In the summer of 2015, Penrose Library joined a network of hundreds of academic institutions who use the Digital Commons software service to host their institutional repository. Institutional repositories typically host scholarly and creative material produced by faculty, students, and staff of an institution, as well as other publications and digital archival collections created there. Whitman’s Institutional Repository is named ARMINDA in honor of Arminda Fix (Whitman College class of 1899), the first professional librarian at Whitman College. The “backronym” stands for Accessible Research Materials in Digital Archives.
Library staff have begun configuring ARMINDA to house and enhance access to selected collections of digital materials. The first materials to be deposited were the Whitman College Honors Theses. ARMINDA will also feature other forms of student work, such as papers written by students in Professor Rogers Miles’ course on the Secularization of Whitman College (REL 348). In that class, first taught in 2011, students were introduced to finding secondary sources on religion and higher education in America in the 19th and 20th centuries. They used these secondary sources in combination with archival materials to produce original research papers on the history of the College. Over three offerings of the course, student topics have ranged from studies of the history of the College’s mascot, to the relationship between religion and the science curriculum, to studies of notable faculty and staff members of Whitman College. Materials in the Religion 348 collection may be accessed athttp://arminda.whitman.edu/rel348.