Collection Visibility Project (CVP) has implemented a cloud-based hosting solution, African Digital Library Central (ADLC), to help institutions with limited IT resources make their digital collections globally visible and accessible. The platform provides seamless integration between the local institution’s website and the centrally-hosted content, which in turn allows local institution to retain their branding and identity.

ADLC is being implemented using a phased approach. Initially, there was a pilot for select institutions who expressed interested via our survey (see below). There will then be broader call for participants in third quarter 2014. Initial participants will be subsidized for a one-year period during which time an evaluation will be conducted along with defining and implementing a sustainable economic model for maintenance and continued growth.

Survey results

An online survey was disseminated by ADLSN country coordinators between April and July 2013. The goal of the survey was twofold:

  1. To study the current situation of African digital repositories in eight ADLSN countries (Nigeria, Senegal, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Mauritius, and Zimbabwe); and
  2. To gather data for determining the interest in participating in ADLSN’s Collection Visibility Project (CVP) and the relevant implementation issues.

Of the 79 institutions that responded to the survey, 38 expressed interest in the ADLSN’s Collection Visibility Project (CVP) and have collections ready to be included and the technical capacity to successfully participate. The first phase of the project has started with the selection of Amazon Web Services as the infrastructure platform. In addition, the selection of pilot institutions and preparation for implementation in the fourth quarter of 2013 has begun.

Complete survey results available here: [PDF]

Background to the Collection Visibility Project

The amount of African, local  research and cultural heritage content in digital format is increasing. However, the visibility of African content globally remains limited. There are many contributing factors, for example, digital collections in many African institutions are in non standardized formats and are stored on a variety of individual computers. In the case of collections that are centrally deposited, global internet connectivity still remains a challenge because of the lack of reliable, local infrastructure. For example, with regards to repositories, out of 2256 repositories listed in the Directory of Open Access Repositories (DOAR) at, only 60 repositories are in Africa, which is 2.66% of total repositories in DOAR (accessed on  29th January, 2013)

To address these challenges, the African Digital Library Support Network (ADLSN), in collaboration with the Koha Foundation and EIFL, launched  the Collection Visibility Project (CVP) in January 2013 . CVPs primary goals are:

  1. To study the current situation of African digital repositories, and

  2. To pilot a centralized hosting solution for those institutions that have digital collections but with poor infrastructure to make them accessible globally.

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