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From a 1988 request by a Virginia Tech faculty member to begin a new scholarly journal and another request to establish a university press, grew the Digital Library and Archives. It was envisioned that the university could use a rapidly maturing technology base to establish a place where new scholarly works could be published but without the capital outlay that would be required to begin a print-based publishing operation. Since the would-be faculty editors were not necessarily the ones well versed in the technology, an obvious need existed for support services. In addition, there was the need to begin to define or describe these future electronic scholarly works. The DLA would also be a place to experiment with the technology to produce online scholarship in new and developing formats.

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