Kang Prize increases accessibility of student publications

This year’s Kang Prize gave the library $2,500 to make two of the college’s most valuable student-run publications, the Round Table newspaper and the Gold yearbook, more accessible to students and alumni online.

The winner of this year’s Phee Boon Kang’73 Prize for Innovation in Teaching with Technology just made rediscovering Beloit’s past more accessible for all.

Spearheaded by Student Success and Engagement Librarians Kelly Leahy and Haley Lott, the prize’s $2,500 paid for digitizing two of the college’s most valuable student-run publications, the Round Table newspaper and the Gold yearbook, which are both frequently used for student and alumni research.

Thanks to the prize, the Round Table has now been fully digitized from 1919 to 1980, and the Gold from 1964 to its last issue in 2004. The Round Table, the country’s second-oldest college newspaper, was first published in 1853 as The Beloit College Monthly until its name changed in 1875. The Gold was first a biannual publication called the Codex from 1890 to 1926, when it became an annual college yearbook and renamed the Gold.

Library staff intend to digitize every edition of both publications in the coming years.

Digitizing the Round Table — thus making it keyword searchable and more accessible to students, alumni, and the public — has been a priority of the library for years, but it took time to find the right platform that integrated with their other databases.

The whirlwind process began in spring 2021. “It was maybe two or three weeks from learning about the Kang Prize to submitting our proposal to it being accepted,” says Leahy. “Haley took over a lot of the writing for the proposal, and I did a fair amount of the collection of information. It was a cool opportunity that we hadn’t really heard of before.”

After a few digitization projects stopped and started in recent years, Leahy and Lott decided to use the Digital Archive Group, a Midwest-based company, to scan and convert the physical materials into an online format. They also worked with overseas company Veridian to tailor the look and feel of the database to fit the college’s branding.

You can find the Beloit College Digital Publications Archive through the archives page and the A-Z Databases guide — without needing a Beloit College email address. Contact Haley Lott or Kelly Leahy with research questions through the “Ask a Librarian” function.

December 03, 2021

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