CollectionBuilder: A Static Web Approach to Digital Projects in Libraries

Tuesday, 3/30/2021 - Tuesday, 4/6/2021
  • 2:00 PM-3:30 PM (Eastern)
  • 1:00 PM-2:30 PM (Central)
  • 12:00 PM-1:30 PM (Mountain)
  • 11:00 AM-12:30 PM (Pacific)

Looking for an agile, lightweight approach to developing digital collections and scholarship projects? Join us for a hands-on deep dive into CollectionBuilder, an open source project for generating digital collection websites driven by metadata and powered by modern static web technology.

Optimized for non-developers and simple hosting solutions, CollectionBuilder allows librarians, researchers, and educators to take ownership over their digital projects by lowering barriers to website creation and customization: users need only create a spreadsheet of metadata and corresponding directory of digital files to generate a digital collection. Once these are uploaded to CollectionBuilder, the platform employs a Jekyll static web generator to build a website for browsing and contextualizing the collection.

As workshop participants engage with CollectionBuilder, they will learn fundamental web and DH skills by working with plain text files, CSV data, Markdown, GitHub, and GitHub Pages to create and customize their very own digital collection. By the end of this workshop, participants will have gained the knowledge and independence necessary to implement CollectionBuilder in contexts that include creating and disseminating research collections and custom digital exhibits, or teaching digital libraries in the classroom. No programming experience is necessary; beginners from any background are welcome. Participants should create a Google Drive account and GitHub account prior to the session.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this session, attendees will have:

- A improved understanding of metadata and static web principles as they relate to web development and open data practices.

- An introduction to Git- and GitHub-based workflow and project development practices.

- A brief introduction to GitHub Pages web hosting, Bootstrap development frameworks, Markdown markup language, and the Jekyll static web developer.

Who Should Attend

This workshop is intended for technically curious librarians.  No programming experience is necessary; beginners from any background are welcome.


Olivia Wikle is the Digital Initiatives Librarian at the University of Idaho, where she coordinates the digitization of the University’s archival material and builds digital collections that disseminate historical resources. She also works closely with humanities faculty to create digital scholarship projects and teach digital literacy skills to students.

Evan Peter Williamson is the Digital Infrastructure Librarian at the University of Idaho Library, working with Data & Digital Services to bring cool projects, enlightening workshops, and innovative services to life. Despite a background in Art History, Classical Studies, and Archives, his recent focus has been on data-driven, minimal infrastructure web development, currently embodied in the CollectionBuilder project.

Devin Becker is the Director of the Center for Digital Inquiry and Learning (CDIL) and the Head of Data & Digital Services at the University of Idaho Library. Becker is also a writer. His most recent (static!) web project, CTRL+Shift, provides visualizations and analyses of interviews he conducted with prominent poets across the country.





  (Two live sessions and hands on learning)

Participant ($USD)
Core Member (individual) 79
Non-member (individual)  99

All webinars are recorded and the one-time fee includes unlimited access to the webinar recording. All registered attendees will receive the link to the recorded session so if you are unable to attend the webinar at the time it is presented, you will have the opportunity to listen to the recording at your convenience.

How to Register

Complete the online registration form. Sessions are listed by date and you must log in.


Contact us to register:

Call 1-800-545-2433 and press 1 to reach our customer service representatives or

Register by mail for the session you would like to attend. (If you receive an error message after clicking the "register by mail" link, right-click the link and save the form to your computer.)

Core Code of Conduct

Please review the Statement of Conduct before registering.

Tech Requirements

Computer, internet connection, web browser, a GitHub account and a Google Drive account.




For questions about registration, contact ALA Registration by calling 1-800-545-2433 and press 1 or email

For all other questions or comments related to the webinars, please contact