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How do I appraise content for digitization?


  • Dartmouth College Library. "Selection Policy for Digitization Projects." Last updated May 17, 2012.

From the webpage: "This policy provides a collection development framework for the Library's digitization projects. It is intended to offer guidance in understanding how our digitization work reflects and supports collection development at Dartmouth in broad terms and it sets out criteria to help determine if potential use warrants the human and fiscal resources necessary to undertake the digital project. The policy's aim is to create a consistent, structured approach to reformatting our collections. Whether digitization is done at the object level or at the collection level, the framework remains the same."

  • Lee, Stuart D.  "Assessment Criteria for Digitization." Appendix G in Scoping the Future of the University of Oxford's Digital Library Collections.  July 1, 1999. 

Begins by answering the question, "Why do you need to assess material?" and then references some previous studies.  Defines various classes of material and suggests evaluation based on need and feasibility.

  • North Carolina: Exploring Cultural Heritage Online.  "Selection."  Chapter 2: Guidelines for Digitization, 2007.

Includes sections on Determining Your Selection Criteria, Documenting Your Selection Criteria, a Conclusion, and suggestions for Further Reading.

  • Southern Historical Collection. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Libraries. "Selection & Development."

From Investigation to Implementation: Building a Program for the Large-Scale Digitization of Manuscripts. Last updated December 2009: "The Southern Historical Collection staff "use archival theory and practice" to frame their digitization activities. "In digitizing the collection, the SHC staff employs the archival principle of provenance: organizing and maintaining the individual collections based on the origins of the materials, rather than piecing together new collections of selected documents based on topics, geography, or chronology, or other characteristics." This site discusses how the SHC determines the order in which items are digitized and what the keys issues are for each collection. The site also provides a decision matrix."

  • University of California Libraries.  “Selection Criteria for Digitization.”  Last updated March 4, 2004.

Offers criteria in the categories of Collection Development, Preservation/Archiving, Organizational/funding, and Access.


  • Jackson, Andrea. HBCU Digital Toolkit - Selecting Materials for Digitization April 10, 2009.

Andrea Jackson, Archivist at the Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center explains how the RWWL selected documents for the HBCU digital collection.

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