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Saturday, May 25, 2019

ACC Library Digitizes Archived Course Catalogs

One of the most valuable sources of information for a college is the course catalog which is produced every school year.

The catalog serves as a guide for students by offering information on course content, student services and more.

While courses and programs may change every year, the catalogs must be preserved so students and graduates can refer to them when they attempt to transfer to another college or university.

The Alvin Community College Library recently digitized the entire archive of the college’s course catalogs from 1949 to today.

“This will enable students to do their own research and provide the information to institutions where they want to transfer,” said Irene Robinson, ACC registrar. “It saves students and staff time.”

Prior to the database, research about past courses had to be done on campus.

“This was a massive undertaking and we are happy to provide this to our students, alumni and community,” said Becky McClain, ACC head librarian and records management officer. “This is one of many long-term digitization projects that the library is currently working on.”

Each page of each catalog was electronically scanned and entered into an online archive.

Scanning of the catalogs took almost a year and half. Some of the older catalogs required some repair to aid in the scanning.

Having the catalogs available on a server will be an important resource for those trying to further their education at another institution of higher education.

“Many former alumni and students are going back to college so they need to go through the old catalogs to determine if their courses can transfer,” McClain said.

College catalogs contain details about all college courses, programs, calendars, registration, financial aid, advising and other student services available. The importance of preserving the details for courses and programs is due to the fact they vary from year to year.

“It’s a time capsule of what’s offered at the college,” McClain said.

The catalogs are available online at

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