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Sydney Electronic Text and Image Service (SETIS)
The Sydney Electronic Text and Image Service (SETIS) was created as a part of the Sydney Digital Library service. One of the first major digitisation projects undertaken in Australia, the primary purpose of SETIS when it was developed was to provide a scholarly electronic publishing and digital library platform to support and further the programs and goals of the University and the Library.

From 1996 until 2022 SETIS provided access to a large number of networked and in-house full text databases, primarily but not exclusively, source texts within the humanities. It was initially used as a platform to allow commercial text databases such as Chadwyck-Healey’s English Poetry database, to be accessed across the University. Later, in addition to these literary, philosophical, and religious texts, SETIS hosted University of Sydney created text and image projects, primarily made up of out of copyright publications, using standards such SGML, XML and the P5 guidelines of the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) tagging. Digital texts were created through double-keying of texts and delivery in XML. Many of these University of Sydney Library created texts were later migrated to Australian Digital Collections (ADC).

In achieving this purpose SETIS:

  • contributed to the Library being recognised as a leader and active partner in the scholarly communication process within the University and beyond.
  • became an established digital library service creating and maintaining a range of scholarly resources to support research and study across the University and beyond.
  • provided expertise and skills in digital conversion and publishing for both the Library and the University
  • formed new partnerships and collaborations with academics, other libraries and institutions


  • Dr Creagh Cole worked in the University of Sydney Library from 1980 until 2010 and was the original coordinator of SETIS.
  • Sten Christensen
  • Ray Penn
  • Pauline Dickinson
  • Conal Tuohy
  • Alan Light
  • Chris Floyd (contributor of texts)


SETIS was funded initially in 1995 by a grant from the University of Sydney Information Technology Committee, and by the Faculty of Arts. It continued to be funded through external funding sources, either through grants or private sponsorship of individual works.



The SETIS archive can be found on the Wayback Machine



Burrows, T. (1999), "Electronic texts, digital libraries, and the humanities in Australia", Library Hi Tech, Vol. 17 No. 3, pp. 248-256.

Christensen, S. (2009). Sydney eScholarship Repository. Case Study. Educause Australasia, Perth, Australia,

Cole, C. (1997). SETIS: electronic texts at the University of Sydney Library. Ariadne, (8).

Coleman, R. (2006). Sydney University Press-publication, business and the digital library. VALA: Connecting with users, Melbourne, Australia

Coleman, R. (2008). Scholarly publishing within an eScholarship framework–Sydney eScholarship as a model of integration and sustainability. International Conference on Electronic Publishing (ELPUB), Toronto, Canada,

Coleman, R. (2009). Publishing and the digital library: Adding value to scholarship and innovation to business. Learned publishing, 22(4), 297-303.