Dordt College News

Library helps Pro Rege go digital

December 2, 2013

Pro Rege, Dordt’s quarterly faculty publication, was first printed in 1972. The number of printed copies of each issue hasn’t changed dramatically over the years, but in today’s digital world, readers don’t need a print copy. They can read it online from Dordt’s site, and, more importantly, they can now search issues by author, title, date, or subject.

“It’s been an internal labor of love,” says Librarian Sheryl Taylor, who has coordinated the scanning of old issues and downloading of PDFs over the past couple of summers.

The digitization began in response to a database indexing project at Calvin College, a sister college in Grand Rapids, Michigan, that was created to help people access articles written from a Reformed perspective. The Christian Reformed Church Periodical Index (CRCPI) is an index to periodicals that are official publications of the Christian Reformed Church and periodicals that have a significant number of contributors who are affiliated with the CRC or its institutions. Because of Dordt’s historic ties to the Christian Reformed Church, Pro Rege was included.

Pro Rege was never indexed before, so finding an earlier article, even if you remembered something about it, took some searching,” says Taylor. To make Pro Rege accessible through CRCPI, the Dordt library staff scanned early issues and downloaded more recent issues. Each new record had to incorporate standard indexing conventions so that people would be able to search by author, title, date, or subject. Much of the work was done by student employees.

Taylor is most excited about the opportunities the digital archive offers for international scholars and institutions looking for articles written from a Reformed perspective. She already knows of people in Korea, Costa Rica, and Indonesia who are making use of Pro Rege because of this indexing database.

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