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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Scalar: An Introduction: Gathering Media and Content

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

Have More Questions?

Have more questions? Contact Scholarly Communication and Publishing at scpub@library.illinois.edu for more information and guidance or visit our website. 

Scholarly Communication and Publishing

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 that to which you have author access. **Note: Be careful of "link-rot" when relying on websites not directly affiliated with Scalar.

On the Content tab of the dashboard, a media importer allows you to directly import from affiliated archives closeable from a drop-down list.

Affiliated Archives

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 Advisory

When gathering material for your digital exhibit, it is important to be aware of copyright and licensing restrictions.

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.

Learn more from the Copyright Reference Guide and Copyright and Digitization of Library Materials or set up a consultation with the Copyright Librarian.