Best Practice Digitization & Consulting Solutions

Best Practice Session
andrea de polo, Italy

Nowadays, content selection, digitization, preservation, especially of resources that are out of copyright, is an important issue at almost all content providers and libraries. Whereas in the early years it was mainly the larger libraries that were involved in digitization projects, now even medium-sized and small institutions are trying to open up their holdings – which are often unique – to a wider public. The planning and implementation of such projects poses new challenges to the project manager.

The specific challenge for traditional collection management on which we’re focussing here is the matter of selecting content from heritage collections for digitisation. The question is: which items from a vast analogue collection should be made available in digital form first? This question has been approached from different angles over the last 20 years, yet at present no detailed frame of reference exists beyond the institutional or sectoral level to provide a more stable context for the decision-making process.

Selection guidelines vary in their respective scopes, and current practices are characterised by disparate approaches, different terminologies and a lack of open communication on the selection decisions that are being made. Some might suggest that selection needn’t take place at all. Yet at the very least the mere magnitude of analogue collections and the organisational and financial impact of digitisation would seem to necessitate some form of prioritisation in the short term. That the issue has been dealt with in so many different ways reflects the complex nature of selection, but the resulting diversity in approaches ultimately also works against the development of a more uniformly applicable and accepted framework from which to approach the problem.

“Best Practices in Digitization Projects” is intended to be a practical guide to how to implement a digitization project. It covers the various stages of a project, from the planning phase, including budgeting, timing, resources available through the processing of the documents to presenting and marketing the electronic products.

Important aspects that are covered during the presentation include:

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