Increasingly common at research institutions, digital repositories have become important infrastructure for disseminating and curating a wide range of digital works. Repositories managed by libraries usually collect locally authored and locally produced works. Some repository content is born digital, but often content includes pre-publication versions of works published elsewhere or files resulting from scanning or other reformatting activities.
Most digital archives comply with the Open Archives Initiative (OAI) protocol for metadata harvesting, which makes them interoperable and cross-searchable. Users can find a work in an OAI-compliant archive without knowing which archives exist, where they are located, or what they contain.
"The Research Library’s Role in Digital Repository Services" [PDF]
Final Report of the ARL Digital Repository Issues Task Force (Washington DC: ARL, January 2009)
Institutional Repositories [PDF]
SPEC Kit 292 (Washington DC: ARL, July 2006)
"Institutional Repositories: Essential Infrastructure for Scholarship in the Digital Age"
by Clifford A. Lynch, ARL Bimonthly Report, no. 226 (February 2003)
"The Case for Institutional Repositories: A SPARC Position Paper" [PDF]
by Raym Crow (Washington DC: SPARC, August 2002)
SPARC: Repository Resources
includes guides, presentation materials, and handbooks produced by SPARC and other organizations