Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQs

MABEL (Multimedia Archives Based Electronic Library) is a robust, central repository for discovery, sharing and preservation of Western's digital assets. MABEL provides sustainable management of digital content that facilitates creativity, outreach, research, teaching and learning at Western Washington University. MABEL is the result of a cross-campus partnership involving content creators, stewards and stakeholders. 

MABEL supports the discovery, management and preservation of valuable digital assets. The system enables: 

  • Enhanced collaboration among content creators and content users; 

  • Faster, more powerful access to digital content; 

  • Support for vibrant marketing, publishing, outreach, and creative works; 

  • A reliable, sustainable platform for long-term stewardship of digital assets; 

  • More efficient use of institutional resources; 

  • Efficiencies in sharing content with internal and external constituencies. 

Western employees who work with digital assets on behalf of their organizational units can use MABEL to manage and share those assets. Although access permissions for content in this platform will vary, members of the larger University community (employees, students and beyond) can also MABEL for searching and discovery of public-facing collections. 

For general information about MABEL, and how to discover and use content in MABEL, check out this video: Discovering Resources Through MABEL: Training for Students and Instructors (15 mins).  

Other FAQs about how to discover content in MABEL and use in support of research, teaching and learning 

If you have a general question about the MABEL platform, please contact the MABEL Team at If you have a question about a specific digital resource found in MABEL (for example, how to obtain a copy, citation information or permissions) please contact the program or repository listed as “object custodian” for that resource. 

Information for MABEL Content Contributors

If you are interested in contributing content to the MABEL platform on behalf of your WWU work unit, please contact the MABEL Team ( to find out more about options and training. 

MABEL can accommodate a wide variety of file types and formats, including images, video and sound recordings and textual documents. MABEL content and collections will be structured around organizational units of Western. All content in the system must be: 1) Compliant with Rights criteria established in the MABEL Rights Management policy; 2) Shareable (internally and/or externally), with the extent of sharing to be determined by creating units; 3) Managed, in that it conforms to metadata, retention, format and use standards; 4) University-owned or licensed through a written agreement and retained in support of the University’s mission. 5) Unique material that does not duplicate another resource in MABEL, i.e. no duplicate photographs or exact copies of video footage. This is to make the best use of space and increase ease of use for users. 

Work units and content contributors can control access permissions to the digital assets they upload and manage in MABEL. Although some content and collections in MABEL will be made available to the public, access can also be limited to specific individuals within a work unit.