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UIC Library Faculty Profile: Tracy Seneca, Head of Digital Programs and Services: Home


I have worked at the UIC Library since 2012.  Prior to coming to UIC, I served as a consultant for the Chicago Collections consortium to help found and design Explore Chicago Collections.  I was inspired to come to UIC in the course of that project, after seeing the amazing wealth of Chicago historical and cultural resources in the Library's Special Collections and University Archives, and their great promise for digital initiatives.  

Prior to my work at UIC, I led the Web-at-Risk initiative at the California Digital Library and funded by the Library of Congress, to develop tools to enable government information specialists to harvest and preserve federal, state and local government agency websites.  I've also worked on systems to deliver online research instruction, to track the use of copyrighted materials for electronic reserves, and was the information architect for the first version of the DMP Tool, which helps researchers prepare data management plans for grant proposals.

I hold an MLIS from the University of California at Berkeley, and a Master of Arts in Applied Technology from DePaul University.

Professional Service

  • Chicago Collections Discovery Systems Committee Co-chair, 2012 -
  • Digital Preservation Network Advisory Committee member,  2016 -
  • Illinois Digital Heritage Hub Board member, 2016 -
  • International Internet Preservation Consortium Access Working Group Member, 2007-2012

Professional Duties and Librarianship

I lead the Library's Digital Programs and Services department, which is responsible for the design and production of the Library's digital collections.  This includes large scale digitization to make the unique materials in our Special Collections and University Archives available to the public, designing and optimizing discovery systems to make those resources easy to find and use, and managing the stewardship and preservation of those digital assets.  My work has included taking a leadership role in establishing Explore Chicago Collections, which enables researchers to search across the archives and digital collections of Chicago-area libraries, museums and archives.   I also contributed to Remembering Richard J. Daley, which draws from oral histories, documents, film and images in the Richard J. Daley collection to tell the story of his administration.

My research interests are the large-scale management and preservation of digital content, whether produced via digitization or harvested from the web.  I am particularly interested in:

  • the intersection of established standards and practices (such as Encoded Archival Description) and the real-world needs of researchers and library practitioners who use the systems that rely on those standards;
  • the impact of the new demands and expectations that digital technology places upon librarians and archivists and how information systems might help them meet those expectations; and
  • multi-institutional models for carrying out and sustaining ambitious developments in library technology.

Selected Papers and Presentations

Walter, Scott; Sarah Pritchard; Charles Blair; Tracy Seneca.  Building 'Full-Stack' Collaboration on a Digital Foundation: Explore Chicago Collections and the Chicago Collections Consortium.  Coalition for Networked Information Member Meeting, San Antonio, March 2016.

Seneca, Tracy and Charles Blair.  E Pluribus Unum: Melding Manifold Metadata for Use in a Consortial Setting. (conference presentation) Coalition for Networked Information Member Meeting, Washington D.C., December 2014. 

Seneca, Tracy and Kate Flynn. Chicago Collections Portal Administrative System Specifications. (Specifications document for digital work).  June 2014. 

Seneca, Tracy, Abigail Grotke, Cathy Hartman and Kris Carpenter,  It Takes a Village to Save the Web: The End of Term Web Archive.  DttP: Documents to the People, 40 no. 1 (2012): 16-24,

Seneca, Tracy. Archiving The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. International Internet Preservation Consortium, The Hague, Netherlands. May, 2011. 

Seneca, Tracy. What Changes with Digital Content? Part 3: Web Archiving. Association of Research Libraries Forum, An Age of Discovery: Distinctive Collections in the Digital Age. Washington D.C., October, 2009.

Seneca, Tracy.  The Web-at-Risk at Three: Overview of an NDIIPP Web Archiving Initiative. Library Trends, 57 no. 3 (2009): 427-441.

Head, Digital Programs and Services

Profile Photo
Tracy Seneca
Tracy J. Seneca
Head, Digital Programs and Services
Clinical Associate Professor
Richard J. Daley Library
University of Illinois at Chicago
(312) 413-7677