|Digitizing photos, documents & artifacts|
is an important process for smaller
organizations, communities, and private
collectors yet offers large challenges
In May 2001, Trevor Jones was Project Coordinator for the Illinois Digitization Institute. As a part of that role, he published a Technical Insert for the Illinois Heritage Association. It opened with the affirmation;
“We live in an increasingly digital world. Hundreds of libraries, museums and archives have recently launched projects designed to digitize their collections and place them on the web. According to digital expert Stephen E. Ostrow, this trend is both “auspicious and ominous” for cultural heritage institutions. The potential of digital projects to present information in new and important ways seems limitless. Currently, however, digitization remains plagued by confusing standards, changing technologies, and doubts about the long-term viability of digital files.”
More than a decade later these words still ring true.
The Challenges of Keeping Our Stuff...
The community information network for Champaign-Urbana and the surrounding East-Central Illinois region, or Prairienet, points out every library or community institution will acquire artifacts or documents that they may wish to preserve for future generations. Individuals and organizations also create private collections.
Some content may include physical artifacts, which has been digitized or needs to be digitized. Meanwhile, other objects may be born digital. The key question is how does an institution, organization, or individual especially a small one with limited funding or a small archive go about preserving their collections most effectively?
A Community Informatics Initiative (CII)...Help On Its Way.
Prairienet is an online, interactive part of the Community Informatics Initiative (CII) at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. This website offers information to students, staff and faculty involved in community informatics at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, the Prairienet website is intended for current and future community partners to share experiences and reflections about community-based technology.
At Prairienet, some of the larger issues with digital preservation are addressed while focusing on approaches for smaller community institutions who may not have access to the resources available at larger institutions. There is information addressing issues of:
- Digitization vs. Preservation
- Key Issues
- What is a Community?
- Approaches for Smaller Community Institutions
- Digital Archiving Software
Advice Aged Like Fine Wine!
Whether you are a library, museum, organization, or individual engaged in some type of preservation or digitization of artifacts, photographs, or documents; don’t forget Trevor Jones was once Project Coordinator for the Illinois Digitization Institute and wrote his Technical Insert! This article offers some excellent insight into the subject and is still worthy of consideration today.
In it you will find topics about digitization and preservation such as planning, its downside, setting goals, copyright ownership and doing the work in-house vs. outsourced. Also, attention is given to the digitization processes such as scanning photographs and documents since the article was written when being ‘born digital’ was not a part of the preservation lexicon.
|Your photos and treasured documents are a vital link to the past. Digitizing them allows you to keep, protect, share & connect with them in new and exciting ways. Visit E-Z Photo Scan to learn more about the possibilities for achieving your digital preservation goals. E-Z Photo Scan is also part of the National Digital Stewardship Alliance and member of its Outreach Working Group.|