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What do I need to know before I begin a digitization project?

Taking on a digitization project can seem like an overwhelming task, but there are lots of resources out there to help you prepare for your endeavor. We have selected a few knowledge resources that will help guide your project.

Take Action

  • Attend the Library of Congress's Digital Preservation Outreach & Education (DPOE) Train-the-Trainer Workshops

"DPOE grows the National Trainer Network by conducting Train-the-Trainer workshops. There are currently DPOE 63 Trainers active in the 6 regions of the United States."
http://www.digitalpreservation.gov/education/ttt.html

  • Attend the National Digital Stewardship Alliance’s annual meeting

“The mission of the National Digital Stewardship Alliance is to establish, maintain, and advance the capacity to preserve our nation's digital resources for the benefit of present and future generations…. Members collaborate to preserve access to our national digital heritage. The NDSA accomplishes its goals through working groups with strategic direction from the Coordinating Committee and support from the Secretariat…. NDSA organizations have proven themselves committed to long term preservation of digital information. Our members include universities, consortia, professional societies, commercial businesses, professional associations, and government agencies at the federal, state, and local level.”
http://www.digitalpreservation.gov/ndsa/index.html

  • Apply for a National Digital Stewardship Residency

"As an NDSR Resident, you will work on a digital stewardship project, or series of projects, in one of ten Washington, D.C. institutions. Your project(s) will allow you to acquire hands-on knowledge and skills involving the collection, selection, management, longā€term preservation, and accessibility of digital assets."
http://www.digitalpreservation.gov/ndsr/residency.html

  • Attend CURATEcamp

“CURATEcamp is a series of unconference-style events focused on connecting practitioners and technologists interested in digital curation.”
http://curatecamp.org/

  • Attend the IS&T Archiving Conference

"Since the first meeting in 2004, Archiving has continued to offer the opportunity for imaging scientists and those working in the cultural heritage community (curators, archivists, librarians, etc.), as well as in government, industry, and academia, to come together to discuss the most pressing issues related to the digital preservation and stewardship of hardcopy, audio, and video."
http://www.imaging.org/ist/conferences/archiving/

  • Attend DigCCurr Professional Institute, School of Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Chapel Hill, NC

"This professional institute consists of one five-day session May and a two-day follow-up session January. Each day of the summer session will include lectures, discussion, and hands-on "lab" components. This institute is designed to foster skills, knowledge, and community-building among professionals responsible for the curation of digital materials. Participants in the May event will return to Chapel Hill in January to discuss their experiences in implementing what they have learned in their own work environments. Participants will compare experiences, lessons learned, and strategies for continuing progress."
http://ils.unc.edu/digccurr/institute.html

 

Explore 

  • National Digital Stewardship Alliance

“The mission of the National Digital Stewardship Alliance is to establish, maintain, and advance the capacity to preserve our nation's digital resources for the benefit of present and future generations…. Members collaborate to preserve access to our national digital heritage. The NDSA accomplishes its goals through working groups with strategic direction from the Coordinating Committee and support from the Secretariat…. NDSA organizations have proven themselves committed to long term preservation of digital information. Our members include universities, consortia, professional societies, commercial businesses, professional associations, and government agencies at the federal, state, and local level.”
http://www.digitalpreservation.gov/ndsa/index.html

  • The Signal (The Library of Congress’s digital preservation blog)

“'The Signal' is meant to elicit two images. The name sounds a bit like a town newspaper, one that has timely information that people can put to practical use. That is our basic intent–discuss digital stewardship in a way that is informative and appealing. “Signal” also associates with computer technology, most especially management, transmission and use of data. Technology is moving fast, and we cover exciting new developments that have an impact on digital preservation and access."
http://blogs.loc.gov/digitalpreservation/

  • Federal Agencies Digitization Guidelines Initiative

Site lists several successful projects and their related digitization guidelines and best practices.
http://www.digitizationguidelines.gov/

  • Library of Congress. American Memory. Technical Information. Building Digital Collections.

"This page provides information on the copyright, metadata, preservation, scanning and conversion, and text mark-up practices and policies that the Library of Congress follows for the American Memory site."
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/about/techIn.html

 

Watch

  • Ball, Matt. Preparing a Digital Project: Lessons from the Harvard Law School Library. June 6, 2011.

  • Smithsonian Institution Libraries. Creating the Digital Library. May 18, 2009.

Read

  • Rieger, Oya Y. 2008. Preservation in the age of large-scale digitization.

From the CLIR abstract: "This report examines large-scale digital initiatives (LSDIs) to identify issues that will influence the availability and usability, over time, of the digital books these projects create. The paper describes four large-scale projects—Google Book Search, Microsoft Live Search Books, Open Content Alliance, and the Million Book Project—and their digitization strategies. It then discusses a range of issues affecting the stewardship of the digital collections they create: selection, quality in content creation, technical infrastructure, and organizational infrastructure."
http://www.bib.ub.edu/fileadmin/fdocs/pub141.pdf

  • Federal Agencies Digitization Guidelines Initiative. November 2009. Digitization Activities: Project Planning and Management Outline.

"The aim of this document is to define activities relating to the digitization of original cultural materials, and to outline general steps for planning and management of this process. The activities described in this document address library/archival issues, imaging and conversion work, and IT infrastructure issues in particular.  This document defines "digitization" as a complete process, and covers all project components from content selection through delivery of digitized objects into a repository environment." 
http://digitizationguidelines.gov/guidelines/DigActivities-FADGI-v1-20091104.pdf

  • Smith, Lucy, and Rowley, Jennifer (2012). Digitisation of local heritage: Local studies collections and digitisation in public libraries. Journal of Librarianship & Information Science, 44, 272-280.

“This study explores the application of digitisation in the context of public library local studies services. Since there has been limited previous research on digitisation and local studies collections, this research makes an important contribution in profiling the current situation, and highlighting the extent to which progress is limited in the digitisation of valuable local studies collections. A two-phased approach was adopted, including a website analysis, and semi-structured interviews with 12 local studies librarians and three other key informants. Findings indicate that the local studies services have established a limited online presence, and have used digitisation to some extent to promote and improve accessibility to their collections. All interviewees appreciated the potential of digitisation, but digitisation has not been adopted as a major strategy for preservation, due to lack of funding, and concerns about the longevity of digital records.” [ABSTRACT FROM PUBLISHER]

 

  • Rafiq, Muhammad, and Ameen, Kanwal. (2013). Digitization in university libraries of Pakistan. OCLC Systems & Services, 29, 37-46.

"Purpose – The purpose of the study is to analyze the prevailing digitization practices in university libraries of Pakistan. Design/methodology/approach – The study adopted quantitative research design and survey research method was used to conduct the study. A structured questionnaire was used to collect the data from the subjects of the study. Findings – Digitization practices were found at budding stage in university libraries of Pakistan. One-third libraries were doing digitization. Three highest ranked digitization goals were to: provide access via web, increase access, and preservation. Theses and dissertations were found the top most priority for digitization in terms of types of material. The criteria for selection of material for digitization varied and social sciences was the most focused area for digitization. Originality/value – This is the first ever study conducted in Pakistan on this topic. The findings are beneficial for university libraries, funding bodies and the higher education commission of Pakistan as well as other countries with similar social and economic conditions. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]"

 

  • Daigle, Bradley J. (2012). The Digital Transformation of Special Collections. Journal of Library Administration, 52, 244-264.

"The effect of digital technology on special collections has been profound and ongoing. The purpose of this article is to explore the effect born digital materials, digitization, and intellectual property have had on special collections in the 21st century. In particular this study will focus on how archival materials have been significantly transformed by interacting with digital technology—providing both challenges in management and opportunities for new online environments to expose this content worldwide. Finally, a research experiment underway at the University of Virginia Library offers a framework that may help highlight some strategies for exploiting new opportunities going forward. [ABSTRACT FROM PUBLISHER]"

 

  • Dwiggins, David. (2012).The Collections Access Project: Digitization from the Ground Up at Historic New England. Microform & Digitization Review, 41, 34-41.

"The article presents information on a new Collections Access Project (CAP) at Historic New England, which would launch an online collection of photographic documentation of the history and culture of New England. The CAP is overseen by an interdisciplinary team that includes members from the organization's library and archives and museum curatorial teams. The CAP includes the development of digitization capabilities for the organization's general photographic collection."



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