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Working with Scalar for Digital Projects

This is a short introductory guide to using the Scalar publishing platform.

Media in Scalar

Media is an integral part of Scalar. Images, audio, and videos are all supported in Scalar and adding these various types of media to your page is done through links. You simply select the text you want to associate with the media and attach it.

Scalar does not use embedded code like you would use when adding media (like a YouTube video) to a blog post. The media you see in Scalar is not housed in Scalar. Instead, Scalar imports and stores the metadata associated with that media. As an author, you can upload your own media, but only if it does not exceed 2MB.

If your media files are housed on your private server you can simply link those files in your Scalar book. Scalar is affiliated with various media sources such as Critical CommonsHypercitiesInternet ArchiveUSC Shoah Foundation Visual History ArchiveCuban Theater Digital Archive and Hemispheric Institute Digital Video Library (HIDVL).

Other possible Scalar accessible media outlets (NON-AFFILIATED) PreziSoundCloudVimeo, and YouTube. Also, media can be imported from other Scalar books to which you have author access.

**Note: Be careful of "link-rot" when relying on websites not directly affiliated with Scalar -- is the target link or site stable enough to be available in the future?


Affiliated Archives (for Media)

Scalar has an official relationship with certain online archives. These archives are called "affiliate" or "partner" archives. These sites allow you to link the content in their collections directly to your Scalar book. For some of these archives, you will need to create an account.

The importer for your desirerd archive will appear and allow you to browse the archive. You can preview individual files by selecting Preview, on the right. You can select more than one media file at a time by clicking their associated check boxes and then by clicking Import Selected Media.

Copyright Permissions and Restrictions

When gathering material for your digital exhibit, it is important to be aware of copyright and licensing restrictions. Free to find does not equal free to use.

Sites like the Noun Project, The Commons (Flickr), and Creative Commons Search may be good options for selecting images that are freely licensed or in the public domain.

If an image or text is taken from an electronic database (e.g. ARTStor) or a website owned by an organization (e.g. The Getty, DPLA), there are often restrictions on how you can re-use and display these materials. Some material might even be in the public domain—books, images, scores, etc. published pre-1924—but the holding institution can still apply licenses and restrictions.

Find out more at the Copyright Research Guide or the WashU Scholarly Communications website.