Here in FASS, one such project has been underway much longer than this recent buzz: The SFU Lake District Collection Scholarly Digitization Project. The project, stemming from the outstanding rare book collection housed in Bennett Library’s Special Collections, is undertaking not only a digitized bibliography of the books in the collection, but is also a full-scale digitization of the collection’s most important books. It is being steered by Dr. Margaret Linley of the SFU English Department, English and History Liaison Librarian Rebecca Dowson, and Eric Swanick of SFU Library’s department of Rare Books and Special Collections.
Linley explains that the books in the Lake District Collection are part of the larger Wordsworth Collection acquired in the 1970s and 1980s at SFU. Many of those books came to SFU through the combined efforts of the Library’s Special Collections Department and Professor Emeritus Dr. Jared Curtis of the Department of English. Throughout the 1980s, Curtis and the library secured several grants through the Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada (SSHRC). These grants allowed the team to make key purchases to develop the collection—and, as the library acknowledges, SSHRC has “contributed generously to the Wordsworth Collection on a continuing basis since 1981.”