Digital Assets

The Digital Assets platform provides our community and researchers with the ability to learn about and discover unique materials from the Institute Archives and Special Collections. The items you’ll discover are but a small fraction of our collections.  

Please contact the Digital Assets Support Group with questions.


Using the search bar on the front page and at the top of the site, you can search on all of the objects in the digital collections—both descriptions of those objects as well as full-text (of print materials as well as transcripts of audiovisual materials) where available. Refine your search results by date created, creator, topic, format, archival collection, and if the item is in the public domain, among other facets.

Please note, not all objects in the digital collections have extensive topic keywords; for example, issues of The Polytechnic and Rensselaer Alumni Magazine are full-text searchable but have very minimal keywords and other metadata.

Many full-text results are generated automatically: print materials are scanned using optical character recognition (OCR).

On object pages, you will see a viewer for the object, and metadata describing the object. 

Reproducing Items and Permissions

We provide access to our digital collections and associated objects for study, educational, and scholarly use. Permission must be granted in writing by the Institute Archives and Special Collections for publication of any kind (i.e. exhibition, articles, research papers, dissertations, books, web) or for use in commercial endeavors. Requests can be made through the Digital Assets Support Group which will direct researchers to the appropriate staff member who will facilitate such requests. 

Copyright and Rights Statements

Institute Archives and Special Collections at Rensselaer uses the guidelines of RIGHTSSTATEMENTS.ORG to specify the copyright status of the digital assets we provide access to. Please note that Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute reserves all rights and permission by the Institute Archives and Special Collections is required for the use and reproduction of the majority of our assets.

We use rightsstatement.org:

  • RIGHTSSTATEMENT.ORG provides simple and standardized terms called ‘rights statements’ to help us summarize the copyright status of objects in our collections. These statements are used by cultural heritage institutions and provide a best practice for use by international, national, and regional aggregators of cultural heritage data, and the individual institutions and organizations that contribute data to them. Following are some of the statements we associate with our digital assets. 


We respectfully acknowledge that this Digital Assets site would not be possible without the Metropolitan New York Library Council Digital Services Team.


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