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Strategic issues for digital projects... …or, what are we doing here?

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Presentation on theme: "Strategic issues for digital projects... …or, what are we doing here?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Strategic issues for digital projects... …or, what are we doing here?

2 Why digitize collections? Lots of reasons not to! Expensive Time consuming Intellectually difficult Can divert attention from other needs in institutions Digitization: Needs lots of storage space, high bandwidth networks, great technical support Time-consuming (often slower than conventional photography) So why do it?

3 Advantages Easier access to individual components within items Quick easy access to materials held remotely Virtual reunification - allowing spatially separated materials to be brought together for comparison

4 Two manuscripts which may be by the same scribe virtually reunified

5 More advantages Images can be enhanced in size, sharpness, colour contrast, noise reduction, e.g Digital Image Archive of Medieval Music (DIAMM) Conserve fragile/precious originals Integration into teaching process Enhanced searchability, including full text, e.g. Forced Migration Online Digital Library Integration of different media (images, sounds, video etc), e.g Digital Shikshapatri

6 Issues: Preservation Theoretically, digitization should be much more robust than analogue preservation media. But… not yet accepted as a preservation medium, as longevity of storage media not certain - therefore:-

7 Issues: Preservation Migration strategy essential, requiring extra costs Careful choices have to be made about image formats, metadata standards etc. It might be necessary to consider using analogue medium for archiving Computer Output to Microform (COM)

8 What should you digitize? Four main factors Access Infrastructure Conservation Feasibility

9 Access Are items in high demand? Key historical or intellectual content? Needed in teaching? Would digitization reinstate materials currently withdrawn from circulation? Would improved searching facilities enhance the value of the resource?

10 Access Would digitization enhance functionality? Would users be better able to retrieve information? Would digitization virtually reassemble a collection? Would digital supply satisfy requests for surrogates and therefore help preserve the originals?

11 Infrastructure Is there available funding? Will it reduce burden or costs on library? Could it generate income? Will it enhance institutional prestige, or kick- start digitization in your institution?

12 Infrastructure Will it raise skill levels of staff? Does it have support from scholars, curators and other librarians? Do you have or can you find the necessary technical skills?

13 Conservation Can originals be handled safely? Will it reduce handling of the originals? Will digitization allow adequate archiving of images, or should content be output to an analogue preservation medium?

14 Feasibility Is there sufficient hardware/software/ storage? Is there accurate information on number of items, and preservation issues? Adequate catalogue? Is the project manageable in terms of time and costs? Would copyright considerations make the project difficult?

15 Collection assessment How do we decide suitability for digitization ? opportunity-driven: can get the funding preservation-driven: want to put away the originals user-driven: in response to requests revenue-driven: might make some money!

16 Collection assessment Can the originals be handled for digitization? Are they catalogued? Are they in copyright? Do other surrogates exist (microfilm etc)?

17 What now? Weve decided why to do it … And weve decided we have the capability So now where do we start?

18 Whats involved? The digitization process involves Assessment and selection Feasibility testing, costing, and piloting Copyright clearance and rights management Preparation of materials Benchmarking Digital capture

19 … plus Quality assessment Metadata Delivery Workflow processes Project management (of crucial importance) Long-term preservation (this could turn out to be the most costly part of the process)

20 Purpose of the DF Academy To help participants understand the strategic and management issues of developing digital resources from digitization to delivery To give some technical background To introduce a range of different projects and approaches To offer on-the-spot advice on potential projects

21 Schedule for the week Planning and management Fund raising and financial issues Visit National Archives and Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Metadata - introduction and implementation Digital preservation Creating digital textual and visual resources Visit The National Gallery Delivering textual and visual resources Copyright and Intellectual Property Sustaining digital projects Resource delivery – pulling it all together

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