Our archives make more documents more accessible to more people, with advanced and intuitive search tools making research efficient and innovative. We do this by focusing on two core aspects: combining valuable digitized primary source content with advanced search technology in one research environment that is easily integrated with every aspect of the university’s offer.

Many archives we have digitized are difficult to access in the physical form, so Gale Primary Sources ensure that more people have more access to more resources. Many of the archives are cross-searchable in a single platform, using powerful search technology to efficiently find new and innovative connections – and more and more of our older archives are being added to the cross-search. We listen to institutions and archive holders to ensure we are digitizing the materials that the research community needs, and our increasing focus on underrepresented and marginalized perspectives allows researchers to undertake original and unique projects. Taking all of this together, Gale Primary Sources can help every area of the institution to improve research outcomes.

More resources, more accessible, to more people.

Our digital primary source archives contain material sourced from large and small collections, making many documents accessible online for the first time. Material across various Gale Primary Sources archives can be difficult to access in the physical form, restricting researchers from being able to access content that can make a significant difference to their projects. We work closely with archivists and specialists from the academic community to select and digitize archives of the greatest benefit, ensuring you have material from a trusted provider that has been selected through rigorous and considered curation processes.

Our digitization efforts ensure these materials will be more globally accessible to researchers, making Gale Primary Sources a long-term investment in resources that may not be available anywhere else for much longer, benefitting educators and researchers long into the future.

Alongside the archives we are well known for, we are making a continued effort to digitize material that helps with inclusion, diversity, and equity in research. We actively work to find archives that give marginalized histories in their own words, providing researchers and libraries with more opportunities to expand beyond previous limitations. By digitizing material from historically underrepresented, and hidden voices, we make them accessible to new audiences at a scale far beyond many other resources.

Explore our:   Archive Partners   |   How we help with preservation - Royal Archives  |   How we help with preservation

Efficiency x innovation

When we have digitized the material, we work to rigorous metadata and Optical Character Recognition (OCR) standards to make sure that users get the most reliable and accurate results possible. This allows us to apply advanced and intuitive search technologies that are specifically designed to make the research process better. Tools like Term Frequency and Topic Finder, coupled with the cross-search environment, can help researchers uncover new avenues and develop new research questions by highlighting connections that would be hard to find otherwise using large corpora of material. The outcome: streamlined workflows that create efficient discovery and innovative analysis.

To further enhance the experience of all users, we are increasing the number of LMS integrations, and we are increasing the accessibility options for users with impairments. On a greater scale, initiatives like Handwritten Text Recognition (HTR) and Gale Digital Scholar Lab expand the options for searching and analysis. HTR increases the potential of discoveries by addressing a shortcoming in traditional OCR that can limit the impact of the material. Gale Digital Scholar Lab offers advanced techniques for analyzing and visualizing results, further increasing the opportunity to develop innovative projects. We are also exploring how Gale Primary Sources fit into teaching and learning, helping educators maximize the value of primary sources for students.

Through regular, consistent updates designed to make Gale Primary Sources work better in practice, they deliver an ever-improving return on investment year after year. With Gale Primary Sources, you are not purchasing a product that stays static: hosting fees are reinvested into ongoing development such as functionality improvements and migrating content to the cross-search platforms; throughout the year we release functionality updates based on user feedback. For peace of mind, the content is backed up on Portico, so users won’t be disrupted by outages. We are also creating better links between our primary and secondary sources, bringing even further efficiency to research and study.

Gale Digital Scholar Lab   |   OCR and Metadata   |   Topic Finder and Term Frequency

Enhancement for all

For faculty, Gale Primary Sources can help produce original, innovative research that can enhance reputations within the academic community. Saying something new can help the chances of research projects being published, meeting a crucial need for career progression. When teaching, Gale Primary Sources do not just provide access to material that can expand and support reading lists, but new material that can be used to expand the scope of courses – and even create new ones. Academics have successfully integrated Gale Primary Sources into their teaching in a variety of different ways that benefit learners.

Using them in classes and assignments, learners are using the tools across large corpora of material and analyzing the results, helping them to develop critical thinking and information literacy skills. These skills are vital to both continued careers in academia or in the workplace, addressing a need both educators and students see as central to the university experience. To make sure these are maximized, we have started to develop Learning Centers to help integrate Gale Primary Sources into teaching and learning, following recognized standards for information literacy. 

One of the most important uses of Gale Primary Sources—underpinned by the tools—is the ability to change the course of research and identify new areas to explore. Students have used the tools to change--even create--dissertation topics. Academics have been able to undertake projects that would not be possible with physical archives, or achieve research results that could not have been reached without digital processes.

Case Studies   |   Interview with Academics on Research and Teaching   |   Learning Centers

Digital Humanities

Gale started to get involved in Digital Humanities in the early 2010’s, when we began getting requests for our underlying metadata and Optical Character Recognition (OCR) data. What began as an ad hoc delivery process lead to a major milestone and in 2014, Gale became the first humanities publisher to make our underlying data available to researchers on Text and Data Mining (TDM) drives.

Working with researchers using our TDM drives was transformative, in that Gale was able to thoroughly examine the ways in which our data was being used; to understand the landscape of digital scholarship; and crucially, uncover the common barriers that were stopping the majority of humanities and social science researchers from taking part in DH research.

We identified some common problems, namely: access to quality content; hosting TDM content; and intimidating, sometimes complex tools. In identifying these problems and working with digital humanists we were able to start developing a software solution to enable more researchers access into the realm of incorporating DH techniques into their research.

Gale Digital Scholar Lab is a unique cloud hosted Text and Data Mining environment, providing access to  the unparalleled range and quality of source information for which Gale is known, alongside powerful analysis tools accessible to everyone, regardless of technical competency. The increased accessibility of these advanced techniques is reflected in the number of universities that are now using the Lab from undergraduate level upwards to support digital literacy initiatives and give students new ways to explore their subject.

The Lab is an evolving environment that relies on input from its users to develop in line with scholarly need in both research and teaching. We collaborate with our international community of users to inform the development of the platform – their voices are crucial to its growth.

Find out more about Gale Digital Scholar Lab   |   Digital Humanities Hub