  • scan items at a minimum of 600 dpi and save to TIF format
  • for specific recommendations for particular source types (example text vs. photograph) see pages 25-29 of BCR's CDP Digital Imaging Best Practices

    Storage of Master Images*

  • master TIF images may be stored on CDs or DVDs
  • master TIF images may also be stored on external hard drives, system drives, or servers, at the discretion of the institution
  • it is recommended that master TIF images be stored redundantly and off-site, meaning that more than one copy of each image exists, and that at least one copy is stored off-site from the institution in case of emergency or disaster

*WNYLRC will soon be looking into the issue of Digital Repositories, and more fully exploring the issues surrounding storage, maintenance and migration of digital images and data.  As more information becomes available, recommendations for storage may change based on WNYLRC's findings.  All WNY Legacy particpants will be informed of any changes in the recommendations.

    File Formats for Use in CONTENTdm

CONTENTdm will accept the following file formats, however please consult with WNYLRC as to the most appropriate format for each item type (example: photographs, books, audio recordings, etc.):

  • GIF for images
  • JPEG for images
  • JPEG2000 for images
  • MPEG for video
  • MP3 for audio
  • PDF for text
  • TIF for images
  • TXT for transcripts
  • other formats, click here for a list

  Technology Specifications

Please check that your computer meets the following requirements:

  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional or Microsoft Windows XP
  • 32-bit x86 processor (Intel Pentium 4 class compatible processor or higher)
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 or later
  • Minimum 256 MB RAM
  • 100 MB of available hard disk space for installation
  • Minimum display resolution of 1024x768
  • 128 Kbps or faster connection
  • Adobe Reader 7.0 or later

  Catalog Records

Each institution should catalog the digital collection that they contribute to WNYLegacy with one bibliographic record describing the collection.  If an institution does not have the means to create and upload a catalog record to OCLC/WorldCat, the University at Buffalo has offered to do so for the institution.


List of Vendors

These vendors have worked with WNYLRC member institutions on digitization projects and are familiar with WNYLegacy:

  BackStage Library Works
  533 East 1860 South, Provo, UT 84606
  Contact: 1-800-316-BSLW (2759),

  Kirtas Technologies
  7620 Omnitech Place, Victor, NY 14564
  Sales contact: Cody Jenkins, (585) 924-2441

  OCLC Preservation Services Center
  9 South Commerce Way, Bethlehem, PA 1801
  Contact: 1-800-773-7222,

  Western New York Library Resources Council
  4455 Genesee St./P.O. Box 400
  Buffalo, NY 14225
  WNYLRC will perform limited scanning services, please contact us for more information.
  Contact: Laura Osterhout, (716) 633-0705 x116


WNY Legacy Participation Documents:

  WNY Legacy Application

  WNY Legacy Collection Workflow Checklist

  WNY Legacy Copyright and Use Agreement

  WNY Legacy Metadata Template

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